Can Foreigners Open a Bank Account in the Philippines?

By Nora

YES, foreigners can open a bank account in the Philippines.

If you're a foreigner wanting to open a bank account here, you will soon find that some banks are stricter with their account opening requirements than others.

Obviously, banks in communities with a lot of expats will be more ready to accommodate you, as they already have relevant experiences.

Banks require that you have an address here in the Philippines.

Present these documents to the bank:

1.  Your passport

2.  Your Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)
      or ACR I-card
      or Immigrant Certificate of Registration (ICR)
      or Special Investor Resident Visa (SIRV)
      or PRA Special Resident Visa (SRRV)

3.  Some banks require that your visa shows you have been here in the Philippines for more than 180 days.

Some banks might require more documents or more valid IDs to verify your identity, permanent address and source of funds.

Ask also your account's maintaining-balance requirement to avoid the below-maintaining-balance penalty.

While in the U.S., US citizens who have decided to move to the Philippines can also open a Philippine-based account at PNB branches in the U.S.

Likewise, UK citizens can ask BPI Europe in London for assistance in opening a Philippine-based account.

Related article:

Direct Deposit for US Pensioners in the Philippines


  1. If you walk into the PNB or Metrobank office in New York City with your passport and driver's license, the supervising banker will tell you that no U.S. citizen without Philippine birth or dual citizenship may open an account there for accessing funds while in Philippines. The information you have posted here is inaccurate.

    1. Hi Siasconset: There are a lot of non-resident foreigners here and a number of foreign BPO workers here in the Philippines who have accounts in Philippine banks here in the Philippines. They're not yet residents here. They just need to present their ACR. For BPO employees, they use it to receive their salaries, For others, they use it to receive their pensions or transfers from the US, UK, etc. How isolated the Philippines would be if that policy as the banker has described is the one existing here in the Philippines. Is he even aware that there are lots of expats here? and a lot of non-Filipino retirees here? And foreign professionals here? Is he aware of the special resident retiree visa program available to non-Filipino citizens? Is he aware of Direct Deposit accounts for pensions from the US and UK?

  2. I am a U.S. born Citizen (no part of me is Filipino and I am not a dual citizen) and have lived in the Philippines for the past 13 years. I have a direct deposit account from SSA in the States with PNB and have had with several other Philippine Banks over the years...Who ever is giving this information in the New York branch has 'no idea' what they are talking about. This is why if you are serious about opening an account here....then you need to ask for the Manager not a supervisor...All I needed was my Pass Port, I-card and either a rental agreement, letter from my Land-Lord, or a utility bill in my name with the address. That's it, no muss no fuss...very good service so far and Manager is very helpful.

    1. Hi Roy, sorry I read your comment only now. Thank you very much for sharing information, and giving personal witness that foreigners are allowed to open bank accounts here in the Philippines.
      And I think only a few countries now have this restriction (or maybe none), with the Internet reaching all countries. OFWs can open bank accounts in most, if not all, countries where they're working.
      Thanks again, Roy, and happy happy 2017!!!