How to get a Japanese Visa: A Step-By-Step Guide For Filipino Travelers
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As a seasoned traveler, I always find Japan very amusing because of its culture, amazing landscape, and unique cuisine – which some of you might agree with me that it’s also one of the best countries to visit in the world.
However, before visiting the land of the rising sun, make sure to have your passport and JAPAN VISA ready.
Now, if you’re planning to have a solo, couple or family trip to Japan, we’ve provided relevant and informative tips, so you can avoid stress, save time, and assure your visa approval!
First Step: Decide on what kind of Japan visa you need to apply for
You may submit required Visa application documents for several purposes of visit. Depending on your purpose of visit, the Japanese Embassy will examine your documents based on each purpose and a visa will be issued accordingly.
Find and gather the necessary Japan Visa Application requirements.
The second step in order to obtain a Japanese tourist Visa is to have the documents about your personal identity, nationality, and other data. These include a Philippine passport from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a complete filled-in visa application form which you can gather in travel websites, a 4.5cm x 4.5 cm ID picture, a birth certificate and/or marriage certificate in case, you are married, both from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a planned daily schedule or itinerary as a tourist, a list if you will be traveling as a group. Here are the additional details about the basic requirements for Japanese Visa Application:
Valid Philippine Passport
- Make sure your passport validity is not less than 6 months from your intended travel date.
- Your passport must have at least two blank pages available for the Japan Visa sticker and future immigration stamps.
- Also, make sure to attach your signature inside your passport.
- Passports with a broken lamination on its second page (Photo page) will be automatically rejected.
Fill out the Japan Visa Form
- Download the Japan Visa Application form in recommended A4 size (download link).
- Type in your personal details or write it down in CAPITALIZED letters
- If you decide to do it handwritten, avoid erasures and make sure all the information you provide are all accurate and true.
- Write N/A if the information asked is not applicable and avoid blank spaces.
- Here’s a sample Japan visa application form to guide you.
Advance Flight and Hotel booking are not required, just provide your preferred hotel in Japan and indicate the flight number which you can easily find by doing a flight search online. If you are looking for possible hotels to stay in Japan, visit Agoda for a wide range of accommodation options.
Japan Visa Photo ID Requirements
Japan Embassy requires a photo with 4.5cm x 4.5cm or 2 x 2 inches size with a white background. Most Photo Shops in the Malls already know the required format.
Here are some of the additional requirements, you can also view it here:
- The applicant is to appear alone and he or she must be facing forward.
- The photos must be taken no more than 6 months prior to submission.
- The photos must not be bordered and must conform to the size specifications.
- Photos in which the applicant is wearing headbands, caps, etc., will not be accepted.
- Photo’s with backgrounds that are not plain and white (free of objects, designs and shading) will not be accepted.
Authenticated Birth certificate from PSA
Submit an original copy of your authenticated NSO Birth Certificate. The NSO / PSA copy of your Birth Certificate whould be issued within one year. You can easily order online via PSA Helpline.
A copy of Birth Certificate is no longer required if you are previously approved as this is just a one-time requirement.
Marriage Certificate from PSA
If you’re married, you are required to submit an original NSO / PSA Marriage Certificate issued within a year from the date of your Japanese Visa processing. If you’ve already got a previous Japan visa during the course of your marriage, you can skip this requirement. Just provide the copy of your passport with the previous Japan Visa sticker on it.
Itinerary in Japan
The Japanese Embassy requires its Visa Applicants a copy of the traveler’s itinerary in Japan. You can easily make one by downloading the form in this link. If you hired a travel agent to do your Visa application, you can ask them to do this task for you.
We have several travel guides and things to do list in various Japan key destinations, you can also plan your itinerary by visiting these links: Things to do in Kanazawa / Exploring the historic villages of Shirakawa-go / Activities in Tokyo/ Best Places to visit in Japan / Osaka Travel Guide / Things to do in Kyoto.
One more thing is that you need to declare whether you will shoulder your own expenses or there will be a guarantor for your financial support.
If you will support your own, the requirements include:
- a photocopy of our Income Tax Return (ITR) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
- a bank statement or certificate from your depository bank for at least 3 months
- a certificate of employment though it is optional.
On the other hand, if there will be a sponsorship, requirements include:
- a letter of guarantee
- evidence of your relationship with the guarantor
- the guarantor’s bank statement and a photocopy of his ITR.
- All of these following documents must be printed and/or photocopied in A4 paper size.
The complete list of Japan Visa Application requirements guide is also listed here.
Find an accredited travel agency.
Since July 30, 2007, the tourist visa applications in the Japanese Embassy in Manila are now processed through travel agencies accredited and approved by them. Direct applicants for their consular offices in Cebu and Davao are still accepted with the following valid reasons listed on the Embassy of Japan website. The official list of these accredited travel agencies is also enumerated in their website.
The complete guide for Visa Application through Philippine Accredited Travel Agencies are listed here.
VISA APPLICATION THROUGH ACCREDITED AGENCIES
Bring and give your prepared documents.
After checking and assessing all the required personal documents, the next step will be to submit everything to your chosen travel agency. The earlier time prior to your planned date of vacation is always better for the long queue and congestion may happen particularly on the holiday season.
Payment of the transaction fees.
Travel agency fees may arise from Php 800 and above which vary. The visa application itself has no charge but since the agency’s business is to process and move for your papers and for your own convenience, then truly there shall be for their existence.
Stay calm and wait for your approved Japanese visa.
Normally, the processing of the Japanese visa may take about 3-5 working days or even up to a week. For others, the time may extend even in weeks. The differences include the peak season of applications and some, the incomplete documents and errors of their papers.
Be confident and focused on the travel preparations or perhaps start creating your complete Japan trip itinerary. Your Passport with an approved Japanese visa can be received through the mail or you may get it at your travel agency’s office, depending on your agreement or package inclusion.
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