Dumaguete Info Search


Retirement Visa COURTESY SRRV FOR VETERANS (US VETS AND OTHERS)

Discussion in 'Passports and Visas' started by nwlivewire, May 25, 2015.

  1. nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Army Navy

    Messages:
    707
    Trophy Points:
    196
    Occupation:
    RETIRED
    Ratings:
    +715 / -0
    Blood Type:
    A+
    I am starting this thread EARLY in my journey toward obtaining the Courtesy SRRV.

    I won't really have time to begin the gathering up of the USA documents I will need until SEP 2015.

    But I do want to provide an update as to the preliminary information I have received from PRA (e-mail traffic) regarding the COURTESY SRRV and SOME of the BIG qualifying prerequisites and changes to obtaining one.

    The COURTESY SRRV has been broadened to include VETERANS with an honorable discharge from certain countries. I do not have that list of certain countries, but I do know a US Veteran can be qualified to apply for the COURTESY SRRV.

    I'm not going to list every single detail and every single prerequisite. Please contact PRA on their wensite for the entire skinny.

    But here's the broad-brush paint stroke for a US Vet NOT currently living in the Philippines:

    1. You MUST be age 50 or older on date of application. PRA was VERY clear and firm about the minimum age requirement.

    2. You MUST have an honorable discharge on your DD-214. See BLOCK 24 on your DD-214. Has to say one word and one word only - Honorable.

    3. You DO NOT need to be a RETIREE. Just have an honorable discharge on your DD-214.

    4. You CAN be a Traditional, 20-year military retiree, OR, you can also be a MEDICALLY RETIRED Retiree with UNDER 20 years of career service. If you are age 50 or older, and was honorably discharged due to a military medical disability discharge (PDRL), then you were MEDICALLY RETIRED. You also qualify to apply for the Courtesy SRRV.

    Go get your DD-214. Look under Block 23 - TYPE OF DISCHARGE. If it says RETIREMENT - that's all that counts for PRA. JUST ONE WORD - RETIREMENT.

    A retirement is a retirement is a retirement. Period. It is NOT necessary for you to have achieved a full and traditional 20-year career retirement.

    So if you are a medically discharged PDRL Retiree (under 20 years), they you can fall under the Courtesy SRRV guidelines - (AND YOU ALSO QUALIFY FOR THE LOWEST COST COURTESY SRRV BANK DEPOSIT, TOO). Yippy Skippy!

    5. You DO NOT need to have served two years in the Philippines or have ever served anywhere near the Philippines during the course of your career. That has been changed and is no longer a requirement.

    6. Got to get an FBI check - you need to NOT have a rap sheet - like a felony. I don't know any more than that, so if you have questions, e-mail PRA and find out.

    7. And once approved for your Courtesy SRRV, you can pay your 10.00 USD annual fee for up to three year in advance.

    So for my situation, I need to pay 1,400 USD to PRA for their processing, put 1,500 USD in a PRA approved Philippine bank, do a quick medical exam (can be done through PRA), pay 30 USD for a three year Card, and a couple other small things and I'm good to go.

    Other than that, those are the BIG changes I found out from PRA with e-mail comms with them.

    They really haven't updated their PRA website. But I have been in comms via e-mail with SKY LACHICA at the PRA in the Clark/Subic office.

    I was told by ROA that this particular branch office is well versed in the Courtesy SRRV Veteran process. I was told other offices may end up asking you for documents you don't need to produce, and put you into a goat rope for days and days - delays and delays. Who needs that, right?

    So based upon the recommendations of ROA, and furthering that with comms directly from Sky Lachica, that's where I'll be doing my Courtesy SRRV in-processing.

    I will keep you abreast of my Courtesy SRRV process with a timeline that will kick off in Fall 2015 - the gathering up of all required US documents.

    Next update will be in the Fall of 2015.

    Sure hope for smooth sailing!

    Meanwhile, back on my head. I'm much to do.....

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
    • Informative Informative x 4
  2. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

    Messages:
    10,658
    Trophy Points:
    451
    Occupation:
    Electronic Warfare
    Location:
    Herat
    Ratings:
    +12,195 / -11
    Blood Type:
    O+
    Thank you for this! I briefly covered this in this thread in the second post but the Military SRRV needs it's own thread. Please keep us updated on how the PRA assists you and deals with the documents. In my post I threw the Cebu PRA email out there but the Subic office probably has much more experience dealing with this visa.
     
  3. redhorse

    redhorse DI Member

    Messages:
    228
    Trophy Points:
    148
    Ratings:
    +164 / -0
    Thanks for the info and hope all goes well when you apply. Quick question maybe you might know the answer. When I had asked about the program last year, I was told that although you didn't need to serve in the Philippines, the annual fee was considerably higher if you had not. I think it was $300/year vs $10 if you had served in the PI for 2 years. Do you know if that has changed? Thanks!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Army Navy

    Messages:
    707
    Trophy Points:
    196
    Occupation:
    RETIRED
    Ratings:
    +715 / -0
    Blood Type:
    A+
    Initially, I was also left with that impression. But the two-tiered fee is NOT based on Philippine service or stationing, but rather, the higher depositing of USD to a PRA approved Philippine bank is determined either by your RETIREE STATUS or by simply having only a VETERAN status.

    In other words, as I understand the two-tier deposit prices, the LOWER minimum deposit amount is reserved for military RETIREE/Veterans, while the higher minimum deposit amount are for Veterans who are NOT a military retiree as stated on their DD-214.

