Thursday, November 2, 2017

How to Apply Japan Tourist Visa in the Philippines


Japan has always been a dream destination for some Filipinos. Whether it’s because of animė or ramen, it’s always included on their bucket list because of its close proximity to the Philippines. I have applied for a Japan Tourist Visa under the category of Visa for Tourism (No Guarantor) and thankfully, I was approved. Check out my easy breezy application with some tips on how to ace it.

Just this year, I had the opportunity to visit Seoul which prompted my first ever Tourist Visa Application for South Korea. It was nerve-wracking considering that once I get denied, it will take another six months for me to re-apply. But then again, just like my first ever visa application, as long as you provide all the necessary documents and fill out the application form legibly and honestly, your Japan dreams will be one step closer (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Tokyo).

Cebu Pacific Air has direct flights to Japan (Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya) and is offering discounted fares during seat sale promos. After scoring a good deal on airfare, me and my buddies took the necessary steps to secure Japan Tourist Visa. Here's how.

When applying for a Japan Tourist Visa in the Philippines, there will be set of requirements needed for specific individuals such as Visa for Tourism, Visit Friends or Distant Relatives, Visa for Visiting Relatives, Visa for Commercial Purpose, To Attend Conference by Private/Public Organization, Visit Relatives/Friends Invited by US Military Personnel, Visa for Spouse of a Japanese National, Official/Diplomat, Visa for house servant hired by Official/Diplomat, Visa for application with Certificate of Eligibility Issued in Japan, Visa for Transit, Visa for Medical Stay, NIKKEI-JIN (Japanese Descendants), Visa for Filipino Parents of Japanese-Filipino Children (JFC) who are traveling to Japan with the children, and Single-Entry Tourist Visa for Philippine Nationals Joining Package Tours Organized by Registered Travel Agencies.


For this guide, I will only be tackling about my experience when I applied for Japan Visa under the category of Visa for Tourism (No Guarantor).For the requirements of other visa types, please check out the Official Website of the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of the Philippines.

So here’s a detailed account on my successful application of Japan Tourist Visa under the category of Visa for Tourism (No Guarantor):
  • To start with, I checked the official website of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines specifically the Visa/Consular Services Page for any current announcements on visa-related matters;
  • I downloaded an application form here and printed it on an A4 size paper;
  • Next was that I examined the requirements for Visa for Tourism (No Guarantor);
  1. PHILIPPINE PASSPORT – Must be signed, not broken, and have at least two (2) blank visa pages,
  2. VISA APPLICATION FORM – A4 size, should fill out ALL items correctly, and all blank items should be filled with N/A (Not Applicable),
  3. PHOTO – 4.5cm.x4.5cm. on white background, must be taken within six (6) months, write applicant’s name and birthdate on back side, and must be glued on the application form (check out the photo specifications here),
  4. BIRTH CERTIFICATE – should be original, and issued within one year from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA),
  5. MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE (if married) - should be original, and issued within one year from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA),
  6. DAILY SCHEDULE IN JAPAN (you can download a sample itinerary here),
  7. BANK CERTIFICATE – original and submitted within three (3) months from the date of issue, AND
  8. INCOME TAX RETURN (Form 2316) – latest and clear photocopy.
  • There are certain tour agencies that are accredited by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines to receive and process the application on your behalf (check out the accredited agencies here). No fees will be collected by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines but agencies will be charging a handling fee ranging from P800 to P1,600 depending on the travel agency. For this reason, I consulted Reli Tours and Travel in Hotel Dusit Thani, Makati City because of its reputation for being efficient in the application process;
  • After completing all the required documents, I went directly to Reli Tours and Travel at Hotel Dusit Thani and presented my documents for screening. There was nothing wrong with my application so I paid P950 for the handling fee;
  • After two days, I was called back through text message informing that my passport is ready for release. They couldn’t divulge the result though;
  • I went back to Reli Tours and Travel and got back my passport with my approved Japan Tourist Visa attached to it.

Other important reminders;

  1. Flight and hotel bookings are not required specifically when you fill out the application form.
  2. Make sure that you have enough money in your bank account that will prove your capacity to fund your trip.
  3. Proof of strong ties with the Philippines can be established by providing your old passports that will show your travel history.
  4. As suggested by the agency, applicants should file their visa applications personally for smooth transaction. But if you are traveling with a group, one representative could file everything as long as an authorization letter from each applicant is provided.
  5. No appointment is needed for the application of the visa. But take note of the office hours of the agency you’re seeking.
  6. All original and photocopied documents that will be used on the application will not be given back to the applicant. You will also be leaving your original passport at the agency and you may also bring your old passports just to be sure that you have it when they ask you to present it.
  7. As advised, the processing time can be from two (2) to twenty one (21) days depending on the screening by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.
  8. Single-entry visa is valid for a stay no longer than fifteen (15) days and is valid for 90 days upon issuance. So make sure that your visit will not exceed fifteen (15) days if it will be your first application.
  9. Multiple-entry visa is usually valid for five (5) to ten (10) years depending on the approved visa. You are allowed to stay fifteen (15) or thirty (30) days per visit depending, again, on the permitted visa. 
  10. Should you wish to apply for a multiple-entry visa, you need to submit a form of reason with attached documents for qualification which you may download here.
  11. If you have a previous approved tourist visa from Japan, you still need to prepare the same documents as mentioned above except for birth certificate and (if there’s any) marriage certificate.
  12. Please do fill out the application form legibly and honestly with no erasures. I used block (all capital) letters in all of my responses. Don’t leave any item blank and put "NOT APPLICABLE" or "N/A" instead (this is very important). I’m meticulous when it comes to filling out any form. So just in case I would miss out on anything, I accomplished three sets of application forms and checked each set three times before going to the agency. Here are some of my specific responses on my application form.
  • Other names – If you’re a single Filipina then put “NOT APPLICABLE”. If you’re a married Filipina, then you have to put your maiden name on the space provided.
  • Former and/or other nationalities or citizenships – Just write “NOT APPLICABLE” if you are not a citizen of other country.  
  • ID no. issued to you by your government – Just write the number of any government-issued ID (ex. LTO, PRC, etc.).
  • Purpose of visit to Japan – I wrote “SIGHTSEEING”.
  • Port of entry into Japan – Write your intended port of entry. I wrote “NARITA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT”.
  • Guarantor or reference in Japan – If you have no guarantor just put “NOT APPLICABLE” on EACH item.
  • Inviter in Japan - If you have no guarantor just put “NOT APPLICABLE” on EACH item.
  • *Remarks/ Special circumstances, if any – I put “NOT APPLICABLE”.

It was my second visa application and it was a success. Applying for a Japan Tourist Visa in the Philippines is easy as long as you hall all the required documents and you should fill out the application form legibly and honestly. The key here is to prove your capacity to travel and the proof of strong ties in your country or lemme say an assurance that you have reasons to go back to the Philippines. Our 5-day trip was a success and I will share our Japan adventures on my next posts.


Reli Tours and Travel
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Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, 1300
Metro Manila, Philippines
Contact Number: (+63) 2.551.5710
Website
Office Hours: Mondays to Fridays (except holidays) | 8:30 am to 12:30 pm | 1:30 pm to 5:15 pm

Check here for discounted hotel rates in Japan





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