Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How to apply for Japanese Visa [Filipino Citizens]

Japan's rich culture mixed with mouthwatering dishes and advanced technology lures tourists from different parts of the globe. A mixture of old and new definitely catches the attention of tourists. Japan has been one of the top tourist destination in Asia, thanks to the rise of affordable flights from various airlines which makes everybody able to fly to the land of the rising sun.

Traveling to Japan as a Filipino may seem to be difficult but with the recent Visa Relaxation from the Japanese Government, it may give hope for us Filipinos.

For this article, I will be listing out all the process and the experiences I have undergone while applying for a JAPANESE TOURIST VISA without any guarantor.  There is no personal interview for Japanese Visa and application should be handled by Accredited or Authorized Travel Agency by the Japanese Embassy.

For the list of accredited travel agency check here: Accredited Travel Agency

I decided to go with Discovery Tour Inc. because aside from being affordable,  I also received lots of good feedbacks from them from my friends and also they operate on Saturdays which is very convenient for me.

Part I: Requirements:

According to Japanse Embassy  below are the list of requirement needed to apply for a JAPANESE TOURIST VISA (for Employees):

  1. Valid Philippine Passport - Broken lamination of the photo part is not accepted. Must have a signature and have at least two (2) blank pages. Tip(s): Be sure that your passport is still valid 6 months on the date of travel.
  2. Visa Application Form - You can Download the Application form here or get a copy in the accredited travel agency. Tip(s): Be sure to answer all the fields and put N/A to those not relevant. Be sure not to leave blank items by adding N/A to it.
  3. Photo - Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background. Photo must be pasted on the application form. Tips: Be sure to submit a clear copy of your photo to avoid providing a new one.
  4. Birth Certificate - must be from NSO Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide) issued within one (1) year.)  In case of non-record, you must submit a certificate of non-record together with the one from Local Civil Registrar.) Tip(s): Be sure to get the latest copy of the this as sometimes they are not accepting those NSO files which are not requested recently(at least a year).
  5. Marriage Contract( If Married) - must be from NSO Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide) issued within one (1) year.)  In case of non-record, you must submit a certificate of non-record together with the one from Local Civil Registrar.) Tip(s): Be sure to get the latest copy of the this as sometimes they are not accepting those NSO files which are not requested recently(at least a year.)
  6. Daily Schedule in Japan (TAIZAI NITTEIHYO )- Rough summary of your itinerary in Japan. Click here for the sample. Tip(s): Be sure to match all of your dates indicated on your itinerary and in the application form.  It is OK that you cannot specify all list of activities on that day but as long as you indicate the summary of it.
  7. Bank Certificate - Must be signed by the Bank Manager. Tip(s): Be sure you have an adequate amount of funds that can support all the activities you have in your Daily Schedule. You cannot just put in your accommodation that you are staying at a 5-star hotel while your bank can't support it.
  8. Income Tax Return (original and xerox copy) - If employed. Tip(s): Be sure to provide a xerox copy since the original one might not be returned to you so better inform the agency ahead about this.
  9. Certificate of Employment (optional) - If employed. Tip(s): Be sure that all the information like tenure, benefits, and etc. is reflected in thecertificate so there will be no problem.
  10. Multiple Entry Request Letter (optional)-  if you intended to be granted with Multiple Entry Visa. Tip(s): Be sure to address the letter to the embassy of Japan in Manila and provide all the necessary documents.     

For more info Visit the Japanese Embassy Website: here

Here are the sample documents that I submitted:

Sample schedule of  stay
Sample request letter

UPDATE: Frequently Asked Questions:
How much money did I have on my bank accounts? - Less than 100k php
Did you book for a roundtrip ticket prior to applying for visa? - Since I am a risk taker, yes I did book a ticket but that was a piso fare/discounted ticket (Around 1.3k php Roundtrip Cebu-Narita). I recommend get a visa first before booking a plane ticket bur if you are a risk taker as what I do.
Did you travel to other countries before? - Yes been to a lot lately.

Part II: Procedure

I went to the Discovery Tour Inc. office in Banilad Cebu City and inquired about applying for Visa. They checked all the requirements that I brought to them. For some reason, they let me fill up the application form again and this time manually by hand(I encode in the computer the application form that I submitted to them). I have no idea what went wrong on the document I provided and just do what I was told. I inform the agent that I am requesting for a Multiple Entry and handed the request letter to them. They checked it and it looks good to them so there was no issue with it. They also looked at my passport and ask if I travel a lot and responded with if there are tickets on sale. On the Certificate of Employment that I submitted, there was a minor issue wherein the salutation used was "Ms." instead of "Mr." then the agent asked me if it is ok for me not to include it on the documents as this was just optional and there were issues and I said I think it is fine to include it as this was just a minor mistake.

After double checking all the requirements and satisfied all the worries and address all the issues, they finally said the documents were all good. They handed me a receipt which also serves as a claiming stub. They inform me that they will call me on the contact number that I provided when the results are in and said that it usually takes 7-10 days for the overall process.

Went home and waited for the judgment day.

Part III: Claiming

After 7 working days, I  finally heard something from the agency. They told me that the result was in and that I can now claim my passport. I ask them in advance if my visa application was approved but they didn't disclose it to me and said that it is for me to find out once I received my passport.

I went to their office and ask where to pick up my passport. Went to the person in charged and she handed the passport to me saying "your visa is approved, sir". I checked it and it was approved and the visa was there on my passport. I immediately notice that it was not multiple entries though but it was worth the try and I can take this Visa any day.

Leave the office happy.

Next will be getting ready for the Japan Trip!

My Japanese Visa

UPDATE: Applied again this dec 2017 and was granted with Multiple Entry Visa!

Have you tried applying for Japanese visa? Share your stories and experience in the comment section below.  


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