Is Japan in your travel list when COVID-19 is over? Good idea! Japan is beautiful anytime of the year! I am sure you’ll love strolling in Narra and Kyoto. Or perhaps enjoy bustling Tokyo and Osaka. Want a snowy adventure? Head to Sapporo for that white Christmas experience. Want beaches? Okinawa has it for you!
Here is the updated guide on how to get a Japan tourist visa
Japan Visa Requirements
- Passport – must have at least 2 blank pages, valid for the next 6 months, in good physical condition and must be signed. Don’t forget to sign your passport. Often times we forget signing it.
- Duly accomplished application form – your travel agent can provide you the updated version. You an also download here. Type written and hand written entries are both accepted. Make sure to answer all entries. Indicate N/A if not applicable.
- ID photo – get one from a professional studio. Just say “ID for Japan Visa” and they’ll be happy to assist you. Never use ID photo taken using your cell phone as it will be rejected.
- Birth certificate – it must be a PSA birth certificate and acquired not more than 12 months prior to visa application. Your PSA birth certificate has a date when it was issued. If late registration, submit the following as additional documents: baptismal certificate and school record Form 137 from high school or elementary. No need to submit a PSA birth certificate if you have been previously issued a visa. Submit passport with old visa instead.
- Marriage certificate – submit a PSA marriage certificate only if you are married. Otherwise, disregard this requirement
- Schedule of stay – your travel agent will do this for you. Or you can prepare your own itinerary using the form here
- Financial documents – original bank certificate from a major commercial bank issued not later than 3 months prior to visa application and up-to-date BIR Form 2316. If travel expenses will shouldered by someone else (because you are a student, un-employed, senior citizen) – say your parents, boss, relatives or a friend – submit notarized affidavit of support, guarantee letter and financial documents of your sponsor.
- Hotel reservation – do not confirm your hotel. Wait until your visa is approved
- Airline reservation – do not buy your air ticket if your visa is not yet approved
- If employed – submit certificate of employment and company ID, pay slip
- If self-employed – submit business documents such as DTI, Mayor’s Permit, BIR Registration
- Print everything in A4 size bond paper.
- Have everything photo-copied for your file. Your original bank certificate, PSA birth certificate, PSA marriage certificate will not be returned regardless you get a visa or not.
- Make sure you have XXX,XXX.XX amount in your bank to at least ensure the consul you can afford to travel
- You can not directly apply for a visa at the embassy. You must go through an accredited travel agent.
- Your professional travel agent can help you with the correctness of your documents. They will review properly your documents before submitting to the embassy.
- Appearance is basically appearing physically when submitting your documents to accredited travel agent.
Should you need a professional travel agent to assist you, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of June 2014
Filipinos are required to obtain Japan Visa prior to arrival in the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. Application for a Japan Visa can be lodged to any of their accredited travel agencies. Japan Visa is free, however service charge is being collected by their accredited agencies. Different agencies collect different rates.
The Embassy of Japan in Manila issues either a single entry visa or a multiple entry visa. Applicants need not specify this in their application documents. The Japan Embassy determines, based on the merit of the documents submitted, if you will be granted a single or multiple entry visa. Filipinos can stay for a maximum of 15 days in Japan per visit.
If you are being invited and the invitee will shoulder your expenses, here are the basic requirements to be submitted when applying for a Japan Visa.
1. Duly accomplished application form with correct photo size (The correct photo size is already available in your favorite Photo Center. Just say to them “ID picture for Japan Visa and they know already what to do) – download form here
2. Letter of Guarantee (this is the document that contains the details of the person who will spend for your trip) – download the form here
3. Letter of Reason for Invitation (this is the purpose of your travel to Japan) – download the form here
4. Schedule of Stay (This is your detailed daily itinerary. You need to specify in the form your flight details, hotel booking details and tour details) – down the form here
5. Overview of the Company/Organization in Japan (You need to properly provide details in the form) – download the form here
6. Flight ticket (reservation only)
7. Original and valid passport
8. Other documents as may be asked by the travel agency such as employment certificate, bank certificate (not passbook/ bank statement), company ID, BIR, NSO Birth Certificate etc.)
If your travel to Japan will be solely shouldered by yourself, here are the basic requirements to be submitted when applying for a Japan Visa. Note that other documents may still be asked.
1. Duly accomplished application form with correct photo size (The correct photo size is already available with your favorite Photo Center. Just say to them “ID picture for Japan Visa and they know already what to do) – download the form here
2. Schedule of Stay (This is your detailed daily itinerary. You need to specify in the form your flight details, hotel booking details and tour details) – down the form here
3. If you have a business, you need to provide your business documents such as DTI, LGU permit, BIR annual income tax return, etc.
4. If you are an employee, you need to provide your employment records such as Certificate of Employment, Leave of Absence, BIR Withholding tax, SSS/GSIS statement of contribution and such others as may be required
5. Bank Certificate
6. Flight ticket (reservation only)
7. Original and valid passport
8. Other documents as may be asked by the travel agency such as employment certificate, bank certificate (not passbook/ bank statement), company ID, BIR, NSO Birth Certificate, etc.)
You need to personally submit your application documents to the travel agency if you reside within Metro Manila or nearby provinces. If you are applying as a group (2 or more persons) and will travel together at the same time, the application maybe lodged by anyone in the group. Hence, personal appearance of all applicants is not required.
If you reside outside Metro Manila and far away provinces, such as those in Mindanao and the Visayas, you need not personally submit your application documents. The travel agency will accept application through courier (LBC, Air21, etc). However, you need to contact them prior to sending your documents.
Processing time is normally 5 working days. If you are granted a Japan Visa or not, you need to personally pick up your passport (or wait through courier if you submitted your documents through them). Only then will you learn if a Japan Visa has been issued to you.
The Japanese Embassy in Manila has already relaxed the requirements for Filipinos applying for Japan Visa. However, this does not mean that securing a Japan Visa will be as easy as you think it is.
I am not a Visa expert but the following are my tips when you intend to apply for a Japan Visa:
1. Make sure that your intent to travel to Japan is genuine – that is, you have to return to the Philippines on or before the expiration of your visa. Don’t apply for one if you intend to look for work or be a TNT.
2. Make sure you have traveled to other countries already. Don’t apply for a Japan Visa if it’s your first time traveling outside the Philippines. Exceptions apply for medication and family reasons (if your parent/relative resides in Japan and they invite you). A good travel history as shown in your passport is a good reason to be granted a Japan Visa.
3. Make sure you have a good amount of money as shown in your Bank Certificate. Note that standard of living in Japan is expensive. So how much is a good amount of money? There is no hard and fast rule. But I think you need to have at least 100,000.00 for 7 days. More amount for more days of stay.
4. Do not buy your ticket prior to applying for a visa (unless it’s a promo fare)
5. Do not finalize anything prior to visa application.
For more Japan Visa information, please check the Embassy of Japan in Manila.