“How much show money should I have in the bank to guarantee my visa application approval?”
If I earned a dollar for every time I got that question, I would be pretty wealthy by now. Easily, this is the most frequently asked question on our social channels. We also make sure that we answer this in the FAQs section of our visa posts. Yet, we still get a lot of messages about it. It’s not difficult to understand why. Out of all the documents that embassies usually require from applicants, this is probably the most vague and the most complicated.
First of all, nothing and no one can guarantee approval of your visa application. You can have a huge sum on your account and still get denied a visa. Whether your application will be approved or rejected depends on a smorgasbord of factors. Yes, financial capacity is one of them, but it is JUST ONE of them. The other requirements have to be equally, if not more, satisfactory.
But how much is enough? In this article, I’ll try to answer in detail this burning question and all the other inquiries that we usually get about show money. I’m compiling everything that Vins and I know about the subject, so that we could have just one page to link to whenever we’re asked about it.
Note, however, that I don’t work for any consulate or embassy. All these are speculations based on the patterns and similarities we see in our applications, talks with travel agents, and experiences of our family, friends and members of our Support Group. Much of the evaluation process isn’t visible to outsiders. At the end of the day, it’s an exercise in making educated guesses.
So without further ado, let’s begin!
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
Show money is the colloquial term for the funds that you have access to when you travel. It’s called “show money” because you will need to show some proof of this amount, often in the form of a bank certificate or a statement of account. It’s NOT called show money because it’s just “for show.” The money that you present should be real and should be yours.
Most embassies require visa applicants to submit proof of funds. On the surface, it seems like they do so to make sure that applicants can sufficiently support themselves financially during the trip (financial capacity). But it is actually much deeper than that.
More than financial capacity, they’re also concerned about rootedness. Let’s discuss rootedness first because we will be circling back to it numerous times in this article.
Rootedness refers to how strong your ties are in your home country. This is often supported by employment stability, ownership of properties, and personal connections. But financial steadiness can also be a factor, and they can also look at your bank documents to check for it.
Remember, many applicants try to secure a tourist visa just for show, but once they’re in their destination, they will stay longer and work there. We, Filipinos, are notorious for it. We even developed a slang term for it: TNT, “tago nang tago,” referring to the act of constantly hiding from police or immigration authorities. In other words, you need to show that your life here in the Philippines is good and stable, and that you have no reason to overstay abroad.
They have all the right to reject anyone whom they suspect may not contribute to their economy or violate their laws. Having good financial standing is one of the ways you can minimize those doubts and prove to them that you have a good life here and that you have no reason to overstay or work in their country.
But there are cases wherein Immigration Officers ask for it too, depending on the country. I’ll talk more about that below.
It’s simple: Get a bank certificate or bank statement or both.
- A bank certificate is usually a one-page document that certifies that you have an account with that branch. Often, the latest available balance is indicated. But in some banks, you can request that some details be included.
- A bank statement, sometimes called a statement of account, is a detailed record of the balance and the transactions on that account within a specified period of time. It includes the amounts deposited into, the amounts withdrawn from, and even the interests gained by that account, and the corresponding dates.
Different embassies have different rules. For example, the Japanese Embassy needs only the bank certificate. The Australian and Canadian Embassies require only the bank statement. The Chinese, Korean, and most Schengen embassies ask for BOTH certificate AND statement.
The period that must be covered also varies. For Korean visa, you need to present the transactions within the past three months. For Canadian visa, four months is sufficient. For Chinese, Schengen and most other visas, six months is the standard.
Just head over to your bank and request for it.
The rules vary from bank to bank. For example, in my experience, BDO requires that you secure these documents from the branch where you opened your account. You can’t get one from any other branch. I have tried many times but they always require me to personally appear at my branch. One of my accounts is in the province so I always have to travel there just to tick them off the requirements list.
On the other hand, BPI allows their customers to get these documents from any of their branch. It’s ideal for me because I have just moved to a different address. My original BPI branch is already pretty far from where I live currently but I don’t need to go there to request for it.
