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Foreigners Leasing Of Philippine Real Estate Property

Leasing land in the Philippines on a long term basis is an option for foreigners or foreign corporations with more than 40 percent foreign equity. Under the Investor's Lease Act of the Philippines a foreign national and or corporation may enter into a lease agreement with Filipino landowners for an initial period of up to 50 years renewable once for an additional 25 years.
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Foreigners owning Houses in the Philippines

Foreigners owning a house or building in the Philippines is legal as long as the foreigner does not own the land on which the house is build.
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Foreigners owning Condominiums & Townhouses in the Philippines

The Condominium Act of the Philippines, R.A. 4726, expressly allows foreigners to acquire condominium units and shares in condominium corporations up to not more than 40% of the total and outstanding capital stock of a Filipino owned or controlled condominium corporation. However, there are a very few single-detached homes or Townhouses in the Philippines with condominium titles. Most condominiums are high rise buildings.
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Foreigners Leasing of the Philippine Real Estate Property

A foreign national and or corporation may enter into a lease agreement with Filipino landowners for an initial period of up to 50 years, and renewable for another 25 years. Or lease the property in your Philippine Corporation name for an unlimited period.
 

Foreigners Married to a Filipino Citizen

If holding a title as an individual, a typical situation would be that a foreigner married to a Filipino citizen would hold title in the Filipino spouse's name. The foreign spouse's name cannot be on the Title but can be on the contract to buy the property. In the event of death of the Filipino spouse, the foreign spouse is allowed a reasonable amount of time to dispose of the property and collect the proceeds or the property will pass to any Filipino heirs and or relatives.
 

Any natural-born Philippine citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship may still own private land in the Philippines up to a maximum area of 5,000 square meters in the case of rural land. In the case of married couples, the total area that both couples are allowed to purchase should not exceed the maximum area mentioned above.
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Filipinos & Former Filipino Citizens (Balikbayans) & OFW

Former natural-born Filipinos who are now naturalized citizens of another country can buy and register, under their own name, land in the Philippines but limited in land area. However, those who avail of the Dual Citizenship Law in the Philippines can buy as much as any other Filipino citizen. Under Republic Act 9225 (Philippines Dual Citizenship Law of 2003), former Filipinos who became naturalized citizens of foreign countries are deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship, thus enabling them to enjoy all the rights and privileges of a Filipino regarding land ownership in the Philippines.

Any natural-born Philippine citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship may still own private land in the Philippines up to a maximum area of 5,000 square meters in the case of rural land. In the case of married couples, the total area that both couples are allowed to purchase should not exceed the maximum area mentioned above.
 

Real Estate Buying Guide in the Philippines for Foreigners

Foreigner's Guide

By law, foreigners don't have the right to acquire land in the Philippines (there have been many proposals to amend this law but of this writing, it is unlikely to change). The simplest way for a foreigner to acquire real estate properties is to have a Filipino spouse purchase a property. Another alternative is having a Filipino partner when acquiring a property. The partner owns 51% or more and the remainder is owned by the foreigner. (Tip: The foreigner can have a blank deed of sale signed by the Filipino partner for security)

Exceptions:

Filipino citizens and corporations or partnerships that is at least 60% Philippine owned are entitled to acquire land in the Philippines. An exception to this rule, is foreign acquisition of a Philippine real estate in the following cases:

* Acquisition before the 1935 constitution.

* Acquisition thru hereditary succession if the foreign acquire is a legal or natural heir.

This means that when you are married to a Filipino citizen and your husband/wife dies, you as the natural heir will become the legal owner of his/her property. The same is true for the children. Every natural child (legitimate or illegitimate) can inherit the property of his/her Filipino father/mother even if he/she is not a Filipino citizen.

* Purchase of not more than 40% interest in a condominium project.

* Purchase by a former natural-born Filipino citizen subject to the limitations prescribed by law.  (natural born Filipinos who acquired foreign citizenship is entitled to own up to 1,000 sq.m. of residential land, and 1 hectare of agricultural or farm land)

* Filipinos who are married to aliens who retain their Filipino citizenship, unless by their act or omission they have renounced their Filipino citizenship.

Owning of houses or buildings is legal as long as the foreigner does not own the land on which the house is build.

Setting up a corporation with 40% of the stocks in the foreigner's name and 60% to Filipinos is a good alternative. There must be a minimum of 5 stockholders, and foreigner can have the Filipino stockholders sign blank transfer of the stocks for security.



Former Natural-born Philippine Citizen now Naturalized American Citizen

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Steps to Gain Dual Citizenship:

  • If you are in the Philippines, file a "Petition for Dual Citizenship and Issuance of Identification Certificate (IC) pursuant to RA 9225” at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and for the cancellation of your alien certificate of registration.
  • Those who are not BI registered and overseas should file the petition at the nearest embassy or consulate.

Requirements:

  • Birth certificate authenticated my the Philippines National Statistics Office (NSO)
  • Accomplish and submit a “Petition for Dual Citizenship and Issuance of Identification Certificate (IC) pursuant to RA 9225” to a Philippine embassy, consulate or the Bureau of Immigration
  • Pay a $50.00 processing fee, schedule and take an "Oath of Allegiance" before a consular officer
  • The Bureau of Immigration in Manila receives the petition from the embassy or consular office. The BI issues and sends an Identification Certificate of citizenship to the embassy or consular office.

If a former Filipino who is now a naturalized citizen of a foreign country does not want to avail of the Dual Citizen Law in the Philippines, he or she can still acquire land based on BP (Batas Pambansa) 185 & RA (Republic Act) 8179 but limited to the following:
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