Foreigner and PHP bank accounts

Hi, I am an Australian national and I have a condominium in Cebu that I use on and off for holidays.

I would like to rent it out occasionally, but I do not have a bank account that allows PHP deposits.

Last time I was in Philippines I went to all the top banks including BDO and they all explained I needed to live there for 6 consecutive months in order to get an account.

Is there any way, SSRV or any other way I can get around the 6 month thing and get a bank account allowing me to deposit PHP? Due to my employment, 6 months without leaving is just not possible.

But not having an account to deposit PHP is really annoying?

Any help from other people experiences would be great.

Thankyou

Greetings and welcome to the forum.  Perhaps you could set the rent in Australian dollars and anyone who wanted to rent could convert from PHP or US $.  Do you intend to have an agent collecting rents and overseeing the property when you are not in town?  Good luck.

Hi

Opening a bank account as an SRRV holder is really easy. I applied for my SRRV as soon as I arrived in the philippines from an overseas work commitment. The SRRV was obtained within the target 30 days so I didn't need to extend my tourist visa. I opened my account the day after I got my SRRV Card.

Of course, I needed to provide all of the usual bank application stuff, including a postal address. That shouldn't be a problem seeing as you have a condo.

I think the time limit for the bank account is the same as for a driving licence (which took a few more days to acquire). You need to show that you intend to be resident for more than 6 months, which is proven by having the SRRV. This is not so easy now on tourist visas.

Anyhow, we are in the Philippines, there always (COVID-19 restrictions excepted) seems to be a way around the red tape.

Best

Steve

Thank you for the reply. That is not a bad idea actually as I can accept USD into my HSBC account in Cebu.

I would be renting it through an agent as I am only there when I have the time.

I was really hoping to get a PHP account just for ease as it is the currency most would prefer to pay, and also the currency I prefer to spend there.

BassMan_720 :

Hi

Opening a bank account as an SRRV holder is really easy. I applied for my SRRV as soon as I arrived in the philippines from an overseas work commitment. The SRRV was obtained within the target 30 days so I didn't need to extend my tourist visa. I opened my account the day after I got my SRRV Card.

Of course, I needed to provide all of the usual bank application stuff, including a postal address. That shouldn't be a problem seeing as you have a condo.

I think the time limit for the bank account is the same as for a driving licence (which took a few more days to acquire). You need to show that you intend to be resident for more than 6 months, which is proven by having the SRRV. This is not so easy now on tourist visas.

Anyhow, we are in the Philippines, there always (COVID-19 restrictions excepted) seems to be a way around the red tape.

Best

Steve

That is great news. I think I will get the SSRV then if that makes the bank account thing easier. I was hoping that it would help, and hopefully since I have an address there, then it should make it even easier to prove I intend to stay there.

Did you use an agent for SSRV?

Also, If you have any problems opening an account, the staff at the PRA satelite office are really helpful. They offered to help if I were to encounter any issues. I had no need for their further involvement.

Steve

BassMan_720 :

Also, If you have any problems opening an account, the staff at the PRA satelite office are really helpful. They offered to help if I were to encounter any issues. I had no need for their further involvement.

Steve

Awesome. One final question if you don't mind. Did you get the SSRV classic or the SSRV smile?

I don't suppose it would matter which one, but the SSRV smile suites me better at this stage.

Hi

I went for the SRRV Classic. For me the application requirements for both were the same. The Classic had the added advantage of giving the option of using the deposit to purchase condominium units or use for long term lease of house and lot.

I didn't use the option. I'm currently developing a lot on Bohol to build my own house. This does not qualify for use of the deposit because the house and lot must be ready for occupancy.  The locals are already referring to my future place as the mansion and I havent even built the perimiter wall yet.

Steve

Ha well done, it sounds like it will be exciting when you finish it.

My condominium doesn't qualify for classic, I think it needs to be on a special list. But SSRV should suit my needs :)

One more thing. When applying for your SRRV, I strongly recommend a face to face chat at the PRA office in Cebu. The published advice makes the process seem very complex, particularly the US$ transfer process, which broke at least two money laundering rules for UK banks. My bank in the UK simply refused to make the transfer following the PRA written instructions.

Telephone calls and emails didn't hit the spot for me and left me even more confused. The application process turned out to be very simple. I was able to transfer the US$ directly from my UK account using internet banking from my phone while making the application at the PRA office and I didn't need to splash out extra to use the services of a marketeer (which is supposed to be free) to help smooth any of the process.

Best of luck with your application.

Steve

Good advice. Much appreciated

Is the SSRV your ID? for banks and stuff?

Or do you need to apply for a separate form of identification apart from SSRV card?

The SRRV Card hits the spot for me as ID for just about everything.

It's a bit of a sore point at the moment. My card is about to expire. The actual SRRV Visa is indefinate. I have paid the PRA my membership fee for its replacement but issue is delayed because of COVID-19 issues.

