Home Philippines Forum Philippines Guide Philippines Resources Real Estate Healthcare in Philippines
Philippines
Resources
City Guides
AGS Worldwide Movers
Join Sign In
CIGNA Expat Health Insurance

Moving to the Philippines: 7 Things to Know Before You Move to the Philippines

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Summary: Expats moving to the Philippines join others that have moved there for work or a lower cost of living during retirement. It's critical to understand what the realities of living there are, but those that successfully make the adjustment believe it is a good place to live.

Moving to the Philippines - 7 Things to Know Before You Move to the Philippines

Expats move to the Philippines for a variety of reasons. Whereas some countries have an expat population mostly for work or mostly for retirement, the Philippines definitely draws both expats in both of these populations.

Visas For Expats in the Philippines

The Philippines has different types of visas, and you need the correct one to legally reside there.

In this thread about visas in the Philippines, you'll see that the law is clear but often not applied evenly. It is a serious risk to take chances in another country by not complying their immigration laws. Be smart, do your research and follow the laws accordingly.

The thread notes that your visa status determines whether or not you need a return ticket when boarding flight for the Philippines. If you plan to visit the Philippines to explore the possibility of moving there, the answer is yes.

Here is a link to the official Philippines immigration site. There is a lot of information... carefully go through everything that pertains to you! Regardless of what you read here or elsewhere, you should assume that requirements can change at any time and without notice.

Here is visa information from the U.S. Department of State's Philippines page. Among other things, it notes that:

"Upon your arrival, immigration authorities will stamp an entry visa valid for 30 days on your passport. If you plan to stay longer than 30 days, you must apply for an extension at the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI).

"If you overstay your visa, you are subject to fines and detention by Philippine immigration authorities."

Also review this thread about visas in the Philippines

Where to Move in the Philippines

In our article about the safest places to live in the Philippines, we asked expats already living there what their advice would be to others considering moving to the Philippines. If you read all of their thoughts and the other reports and articles you'll find there, you'll start to gain some serious insight on what it would mean to move and live there.

Here is a great thread about where to move to in the Philippines, which is in large part what the above article is based on.

Here also are tips for moving to Manila and tips for moving to Angeles City

Looking for a moving company for your move to Philippines? Experts In Moving offers you a simple and hassle free solution to plan your move. You'll get up to 5 FREE quotes from trusted international movers.

Expat Health Care in the Philippines

As with everywhere else, Expat Healthcare in the Philippines is one of the most important aspects of your move. There is an option called PhilHealth that is offered to people that move to the Philippines, but it doesn't cover everything. Do extensive research and think about your individual health and specific needs that must be met regardless of where you live.

WeExpats provides international health insurance to expats and travelers in Philippines. They focus on the highest coverage for the lowest cost with global coverage. Click here today to learn more and get a free quote!

Education in the Philippines

A man thinking about moving to the Philippines and looking for information about schools on our Philippines forum got varied responses.

One woman wrote: "My son goes to an International school here, it's been around for 100 years, pretty good reputation. School can apply for student visa here without any problem, Hope this helps."

Another wrote: "I would NEVER put a child in a public school here. The best private schools are bad enough. Home schooling might be the best way to go."

Perhaps the most pointed opinion offered: "Moving school to just try out if you like the Philippines could easily wreck her chances of making anything of her life. Perhaps you need to think more about your daughter and less about yourself." He also added that "Having a pretty good reputation in the Philippines doesn't transtate [too well] on the world stage. As they say the one eyed man is king in the land of the blind."

If you read the entire thread, you'll find many more opinions and personal experiences. Remember that it is important to consider carefully the individual school, where it's located and try to talk to or otherwise communicate with others that have children who currently attend the school. (Or have in the recent past.)

Moving to Philippines?

Experts In Moving, offers you a simple and hassle free solution to plan your move to Philippines. You'll get up to 5 FREE quotes from trusted international movers. Takes 1 minute! No obligation. Save up to 40%. Only qualified and professional movers. Get your quotes now!

Retiring in the Philippines

There is always great interest in retiring in the Philippines. Those that live in the Philippines as retirees always have great advice for other retirees considering moving there for retirement.

An expat living in the Philippines offered some advice to someone considering retiring in the Philippines. Here are some thoughts he shared:

"You can't own a house and land in the Philippines as a foreigner, you can buy a condo unit. If you want to work the best thing at the moment is online English teacher. Working in the Philippines requires a work permit, and jobs not easy to get and salary is low. Rent don't buy for two years. Live in or very near a largish town. Don't trust anyone. You will be charged more for everything because you are a rich foreigner. Don't tell ANYONE how much your income is. Don't go out and get drunk and walk home alone especially at night. Do NOT lend money to anyone for whatever reason. Do NOT invest in any business. Philippines is a great place to retire, but it is not for the faint hearted or the naive. I wish you luck."

Ask questions in the Expat Exchange Philippines forum there is a lot of experience here, some good advice to be had.

