PRA SRRV US $ Deposit

Will soon be on the way to Philippine and hope I will get a Retirement Visa without to much hassle as soon I get my Medical examination done.  I have a couple of questions that I am not clear about, already asked PRA by e-mail but never got an answer.
A): Do it need to use Morgan Chase, NY or City Babank, NY as a Intermediary Bank?
B): Will it be ok if I transfer the $ by myself from a Dollar bank account in USA or Singapore.?.
C): Do I need a need a special signed slip to prove the money are sent of ,or just a print from the internet banking?.
D): Will it be ok to transfer processing fee together with the SRRV deposit?.

Thanks in advance for any advice

I contacted the BDO branch which is able to deal with PRA deposits (details on PRA site) and they gave me an account number and bank details. This was a holding account. I then got my UK bank to transfer the money in dollars to that account. On my first day in the country, I went to that branch with 2 IDs (passport and UK Driving licence) the account was opened properly and the money lodged in that account. I did it all about 3 weeks before leaving home and BDO emailed me as soon as the money had arrived there.
On that same first day I was there, I met up with my PRA Marketer, having been in contact with her before. She took me to the BDO branch and for my medical - which was free because of using the PRA approved clinic. We returned to the PRA office and she submitted my form and I paid the annual ID card fee in US dollar notes. I got all the photocopies, photos, notarised documents sorted in UK before I left. It was half a day there at PRA/bank/medical and then nothing more to do except wait for the visa etc to come through.
Make sure you have an extra photocopy of your passport to keep as you will have a month without it.
I recommend NOT submitting the application yourself, find a marketer who will do all the work for you and who will know all the various wrinkles

These are not definitive answers to any of your questions, just personal experience.

Before creating the account that is the deposit account the bank needed to recieve permission from the PRA. Before sending the permission to the bank the PRA needs a request from you. That request from the PRA might be difficult if they are not answering you. My PRA agent not only didnt answer but when I finally got them they actually told me to get on a plane or boat to Cebu to get that request. I yelled or threatened enough they sent it by email. I filled that in and sent it by courier back to Manila. Then leisurely they faxed or emailed it to my bank.

In the mean time I had already opened a dollar account and wired the money in and the funds had time to "clear". Then it was just a matter of transfering the money from the dollar account into the special PRA account.

Hold on though, the bank said any funds transferred into another account needed to clear. Thats right, cleared funds in one of their accounts needs a week or so to clear to transfer to another account they just created in their own bank. Luckily you can pay a small fee to waive the clearance time. :)

Advice, use a bank they suggest close to the main PRA office, not a branch. Do as much as you can in the main office of the PRA.

Yes, I used the one branch of BDO that is approved for PRA deposits. I contacted them by email before doing anything at all about the application, they opened a holding account. On the day that I did all the PRA application stuff, it was a short taxi ride from PRA office to the bank with the various authorisation papers. It was all extremely simple and quick, but I did use a PRA Marketer. Provided you have not submitted an application yet, the services of the marketer are free.

I agree 100% Once I used the wonky online site to start the process I was stuck with the person the PRA assigned. A marketer was giving me advice and that is the only thing that kept me from giving up. I tried to be switched to the marketer via a request by me and his office but the lazy agent in the PRA I was dealing with wouldnt release my account.
When I made it in to the PRA office, I requested the manager, and demanded a different agent or I was giving up. They gave me someone else (who was very angry obviously) but got the job done.

Glad I did it but it was the task from hell.  Since then everything involving the PRA has been top notch

I just got my SRRV resident card but I am unable to open any bank account. Banks here try to avoid SRRV holders like a killing illness. I went to all banks including metro bank, BPI, RCBC and NONE accepted to open a basic bank account despite that I have my SRRV car and a TIN. Unless you can bribe a bank manager, forget to have a bank account here.

I thought that I could live like anybody in this country by having this unlimited stay SRRV card but my efforts are wasted. How they want me to live here without a bank account? The deposit to qualify for
SRRV payment is done to a nominee  bank account that belongs to the immigration so the holder of the SRRV ends up without any bank account. One of the banks even recommended to open a company here and to visit their branch again when the company is operating. However SRRV is for retirees. Why should I open a company? Another bank requested tons of documents related to my pas jobs. Not copies, they requested translated originals! They ask for anything just not to open a basic saving account. What a shame.

Not my experience at all, opened an account easy and quickly

Great information I intend to retire to the Philippines next may. Do you mind telling me the name of the marketeer you used?

