Moving to the Philippines: Things you should know before you immigrate to the Philippines

Who doesn’t want to enjoy a laid back lifestyle, a pleasant climate, and beaches lined with palm trees? The Philippines provides you with all of this and much more. With a diverse cultural life and modern busy cities, the archipelago that consists of more than 7.000 islands is a world of its own. Due to the pleasant climate and the many exotic places to live, the Philippines is not only popular among expats, but also among many pensioners looking for a place to spend their time after retirement. With the low cost of living and the favorable prices for accommodation, the Philippines has a variety of options for different budgets. So, tag along when we go over all the things that matter when thinking about relocating to the Philippines.


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International removals to the Philippines with Eurosender

Owing to the historic ties between the two countries, moving to the Philippines from the USA has long been a popular option for both expats and retirees. With English widely spoken on most islands, Americans easily feel at home. But not only Americans are drawn to this fascinating country that is located in the Western Pacific Ocean. The expat community consists of numerous different nationalities from all over the globe. And about one thing they all agree: The Filipino population is one the friendliest in the world. Many expats who have moved there before you have all noticed how the family-centered lifestyle is a pleasant change from where they come from. When you take the effort of learning a few words of Tagalog, you will soon feel like a true Filipino, embracing everything that this energetic country has to offer you.

Before you get ready to move house to the Philippines, you should know at least some basic facts about your new home base. With the table below this is a piece of cake.

CapitalManila (1.8 million inhabitants) The largest city is Quezon city with 3 million inhabitants.
TimezoneIn the Philippines, there is 1 time zone: UTC+8
CurrencyPeso (₱) (PHP)
PopulationThe Philippines has a population of about 100 million inhabitants, which makes it the 13th most populated country in the world.
How do you call someone from the Philippines?Filipino (małe) Filipina (female)
Official languageThe official languages in the Philippines are English and Filipino. Besides that, there 19 recognized languages in the country.
International dialing code+63
Emergency number117
DrivingRight side
TippingIt is common to tip 10-15% to anyone who provides a service, such as taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc.
Unusual factThe Philippines are named after King Philip II of Spain (1527-1598)

When you are relocating from the USA to the Philippines there is a huge checklist of things that you have to take into consideration. Whether it is schooling for your kids, finding a good spot to live or organizing good healthcare, all of this will take more time than you might expect. On the other hand, something that you can easily save money and time on is shipping your belongings to your new apartment or house. When you choose international removals to the Philippines with the help of Eurosender, you can be sure that your shipping will be done in the fastest and most reliable manner. Watch a short video on how to order a delivery or contact us for an individual offer. This way our team of logistics experts will make an offer to your specific needs. Every shipment is insured with our standard insurance but be sure to check out our offer for additional insurance at low rates.

Living in the Philippines

Moving to the Philippines will enrich your life in many ways. You will get acquainted with Filipino culture and everything that is involved with that. Let’s look at some interesting differences that you might witness while living in the Philippines.

  • Catholicism is big in the Philippines. About 80% of the population adheres to this religion and it plays a big role in society.
  • Even though English and Tagalog are most widely spoken, the Philippines is, with 175 spoken languages, one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.
  • Basketball is the biggest sport in the Philippines. You can find courts and hoops in every place possible.
  • Shopping malls are the place were Filipinos like to hang out in their free time. Three of the biggest malls in the world are located in the Philippines.
  • Philippinos are known for their warm and friendly character. You will notice how easy it is to make new friends and get in touch with the locals.
  • The Philippines is the world’s largest coconut producer and you will find that coconut is often used in Filipino cuisine in many different ways.
  • More than a tenth of the population works overseas. One of the most common jobs for overseas workers is being a nurse.
  • When living in the Philippines, you are staying in the heart of southeast Asia. This means that you can easily and cheaply fly to surrounding countries for your vacation. Some of these countries include Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and Cambodia.

Visa Regulations for the Philippines

The Philippines has relatively liberal visa laws so for most people it is possible to obtain the necessary documents. Let’s look at the options.

  • Tourists from numerous countries enjoy a visa-free regime when they come to visit the Philippines as a tourist. Depending on the country you hail from, you can stay from 7 up to 59 days.
  • When you want to work or study in the Philippines you will have to apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa.
  • When you want to work you also need a work permit. As your employer has to sponsor this, you first have to find employment before you can start thinking about a work permit.
  • When you are married to a Filipino citizen, and this happens frequently, you can apply for a Non-Quota Immigrant visa. This is also an option when one of your parents in Filipino or when you were adopted from the Philippines
  • When you have more than $75.000 that you are ready to invest in a business in the Philippines, you can apply for a Special Investors Resident Visa. You will then also be able to bring your wife/husband and kids.
  • The Special Resident Retiree Visa is for pensioners who want to spend their time in the Philippines throughout most of the year.