I have work overseas. as soon as the travel ban is over. The SRRV card is part of the Visa ao I need it to travel. There is a little time left before the expiry date so finger's crossed that everything comes together at the right time. I wonder if I can return under a visitor visa? I suppose that would confuse things.

BassMan_720 :

The SRRV Card hits the spot for me as ID for just about everything.

It's a bit of a sore point at the moment. My card is about to expire. The actual SRRV Visa is indefinate. I have paid the PRA my membership fee for its replacement but issue is delayed because of COVID-19 issues.

I have work overseas. as soon as the travel ban is over. The SRRV card is part of the Visa ao I need it to travel. There is a little time left before the expiry date so finger's crossed that everything comes together at the right time. I wonder if I can return under a visitor visa? I suppose that would confuse things.

If you have already paid the annual fees, I don't see why the PRA cannot just issue you a temp receipt/some form of letter, stating that your SRRV card was delayed due to covid 19 & I'm sure your SRRV endorsed passport together with your expired Srrv card should enable you to enter the phils whenever you choose.
Worst case senario is just to get a visitor visa when you arrive just like what I went through last year. I had my passport stolen (car break in at Malaysia (JB) when I was on Shopping trip from Singapore)...Managed to get back into Singapore with my National I.D/immigration assistance & got a new Singapore passport within a week (minus my SRRV endorsement). I had to re-do my SRRV endorsement/New SRRV card once I arrived here in Apr'2019.
Cheers

manwonder :

If you have already paid the annual fees, I don't see why the PRA cannot just issue you a temp receipt/some form of letter, stating that your SRRV card was delayed due to covid 19 & I'm sure your SRRV endorsed passport together with your expired Srrv card should enable you to enter the phils whenever you choose.
Worst case senario is just to get a visitor visa when you arrive just like what I went through last year. I had my passport stolen (car break in at Malaysia (JB) when I was on Shopping trip from Singapore)...Managed to get back into Singapore with my National I.D/immigration assistance & got a new Singapore passport within a week (minus my SRRV endorsement). I re-did the SRRV endorsement/New SRRV card in Apr'2019. 
Cheers

If PRA could issue a temp receipt. Then they ought to be able to issue the card. PRA offices have started working again only this week. I assume everything will have to wait until the backlog is cleared. Anyway, no use worrying. Can't travel yet anyway.

BassMan_720 :
manwonder :

If you have already paid the annual fees, I don't see why the PRA cannot just issue you a temp receipt/some form of letter, stating that your SRRV card was delayed due to covid 19 & I'm sure your SRRV endorsed passport together with your expired Srrv card should enable you to enter the phils whenever you choose.
Worst case senario is just to get a visitor visa when you arrive just like what I went through last year. I had my passport stolen (car break in at Malaysia (JB) when I was on Shopping trip from Singapore)...Managed to get back into Singapore with my National I.D/immigration assistance & got a new Singapore passport within a week (minus my SRRV endorsement). I re-did the SRRV endorsement/New SRRV card in Apr'2019. 
Cheers

If PRA could issue a temp receipt. Then they ought to be able to issue the card. PRA offices have started working again only this week. I assume everything will have to wait until the backlog is cleared. Anyway, no use worrying. Can't travel yet anyway.

Yes thats right!....& I'm lucky that this time I applied for the max SRRV card validity of 5yrs so as to
coincide with my passport expiry.

You live and learn. I had no idea that the validity of the card could be for more than one year. I'll know better next time.

alchemist80 :

Good advice. Much appreciated

Is the SSRV your ID? for banks and stuff?

Or do you need to apply for a separate form of identification apart from SSRV card?

I used a PRA accredited representative in obtaining my SRRV and her services were free as they should be.
Accredited representatives are paid from the one time $1400 U.S. processing fee. If they want more then you should just walk away.  A list of accredited representatives is available on the PRA website.

By using a rep you then have a source for questions like bassman has regarding the status of his new visa card. 
If and when I have any questions with regard to my SRRV, I email my rep and she always responds within a day.  In situations like the one we are in now with the COVID chaos,  she is helpful.

I use my SRRV for my primary form of I.D.  So far so good in every situation where and I.D. is needed, with the exception of my drivers license.

TeeJay4103 :
alchemist80 :

Good advice. Much appreciated

Is the SSRV your ID? for banks and stuff?

Or do you need to apply for a separate form of identification apart from SSRV card?

I used a PRA accredited representative in obtaining my SRRV and her services were free as they should be.
Accredited representatives are paid from the one time $1400 U.S. processing fee. If they want more then you should just walk away.  A list of accredited representatives is available on the PRA website.