Service fees usually apply. Try to get a copy of the official receipt too because some embassies require that it be attached to the document.
Embassies requiring a bank statement check not just the latest balance. They scrutinize the following:
- Balance. How much funds you have on your account.
- Opening date. The date the account was opened. New accounts almost always raise suspicions.
- Transactions. The amounts deposited into and the amounts withdrawn from that account. They also check how regular the activities are.
- Irregularities. They check for anomalies in the transactions. For example, if there is a one-time big-time deposit, which is usually suspicious and indicative of gaming the system.
- Consistency with your other documents. They compare the record of transactions with your Certificate of Employment or ITR (Income Tax Returns). If they see that things don’t add up, it can be a reason for rejection. For example, if your salary is only P15,000 per month but your bank account shows few deposits of P100,000 each, that can raise some red flags and be the cause of denial.
There is no one-ring-to-rule-them-all answer to this because it varies depending on many factors like: the country you are traveling to, the length of your trip, and the itinerary that you will submit.
My personal rule is P10,000 per day + airfare + cost of hotel. But that’s just me. I’ll explain below.
Most embassies don’t really disclose how much money you should have on your bank account. One probable exception is the Chinese Embassy which, according to some travel agencies, requires that your bank account have at least P100,000. (I say “probable” because I know people who have lower balance but were still granted a visa.)
That said, some embassies disclose how much “pocket money” you should have per day when visiting their country. For example:
- For France, their visa application website indicates EUR 120 per day, if accommodations have not been settled.
- For other Schengen countries like Germany, Greece, and Italy, it varies but usually between EUR 40 and EUR 60. Just assume it’s EUR 60, to be on the safe side.
- For Turkey, it’s USD 50 per day.
I guess the key thing to remember here is that how much you have should be proportional to how long your stay is. For example, if you have only P100,000, don’t apply for a 59-day stay because that would obviously raise a lot of questions regarding whether or not you can afford the trip.
Add the total to the cost of flights and the cost of accommodations, and you should have the minimum amount on your bank account. MINIMUM because, of course, they have to be convinced that you will NOT be burning ALL your life savings during the trip and that you should still be able to live comfortably after. Again, it’s also about rootedness.
It’s complicated, I know. That’s why I just follow my personal rule: P10,000 per day + airfare + cost of hotel.
It works for me every time because it has plenty of allowance.
Some people do it, but this is something I DO NOT RECOMMEND OR ENCOURAGE.
Like I said earlier, embassies examine the details of your financial documents. According to a friend who used to be a visa officer, they are trained to spot inconsistencies and anomalies, and it’s pretty easy to do. If they see that some things don’t match or there are unusual transactions, eyebrows will raise.
Yes, you can. However, it does not always mean it will increase your chances of approval.
For Japan, this can work. When applying for a Japan visa with a sponsor, the applicant may choose to not submit a bank certificate and provide proof of funds from the sponsor instead. The burden shifts to the sponsor.
However, for most other countries, having a sponsor does not exempt you from show money and could even hurt your application. For most visas like Korean, Canadian, and Schengen, even if you have a sponsor, you will still need to submit your own bank documents. You may have the means to support your trip financially through someone else, but they still need to see show money to confirm your stability and rootedness.
See previous section.
It’s going to be a very risky move. A newly opened bank account can raise some red flags because it looks like you only opened one to apply for a visa, which is a no-no.
If you plan on visiting visa countries in the future, even if you’re not applying for a visa anytime soon, it’s best to open a bank account as soon as you can. We discussed this in a separate post: LONG TERM PREPARATIONS FOR VISA APPLICATION!
Before anything else, let’s define what a payroll account is.
A payroll account can be either:
- EMPLOYER’s payroll account, which refers to the account into which the employer deposits funds and from which the salary or wages of the employees on the payroll will be drawn.
- EMPLOYEE’S payroll account, which is the account where the employee receives their salary or wages regularly.
If you’re an employee and you’re referring to the latter, it still depends on what type of payroll account you have. But YES, I have tried using it for visa application a few times back when I was a corporate slave and never had any issues with it. I think it’s important that your payroll account meets the following:
- It is under your name, not your employer’s.
- It has the characteristics of a personal savings account, as opposed to a cash card or prepaid account.
- The bank can issue a bank certificate and bank statement for your account.
- It has sufficient balance to cover your trip.
- It’s NOT a newly opened account.
If not your payroll account doesn’t have enough funds, you can submit it along with your other accounts to make a stronger case. I like submitting my payroll account because it shows where my money is coming from and is consistent with my COE and ITR.
If you’re an employer and you’re referring to the former, I have no idea if you can use this account. I have not done it (as an employer).
YES. I do this most of the time.
In the past few years, I have been using two joint accounts when I’m applying for a visa: one with my business partner (AND account) and the other with my mom (OR account).
I have used the OR account on its own before and had no issues. But I have never used my AND account on its own. I use it together with other accounts, so I am not sure if an AND account is acceptable as a stand alone proof of funds.
Yes, you can. I do it most of the the time. This paints a clear picture of my finances, so the embassy could easily understand. I have at least three bank accounts now:
- Payroll account, where I get my salary.
- Savings account, where I transfer my savings, not to be touched unless emergency. This is also my joint account with my mom. (I give my mom access to my savings, for emergency purposes.)
- Travel account, which is another savings account that I set up specifically for saving up for my trips.
I submit all three accounts when I’m applying for a visa. Usually, at least. Sometimes, when I get lazy, I just submit one or two.
Sometimes. It’s hard to tell whether or not they will ask you for show money. But yes, they do in certain cases.
According to the Bureau of Immigration, financial capability is NOT a requirement for traveling abroad. However, if they suspect that the traveler is not telling the truth about their purpose of travel, they may need you to undergo secondary inspection.
According to a memorandum entitled Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers, released by the Bureau of Immigration to their airport and seaport officers in 2012, in the secondary inspection, the traveler will be evaluated based on age, educational attainment, and… *drum roll* financial capability to travel.
To be clear, NOT ALL travelers will undergo a secondary inspection, only those who are suspected of having a different purpose of travel. According to the bureau (as told to a news agency), tourists who are more likely to be questioned are:
- First-time tourists flying to a not-so-popular destination.
- Tourists with no steady source of income in the Philippines and no benefactors.
If you’re unemployed and it’s your first time to travel abroad, there’s a big chance you will need to undergo secondary inspection and be asked to present proof of financial capability.
Get a sponsor who can shoulder your travel expenses. This applies to students, fresh graduates, or unemployed individuals who have no capability to support the trip financially.
Ideally, the sponsor is a Filipino immediate relative. You should have the following notarized documents ready:
- Affidavit of support indicating the relationship within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, together with the supporting documents.
- Affidavit of undertaking/ guaranty
You can merge these two items into just one document — an Affidavit of Support and Guarantee — to reduce notarization fees.
Sometimes the Immigration Officer won’t ask for it, but it’s better to come prepared.
However, note that having the above papers does not guarantee getting through. It will increase your chances, but it’s still up to your demeanor and answers, and the judgment of the Immigration Official.
Maybe. According to a friend who is an Immigration Officer, in addition to the Affidavit of Support and Guarantee, the traveler must also provide proof that the sponsor can support the trip. This may be the sponsor’s bank documents (show money), Certificate of Employment, or ITR.
If your sponsor is a foreigner or a Filipino based abroad, there may be additional complications. Please check the links below for more details.
- For travelers sponsored by a Filipino accompanying you on the trip
- For travelers sponsored by a Filipino abroad
- For travelers sponsored by a foreigner
Again, whether or not they will ask for proof of funds depends solely on the judgment of the Immigration Officer.
It depends on the country you’re visiting. For example, as a matter of policy, Thailand requires foreign visitors to have at least 10,000 baht per person or 20,000 per family (or the equivalent amount in another currency) in cash upon entry.
