Several thousands of foreign nationals in the Philippines have decided to make the country their second home. The number of Chinese, Japanese, Americans, British, Germans, Australians, Koreans, Indians, and other nationalities in the Philippines is staggering and ever growing.
Immigration Alien Registration division assistant chief Ferdinand Arbas stated that the number of Chinese living in the country went up from 30,809 in 2009 to 61,372 in 2010. The Korean’s presence has increased from 24,876 in 2009 to 28,090 in 2010. In 2007, the U.S. State Department estimated that there were over 250,000 U.S. citizens living in the Philippines. The dual citizenship factor makes it a bit difficult to have an exact number of U.S. citizens residing in the Philippines. I do not think that anyone has an exact number to report yet. Perhaps, this number might have increased by at least 25,000 within the last three years, which would give a rough estimate of 275,000 (or more) U.S. citizens living in the Philippines.
You will find three main groups: those who go to school and others who are business owners; last but not least, the retirees. Thousands of Korean nationals attend English schools and many students from Iran and other countries study medicine. Thousands of Americans and numerous German Nationals, Australians, among others retire in the country. Retirees are privileged to do island hopping beyond their wildest dreams, due to the fact they can enjoy the breath-taking and panoramic sites of nearly 7,000 islands. Additionally, they can afford the luxury of a great standard of living at reasonable costs.
There have been many speculations floating around, saying that foreigners cannot buy any property in the Philippines. Eventually, it is incorrect. Let us explore this issue together. The Philippines Law prohibits foreign nationals from owning land in the Philippines, except as a minority partner with an interest of 40% or less. There are individuals who suggest that it is a great idea to set up a fake or dummy corporation to bypass the law. I caution you that setting up a “dummy corporation” for buying land, which is illegal in the Philippines.
Here is what you should expect if you try to circumvent the property laws of the Philippines, the authority can confiscate one hundred percent (100%) of your investment and you can even go to jail. One of the reasons why the laws are so stringent is that the Philippines government is very concerned about foreign exploitation.
The condominium market is the only legal way for a foreign national (foreigner) to invest in Philippine property market. For instance, a foreign national may have one hundred percent (100%) ownership of a condominium unit in any building, having an overall foreign ownership of forty percent (40%). In addition, a foreigner, who is married to a Filipino woman, can buy a house under the name of his wife, meaning that his wife’s name is the only name that appears on the deed. That said, the husband’s name is left out of the deed. The deed may mention that “name of the wife followed by the words ‘married to…’” For those single men who are thinking about marrying Filipino women and not being comfortable with such real estate arrangements as far as the deed is concerned, you should then consider buying a condominium instead.
This is the only real estate property that the Real Estate Philippine Laws allow you to buy without having to have the deed under your name’s wife. Moreover, the Philippines Property Laws allow foreigners to buy or own buildings and or houses legally as long as they do not own the land on which the houses or buildings are built. Foreign nationals, corporations and legally formed associations may lease land for a period of 25-50 years, which is renewable for another 25-50 years.
Written on July 12, 2011
Colbert Bellevue is the author of three eBooks: “Top Secrets to Approaching a Woman, Seducing Her, and Taking Her on a Date or Getting Her into Bed,” “How to Get Many Pen Pals and the Woman of Your Dreams in the Philippines, Thailand, and China,” and “The Whole Truths You Need to Know Before You Travel to the Philippines.” » Read more: So Many Foreign Nationals in the Philippines – Rights to Buy Property