YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A MILLIONAIRE TO TRAVEL THE WORLD! I have visited a total of 100 countries across all 7 continents-- and I’m not a millionaire. I really wish I was. Haha! To tell you frankly, I’m far from being one. Jon and I love traveling so much that we started as broke backpackers-- we managed to do things like cleaning bathrooms in Peru just so we can get free accommodations. We also worked as teachers in Vietnam and as a masseuse so we can finance our travel.
So do we really need a ‘show money’ to show our financial capacity? And to answer you frankly, YES. You need it unless you’re a minor. One of the most common requirements for visa applications is your financial capability aka show money to prove that you can finance your trip. This could include bank statements, bank certificate, Income Tax Return, etc. Kailangan ma prove mo na afford mo mag travel teh! Pero what if wala kang ganun kalaking halaga? Nganga nalang ba mamshie??
People always ask me ‘how much should I really have in my bank account?’ I’m here to answer that question and give you other tips on how you can prove your financial capability without having hundreds of thousands in your bank account :)
1) STICK TO WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE
By asking for your documents which prove your financial capacity, they want to know that 1. You can finance your trip; 2. You’re not going to overstay/work illegally in their country, AND 3. What you’re saying in your visa application form is true.
If you tell them you’re a student or you’re a minimum wage earner, you can’t have half a million pesos in your bank account. If you tell them you’re the CEO of a company, then it would be weird if you only have 20,000 pesos in it, right? Be true to what you say you are. Magpakatotoo tayo!
2) SHOW THAT YOU HAVE A STEADY SOURCE OF INCOME
This is the most important thing-- you should prove that you have a STEADY SOURCE OF INCOME be it in the form of monthly salary, business income, rental income, etc. Which is the usual reason why a 6-month bank account is necessary!
When you have this, they will think na you have a stable job and a stable income so why the heck would you want to work illegally in another country?? This likewise proves your deep rootedness or ties in the Philippines-- instant 10 pogi points to! :)
Panu kapag freelancer ka lang? Show them your paypal account or yung transaction sa website nyu!
Panu kapag "under-the-table" ang income? Read our Tip #6! =)
3) FUND TRANSFER SCHEME. YAY OR NAY?
I don’t recommend this at all! Lugi ka pa sa tubo.. and hindi pwedeng isang bagsakan.. it should stay on your bank account for 6 months!
I know a lot of people resort to borrowing money so they can put it in their bank account to be able to comply with this visa requirement. But I understand na hindi lahat ng tao ay pinanganak na mayaman at hindi lahat ng tao ay may the stable source of income. So if you’re planning to do this, here’s my tip: WAG KANG OBVIOUS!!
Magpaka discreet tayo mga besh. Ayaw natin ipahalata sa mga crush natin na bet natin sila diba kasi baka maging awkward at lumayo si crush?? Don’t deposit everything all at once. This is the most common mistake that people do. If you do this, the Consulate Officers will definitely wonder what you’re up to and why you have such huge amount of money. Being trained to know how to determine the red flags, they know for sure that you did it for your visa approval. So eto: hinay hinay lang sa pagde deposit. Okay? Dahan dahan lang sabi nga sa kanta ni Maja Salvador. Haha. Maybe 5,000-20,000 a month depending on your source of income and the country you’re going to? Keri na yan!
NOTE: Always keep the receipt of your bank statement/bank certificate. They usually ask for this too!
4) OPEN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT ASAP
I believe that since you are reading this, you really have any intention of traveling to another country. Some of you might not have a bank account yet so I’m writing it for the benefit of those people. You might ask how soon is ASAP? The embassies usually ask for your bank statement and bank certificate for the last 3 or 6 months from the date of your application. So you have to open a bank account around that time.
5) YOU SHOULD HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO COVER YOUR LIVING OR TRAVEL EXPENSES
Now here comes the answer to the most asked question-- ‘How much money should I have in my bank account?’ Good news is some countries are straightforward in how much you should have. This is usually equal to the ‘living expenses’ that you’re going to incur in their country while you’re staying there. For example:
Netherlands – 34 Euros/day.