Another example is Taiwan, which requires visa-free Filipino travelers to have proof of sufficient travel funds in the form of cash, credit cards, travelers checks, or similar forms. They don’t really say how much exactly.
However, it is not always implemented. Our team has been in and out of Thailand and Taiwan but none of us were asked how much cash we carry or how much budget we allocate for the trip.
That said, for countries that have a show money rule, it is always best to comply, just in case they ask. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
I personally have been asked about funds in other countries. In the Maldives and in another country — I can’t remember if it was Australia or Singapore — I was asked how much money I had with me. I answered truthfully and shared that I also had a credit card and an ATM card. In both occasions, they let me through without any more questions.
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Travel Guide at The Poor Traveler
Yosh Dimen is a full-time travel blogger. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and movies. Yosh has won 3 Philippine Blog Awards and a Palanca Award . Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
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View all comments
1 February 2020 2:50 pm
Hi, Yosh! Lumabas both your name and your mom’s name sa Joint Account sa Bank Certificate and Bank Statement?
Reply to Iza
2 February 2020 3:32 pm
Hi Iza, yes po. Andun pareho yung names namin.
I think sa BDO, kapag OR account, may option ka na name mo lang yung mag-appear pero need ng permission nung ka-joint account. Nagawa ko na sya once before, pero di ko alam if pwede pa rin sya hanggang ngayon.
Mary Grace Dilag
9 October 2021 11:35 pm
Hi Yosh, just want to ask lang po if Insurance policy, retirement fund and investments pwede i-add sa requirements? Thank you!
Reply to Mary Grace Dilag
11 October 2021 11:30 am
Yung investments po, pwede. Yung retirement fund, di ko po sure kasi di ko pa naranasan/naitanong. Baka pwede naman if along with other bank accounts.
Yung insurance policy po na tinutukoy nyo ay ung life insurance? Nagsubmit din ako dati once (separate sa travel insurance na required ng schengen) kasi ung sa akin ay ung may kasamang investment, pero di ko na matandaan kung anong country haha.
29 December 2021 1:57 pm
Do you have any idea how far back they’ll trace the income if you can’t provide an ITR? I’m a freelancer and have irregular payouts.
1 March 2022 7:19 pm
Hi! How will the joint bank account work for married couples na applying? The other is a freelancer while the other has stable job. In the application form, there’s a question for the funding. Should we both put “half me half sponsor”? Or the one with stable job can state to sponsor all expenses for the other one? And the freelancer can choose “fully sponsored” in the funding part? I’m really confused po
21 March 2022 8:30 pm
would like to know can the embassy contact my bank to ask about the funds or ask also how long been using the bank and the bank can it provide the information without my request???
Mudalige Buddasiri Soyza
19 August 2022 2:35 pm
I need to show money for a Student visa In Israel, I have got all acceptance and first installment payment letters and the Insurance health ministry letter with me. So I need a bank statement from 6 months back from acceptance on July 26, 2022.
The United States government requires all international applicants to provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses before the forms needed for obtaining a visa can be issued. This proof can come in the form of personal or family bank letters, bank statements, stock statements, company sponsorships, etc.How much money do you need to show for US visa? ›
There is no fixed minimum bank balance for US student visa, but one should have 10,000 USD and above to get F-1 visa. How Much Funds to Show for an F-1 Student Visa?How much bank balance do I need for visitor visa? ›
The amount of bank balance you should have for applying to the US tourist visa depends on the duration. If it is a 15-day trip, you must have $ 5,000-10,000 in your bank.Does immigration check your bank account? ›
No, no US consular officer should call a bank to confirm the status of a statement presented in support of a nonimmigrant visa application.What is acceptable proof of funds? ›
Proof of funds usually comes in the form of a bank security or custody statement. These can be procured from your bank or the financial institution that holds your money. Bank statements are the most common document to use as POF and can typically be found online or at a bank branch.What is proof of sufficient financial? ›
This simply means that you must prove that you have enough money for your trip, including the travel expenses, accommodation and food expenses, as well as other incidental expenses.How much bank balance do I need for B2 visa? ›
There is no minimum balance requirement for your bank account, however, based on the experience of others we recommend anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 will be sufficient.How does an embassy check the bank statement? ›
mybankStatement® is a one page ticket generated by your bank to replace traditional paper based bank statements that are normally submitted in visa applications. It contains a unique ticket number and passcode that can be used by Embassies to efficiently verify your account holdings are genuine.Do you have to have money in your bank for a US visa? ›
Travelers visiting the United States from a foreign country must be able to prove to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer that they have sufficient funds, i.e., credit card, cash, travelers' checks, money order to cover travel, lodging, entertainment, meals, etc. to be admitted into the United States.How many bank statements do I need for a visa? ›
Although, it is required that visa applicants provide a current bank statement of at least 6 months. Even so, you should make sure that the account has a regular cash flow. This is one of the criteria's visa officers check when going through a bank statement.
