Philippines ACR I-card, What Is It, and Why Do I Need It?
A Philippines ACR I-card is an identification card issued by the Philippines Bureau of Immigration for foreigners from other countries staying here in the Philippines. The card has a front side which displays your photo, your full name, your home country, birthdate, place of birth, visa type, visa issue date, visa status, and an electronic chip embedded into the card containing all your relevant information. On the back side is printed your sex, height, weight, blood type, address, fingerprint, and the ACR I-card’s issue date and expiration date.
The card is not a substitute for a passport or a visa, and cannot be used to replace either. You still need your passport and you need to have a valid and current visa stamped inside in order to legally stay in the Philippines. So what is this ACR I-card good for then?
Well basically, it’s good for getting a bank account in the Philippines. That’s the number one advantage. The other advantages, as listed on the BI’s website are as follows:
ADVANTAGES AND CONVENIENCE OF ACR I-CARD
To the ACR I-Card Holders:
- They are provided faster processing time at the ports of entry and exit with a maximum of 10 seconds for the verification process.
- They are assured that they are holding a genuinely issued ACR.
- They receive faster and more efficient service at the BI offices for immigration requirements.
- They are provided incomparable convenience as they are holding only one immigration document. No more paper-based ACR and ICR/NBCR/CRTV/CRTT/CRTS/CRPE, ECC, SRC and RP.
- Online payment of immigration fees.
- Quick verification of information.
- Eliminates illegal and unwarranted detention of alien residents. The implementation of the ACR I-Card Project will prevent and eliminate instances where aliens are indiscriminately accosted, harassed and detained on mere suspicion of possessing fake or fraudulent immigration documents.
- It decreases the cost of transacting business with the Bureau of Immigration as the ACR I-Card Project will eliminate fixers, illegal middlemen and syndicates issuing falsified documents.
To The Bureau of Immigration:
- Automates process of alien registration.
- Eliminates fraud in all aspects of alien registration as well as in the immigration entry/exit points in the country.
- Reduces the resources needed for manual passport checks and encoding of pertinent data while drastically improving immigration process time.
- Achieves higher revenues for the Bureau and the national government through increase in number of aliens who will register and improved efficiency in collection of fees.
- Enhances security of national borders against entry or exit of terrorists and transnational criminals; eliminates human smuggling activities.
- Increases efficiency of services to the resident aliens.
- Improves internal governance by eliminating fixers and illegal personnel issuing falsified documents.
But as I said, the real advantage is that you can get a Philippines bank account which makes transferring money, keeping money safe, and withdrawing money conveniently and at minimal charges much easier.