Germany – 45 Euros/day.
New Zealand - NZD 1,000/month or NZD 400 if you have already paid for your accommodation.
Turkey - 50 USD/day.
Croatia- 70 Euros/day or 30 Euros/day if you are in possession of proof of paid tour package or similar document.
While some embassies don’t give an exact amount, here is an estimate of how much you should need for some other countries:
Canada- At least 200 CAD/day plus flight and accommodation expenses.
Korea- At least 50,000 Php but I know people who have less than that but still got approved.
France- More or less 60 Euros/day but you can have less if you have a sponsor
Greece- More or less 25 Euros/day
Spain- 60 Euros/day
Other than that, you have to make an estimate/make a research on how much their living expenses are. Make sure to add some more to cover your flight and accommodation expense if you haven’t paid for it yet.
RELATED ARTICLES: Read all of our VISA APPLICATION GUIDES here.
6) AN INCOME TAX RETURN IS USUALLY THE REAL DEAL-- BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE IT?
Don’t worry. Hindi dito nagtatapos ang laban! May pag-asa pa tayo, mga kababayan! If you don’t have an ITR, here are some ways to show your financial capacity:
1. For OFWs - Just submit your work contract. OFWs are exempted from tax in the Philippines so you don’t need it when you’re applying for a visa.
2. Affidavit of Support- This is a legal document made by a person who is willing to finance your trip be it your parents, your employer, etc. which states that he/she will be the one paying for your trip. If you do this, you have to show your sponsor’s financial capacity.
3. Rent Income- If you’re yayamanin and you have a property being rented out, then you can include the Contract of Lease as well as payment receipts.
4. PayPal Transactions and Certificate of Employment- Some Digital Nomads fail to register with the BIR when they should do so. If you’re one of them, then you can prove your source of income with a screenshot of your payment history with PayPal. This is what we usually do. You can also ask your employer for a Certificate of Employment if you’re working online.
5. Credit Card Transactions- This could show that you have the capacity to buy and the capacity to pay for them on time. You may also show your credit card limit. But please do this only when you have a good credit standing with your bank.
6. Land/Condominium Titles, Investments, Car Registration, Business Permits, Business Permits for Entrepreneurs- While this doesn’t prove any source of income, it could prove your deep rootedness and ties in the Philippines. You can submit this in addition to your Bank Statement/Bank Certificate.
7. Enrollment Certificate for Students, Leave of Absence (if applicable), a copy of School ID, etc.- - For students, I suggest that you get your parents as a sponsor and submit their Affidavit of Support together with their financial documents.
7) SAVE UP!
Kung gusto, may paraan! That is what I always tell myself and other people. If you really want to travel, then you should do things to be able to save it.
1. BE PRACTICAL. Capslock para intense because I need to stress it that much. Ditch that 150 Php cup of coffee. Stop paying 100-800 Php a day for your daily taxi (Yes I know a lot of people who use Grab or Uber who pays THAT much when there is a surge!) and just take the jeepney, bus, and the MRT/LRT-- not only will you go faster (assuming the MRT won’t break down), you’ll reduce your carbon footprint too!
2. Wait for a Seat Sale. This is for all the abangers out there! You can fly to Japan, Dubai, South Korea, or Bali for as low as 1,500 when there is a seat sale. Really! Just subscribe to airlines’ newsletter, sign up for their membership and get the first dibs on when their seat sale is. (Sometimes, you even get a 24-hour priority booking)
Read More: Our Guide on Refundable Flight Reservation
3. Stay in hostels. You can get a bunk bed in hostels around Asia for as low as 150 Php and this is not a drill. I even wrote a lot of articles which feature the best hostels around the world. So if you really don’t have much, stay at a hostel instead. Not only will you be able to save, you’ll meet a lot of other travelers too!
I hope I have answered all your questions in this post. Feel free to send me questions and I’d get back to you as soon as I can. For more practical tips, here are 50 Tips On How You Can Travel the World If You Don't Have Money ❤
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