U.S. immigration officers have broad authority to search travelers' luggage and belongings when they enter the United States. That authority extends to cellphones, laptop computers, and tablets.How do you greet a visa officer? ›
When your turn for the interview comes, enter the room with a smile, greet the officer with a warm hello or hi. S/he may ask you 'how are you doing'. Reply politely and thank them for asking. If your visa is granted, thank them politely and leave.Does immigration check IRS? ›
The U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) is not responsible for making sure you pay your taxes. However, many U.S. federal government agencies share information about people.Can you make a cash offer without proof of funds? ›
Short of the proverbial briefcase full of cash, the seller has no guarantee that the buyer actually has the funds they say they have, unless they have a document to prove it; many sellers won't accept a cash offer without a POF.What is a proof of wealth? ›
Annual salary and bonuses for the last couple of years; Last month/recent payslip; Confirmation from the employer of annual salary; Latest accounts or tax declaration if self-employed.What is hard proof of funds? ›
A hard money Proof of Funds letter is a letter issued by a hard money lender informing sellers and their agents that its client is pre-approved to purchase a property within a certain price range.What is the maximum amount of money you can have in a bank account in USA? ›
Minimum balances aside, how much money can you have in a checking account? There is no maximum limit, but your checking account balance is only FDIC insured up to $250,000. However, as we'll cover shortly, it makes sense to put extra cash somewhere it will earn interest.How can I make my visa application stronger? ›
- Accomplish the requirements. ...
- Mind the details. ...
- Only submit authentic documents. ...
- Provide as much evidence as you can. ...
- Show that you are 'well-traveled'.
Originally Answered: do embassies confirm bank statements when you are applying for visa? Yes, Bank verify the bank balance and statement to find out whether the document is true copy or not.Do visa officers check all documents? ›
Financial documents – The officers specifically check for financial documents during the visa interview to ensure that you have the necessary funds to pay for tuition fees, accommodation, living expenses, etc., in a foreign land.
The approval of your Visa depends on the answers that you give to the visa officer. Another key factor for your visa approval is your financial status and the type of school you are applying to. These are the basic things that you need to answer with utmost honesty during your visa interview.Does consulate check bank balance? ›
The embassy will check the bank statements you provided for your Schengen visa application, but they do not have access to confidential information from your bank. But, if they suspect the statements you provided may be false, they may require a confirmation from the bank that those statements are valid and genuine.How much is visa immigration fee? ›
The USCIS Immigrant Fee is $220.00.How much is DS 160 application fee? ›
The DS-160 Visa Fee is $160. You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee a second time if you are a SEVIS transfer student who is transferring your existing F-1/J-1 record to UCSC.How much of my bank statement do I need to show? ›
Two months' worth of bank statements is the norm because any credit or deposit accounts older than that should have shown up on your credit report.How many bank statements do you need to prove income? ›
Does a bank statement work as proof of income? Many landlords will accept bank statements as proof of income as long as they show at least two paychecks being directly deposited into the account. In addition to a bank statement, landlords may want to receive an employment verification letter.Do US visa officers check bank statements? ›
Originally Answered: do embassies confirm bank statements when you are applying for visa? Yes, Bank verify the bank balance and statement to find out whether the document is true copy or not.Can immigration read your text messages? ›
No, USCIS does not have the authority to go through a persons phone. USCIS is a service agency and only has the authority to assign immigration statuses and investigate if the paperwork is genuine and viable. They cannot go through your phone as such.What kind of background check does immigration do? ›
The background and security checks include collecting fingerprints and requesting a “name check” from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). In addition, USCIS conducts other inter-agency criminal background and security checks on all applicants for naturalization.