    This is why I had to seek clarification from PRA as we have MANY Veterans now who are disability retired from injuries received from their military service and were unable to get to a traditional 20-year military retirement. But if that Veteran has been discharged from military service under a military disability retirement (PDRL), then PRA considers them to be a RETIREE.

    If it says on your DD214 "RETIREMENT" UNDER BLOCK 23, you get the lowest minimum required deposit available under this Courtesy SRRV.

    All other Veterans who qualify, but are not in a military Retiree status as per their DD214 are classified as Veterans, and will have to deposit the higher amount of USD.

    In my message above, I stated PRA no longer requires the two year service or posting in the Philippines as our US posts were pretty much shut down over 20 years ago. I assume the Philippine Gov't "relaxed" or eliminated this service time because the US didn't have enough qualifying Vets that have served in the Philippines these past 20 years. So the Philippines needed to relax this requirement as they wouldn't be able to find enough US Vets to qualify for the Courtesy SRRV.

    PRA might be able to attract more Vets now under this new and improved scheme.

    That's how PRA explained it to me in their email comms with me.

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  5. OP
    OP
    nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Army Navy

    Messages:
    707
    Trophy Points:
    196
    Occupation:
    RETIRED
    Ratings:
    +715 / -0
    Blood Type:
    A+

    PS..... I was left with the impression that a non-retiree Veteran will also pay a higher annual fee.
    A military RETIREE will pay the lower annual fee.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  6. redhorse

    redhorse DI Member

    Messages:
    228
    Trophy Points:
    148
    Ratings:
    +164 / -0
    Thanks!
     
  7. OP
    OP
    nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Army Navy

    Messages:
    707
    Trophy Points:
    196
    Occupation:
    RETIRED
    Ratings:
    +715 / -0
    Blood Type:
    A+

    Thank-you Redhorse!

    I hope all goes smoothly for me, too with the PTA folks.

    But if for some odd reason it doesn't, I have a "Plan B" - a backup.

    And that's to go to school in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    Plan C is Berlin, Germany or Athens, Greece.

    But I would have to switch majors in Plans B and C city/school locations.

    And the VISA systems/schemes are more restrictive in these others nations, too, with regular "reporting in" for accountability to Government authorities.

    At this stage in my life, I have grow weary of this constant intrusiveness, and it appears there will at least be a slightly lessor form of this in the Philippines.

    As long as one keeps their nose clean and maintains the "good little foreigner" lifestyle, it looks like one can have a bit more breathing room to come and go as one pleases.

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Frodo

    Frodo DI Member Showcase Reviewer

    Messages:
    98
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Ratings:
    +137 / -0
    Hi RedHorse. I am a military retiree with a Courtesy SRRV who never served in the Philippines. I do not know about any 2-tier system, but I do know that I pay $30 to renew my SRRV for 3 years.

    Earlier this year I travelled to the PRA office in Cebu to renew my SRRV. It was easy. I paid the fee and I returned about a month later to pick up my new SRRV card.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. OP
    OP
    nwlivewire

    nwlivewire DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Blood Donor Veteran Army Navy

    Messages:
    707
    Trophy Points:
    196
    Occupation:
    RETIRED
    Ratings:
    +715 / -0
    Blood Type:
    A+
    This is exactly how PRA explained these new rules to me as well.

    You no longer have to have served in the Philippines to qualify for the Courtesy SRRV.

    If your discharge paper (for US Vets - that's the DD-214) says discharge as a RETIREE (can be the traditional 20-year, AND/OR RETIREE due to PDRL (permanent disability), then you pay the LOWER deposit fees.

    If you are a Vet with an honorable discharge (NOT a 20 year RETIREE or NOT disabled early but awarded permanent disability RETIREE status), then you pay the HIGHER amount.

    In either case, you CAN pay your renewal fees for up to three years in advance - just like RedHorse says.

    Glad you posted this RedHorse!

    Good to read this is really working like PRA said it would work.

    I was also told I could get my Philippine Driver's License during the time I am waiting for PRA/BOI to process my Courtesy SRRV. This might come in handy if a person needs to buy a car, etc., as soon as they get here.

    V/R,
    nwlivewire
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. redhorse

    redhorse DI Member

    Messages:
    228
    Trophy Points:
    148
    Ratings:
    +164 / -0
    Just wanted to post this to clear things up per my emails with with Scarlett “Sky” Lachica of Clark/Subic PRA. There definitely WAS a two-tier annual fee based on whether you had served in the Philippines or not. As nwlivewire pointed out, that has changed. But the change seems to benefit ALL veterans, not just military and/or medical retirees. Per the SRRV info guide which Ms. Lachica sent me, (attached - see page 16) as regards the SRRV Courtesy or Expanded Courtesy "PRA Annual Fee (PAF) of US $360 is not applicable." So no more $360.00 for ANY SRRV courtesy visa. The only thing a bit ambiguous is the fact that they keep using the term "Military Retiree", when it seems they really interpret that to mean "person who served honorably in the military of the US (or probably some other ally of the Philippines) and is retired (but not necessarily retired from the military)".
    Just to be on the safe side, I asked Ms. Lachica:
    Q-"Thank you for the info you sent me. One thing was unclear. Is Expanded Courtesy SRRV available to US veterans with DD -214 and honorable discharge if they are not retired from the US military, but have other retirement? What is the annual fee in that case?"
    A-"Yes, with DD214 and honorable discharge and proof of pension not less than 1,000 USD monthly. Annual fee is only US$10.00."
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
Loading...