More Chinese people than any other nationality have retired to the Philippines, according to the Philippine Retirement Agency (PRA).
The agency’s data show that there were 17,768 Chinese retirees in the country from 1985 to October 2016 — 34 per cent of the total.
Within this 31-year period, a total of 49,711 foreigners registered with the PRA.
After Chinese, Koreans were the second largest cohort with 10,384 retirees (21 per cent); Taiwanese with 4,524 (nine per cent); Indian, 3,991 (eight per cent) and Japanese, 3,442 (seven per cent).
Americans, Hong Kong Chinese, British, Germans, and Australians complete the top 10 nationalities.
PRA Cebu officer-in-charge Elma Corbeta said retirees were defined as those aged over 35 who are legal residents of foreign countries. Forty per cent of retirees in the Philippines are aged from 50 to 64.
Ms Corbeta said: “The Philippines is now becoming a top global retirement destination. In 2017, it became 19th among the world’s best places to retire, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index.”
PRA-registered retirees can live and stay in the Philippines through the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV).
The government offers four types of SRRV, namely the SRRV ‘Smile’ where visa-holders are required to maintain a deposit of $20,000 in a PRA-designated bank; and SRRV ‘Classic’ with options to use the deposit to buy condos or pay down long-term leases.
There is also the SRRV ‘Courtesy’ for balikbayan Filipinos and foreign nationals who have served in the Philippines as diplomats, ambassadors or staff of international organisations, with a visa deposit of $1,500.
For older retirees, PRA offers SRRV ‘Human Touch’. Under this option, the retiree needs a deposit of $10,000, a monthly pension of at least $1,500 and health insurance.