Balikbayan - OFW Buyer's Guide

Filipinos & Former Filipino Citizens (Balikbayans) & OFW

Former natural-born Filipinos who are now naturalized citizens of another country can buy and register, under their 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. Concerning married couples, the total area that both couples are allowed to purchase should not exceed the maximum area mentioned above.

Requirements for OFW for Property Purchase in the Philippines

Dual and Filipino Citizens can own a land and structure here in the Philippines.

Foreign Nationals and Filipinos who changed their stature to a foreign citizen and renounced their Filipino citizenship cannot own a land but can own condominiums here granted that the percentage of ownership of foreigners is about 40 percent only. RA 4726.

It is highly recommended for OFW's to have a representative Special Power of Attorney (SPA)* here in the Philippines to sign some contracts and bank forms for the client's behalf in case he goes back in the country where he works/lives other than the Philippines.

These are the simple requirements for OFW's for property purchase in the Philippines:

1. Special Power of Attorney (SPA) - this document gives authority on all or some of the following on behalf of the client (OFW) in case he cannot stay here in the Philippines for a long period of time:

  • Sign Documents (Bank Forms - If Loaned and Contracts)
  • Receive Proceeds of Bank Loan - If Loaned
  • Execute and Sign Contract to Sell and Deed of Absolute Sale

In SPA's, you may execute and make Attorney in Fact your relatives or family members of legal age. It must me Notarized or Consularized in the place where it is signed.

NOTE : In cases that the OFW can finish all the documentations here in the Philippines (2 to 5 months for cash purchase - includes titling) or (3 to 6 months for Bank Loan), he doesn't need to execute an SPA.

If SPA is signed abroad it should be Consularized: The OFW or Grantor or executor of SPA must sign the SPA Document and proceed to a Philippines Consular Office to have it consularized (the equivalent of notarization here in the Philippines) and then original copies to send via courier.

If SPA is signed in the Philippines, it should be Notarized: The cheaper and convenient alternative. It needs a valid ID at least 2 pcs of the appointed Attorney in Fact and the passport of the grantor or the OFW. The OFW's passport needs to be photocopied. The date of signing and notarization of the SPA shall have the same date as the OFW's stay here in the Philippines as seen on the arrival and departure stamps on the Passport.

REMINDER: An SPA doesn't signify ownership to the Attorney in Fact but only authorizes them on some aspects of documentation or receiving of property.

2. Passport - photocopy of identification portion and arrival and departure stamps portions3. Job Contract and payslips if any - Needed for bank loan purposes4. Bank Statements - Needed for bank loan purposes5. Marriage ContractOther Requirements may be required by some banks.Bank Loans:Some banks in the Philippines offer housing loans to OFWs granted that they should not be more than 60 years of age (other banks allow up to 65) on loan maturity. They accept auto debit arrangements, or you may opt to open savings or checking accounts here in the Philippines for Amortization Payments.