By using a rep you then have a source for questions like bassman has regarding the status of his new visa card. 
If and when I have any questions with regard to my SRRV, I email my rep and she always responds within a day.  In situations like the one we are in now with the COVID chaos,  she is helpful.

I use my SRRV for my primary form of I.D.  So far so good in every situation where and I.D. is needed, with the exception of my drivers license.

Strange....I Just got my local license done early this year producing just my passport/srrv card/s'pore drivers license...no other special docs/questions were asked!
I did initially have problems opening a bank account with (DBP), but that too has been sorted out...thanks to (BDO).

manwonder :
TeeJay4103 :
alchemist80 :

Good advice. Much appreciated

Is the SSRV your ID? for banks and stuff?

Or do you need to apply for a separate form of identification apart from SSRV card?

I used a PRA accredited representative in obtaining my SRRV and her services were free as they should be.
Accredited representatives are paid from the one time $1400 U.S. processing fee. If they want more then you should just walk away.  A list of accredited representatives is available on the PRA website.

By using a rep you then have a source for questions like bassman has regarding the status of his new visa card. 
If and when I have any questions with regard to my SRRV, I email my rep and she always responds within a day.  In situations like the one we are in now with the COVID chaos,  she is helpful.

I use my SRRV for my primary form of I.D.  So far so good in every situation where and I.D. is needed, with the exception of my drivers license.

Strange....I Just got my local license done early this year producing just my passport/srrv card/s'pore drivers license...no other special docs/questions were asked!
I did initially have problems opening a bank account with (DBP), but that too has been sorted out...thanks to (BDO).

BDO are pretty good from what I hear. Was it a hassle at all going into BDO and getting the bank account?

Did they only need to see your SSRV card and your residential address?

Did you have to have been there for 6 months before they would let you open one, or the SSRV is all you needed?

alchemist80 :
manwonder :
TeeJay4103 :

I used a PRA accredited representative in obtaining my SRRV and her services were free as they should be.
Accredited representatives are paid from the one time $1400 U.S. processing fee. If they want more then you should just walk away.  A list of accredited representatives is available on the PRA website.

By using a rep you then have a source for questions like bassman has regarding the status of his new visa card. 
If and when I have any questions with regard to my SRRV, I email my rep and she always responds within a day.  In situations like the one we are in now with the COVID chaos,  she is helpful.

I use my SRRV for my primary form of I.D.  So far so good in every situation where and I.D. is needed, with the exception of my drivers license.

Strange....I Just got my local license done early this year producing just my passport/srrv card/s'pore drivers license...no other special docs/questions were asked!
I did initially have problems opening a bank account with (DBP), but that too has been sorted out...thanks to (BDO).

BDO are pretty good from what I hear. Was it a hassle at all going into BDO and getting the bank account?

Did they only need to see your SSRV card and your residential address?

Did you have to have been there for 6 months before they would let you open one, or the SSRV is all you needed?

To be honest....I wanted to bank with (DBP)..they for the record are a real "PITA" bank. (At least the surigao branch is!)
Infact I gave up trying to open a banking account in philippines till early this year. (By then I was here for >6 months)
I'm not too sure of the MIN 6months stay requirements. All i know is I just produced my passport/srrv card/new drivers license /+ 2 photos/2000p deposit.
(Note both my SRRV card/Drivers license relect my residential address in Surigao)
No other questions/docs were asked & they happily opened my BDO savings account all done in 1.5hrs...& yes making them the best local bank by far....at least for me!

:D

With an SRRV application there is a letter of introduction from the PRA to one of their authorized banks.   With that letter alone and being in the country for only 2 days, I was able to open both USD and a PHP accounts at Bank of Commerce.  BOC is not the best but only because they have few banks and few ATMs.  I use BPI for free ATM withdrawals.


























PR

Nope ...the PRA never issued me any such referal letter to open a savings account with DBP (the 'PITA' bank that still holds my SRRV usd deposit!  :mad: )
...maybe its because I never requested for one back in 2013...thinking that it was an auto thingy once i got back to my province...I guess I was wrong!)
Well at least BDO came to the rescue!
:D

They issue a letter to open an account for the SRRV deposit.  I took that letter to the bank they told me to use.  While they were filling out paperwork, I asked if I could open my own personal savings accounts.  They did and as I said I had only been in the country for a couple of days.  So I had no SSRV card and no ACR-I card and my address was a hotel.

AaronAardvark :

They issue a letter to open an account for the SRRV deposit.  I took that letter to the bank they told me to use.  While they were filling out paperwork, I asked if I could open my own personal savings accounts.  They did and as I said I had only been in the country for a couple of days.  So I had no SSRV card and no ACR-I card and my address was a hotel.

Great...I had my SRRV usd deposit sent via TT fm my bank in Singapore to DBP manila (account details provided by PRA), so never got the chance to visit the bank officially....all my paperwork was done in PRA itself.

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