Hello Buzzardman, was your experience with BDO in Manila or Cebu? Thanks, Jack

I have a question for Buzzard Man which requires a long explanation. Incidentally, I am currently in Fenny Stratford, just up the road from Leighton Buzzard.

I am very interested in the process you used with opening an account with BDO. I am ready to go except for paying my deposit, which I thought would be easy, but I have hit a problem, which might be partly related to new EU banking regulations that were issued late last year and are now in force. I will be making my application in Cebu.

I can initiate transfer of this fairly large sum only by making an appearance at my branch in the UK. PRA has informed me that I can use only the DPB route because I would need to be in the Philippines to set up the account with one of the accredited banks.

My bank in the UK has a few issues with using the DPB route following the PRA instructions and refuses to make the transfer via an intermediary bank. It does not see any reason for this, it muddies the transparency and auditability of the transaction and breaches the new banking regulations. Also my bank is very concerned about making a blind transfer of such a large sum without some kind of formalisation through a letter or invoice. I share my banks concern over this.

I contacted DBP about the need for the intermediary bank. DBP responded and sent a message to the PRA informing them that PRA should now be responsible for it's own "Know your Customer" process to do checks on clients making large transfers. To confirm that this had been done, DPB would need a letter of introduction from PRA. I don't know if this is a change to bring DPB into line with the new EU regulations. Anyway, this makes the DPB no different to the other accredited banks.

When you opened your holding account with BDO, did you need to make the Bank Transfer Request to the PRA? If not how did you get around this and the need to be in the Philippines to open the account? I am sure there must be a way. My catch 22 is that PRA insists that I need to make an appearance at the accredited bank to open the holding account which is not possible because I need to be in UK to initiate the transfer after the account has been opened. PRA has not proposed a solution. I am sure they believe that I am making this up. I'm not that creative to invent this mess.

I have read the instructions attached to the downloaded Bank Transfer Request Form several times. The English is not good and the wording is inconsistent particularly relating to the terms used for the various banks. Each time I read it I get more confused. What I really don't understand is PRA's insistence that I need to be in the Philippines to open the account with the accredited bank.

I am becoming increasingly frustrated. My entry date for my 59 day visa expires on 25th September. Not the end of the world but I expect the visa will be wasted.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi,

That sounds like the typical Catch-22 of bureaucracy.

I opened my account with BDO. There is only one branch that was authorised to hold the deposit, it is in Makati not too far from PRA main office.

I was not sure how to do it and so I emailed that branch. bh.pacific-star-makati[at]bdo.com.ph

I explained my situation and they replied with an account number and transfer details, this was a holding account. They could only hold for 1 month before I had to go in and open the account. So 30 days before leaving UK I went into the UK bank with all my account details, passport etc and arranged the transfer.

When I had confirmations of its arrival, I printed everything off.

On arrival in PH I went and did all the PRA stuff with my marketer and we were given a letter of introduction for the bank. We took that with all the proofs etc and 2 IDs, passport and UK driving licence to the Pacific star branch of BDO. Opening the account and transfering the deposit money was relatively painless.

I recommend applying in Makati and asking for the visa, passport, ID card etc to be forwarded for collection at the Cebu Office. You can get away with just 1 day in Makati, but probably best to allow a couple.

I can send you copies of some of the correspondence by private message if you like

Copy of a couple of emails from bank and me explaining how it is done, well was done in my case are winging their way to Sunny Fenny for you.

By the way my marketer advised me against sending the money in that way, but it seemed there was no other route open to me and it worked extremely efficiently

Keith

Oh another point, 25th September, well realistically 24th, is very achievable, with time to spare. The long wait is for the SRRV and passport etc to arrive. But you can use UK driving licence as an ID for flying in country and for most purposes. Once you get your card and have some sort of proof of address such as tenancy agreement you can then open a normal bank account. I opened with BDO partly due to a good experience with the deposit money and partly cos when I went to a Cebu branch to open an account here, I took the docs from the deposit just to show a history with the bank.

Many thanks again. Proof of address is not a problem so I am fit to go. I'll enjoy confusing the officials with my second UK passport as alternative proof of ID.

The BDO Branch in Cebu IT Park is now on the accredited list. so I'll try to contact BDO there.

One further question. How did you go about getting your letter of introduction for the bank? The PRA documented process using the official form is reported to take 20 days. PRA doesn't seem to want anybody to know about this route.

Regards

Steve

They just gave me the stereotyped letter as I was doing the paperwork stuff at PRA. Lots of bits of paper change hands

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