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

Hey Keith,

I have had emails from the bank which my agent requested. I used an app TransferWise to transfer $20 initially to check it worked.

The BDO bank emailed to say it had arrived.
I am just a little concerned about transferring the larger sum of $19980.

Could you please confirm the holding account number that they gave you so I can check it is the same. Bring Christmas they are closed constantly!!!

Thanks
Mark

Highlandfrag :

Hey Keith,



The BDO bank emailed to say it had arrived.
I am just a little concerned about transferring the larger sum of $19980.

My biggest concern would be that the deposit insurance only covers 500,000 pesos, almost $10,000 US.  Can you put $10,000 in two different banks?  Would be better than $20,000 in one bank.

All money needs to go into 1 holding account.

My marketeer approached BDO for me, BDO contacted me via email after my marketeer gave them my LOI (letter of introduction).

The email address looks legitimate, I just want to confirm.

I would also like to know which marketeers people recommend after being through the SRRV process?

Thanks

A): Do it need to use Morgan Chase, NY or Citibank, NY as a Intermediary Bank?
NO - on the SRRV/PRA website there are some PH banks that can be used also.

B): Will it be ok if I transfer the $ by myself from a Dollar bank account in USA or Singapore.?.
YES - you can transfer the monies into an account with the PRA as the beneficiary

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?.
Print out the proof of remittance of the funds, and have that document notarized by the US embassy to present to the PRA as part of your SRRV packet

D): Will it be ok to transfer processing fee together with the SRRV deposit?.
NO- The processing fee is paid directly to the PRA office in US dollars in cash.

I am currently in the final prep of my SRRV. I have just accumulated the documents required (proof of pension, US background check, among other docs I was required). Each person may have to produce slightly different documentation. The process is simple. I did mine thru the satellite office in Clark/Angeles. There were few people there and we did most everything in one day. You will need 4500 Pesos for the fees for the NBI (Philippine background investigation) and the medical exam.

I did not use a marketer. I went straight to the PRA office and they walk you through everything very quickly and easily. The main office is in Makati and there is a satellite office in Clark/Angeles. I believe there are other satellite offices. It is my understanding that the Makati office is always crowded and not so easy to navigate thru the process as the Clark office is.

1SG(R)Tank

Today 01:06:12

2 posts

My replies added, I have just had SRRV issued.

A): Do it need to use Morgan Chase, NY or Citibank, NY as a Intermediary Bank?
NO - on the SRRV/PRA website there are some PH banks that can be used also........ I used the BDO bank that us on their website.

B): Will it be ok if I transfer the $ by myself from a Dollar bank account in USA or Singapore.?.
YES - you can transfer the monies into an account with the PRA as the beneficiary........ I used the Transferwise app and transferred straight to the account the BDO advised me to. It saved me a lot of Bank fees and went through smoothly.

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?.
Print out the proof of remittance of the funds, and have that document notarized by the US embassy to present to the PRA as part of your SRRV packet.............. Save the bother, the BDO bank provide you with the deposit receipt (mine 20k).

D): Will it be ok to transfer processing fee together with the SRRV deposit?.
NO- The processing fee is paid directly to the PRA office in US dollars in cash. ........  YES, the BDO allow you to add the application fee into your transfer. I never went that route as I paid in pesos. I have lived here 2 years and have a savings account.

Whole process is very easy. Just ensure any paperwork from your country is notarised. I don't know about your country but in the UK it has to be red ribboned by the Phil embassy in London.

Any more help just message me

Buzzardman :

Hi,

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

Hi. Thanx for sharing this information.
Since, i am going through the same route, may i request you to share the above quoted correspondences with the Bank in a private message.

Hi All

After a long delay I collected my SRRV last week. I had planned to apply in March, on my 60th birthday but managed to find myself a good contract in Qatar for a while. So I came back to the Philippines to apply for my SRRV before my legalised UK documents became life expired.

The written instructions about the bond deposit are very confusing and, if you try to use the instructions from a UK bank, the bank will refuse the transaction for several reasons. Please see my earlier post for my own long explanation. Buzardman has a solution, which I had intended to follow. However, when I presented myself at the PRA office in Cebu, I didn't even need to do that. I was able to make the deposit by direct electronic transfer from my UK bank account to the PRA account at DBP.

The process was very simple and I didn't need the assistance of a marketeer. The Philippines signed the Hague Convention in May 2019 so documents from the UK just need to be legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. There is no longer a need to get the documents approved by the Philippine Embassy in London. All I needed from UK was my Police Clearance and a letter to prove my pension, to qualify for the reduced deposit of US$10,000.

I presented myself at the PRA Office in Cebu, handed over my documents, signed the application form, Paid my cash membership fee in Peso, transferred my Deposit directly to DBP using my laptop from the PRA office and job done.

I was directed to a local clinic, a short walk from the office, for my medical, which included a blood test and x-ray. The results were collected from the clinic by the PRA office so I had no need to make a special trip back to Cebu to complete the application. A few weeks later, my SRRV was ready for collection from Cebu. All done.

On the way back home to Bohol, I popped into Metrobank to open an account. THere were no problems at all. I was surprised because of some of the horror stories about openning an account that have been posted on this forum.

I'm back off to Qatar next week to finish my contract there. Before I leave the Philippines, I hope to secure a philippine driving license: a process also surounded by horror stories. I'll post an update when this is done.

The moral of the story is that things are very different here in the Philippines. Written instructions, forms and internet are not always clear. Telephone calls can also be fraught and unsuccessful, probably because of language difficulties and lack of visual feedback. Problems are often solved easily by face to face meetings. I don't think there is any substitute here. Oddly enough, it can be impossible to arrange face to face meetings in UK now. Even call centres tend to be offshore.

Great post/input BassMan, Often no matter the country a smiling face and maintaining a sunny disposition most times win the race. Well done.

Cheers, Steve.

BassMan_720 :

Before I leave the Philippines, I hope to secure a Philippine driving license: a process also surrounded by horror stories.

You should have no problems obtaining one BassMan as the PRA state on their website they will assist you in getting one.

Hello Bassman,
Have you got and email or phone number for them at Cebu. I went to a seminar in Dumaguete in April, sent the girl and email with my stuff, She said she would get me a pre approval to go ahead and apply for a courtesy visa. I sent two emails and have never got a reply..

Munchie :

Hello Bassman,
Have you got and email or phone number for them at Cebu. I went to a seminar in Dumaguete in April, sent the girl and email with my stuff, She said she would get me a pre approval to go ahead and apply for a courtesy visa. I sent two emails and have never got a reply..

Hi Munchie

I felt a little uncomfortable about posting contact details directly on the forum so I've sent you a PM.

Mmmm! I've not heard of a pre-approval. Are you sure this was a genuine seminar? There are alot of marketeers out there that are supposed to be free of charge. However, some are asking a substantial sum. Before I started in earnest, I contacted several marketeers using the PRA list. There are not many in the Cebu area. The only marketeer that offered a free service was based in Manila. No doubt, there are some in the area that I didn't find.

After speaking to the Cebu PRA office, I decided not to use a marketeer. The process really is much simpler than it would seem from the guidance.

If you are in the Cebu area, I would advise that you just pop into the office for a chat. All will fall into place.

Good luck with your application

Steve

So much for an easy ride in getting a driving license.....

Yesterday, I had a day spare so after doing a few online checks (silly me) I set off to the LTO Extension Office in Talibon. to be there for the advertised 10:00 opening. When I arrived, I found that the office had been open since 08:00 and that they didn't do driving license conversions. So it was turn around and head for Tagbilaran, a 2 hour + frive from Talibon.

OK, my mistake in believing the internet.

I arrived at the LTO Regional office in Tagbilaran at just gone 13:00. On arrival I went through the initial checks. My application was refused because I had not been in the Philippines for a consecutive 90 days. My partner pointed out that my UK driving licence was valid only for 90 days after last entry to the Philippines and that LTO's own published criteria was that I had to have been in the country for over 30 days and had something to show that I intended to stay in the country for at least one year. My SRRV visa, affixed to my passport, is of indefinate duration. Still no positive movement.

My partner then complained on my behalf and insisted on seeing the office manager. We had to wait a while for him to return to the office. He confirmed that I was eligible for a license. So, I was off, accross the road to one of several clinics for my medical and drug test.

The medical was very quick and consisted of a urine sample, checking of my weight and hight, an eyesight test and a blood pressure test plus a raft of personal questions.

Because my UK driving license was current, I did not have to take a writen or practical test.

Armed with photocopies of my medical clearance, SRRV card, SRRV visa, Passport data page, my UK licence and my original application form, I was finally processed, with the intervention of the office manager. So My partner and I took a seat and waited, ...and waited ...and waited. I should be getting used to waiting by now. Finally, at around 16:30, I was awarded my license. All done.

I feel like I belong here now. I just need to build myself a nice place to live.

