If you are a foreigner and are interested about the idea of buying a property in the Philippines, the first thing that you need to know is this – the law prohibits foreign nationals from owning a land in the country.
The good news for you is that there are actually ways to get around that without breaking any law.
For example, expatriates are allowed to buy a condo unit or a high-rise apartment. On top of that, it is also acceptable for expats to buy houses (such as town house) although again, they are not permitted to buy land where the house is built on. It is possible, however, to long lease a land for 50 years and own it which will then need to be renewed every 25 years.
Here are other legal ways to purchase a land or property in the country:
1. A foreigner can apply for an SRRV or Special Resident Retirement Visa. This costs about $1,500 and $400 for annual renewal. With this visa, you will be allowed to own business and properties in the Philippines. Be prepared, however, to make a deposit of $10,000 to $50,000. Generally, the required amount will depend on the foreigner’s age and pension status.
2. Foreigners are legally allowed to purchase a land or property provided that they are doing it through a company which is at least owned by 60% Filipinos.
3. If the foreigner is named as a legal heir of a Filipino who acquires the land, then he or she is entitled to ownership.
4. Also, a foreigner married to a Filipino citizen can have the option of naming the properties under the name of the spouse.
5. Foreigners may also work on becoming a Filipino citizen. This requires living in the country for at least 10 years. If you can do that, then you will be able to buy any property without legal restrictions whatsoever.
6. Former natural-born citizens, on the other hand, are allowed to own 1,000 square meters if it is to be used for residential purpose.
7. According to the Dual Citizenship Law of 2003, all natural born Filipinos who eventually lost their citizenship as Filipino to another country because of naturalization may reclaim Philippine citizenship if he/she swears allegiance to the country. After reclaiming citizenship as a Filipino, he/she is now considered a citizen and may own properties without any constraints.
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