Moving To Philippines

Located in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, Philippines is a prominent country and is made of more than 7000 islands. An archipelago presence with breathtaking natural beauties, the Philippines attracts not only foreign tourists but also many people who want to settle down here. If you have planned to move to the Philippines from the USA for a longer time and want to call this country your next home, then there are processes which you need to know beforehand. In the subsequent sections let us take you through the process and assist in your relocation to the Philippines from the USA.

Moving to Philippines from USA

How International Sea & Air can help for moving to Philippines

When you try to move or reshuffle your home that in itself poses lots of a challenge after staying there for a long time. Think how much of a challenge can it be when you are moving your home overseas! International relocation may be rewarding for your career and family but a move this big always comes bundled with its own challenges.

International Sea & Air Shipping assists hundreds of clients moving to the Philippines each year. As a leading international moving specialist, we are thoroughly acquainted with the different processes and requirements unique to every country. Moving to the Philippines from the USA is complex, and shipping to the Philippines can seem like a daunting task. The good news is: You can alleviate much of the pressure by engaging our professional team to facilitate your international relocation.

We are a one-stop-shop and handle everything from A to Z. From assisting with Customs documentation, to shipping your household goods from USA to the Philippines, to final delivery, we provide specialized door to door services. When you’re moving to the Philippines, you want an experienced company leading the way. That is where we come in!

Philippines, call this archipelago your next home!

The Philippines, more officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is an island country made up of 7,107 islands located in the west Pacific Ocean within the Pacific Ring of Fire. The area is divided into three geographical regions: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, with the Metro Manila area containing both the capitol city of Milan and Quezon City, the most populous area.

Looking for sandy beaches, a range in biodiversity and a hot and humid tropical maritime climate? The Philippines may be for you.

With a population of 100 million people, the Philippines is ranked the 7th most-populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated on earth. In addition to a high population in the country itself, there are also 12 million Filipinos living around the world, making the race one of the world’s largest diasporas.

A founding member of the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and East Asia Summit, the Philippines are considered a middle power due to its population size and economic promise.

Made of more than 7000 islands, the Philippines can be a dream destination. When you want to move to the Philippines from the USA for a longer term you will find inviting local people, colorful cultural heritage, lip-smacking food and crisp island weather all year round that can make your stay in this country a dream! Among the Philippines 7000+ islands around 2000 are inhabited making the archipelago. Philippines is divided largely in three divisions, north, central & south. This country is also home to some of the world famous sea destinations including – Panglao Island, Siargao, El Nido etc.

Apart from spectacular natural beauty, moving to the Philippines from the USA also can be lucrative as the country is one of the fast emerging economies in South East Asia and a newly industrialized one. The cost of living is far less than that of the USA and the country offers you a good quality of life.

Customs Regulations for the Philippines

  • Passport (original with photo) must contain last entry stamp and biographic pages
  • Residence or Work Visa
  • Residence Permit
  • Work Permit
  • Inventory of shipment written in English (should state that items are “used”)
  • Letter of Request for Exemption (Necessary for certain Visa categories only)
    • Customs Bond
    • Letter of Guarantee
    • Bank Guarantee
  • Customer must be present in the Philippines at the time of Customs clearance
  • Shipment cannot arrive before your visa is approved
  • Shipment must arrive 60 days before or after Customer’s arrival in the Philippines
  • All shipments are subject to inspection upon arrival
  • Household goods and personal effects must have been in Customer’s possession for at least six months prior to importation

In the Philippines, some articles may not be imported whatsoever. These items include, but may not be limited to:

  • Firearms, explosives, ammunition and replica weapons (including realistic toy guns )
  • Narcotics and illegal drugs (including opium paraphernalia)
  • Drugs intended to aid in abortion
  • Pornography and subversive material or literature
  • Altered or mislabeled drugs
  • Counterfeit, altered, or imitated coins, paper money, banknotes and securities
  • Gambling machines, lottery tickets, coin operated video game machines or pinball games
  • Gold/silver and precious metal that does not come with proof of quality
  • Commercial quantities of foodstuffs, used clothing or rags
  • Products made of elephant tusk and any ivory tusk material

Some articles may have restricted quantities or require special authorization/ payments of duties and taxes to clear customs in the Philippines. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Fruits, vegetables, plants and planting material (must be declared upon arrival, requires Import Permit)
  • Animal meat and live animals (unless they meet the Pet and Animal Regulations below)
  • Films, video tapes and disks (Import Permit required for DVDs and TVs)
  • Prescription medication (requires clearance from the Bureau of Food and Drugs)
  • Telecommunication equipment
  • Color reproduction machines
  • Motor vehicle parts
  • Pesticides (also require proper registration)

Importing privately owned vehicles is very difficult and requires a lengthy and time consuming bureaucratic process. To import a car to the Philippines:

  • Customer must be present at the time of Customs clearance
  • Vehicle must arrive within 60 days of Customer’s arrival
  • Only one vehicle allowed per family
  • All motor vehicles must have an Import Authority Permit issued by the Philippine Bureau of Import Service before the vehicle is shipped
    • This can only be obtained in the Philippines, not issued by an embassy or consulate office
  • Owner must have lived abroad for at least one year and car must have been registered in Customer’s name for at least six months
  • Vehicles more than three years old should be registered under shipper’s name at least one year prior to application of the Import Permit
  • Automobiles five years old or older not permitted
  • Destination Agent must be contacted prior to the shipping of any vehicles
  • Only right hand drive vehicles are permitted

You will need the following documents:

  • Original registration
  • Copy of title
  • Import Permit from Department of Trade or Bureau of Import
  • Purchase invoice
  • Passport (original)
  • Driver’s license
  • International Insurance Policy
  • Certificate of arrival
  • Original Bill of Lading (including chassis number, engine number, cubic capacity, year of manufacture, make and model)

When importing a pet to the Philippines, the requirements are:

  • Import Permit (from Bureau of Animal Industry) must be issued prior to pet’s arrival and includes:
    • Breed, sex, age, color and name of pet
    • Owner’s address
    • Intended date of arrival
    • Copy of the owner’s passport
  • Health certificate issued at least 10 days prior to arrival
  • Certificate of Vaccination (must include rabies vaccination, cannot be more than a year old)
  • No quarantine require
  • Household effects (except for motor vehicles, vessel and aircraft) may be imported duty free pending an application if the customer is:
    • Filipino and now a resident of another country
    • A foreigner married to a Filipino
    • A former Filipino
  • Temporary visitors are allowed to bring household goods, personal effects and vehicles provided they file a re-export bond good for six months or pay the levied Customs duties/taxes
  • For immigrant/permanent resident, all used household goods and personal effects are allowed full tax and duty-free entry on one shipment (air or sea)
  • For non-residents/retirees (first time settling in the Philippines), all used household goods and personal effects not exceeding $7,800 are allowed entry tax and duty-free
  • Cars are only duty free if imported by returning Filipino residents and/or foreign embassy diplomats
  • New and duplicate items are subject to heavy taxes and duties

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1 (866) 315-4170

Documents required for relocation to Philippines from USA

Now, like in case of almost all international relocation, if you have planned to stay in Philippines longer than the vacation period or more than 30 days, you have to get proper visa. Moving to Philippines from the USA can be quite hassle-free when you have a proper visa. Here is a list of the visas that you can apply for to move to Philippines from the USA –

Visa for long stays in Philippines

Work Visa – In recent times the Philippines government has tightened the work visa process due to the previous abusive usage of the Special Work Visa. However, there are special provisions to obtain a work visa and if one satisfies the requirements then one can obtain a work visa to move to the Philippines from the USA, work and live in this country.

Spouse Visa – Another option you can move to the Philippines from the USA is to get the spouse visa. This visa is issued to the legally married partner of a Filipino citizen and to their children.

Study Visa – Like many other countries, for your international relocation to the Philippines from the USA you can also obtain a student visa after satisfying all the requirements.

Retirement Visa – If you want to relocate to the Philippines from the USA to spend your retirement days in this island paradise, then there is good news. The Philippines has provision to issue retirement visas to those who qualify for this one. You need to have passive income to sustain yourself when you are living in the Philippines after obtaining this visa.

Top cities to move in Philippines from the USA

The Philippines is a major international vacation destination. But at the same time this is a country which offers a good quality of life to people who want to move here and settle down. If you are planning to move to the Philippines from the USA and live here for a long term, then you must go house hunting. As such it will be helpful to know some of the major cities that offer good accommodation and quality of life in this country.


Of course the capital city is the most prominent one to be featured in the best cities list in the Philippines! The city is known as the “Pearl of the Orient ” and offers a unique blend of cultural heritage and modern day facilities that will fulfill your life if you want to call Manila your home in the Philippines. However, be advised that the cost of living will be on the higher side in Manila.

Cebu City

Known best as the oldest city in the Philippines and also the place where Christianity first marked its arrival, Cebu City is a coastal location and is a favorite among locals and foreign tourists alike. You can get good accommodation options in Cebu City if you are planning to stay here when you move to the Philippines from the USA.

Davao City

Davao City is an adventurer’s dream destination. With natural parks, mountains and unique flora & fauna to explore, this city entices both the travelers and the residents. This is also the capital of the Davao region.


Located near Manila but on the Luzon island, Vigan is a spectacular city full of historic architecture. This city is also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

5 top reasons to move in Philippines from the USA


Compared to America, when you move to the Philippines from the USA the cost of living will be a great benefit.


Affordable healthcare in the Philippines is another major reason for many American expats to choose to move to the Philippines from the USA.

Striking natural beauty

Undoubtedly, the Philippines is endowed with striking natural locations and beauties that entices residents and travelers alike.

Advance networking center

Philippines is a budding and fast advancing center for the online gaming industry and also emerging as a promising networking destination.


The historical and cultural heritages combined with natural resources make the Philippines an interesting location for study.