Expats Can't Own Land in the Philippines

As mentioned above, Expats CANNOT own property in the Philippines. An expat recently advised others that "you can't own a house and land in the Philippines as a foreigner, you can buy a condo unit. Only a Filipino national can own land."

Shipping a Car to the Philippines

If you are considering shipping a car to the Philippines, expats already there will tell you that they have had horrible experiences with customs, and the taxes are enormously high.

One expat advised that, "per my American landlord who brought over a 2005 Vette 2 yrs ago, customs tried to [seize] it and in the end [he] spent a month in Manila to get it released. He paid $15k in tax which he finagled into because originally [they] wanted to charge him $22k, the Kelly blue [book value]."

Another expat simply advised another: "Don't."

Shipping Household Goods

In a thread about shipping goods to the Philippines, expats advised generally that you're better off not shipping much there.

One wrote: "Nothing that I had in my home in Washington was of much use to me here. Almost everything electrical needs 115-volts and it's 220-volts here (though the receptacles are often the same, so be careful). Most everything I had in the states was too big to fit in the homes here (unless you're going for a large "western-style" home). Even the typical queen size bed here is shorter (at 75") and the US-sized queen bed I had wouldn't even fit in the bedroom.

"Nothing in the way of US appliances would work in the two homes I've lived in.

"The only thing (maybe) I wished I had sent over in a Balikbayan box was clothing. I'm not a really big guy at 5' 9" and about 200 pounds but whereas I wear a large (sometimes a medium) in the US, even XL here is too small and XXL is hard to find (and sometimes it's too small as well). Pants are even worse than shirts."

Join our Philippines Expat Forum

Visit our Philippines Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in Philippines.

Read Next

10 Tips for Living in The Philippines

Expats seem to unanimously agree that the best thing about living in the Philippines is the Filipino people. The cost of living is another thing to love. Expats share their tips and experiences living in The Philippines.

5 Great Places to Retire in Asia

We asked expats and searched our forums for recommendations about where to retire in Asia. We pinpointed countries with affordable costs of living and have five great retirement locations. Please add your recommendations in the comments section!

Expat Philippines: 6 Best Places to Live in The Philippines

With its low cost of living, beautiful beaches, bustling cities and hot climate, expats have been flocking to the Philippines for years. Here are six of the best places for expats to live in the Philippines.

5 Tips For Living In Manila

Expats in Manila have reported many of the same themes since the inception of Expat Exchange. Read some basic facts and tips about this Philippine city (and metro area) on the island of Luzon.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

AGS Worldwide Movers

Write a Comment about this Article

Sign In to post a comment.

Comments about this Article

sergeyK
Mar 11, 2018 20:55

very interesting stuff. thanks for sharing your experience!

First Published: Aug 15, 2017

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Philippines from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Culture-Shock-in-Santa-Rosa-City,--LagunaAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Santa Rosa City, Laguna, Philippines

An expat in Santa Rosa City, Philippines appreciates the friendliness of the people, close knit families, low crime and conservative morality of the locals. He finds that merchandise is mostly from China and of the poorest quality (the better products end up in the US!).

An expat in Santa Rosa City, Philippines appreciates the friendliness of the people, close knit families, low crime and conservative morality of the locals. He finds that merchandise is mostly from C...

Living-in-DavaoAn Expat Discusses Living in Davao, Philippines

An expat who has lived in Davao, Philippines for 10 years says that life in Davao revolves around socializing, eating, drinking and living a nice and happy life -- in and surrounded by nature. Although there is some work to be found in Davao, he explains that it's best to have remote Internet-based work from outside the country.

An expat who has lived in Davao, Philippines for 10 years says that life in Davao revolves around socializing, eating, drinking and living a nice and happy life -- in and surrounded by nature. Althou...

10 Tips for Living in The Philippines

Expats seem to unanimously agree that the best thing about living in the Philippines is the Filipino people. The cost of living is another thing to love. Expats share their tips and experiences living in The Philippines.

Expats seem to unanimously agree that the best thing about living in the Philippines is the Filipino people. The cost of living is another thing to love. Expats share their tips and experiences livi...

5 Great Places to Retire in Asia

We asked expats and searched our forums for recommendations about where to retire in Asia. We pinpointed countries with affordable costs of living and have five great retirement locations. Please add your recommendations in the comments section!

We asked expats and searched our forums for recommendations about where to retire in Asia. We pinpointed countries with affordable costs of living and have five great retirement locations. Please ad...

Expat Philippines: 6 Best Places to Live in The Philippines

With its low cost of living, beautiful beaches, bustling cities and hot climate, expats have been flocking to the Philippines for years. Here are six of the best places for expats to live in the Philippines.

With its low cost of living, beautiful beaches, bustling cities and hot climate, expats have been flocking to the Philippines for years. Here are six of the best places for expats to live in the Phil...

5 Tips for Expats Living in the Philippines

Expats may share some gripes about living in the Philippines, but most agree that one thing makes up for all of the challenges. Can you guess what it is?
Expats may share some gripes about living in the Philippines, but most agree that one thing makes up for all of the challenges. Can you guess what it is?...

Philippines Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal