29 June 2015

Is it really easy to apply for a Japan Visa?

I got my Japan Visa approved in 7 days but I have to say the preparation was not that easy. Apart from the basic requirements I submitted, the Embassy of Japan still asked for more documents. I thought I had no more chance but luckily, they granted me a temporary pass for 15 days valid for 3 months. Read more to know how I did it.

Please note that this post is intended for Filipinos who would like to travel in Japan as Tourist with NO guarantor/inviter.

Unlike other visa applications, the Embassy of Japan doesn’t necessarily require personal interview. Hence, the consul will merely judge you based on your submitted legal documents. In the Philippines, application for Japan Visa will only be processed through accredited agencies (You may visit www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp for the list of accredited agencies). For my application, I processed it through Reli Travel and Tours Agency (MOA Branch).

Basic Requirements:

1. Philippine Passport
 - Valid for at least six (6) months
 - Have at least two (2) blank pages
 - Contact information in case of emergency must be filled in at the back of the passport
 - Must have a signature
 - Broken lamination of the photo part will not be accepted

2. Visa Application Form
 - Available at www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp or through accredited agencies
 - Must be clear and neatly filled out with no erasures
 - Put N/A for sections that are not applicable

    3. Photo
     - Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background
     - Photo must be pasted on the application form

      4. Birth Certificate
       - Must be from NSO (National Statistics Office)
       - Issued within the year of visa application

        5. Daily Schedule in Japan (Taizai Nitteihyo)
         - Make it short and simple. 

        Here's my 6-day schedule of activities in Japan

        6. Bank Certificate
         - Original copy and issued within the week of application
         - This will be thoroughly discussed below.

        Sample of a Bank Certificate

        7. Latest Income Tax Return (Form 2316)
         - Original copy and photocopy

        8. Processing Fee
         - Only PHP 950 if processed through Reli Travel & Tours Agency (MOA Branch)
         - Processing will take 5 to 10 business days
         - It is advised to process the visa application at least one (1) month prior to your flight
         - Submission of documents to the Embassy of Japan is only in the morning so if you have submitted the requirements in the afternoon, it will be processed the next day

        Supporting Documents:
        (These are not required but only additional documents to prove that your intention of going to Japan is for travel only and that you will surely go back in the Philippines.)

        * Certificate of Employment
        * Round trip tickets
        * Hotel Booking Vouchers
        Approved Leaves with signature and contact information of your direct manager/HR

        About the Bank Certificate

        You must know that Bank Certificate is not a Bank Statement. This can not be downloaded through online banking and the only way to have it is to personally request it from your bank. Some banks can provide it to you within the day while some require two (2) business days. Normally, the bank charges PHP 100 from your account to process the certificate. Also note, Credit Card Statement or Certificate is not acceptable.

        For Metrobank and Security Bank, you can only process it from the branch where you have opened your account.

        When I thought of travelling to Japan, the first question I had in mind was “can I afford it?” As we know, Japan has two of the most expensive cities around the world, Tokyo and Osaka. Therefore, one's financial capacity is definitely the most important factor to be considered before the Embassy of Japan approves a Visa.

        There is no exact amount of money required on the bank certificate but it has to be substantially enough to support the number of days you intend to stay in Japan. I think what the consul will normally consider are the kind of activities you want to have and which city you would be visiting. So if you're planning a 1-week trip in Osaka, I think it's safe to have at least 75,000 on your account. 

        Regarding the date account opened and average daily cash balance, I am not actually sure if it matters. What I only know is that your account must be active for at least 6 months.

        Embassy asked for additional documents

        After submitting the basic requirements, expect a text message or an e-mail from the agency within 5 to 10 business days. It's either your passport is ready for pick up or the Embassy of Japan requires you an additional documents. For questions, they prefer you to call the agency or personally go to their office rather than replying on text or e-mail.

        In my case, I was asked to submit additional documents. The Embassy of Japan was seeking for another bank certificate from other bank. I am not sure why they were asking for it and the agency could not answer it too. But they say it could be either for further verification or the amount of money I have on my account was not enough. That time I thought my chances were hanging on a thin thread and I was about to lose a grip of it. :-/

        What I initially provided was my Metrobank Bank Certificate with less than 6 digits on my account. I have other active bank accounts in BPI and Security Bank but both have less than PHP 30,000 in total. But still I submitted the bank certificates from those banks regardless of the amount. Luckily after 2 days of anxiously waiting, I got my visa approved. :-D

        Anyway, some applicants were not asked to submit other bank certificate as additional documents. Instead they were required to present their Transcript of Record or Certificate of Baptismal. This normally happens if the birth certificate is unreadable or "Late Registration".

        What if the Visa got denied?

