Cost of Moving to the Philippines: Pros and Cons

Are you considering a move from the US to the Philippines? The appeal of living in a country where the average cost of living is 72% lower than the US might sound tempting.

Rent in the Philippines is 81% cheaper. However, the overall crime rate is 24% higher, and the violent crime rate is 30% higher. Taxes in the Philippines are somewhat comparable to those in the US, but there’s more to explore about the financial implications of this move.

Flight Information and Visa Costs

A one-way flight from the US to the Philippines typically costs around $1500 and takes approximately 14 hours. Upon arrival, the first 30 days are visa-free for tourists.

After this period, options include the Philippines tourist visa, the Philippines Business Visa, and the Philippines Student Visa. These offer different durations and conditions, depending on your plans and qualifications.

Housing Information (Rent & Ownership)

If you’re looking to rent, the typical monthly rent in the Philippines averages between $324 and $705. For those interested in owning property, the average cost of a house can range from $103,000 to $587,000.

Whether renting or buying, affordable options are available across various regions and cities.

Tax Information

The Philippines’ income tax structure is generally similar to the US, ranging from 0% to 35% for residents. Other contributions include social security mechanisms such as PhilHealth and Pagibig. There is a 12% value-added tax on goods and services.

For an income of $100,000, you’d pay roughly 10% more in taxes in the Philippines. If you earn $1 million, you’d pay about 1% more in taxes, or 9% less if you’re from California or New York.

Pros and Cons of Moving to the Philippines


  • Cost of living is lower
  • Rent is cheaper
  • English is widely spoken with 92% of the population being proficient
  • Possibility to work towards citizenship and dual citizenship is allowed


  • Overall crime is higher
  • Violent crime is higher
  • Taxes may be higher depending on income and original state of residence


Moving to the Philippines offers many financial advantages such as significantly lower living and housing costs. However, higher crime rates and a potentially higher tax burden depending on individual circumstances may also factor into the decision.

Weighing these pros and cons, along with considering legal and travel requirements, will help potential movers make an informed choice that aligns with their needs and expectations.


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