8 Countries That Offer Retirement Visas

Countries around the world are looking to attract American retirees. Some countries have created visa policies specifically designed for retirees and in some cases offer special benefits and incentives for relocating. The most attractive retirement visas are usually found in Latin America, although a few Asian countries also offer appealing programs.

Here are eight countries that offer retirement visas:

— Belize.

— Panama.

— Indonesia.

— Colombia.

— Ecuador.

— Nicaragua.

— The Philippines.

— Thailand.

Belize

Belize is a warm and tropical English-speaking country about a two-hour flight from the southern United States. It’s easy to set up life in Belize thanks to its retiree-specific visa. The Qualified Retirement Program, available through the Belize Tourism Board, is one of the most user-friendly visa programs in the world.

Here’s a snapshot of what you need to be eligible for the Qualified Retirement Program:

— You must be 45 or older.

— You must have a monthly income of at least $2,000 or annual income of at least $24,000 and deposit this amount in a Belize bank.

— You must pass a security check.

— You must stay in the country for 30 consecutive days per year.

You’ll need to renew your QRP ID card annually. The downside of this program is that it does not lead to permanent residency in Belize.

[See: The Best Places to Retire Overseas in 2022.]

Panama

Panama has long been home to big American expat populations. Its Pensionado (pensioner) Visa is the gold standard of retirement visas. This visa is easy to qualify for and comes with a host of special benefits, like access to discounts at hotels and restaurants, a tax exemption on the import of household goods and the ability to jump lines at banks, among other perks.

This is what you need to qualify for Panama’s Pensionado Visa:

— You need to be at least 18 years old.

— Provide proof that you receive monthly income of at least $1,000.

— Provide a police record check issued by the FBI.

— Provide a health certificate issued by a Panamanian doctor.

You need to file your application with a Panamanian lawyer, but the residency permit that this visa grants is indefinite.

Indonesia

Exotic culture and stunning natural beauty have made Indonesia a world-famous travel destination. Indonesia’s Retirement Visa is available to you if you’re at least age 55 and can prove financial solvency of $1,500 monthly or $18,000 annually.

While these stipulations are standard, Indonesia also imposes a couple of additional requirements for its retirement visa:

— You need Indonesian health insurance.

— You need to sign a rental agreement for at least a year.

— You need to hire an Indonesia person as a maid, driver or domestic helper. Minimum wage is about $310 per month.

This visa is valid for one year, but after five years it can be converted into a permanent stay permit that is valid for five years and indefinitely renewable.

Colombia

Colombia is quietly becoming an overseas retirement haven. Medellín is a Euro-chic culture capital that provides a high quality of life at a low cost. The country’s growing American expat numbers are in large part due to its user-friendly retirement visa.

The main requirement for Colombia’s Retirement Visa is:

— Proof of monthly income of at least three times Colombia’s minimum monthly wage. This changes every year and is about $800 per month in 2022.

As a type of Migrant Visa, the Retirement Visa is available for up to three years. After five years of living in Colombia, you can apply for a resident visa.

[READ: Best Places to Retire Overseas Where English is Spoken.]

Ecuador

Ecuador’s diverse landscape creates a variety of lifestyle opportunities for expats, including everything from Miami-style Pacific beach cities to Spanish-colonial highland towns with strong indigenous influences. Life in Ecuador comes at a low cost for Americans, and it uses the U.S. dollar as its currency. Ecuador’s Jubilado (retirement) Visa is a temporary residence visa that’s valid for two years and easy to qualify for.

Here’s a snapshot of what you need for Ecuador’s Jubilado Visa:

— Monthly income of at least three Unified Basic Salaries, which is about $1,275, and proof that this payment is guaranteed.

— A clean criminal record.

— Health insurance for the same period as the visa.

The downside of Ecuador’s retirement visa is that it doesn’t allow you to be out of the country for more than 90 days per year.

Nicaragua

Known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua is geographically blessed, with two long coastlines and two big lakes, as well as volcanoes, rain forests and rivers. Its retiree-specific Pensionado Visa is one of the world’s easiest to qualify for and comes with special benefits, like no tax on out-of-country earnings.

These are the main requirements for Nicaragua’s Pensionado Visa:

— Be at least age 45.

— Demonstrate monthly passive income of at least $600.

— Provide proof of good physical and mental health and of being in good standing with your local police.

This visa lasts for one year and is renewable so long as you continue to meet the income requirements. You can apply for permanent residency after three years of continuous residency.

The Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelago made up of thousands of islands in the South China Sea. There are bustling cities and endless tropical destinations ideal for investment, retirement and exploration. The Philippines is a former U.S. colony that is home to sizeable expat communities. To reside here long-term as a retiree, your best option is the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa. The requirements vary depending on whether or not you receive a pension.

If you receive a pension, this is what you’ll need to qualify for the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa:

— Be at least age 50.

— Make a one-time deposit of at least $10,000.

— Prove that you receive a monthly pension payment of at least $800.

Without a pension, these are the requirements:

— If you’re between ages 35 and 49, make a $50,000 time deposit.

— If you’re 50 or older, make a $20,000 time deposit.

The SRRV allows you to stay in the Philippines indefinitely and receive your pension and annuity income tax free. You can also import your household goods and personal effects without incurring customs duty.

[SEE: The Most Affordable Places to Retire.]

Thailand

Thousands of expats have settled in Thailand, attracted by the breathtaking beaches, excellent health care, friendly locals and low cost of living. Thailand welcomes foreigners with friendly visa policies. Its retirement visa is called the Non-Immigrant “O” Visa.

Here’s what you need to qualify for the Non-Immigrant “O” Visa:

— Be at least age 50.

— Proof of funds. This can be a bank statement showing 800,000 Thai baht (about $22,000) deposited in a Thai bank account, monthly income of at least 65,000 Thai baht (about $1,800), or a combination of the two amounting to 800,000 Thai baht.

— Provide a clear criminal record in your country of nationality or residence.

— A medical certificate from the country you’re applying from showing that you do not have prohibitive diseases.

This visa is valid for one year at a time, and there’s no limit on how many times you can renew it.

More from U.S. News

The Best Places to Retire in 2021-2022

The Best Affordable Places to Retire Overseas in 2022

10 Retirement Hot Spots in the U.S.

8 Countries That Offer Retirement Visas originally appeared on usnews.com

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