We want to make sure that your experience in purchasing your dream home in Baguio / Benguet would be as hassle free and pleasant as possible. For those who have been away from the Philippines for a number of years, it may be wise to familiarize yourself with some facts in acquiring property in the country.

Can I acquire real property in the Philippines even if I am already a naturalized American citizen?

Any natural-born citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship may acquire a private land up to a maximum area of five thousand (5,000) square meters in the case of urban land or three (3) hectares in the case of rural land to be used by him/her for business or other purposes. In the case of married couples, one of them may avail of the privilege herein granted.

What are the governing laws on land ownership?

The laws on land ownership by natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship are governed by Batas Pambansa Blg. 185 (BP 185), which was enacted in March 1982, and Republic Act 8179 (RA 8179), which amended the Foreign Investment Act of 1991.

BP 185 stipulates the guidelines on land ownership by former Filipinos for purposes of establishment of residence while RA 8179 (Section 10) specifies entitlements and conditions for land acquisition for investment purposes.

The acquisition or transfer of private lands refers to either voluntary or involuntary sale, devise or donation. Involuntary sales include sales on tax delinquency, foreclosures, and execution of judgment.

What is the Investors and Retiree Resident (IR2) Balikbayan Visa?

IR2 Balikbayan Visa, facilitated by the Philippine Leisure and Retirement Authority (PLRA), allows returning Filipinos to own land in the Philippines. It is available at Philippine embassies and consulates abroad. This visa will not supplant the dual citizenship bill that has been passed in the Senate but still remained at the committee level in the House of Representatives.

Holders of the said visa get to enjoy the following:

  • Multiple entry and indefinite stay in the Philippines; and exemptions from having to secure exit and re-entry clearances, payment of travel tax and customs duties and taxes for the importation of personal effects;
  • Availment of an Alien Employment Permit to work in the Philippines.
  • Coverage of spouse and dependents below 18.
  • Exemption from having to secure students visa and special study permits.
  • Exemption from taxes of pension and annuities remitted to the Philippines.
  • Guaranteed repatriation of deposits and investments, including profits.
  • Membership in the exclusive PLRA Executive Lounge, and availment of PLRA call center service, discounts in PLRA-accredited establishments, and the use of PLRA membership to various golf and country clubs.
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