Last year, August 2014, I get to visit my dream country, Japan! Being a citizen of the Philippines, I am first required to get a Japan Tourist Visa first before setting foot in the Land of the Rising Sun. Imagine my fright when applying for a visa. I haven’t left the Philippines ever and Japan will be the first country I got to visit. I have no other approved visa applications in my Passport. Reading online articles on how to apply for a Japan visa didn’t help. Some are denied in their application with the reason not really stated.
I bought my ticket months before my flight (bought it sometime February. My flight was in August the same year. Positive thinking even without a visa. lol ) and didn’t submit my application until a week before. (I know. My bad. 😛 talk about procrastination) I did, however, began gathering requirements at least a month before. My flight was August 13 (Wednesday) and I only submitted my documents on August 6 (Wednesday a week before supposed flight), a tight window for the 7-10 working days for a Tourist visa. Long story short, due to some Luck and big favor from the Lord, I got my Japan visa in less than 7 days which is the average turnaround time for a Japan visa application. I would also want to think that my “chinita” eyes helped in getting favor from them (lol) but the biggest factor is having complete and valid requirements. If you want to avoid the stress of last minute changes, I suggest you process your visa at least 2-3 weeks prior.
Types of Visa
Visa for Tourism/Visit Friends or Distant Relatives
Visa for Visiting Relatives
Visit Relatives/Friends Invited by US Military Personnel (SOFA Status)
Visa for Commercial Purpose
To attend Conference by Private/Public Organization
Multiple Entry Visa
Visa for Spouse of a Japanese National (Temporary Visit)
There are different types of Japan Visa for different types of needs. Chose one that suits you the most. This blog post is dedicated for applying for Japan tourist visa without a guarantor.
- Current Valid Passport (Passport should be at valid for at least six(6) months. Philippine immigration officers wont allow you to leave the country if your passport will expire in less than 6 months)
- Application Form
- Application ID Photo
— Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background. Photo must be pasted on the application form.
- Birth Certificate
— Must be issued by NSO.
— I applied for mine online, paid via BDO and have it delivered to my office address. It costs 315PHP for one copy. Birth certificates usually costs 250PHP. The comfort of having not to go to a NSO office and wait in line for a long time is priceless. So the additional fee is worth it.
- Bank Certificate
— I have 4 bank accounts so I did not know which one to use. I decided to use the one with the biggest money. The bank certificate is a crucial part of your application because as we know, Japan is an expensive country. The amount of money in your bank certificate should contain enough money to cover for your entire trip.
- Income Tax Return
— Aside from this, I also submitted a Certificate of Employment. Mine included my position and annual income plus the seal and signature of the HR. It states that I am indeed an employee of my company and that my visa application and travel is out of my own pocket and not sponsored by the company.
- Sample Itinerary
— it should include the places you plan to visit per day plus your contact details and the hotel that you plan to stay at.
- Although not stated, I also included a photocopy of my ticket going to Japan and back to the Philippines. I want them to know that I have every intention to go back to the Philippines.
Basically, the requirements are proof that you have money to go to Japan and that you are not overstaying in their country after your visa is up.
WHERE SHOULD I SUBMIT MY REQUIREMENTS? SHOULD I GO STRAIGHT TO THE JAPAN EMBASSY?
– Filing of VISA should only be through accredited travel agencies. Japan Embassy do not accept walk-in applicants. Please see Accredited travel agencies for Japan visa for the list and contact number of each. I submitted mine through Reli Tours & Travel Agency and paid 12ooPHP They are located at the Mezannine Floor, Dusit Thani Hotel, Ayala Cnter, Makati City.
- Additional documents may be requested where necessary. Applicants are given three (3) months to submit additional requirements. Otherwise application will be terminated.
- Documents submitted for application will not be returned.
- When visa is not granted, the reasons of denial will not be disclosed. Applicants may apply again after six (6) month with the same purpose, unless there are emergency / humanitarian reasons, or application for different purpose.
- This is a single-entry visa. You should leave Japan in 15days or less.
Goodluck on your application!