EXPATS that live in the Philippines have
obtained resident visas. If you are planning to try living in the Philippines, I recommend
you obtain a one year visa (cost about $75). You will usually have to show a round trip
airplane ticket to the embassy to obtain this visa. This will allow you to enter the
Philippines for 59 days. Somewhere around the 45 day point you should apply for a two
month extension. Cost around $100. The next two month extension is approximately $
go past the six month point you require some extra paperwork at immigration, so this
extension will cost approximately $150. Ultimately, you can extend up to one year, then
you must plan a "visa trip."
Round trip to Bangkok is about
$200-300. Other options
include Hong Kong, Singapore, or Guam. All are slightly more expensive than Thailand, but
occasional airfare specials can make them cheaper. Slightly more expensive (and with visa
requirements) are Cambodia and Vietnam.
(NOTE: you can enter the Philippines without a
visa. You will probably be required to show an onward ticket when you enter. You will be
given a 21 day visa. This visa may also be extended, but immigration may elect at any time
not to grant you an extension since you did not have a visa at the start.)
The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) has a
plan for investors that entitles you to a resident visa. Before you enter into this plan
or attempt to get a resident visa, you should visit for 30 - 60 days to be sure you want
the restrictions of this plan.
From April to September there is a
good chance of finding an apartment or house with little waiting period. From September to
April the selection of apartments and houses is minimal. There was plenty of housing here
in the 90's after the USAF departure, but about 95% is occupied now. Rents
now exceed the levels they were in 1991and they are currently going up by 20--30% a year
(depending on the subdivision).
Housing can be found in a wide
variety of price ranges. Our employees live mostly in small apartment houses. They get a
unfurnished room (about 8' x 8') with a private toilet for around $50 a month. Of
course there are places without a private toilet that are even less than that. Unfurnished
apartments with one to two bedrooms start as low as $130 to $200 per month. A nice
unfurnished two bedroom apartment or duplex runs about $300. A nice furnished two
bedroom apartments is around $400.
Houses are a little more difficult
to find and often have long waiting periods. Some people that have fixed up their houses
in good subdivisions will "sell their lease to you". This means that you pay
$2000 - $5000 to pay for the improvements that they made and any furniture that they plan
to leave behind. Often if you won't take their furniture, you can not get their house.
House rents vary from marginal houses in bad neighborhoods for $180 per month, to nice
houses in good areas for $450-600. To very nice houses in subdivisions with swimming pools
and club houses for $1000+ per month.
Electric will run $35 to $50 per month for a non
air-conditioned unit. Add $5-20 per day for one aircon (depending on usage). Water will
usually cost less than $10-15 per month (this might be included in some apartments). Some
areas require security guards, if so, this might add another $10-20 to your monthly fees. You
can get housegirls to live in, or to come one to seven days a week to clean. Expect to pay
a live-in maid around $125-200 a month plus meals.
Job opportunities?? I am frequently asked this
question through email. The answer is: There are
very few jobs here for
There are 300+ guys here for every job as a bar manager (which is the most common
job). If you can land a job as a manager, salaries run from about $300
(plus drinks) to $400 a month. Several premium ones paying $750 "plus all you can drink
+ commission." (NOTE: nobody
hires a manager via email or on references. They want to know the individual and see how
they are around alcohol, the employees, and other EXPATS. My recommendation is, if you
want a job somewhere in Angeles, make yourself into a good customer FIRST!)
jobs???.....only if you can figure out a way to market yourself. Nobody wants an
computer specialists when he can get a Filipino for less than $100 a month! There are
occasionally jobs for EXPATS on Clark SEZ and in Manila, but you aren't going get one of
those via email either. You have to live here and meet the right people.
Be advised that most of these jobs are "illegal
jobs," i.e., you cannot work on a tourist visa. If you are on a tourist visa, you do
not have a work permit, and you do not report income to the Philippine government. If you
are caught, you could be fined and/or deported. Doesn't happen often, but it does with
guys that think they are kings and act accordingly.
More information on available jobs
in the Philippines for EXPATS can be obtained at: www.jobsnet.net
There are as many opportunities here as in any
developing area. There are many needed goods and services that are not available here yet
that some enterprising individuals will find lucrative someday. Again, you have to visit
and see if there is something in your expertise. You cannot do anything here without a
Filipino partner or "front person."
I don't recommend investments (if they were
sure deals, I'd do them myself!) and I don't recommend partners. You have to build your
own trust with someone.
One piece of FREE advice is: DON'T
MAKE AN INVESTMENT IN THE NAMEOF YOUR FILIPINA
GIRLFRIEND OR WIFE. When that relationship breaks up, there goes your life
savings. I have seen it over and over and over again!
Almost all the banks here will take 21 to 30 days
to clear a check [personal, cashier's, or travelers check!] if you have an account there.
There are several banks that will accept direct deposits from USA (like US military retirement).
Check into a bank account when you visit for more information. All will require 2-3 pieces
of identification and most will require a reference from someone that does business with
the bank before they will let you deposit.
Even on a tourist visa you can buy, register, and
insure a motor vehicle. Vehicles are not cheap due to the high customs duties, but you can
find a reliable used car for $3500 to $5000.