Essentially, the U.S. government assures that they request applicants' social network accounts to see if there is any evidence of the applicant being a threat to national security, any close ties to known criminal organizations, or if they committed fraud with any personal information given on immigration forms.
- 'Like, Umm, I guess' – Try to avoid using conversation fillers such as 'Like', 'Ummmm', or 'I guess' in a sentence when you are responding to a question. ...
- 'Nervous Nancy' – We understand that the interview is important. ...
- 'Do not chant' – Many interviewees mug up scripted lines.
Here are a few tips on what to wear for a visa interview. Choose formal clothing — Professional attire is the way to go with almost any interview, and the same applies to F-1 student visa interviews. Certain formal clothing options such as dress shirts, ties, suits, pantsuits, and jackets are always appropriate.How to pass a visa interview? ›
- Create a good impression. ...
- Be well prepared. ...
- Be calm and confident. ...
- Keep your answers short and to the point. ...
- Keep required documentation at hand. ...
- Provide necessary financial documents. ...
- Explain how your program matches for your career plans. ...
- Never sound like a potential immigrant.
USCIS will consider an applicant's credit report, credit score, debts and other liabilities as a factor in determining whether the individual is likely to become a public charge. A good credit report is considered a positive factor while a bad credit report is considered a negative factor.How many years of taxes does immigration take? ›
Your tax returns are very important proof that you are eligible for naturalization. On the day of your interview, bring certified tax returns for the last 5 years (3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen).Can you be deported for owing taxes? ›
If your failure to pay taxes adds up to intentional tax evasion of more than $10,000, the USCIS will apply a permanent bar (meaning that you will never be eligible for citizenship) and then put you into deportation proceedings.How much money do you need to sponsor someone in USA? ›
The most common minimum annual income required to sponsor a spouse or family member for a green card is $24,650. This assumes that the sponsor — the U.S. citizen or current green card holder — is not in active military duty and is sponsoring only one relative.How much money do I need to enter USA? ›
International travelers entering the United States must declare if they are carrying currency or monetary instruments in a combined amount over $10,000 on their Customs Declaration Form (CBP Form 6059B) and then file a FinCEN Form 105.Can a U.S. citizen sponsor a friend for a visa? ›
You can sponsor your friend's immigration petition financially. Being a financial sponsor to an immigrant can make a big difference to their application and can be the difference between being approved or rejected. You can sponsor your friend financially by providing a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.How much money do you have to make to sponsor visa? ›
Also, notice that the amounts are different for residents of Alaska and Hawaii. For example, in 2022, a sponsor in the U.S. mainland would need to have income (or assets) of at least $34,687 to cover a petitioner who lives alone and is sponsoring one immigrant and two children (that is, a total of four people).
Don't sell yourself short.
Ask for $10,000 to $100,000 from each sponsor. "I see people asking for $1,000," she said.
You may bring large sums of money with you in the form of cash, money order, or traveler's checks. There is no maximum limit, however, any amount exceeding $10,000 USD must be declared upon arrival on both the Form 6059B and FinCEN 105. All forms must be filled in completely and truthfully.How much cash can you bring on plane? ›
So how much cash can you fly with? You can fly with any amount of cash. No law prohibits you from bringing any amount of money on a flight. Likewise, TSA has no rules that limit how much money you can bring through security.How much cash can you fly with in USA? ›
When flying domestically within the USA, there is no limit to the amount of cash that you can carry or have to declare. However, if you are found flying with large amounts of cash or money, TSA officers may question you as to why you have it and details of your trip.