Healthcare in the Philippines

About half of the citizens of the Philippines have healthcare insurance. But even with that, you will not have access to the best clinics. There is both private and public healthcare available, with most expats opting for the first option. On the whole, the conditions may not always be up to Western standards but when visiting private hospitals you can be sure that you receive adequate treatment as the staff, both doctors and nursing staff, are well qualified.

School and education

The Philippines have a school system, compulsory for 12 years, largely inspired by the American school system.

TypeGradeCompulsory
Primary school1-6Yes
Secondary school 7-10Yes
Higher Secondary school11-12Yes

After higher secondary education one can go on to study at a college or university. Keep in mind that even though education is obligatory until the 12th grade, many children drop out before that.
Most expats choose to put their children on English speaking international schools, which are usually located in the bigger cities.

The job market in the Philippines

Even though finding a job in the Philippines might not be that hard, finding a job that pays well is a lot harder. You may read articles about people living on less than $500 a month, but that is not a sustainable lifestyle for everyone, especially when you have the responsibility for a family with children. Below you can see a few ways to earn a living in the Philippines.

  • Start your own business. Being your own boss gives you the freedom to shape your own working life. Keep in mind that for this you have to learn the local language and have someone who supplies you with legal advice.
  • Get qualified and start teaching. With the right diplomas and some years of experience to back that up, you can find a decent job as a teacher of English or any other language.
  • Get acquainted with the locals. Voluntary work, internships, and exchange programs are a great way to connect with new people, who can help you find employment in the Philippines.
  • There are many call centers in the Philippines serving many English speaking countries. When you speak a language that is demand and not widely available, you may go home with a decent salary.

Property information

Foreigners cannot own land in the Philippines and even though it is possible to buy property through some constructions, most expats rent their living space.
There is a wide range of options available for each kind of budget. The best way to find something is by checking online listings. Contacting fellow expats is also a smart move. They can recommend a good broker or sometimes you can even easily take over their apartment when they are relocating.

Cost of moving to the Philippines

At Eurosender we frequently get the question: How much is shipping from the USA to the Philippines? To answer this question there are several things that determine the price. Whether you just want to send several suitcases or an entire pallet, these things count for each relocation order.

When you have those things sorted out, you will find that Eurosender offers the lowest average moving costs Philippines. Whether you are looking for the cheapest way to move furniture to the Philippines or you want to ship your golf clubs to Manilla, it is all possible with Eurosender. Student, expat, business or NGO, everyone knows that the cost of moving house to the Philippines is at its lowest when working with Eurosender.

Cost of living in the Philippines

The biggest chunk out of your budget is probably rent, which hugely depends on your location. Utilities are rather cheap compared to for example the EU. Most expats indicate that in most parts of the Philippines you can easily live for around $1.000 a month. Things in your daily life that you can save on are:

  • Transport: public transport is widely available and cheap
  • Local produce: these have better prices than imported food products.
  • Share living space: You can rent a room in a house with others if you are forced to live in an expensive part of town.

Driving in the Philippines

To drive in the Philippines you can use your native driving license when it is in English. When this is not the case, you need to have a translation with you. It is also recommended to get an International Driving Permit even though this is not mandatory. Let’s explore some other important things when it comes to driving in the Philippines.

  • Pedestrians are everywhere, even on the highways!
  • There many one-way streets in the Philippines, which causes the risk of getting caught when you are not aware of that.
  • Although you might hear that locals often pay bribes to traffic cops, you should not do that under any circumstances. Your fine can get higher or you might even be arrested.
  • Drivers sometimes ignore red traffic lights so always double-check when the light turns green.

The most popular destination from where you can move to Canada

Canada

Many Canadian expats and retirees are looking for a more favorable climate and a more easy-going way of life. If there is one country that can offer that, it is the Philippines. Whether you are enjoying a Canadian pension or living the life of a digital nomad, you get more bang for your buck in the Philippines. Another thing is that nowadays the prices of airfare are getting lower and lower. So, you can easily visit your friends and family for holidays and special occasions. Using the services of Eurosender, you can now also cheaply ship your whole household on pallets to the Philippines in no-time. Moving to the Philippines from Canada has never been easier and cheaper.

Australia

Moving to the Philippines from Australia is getting increasingly popular. Even though Australia is a famous immigrant destination itself, more and more people relocate the archipelago of the Philippines. With the cost of living being much cheaper than in Australia and wider cultural diversity, the Philippines sound like an interesting option for many. Flights these days are inexpensive and widely available but don’t allow you to bring many items, as excess baggage is extremely pricey. With the help of Eurosender, you can ship your whole household in no-time. Just contact our multilingual team of logistics experts and they will help you save money on your relocation to the Philippines. Move today and experience that everything is more fun in the Philippines.

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.