As more countries reopen and ease into the new normal, embassies are slowly resuming visa applications for Filipino tourists. One of the common requirements is a bank certificate or statement.
Difference between bank certificate and statement
Embassies will often ask applicants to provide both documents, with many not knowing the difference or thinking they're the same thing.
Certificates are proof that you have an active account with a bank, and it will show your account name, number, opening date, along with your average daily balance. Your average daily balance or ADB is the average amount of money stored on your account.
Certificates have a signatory, usually the branch manager, as proof that it is a legitimate document. Some banks may take a day to process the certificate as the signatory is not always available.
Statements are issued on a timeframe basis and reflect all the incoming and outgoing transactions on that account. Period covered is usually three to six months and is proof that you are actively making and spending money. Statements may be issued on the same day.
How to get a bank certificate
Banks will usually ask you to fill out a request form. State your account name, number, and purpose of document. Specify which country you're applying a visa for so it can be stated in the certificate.
A fee will be charged for the letter. Tell the bank if you're paying via cash or if they'll deduct it from your account.
Before you leave the bank, double-check the details in the letter to see if it matches all the demands of the country you're visiting. You can always get another certificate, but it will take time.
How to get a bank statement
State your account name, number, and purpose of document. Again, specify which country you're applying a visa for.
Each country has a different timeframe set. Some may require just three months of transactions, while others will ask for six months up to a year. Read up on the requirements before going to the bank for a smooth transaction.
Like the certificate, a fee will be charged for the statement. Tell the bank if you're paying via cash or if they'll deduct it from your account.
Why are they needed?
Bank certificates and statements are proof that you can finance a trip and come back to your home country. You don't have to be a millionaire to travel, but you need good finances and a steady flow of income.
The bank documents can also serve as proof of your commitments in the Philippines, which should be reason for you to go back: utilities like electricity, water, internet, and gas bills are proof you're actually living here. They'll also reflect things like income, withdrawals, and deposists.
Can you apply online?
Some online banking apps have bank statements available for upto a year, but some embassies may not honor a screenshot of a digital statement. Check in with the embassy to be sure.
Certificates can only be issues at physical branches as this requires a signatory.