BassMan_720 :
Munchie :

Hello Bassman,
Have you got and email or phone number for them at Cebu. I went to a seminar in Dumaguete in April, sent the girl and email with my stuff, She said she would get me a pre approval to go ahead and apply for a courtesy visa. I sent two emails and have never got a reply..

Hi Munchie

I felt a little uncomfortable about posting contact details directly on the forum so I've sent you a PM.

Mmmm! I've not heard of a pre-approval. Are you sure this was a genuine seminar? There are alot of marketeers out there that are supposed to be free of charge. However, some are asking a substantial sum. Before I started in earnest, I contacted several marketeers using the PRA list. There are not many in the Cebu area. The only marketeer that offered a free service was based in Manila. No doubt, there are some in the area that I didn't find.

After speaking to the Cebu PRA office, I decided not to use a marketeer. The process really is much simpler than it would seem from the guidance.

If you are in the Cebu area, I would advise that you just pop into the office for a chat. All will fall into place.

Good luck with your application

Steve

Thanks Steve, I never did find that PM, but no worries..The seminar was hosted by entities in the real estate, investment and health insurance industries. I feel sure the PRA rep there was real. I have contacted a marketer in Manila, she is telling me I need army discharge papers and australian police clearance apostilled, Oh lord, that smells like a big expense. Cebu PRA rep told me I just need a ribboned discharge cert from embassy in manila and an NBI clearance as I have been here 7 years already...I'm 72 now, I wonder if it is all worth the expense and hassles......Cheers mate.

I think by the Philippines signing onto the Hague Convention has changed the game regarding the document issues..

Quote
Thanks Steve, I never did find that PM, but no worries..The seminar was hosted by entities in the real estate, investment and health insurance industries. I feel sure the PRA rep there was real. I have contacted a marketer in Manila, she is telling me I need army discharge papers and australian police clearance apostilled, Oh lord, that smells like a big expense. Cebu PRA rep told me I just need a ribboned discharge cert from embassy in manila and an NBI clearance as I have been here 7 years already...I'm 72 now, I wonder if it is all worth the expense and hassles......Cheers mate.  Quote
.


If you have been here for 7 years without long trips out of the RP, you will not need the Australian police clearance.  When I applied for mine, I had been living here six years and my PRA rep told me I did not need a police clearance from the US if I had lived in the RP for five years.
In it's place I needed a letter from the barangay stating that I had live here for x years without any issues.
I needed and obtained a police clearance from the PNP. I went to the local PNP office with my barangay residency document and my information was fed into a computer at the PNP office. In about an hour, I had a PNP paper clearance for the PRA and a couple of days later I picked up a plastic laminated PNP clearance ID.

My NBI clearance took about an hour and my PRA rep picked it up about two days later.

What you would need to be apostilled from Australia, is your proof of income meeting their minimum requirements and your military discharge papers.

The US has Apostille service businesses that do this for you, maybe Australia does too?

Regards

TeeJay4103 :

Quote
Thanks Steve, I never did find that PM, but no worries..The seminar was hosted by entities in the real estate, investment and health insurance industries. I feel sure the PRA rep there was real. I have contacted a marketer in Manila, she is telling me I need army discharge papers and australian police clearance apostilled, Oh lord, that smells like a big expense. Cebu PRA rep told me I just need a ribboned discharge cert from embassy in manila and an NBI clearance as I have been here 7 years already...I'm 72 now, I wonder if it is all worth the expense and hassles......Cheers mate.  Quote
.


If you have been here for 7 years without long trips out of the RP, you will not need the Australian police clearance.  When I applied for mine, I had been living here six years and my PRA rep told me I did not need a police clearance from the US if I had lived in the RP for five years.
In it's place I needed a letter from the barangay stating that I had live here for x years without any issues.
I needed and obtained a police clearance from the PNP. I went to the local PNP office with my barangay residency document and my information was fed into a computer at the PNP office. In about an hour, I had a PNP paper clearance for the PRA and a couple of days later I picked up a plastic laminated PNP clearance ID.

My NBI clearance took about an hour and my PRA rep picked it up about two days later.

What you would need to be apostilled from Australia, is your proof of income meeting their minimum requirements and your military discharge papers.

The US has Apostille service businesses that do this for you, maybe Australia does too?

Regards

Issues for me are,  I have lived in Manila, Batangas and Negros Oriental during my 7 years here, so forget the Barangay clearance, My citizenship is Australian, my Military service was in the Australian Army, my pension comes from the USA. I supposed these hurdles can be overcome.

As far as PNP and NBI clearance,,doesn't the BI do some kind criminal search on every visa extension. Such a convoluted and frustrating place to "get things done"

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