        When your passport is ready for release, the agency will not inform you through text if your visa application is approved or denied. You will only know it when you pick up your passport personally. If it's approved, you will see a white sticker with bar codes at the back of your passport but if you see a red sticker, it means your visa got denied. There will be no stamp of the word "DENIED" on the passport but the embassy will simply mark a code at one of its pages.

        The reason for not approving your visa will not be disclosed. But according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan's website (www.mofa.go.jp), the following are the possible cases:

        If you wish to reapply for the same purpose, you have to wait for at least six months.

        Relaxation of Visa Requirements:

        Piece of advice for applicants

        Don't worry too much. As long as your intention is to travel only and you have the legal documents to support it, there's no reason for them to deny your visa. Japanese are known for being disciplined but they are very kind people too. I'm sure they wont just deny your visa without any legal basis. 

        Arigato Gozaimasu! Thank you for reading this post. I hope I was able to help you. See you soon in Japan! :-)

        For further questions and inquiries, you may visit the website of Embassy of Japan for Filipinos at www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp. You may also call or visit any of their accredited agencies. 


        1. very informative!

        2. Wow, extremely scrupulous post on the process of arranging Japan visa! thanks a million for describing every step meticulously! I hope you've had a great time there!

        3. Hello,

          I got a question. :) In your schedule of stay, you have two hotels to stay in. Did you write both of them in your application form or just the first one? We're staying in 3 hotels and the space is lacking for all three addresses.

          Thanks for the very informative post!

        4. I was looking for such information! Now I knew everything about this topic, for more detail, use www.proofreading-services.org. You helped me a lot!

        5. Hii there. Thank you so much for this post.

          I have a few questions though, since I'm extremely anxious about getting my visa approved.

          Here is my profile:
          - First time traveler, will be travelling with my boyfriend (whose dad is in Tokyo) in Feb 2017 for five days (19-25). Tokyo lang.
          - Already booked plane tickets and hotel accommodation.
          - Fresh graduate, almost 3 months employed, asked our company accountant when they can release the ITR, she said late January. Asked my colleague (who is also going to Japan, same flight) when they released last year's ITR, December 2015 daw.
          - Bank Certificate, work in progress pa lang. Target amount: 50-60k.

          I'm super nervous kasi first time ko lang mag travel out of the country but I've seen bloggers saying that their visa has been approved regardless of their travel history. Really nervous about the ITR as well. I feel like the ITR is a huge basis. Hope guys can give me tips kasi this is really taking its toll on me, sobrang kinakabahan ako and I really want to visit Japan to witness the architecture and cityscapes, take photographs and of course experience their rich culture.

          Thank youu!

          1. Hi Katrina! How was your application? Was it approved? :)

          2. Thanks for reading my blog. You don't need to worry that much. Just make sure you will submit all the required documents and you have enough balance in your bank statement to cover all your planned activities in Japan. All my friends who applied for visa got approved regardless of their travel history. You just have to give all the documents that will prove that your intention is just plainly to travel. :-)

          3. Hello hows tokyo?

          4. I'm also worried about my visa application. It's my first time entry. They say that for first time entry, they only issue visa valid for 15 days. But may travel period is from December 22, 2018 - January 7, 2019, which is 17 days. I;m so worried. :(

        6. Hi! I'm planning to go on a tour to Japan with my boyfriend this coming January. Im still a student and I'm planning to have my sister as my sponsor. What requirements should I pass to make that happen?

        7. Hi! I'm planning to go on a tour to Japan with my boyfriend this coming January. Im still a student and I'm planning to have my sister as my sponsor. What requirements should I pass to make that happen?

        8. I have faced many problems for Japan visa due to inappropriate passport photos, that's why I would like to recommend Paspic for online passport photos. These people guarantee 99% approval rate of passport photos.

          1. Yes! Passport photos this year are very terrible looking! How about your visa? Approved or denied?

        9. Hi JM, i'm curious about 75,000. is this in PHP?

        10. Hi! I'm planning to bring my mom to Japan this coming February. She does not have an ITR and she is already a senior citizen. Do I have to present other documents, aside from the bank certificate, to support her visa application?

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        12. We were planning to go to japan before. But unfortunately, wala kaming ITR, which is sobrang importante sa pagkuha ng visa. So wala ata talaga kaming chance na makavisit dun. Or kung meron man,probably 10% lang makapasa. ��

          1. Hi I have same experience like yours, I don't have an ITR coz i just moved a new company this year. But still got my Japan visa. You just need to provide a letter explaining why you can not provide an ITR. To support my letter I attached a COE and a Payroll register stating my Tax contribution and other government contributions.

            Hope this helps you :)

          2. Hi. Thank you for the reply. :)

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