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Advice on moving to Philippines (Manila)


I am currently living in South Africa where my work assignment is coming to an end and my employer has suggested I move some where in Asia so that we have a presence in that region. My company already runs a couple of USAID projects in the Philippines with one in Manila and one in Davao so I figured this would be a good place to move.

I have read that a US citizen can enter the Philippines on a 30 day visa, extend that visa up to 90 days and renew it every 90 days for up to 18 months before having to leave the country and enter again to start over. As I travel frequently for work I don't expect I would be in the country for more than 30 days at a time so I wanted to know if I would have any problems renting a place and purchasing a car without getting a work permit. There is a chance my employer will be able to get me a work permit through one of our projects there but this may not be an option.

I am also looking for advice on places I should be looking for housing in Manila and resources I can use to find a place. My plan is to rent for the first year or so and if I decide I like it and wish to stay I may look for a place to buy.

I am also looking for any other general advice on moving to the Philippines.

I am not yet sure if I will live in Manila or Davao yet though I think it may be Manila as I need access to a good airport.

Thank you,