Traveling to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hakone or anywhere in Japan has always been a dream of mine. Nowadays, flying to Japan is now more affordable with the rise of low-cost or budget airlines such as Cebu Pacific and Vanilla airlines. Aside from that, Japan has also relaxed their visa policies. So here are tips on how to apply for a Japan visa if you’re a Philippine passport holder, like myself.
Decide what kind of Visa you plan on getting
I personally applied for a tourist visa so I’m going to focus more on that in this entry. There are also other kinds of visas you can apply for, such as:
- Visa for Tourism
- Visa to visit friends/ distant relatives
- Visa for visiting relatives
- Visa for commercial purpose
- Visa to attend conference by Private or Public Organization
- Visa to visit relatives invited by US Military Personnel
- Visa to visit spouse of a Japanese National
- Visa for Spouse of a Japanese National
- Visa for an Official or Diplomat
- Visa for house servant hired
- Visa for application with Certificate of Eligibility Issued in Japan
- Visa for Transit
- Visa for Medical Stay
- Visa for Nikkei-Jin
- Visa for Filipino parent of Japanese-Filipino Children
- Single-entry tourist visa for Philippine Nationals joining Package Tours
- Multiple Entry Visa
Prepare your requirements:
- All documents must be original.
- Philippine passport
- Visa application form. This can be printed form the Embassy website, click here, or from any accredited agency. Fill up the form completely and truthfully. The embassy may not accept application forms with blank items, no signature or no date; and may deny the application if it was incorrectly filled out.
- Recent photo. The photo must be 4.5cm x 4.5cm, with white background taken at least 6 months from application date. Be sure to write your name and birthdate on the back of the photo.
- Birth certificate. It must be issued within 1 year from the Philippine Statistics Office.
- Marriage certificate (if applicable).
- Daily itinerary. The itinerary should cover your entire stay in Japan. It should show your daily activity plan and complete address of your accommodation. Sample itinerary.
- Bank certificate.
- Income Tax Return.
- If a guarantor will shoulder part or all of the applicant’s travel expenses:
Guarantee letter. Proof of relationship between applicant and guarantor (e.g. Birth Certificates etc.) Bank Certificate (original) and Income Tax Return (ITR Form 2316) (clear Photocopy) of Guarantor.
* Please use A4 size paper in printing your documents.
Apply from an accredited travel agency
In applying for a visa, personal appearance is not needed. All you have to do is submit your complete requirements to your nearest agency. In Cebu, there are 3 agencies located in the city. For my last trip to Tokyo, I used Friendship Tours & Resorts Corp in Oakridge Business Park in Mandaue City. We submitted our requirements, paid the fee and got our visas in about a week. There are some people who received their visas in less than 2 – 5 days if you applied during the start of the week, on the other hand give at least a week if you applied during the weekend since they don’t send out the forms during the weekend.
Discovery Tour，Inc. Door No.203-A1 2nd Flr.Northgate Center, Don Manuel Gotianuy Complex, Gov.Cuenco Ave., Banilad City, Cebu. Fee: 800 php.
Attic Tours Phils., Inc. Lobby,Waterfront Airport Hotel 1 Airport Road,
Lapu-lapu City, Mactan Island, Cebu. Fee: 1,500 php.
Friendship Tours and Resorts Corp. Unit 215A Business Center B, Oakridge Business Park, 880 A.S. Fortuna St., Banilad, Mandaue City. Fee: 1,200 php.
For a complete list of accredit agencies in your area, click here.
Make sure you have enough in your bank account.
You will need to provide a copy of your bank certificate and ITR. It’s best to have enough money, at least 100,000 php in your account should be enough. You should have had this amount at least 6 months to a year, a sudden and recent infusion of money in your account may raise a red flag.
Show proof that you will return to the Philippines after your stay in Japan.
This can be in a form of employment certificate, letter of leave of absence, an ITR, or travel history such as old passports.
Remember, submission of requirements does not guarantee approval of visa but so far I haven’t heard of someone getting denied, but to be in the safe side make sure you provide all the necessary documents needed.
Once you get your approved visa, you only get a 15-day single entry visa for first time visitor. On your second application for a visa, if you get lucky you may get the multiple entry visa.
Given the ease of applying for a Visa and the advantage of having it in your passport there is no reason not to plan a visit to the Land of the Rising Sun.
I think Spring and Autumn is a beautiful time to visit Kyoto and Osaka, you can experience Golden Week during Spring or you can enjoy the autumn foliage of yellow and red during Autumn.
Year-round however, Japan is a must visit. It has a mix of modern and traditional sites, amazing food, and for the kids at heart, different theme parks. So what are you waiting for? Visit Japan with your family or with friends or, if you dare, solo, and start exploring the wonders of Japan!