Complete Guide: Japan Tourist Visa Application for Philippine Passport Holders
Japan is truly a wonderful place and a must-see travel destination. A 4-hour flight from The Philippines, their country has a lot to offer from the shopping districts of Tokyo to the heritage sites of Kyoto. You need more than a week if you want to explore and see the most beautiful places in Japan. But first, if you are a Philippine passport holder, you need to secure a Japan tourist visa in order to go there. In my case, I have been granted a China Visa and South Korean Visa before we planned our trip to Japan. Hence, it was easier for me to arrange my documents compared to the previous ones since the requirements are pretty much similar to each other.
Let me share how I processed mine with the help of a travel agency.
- Prepare all the required documents (First Time Applicants with No Guarantor)
- Passport – Must be valid and in a good condition. Broken passport is not accepted. Passports must be signed and must have at least two (2) blank visa pages
- Visa Application Form – Application form should be filled out all items correctly, If item is not applicable, please fill in [N/A]. Download it here. You may check the sample application here.
- Photo – 4.5cm x 4.5cm, with white background and must be taken within 6 months. Paste it on the application form with your name and birth date on back side of the photo. Or you can simply tell the photo studio that you need a photo for your Japan Visa Application.
- Birth Certificate – Original and NSO issued birth certificate. It must be issued within one year. You can request for a copy online at NSO’s official website and have it delivered to you within 2-7 working days.
- Marriage Certificate (if the applicant is married) – It must be issued within one year.
- Daily Schedule in Japan (Tazai Yoteihyo) – You can download the form on their website or you can create your own format for your travel itinerary.
- Bank Certificate – Validity of Bank Certificate is three (3) month from the date of issue. This will show the average total amount in your bank account for the past three months. It is different from a bank statement where all of your transactions will show. Just go to your bank and tell them that you need a bank certificate for your Japan Visa Application. Fee is about 50 to 100 php. In BDO, processing time is one day only.
- Income Tax Return (Form 2316) clear Photocopy (latest) – You will get it from your current employer. If you don’t have any, you can write a letter of explanation stating why you cannot provide it.
- Choose an accredited travel agency – I got my Japan Visa through the help of Reli Tours and Travel Agency. You can check their website for the list of requirements, their local branches, and available tours (if you want to avail one). Click here for the official list of other accredited agencies where you can process your Japan Visa.
- Submit your complete documents to your agency – Upon inquiring, they will also give you a list of documents that you need to submit depending on your type of visa. When you’re done preparing all the paper works, go back to their office and hand them over. Pay the fee and wait for the result while they process your application up to 7 days. You may get your passport back at an earlier time depending on your agency. I paid 950 php for their service.
- Claim your passport – I was really nervous when I was about to claim mine. Although I have been granted a China Visa and South Korean Visa before, it is still my first time getting a Japan Visa. Fortunately, it is now easier to get one since Japan has relaxed its visa policies for Filipinos. After waiting for several days, I finally got my passport with a Japan Visa on it!
I was granted a Single Entry Visa with 3 months validity and I can stay up to 15 days in Japan. Not bad for my first try! Some people said they got a multiple entry on their first application. There are also promotions offered by certain banks (BDO/BPI) wherein they will assist you in getting a multiple entry privilege to Japan if you have a Gold Credit Card under their company. Go ahead and check their website for details.
- How much money do I have to put inside my bank account? The amount inside your bank account should be enough to cover the expenses depending on your itinerary and the duration of your trip. For example, you will only stay there for 4 days and you have around 50k php in your savings, that will be sufficient to finance your trip and you will still have enough savings left in your account. But if you are planning to go there for 2 weeks, then you need more money in your bank to show the embassy. The cost of living in Japan is high, that’s why they need to see a proof that you can support your travel needs.
- What if I don’t have an ITR? As I have mentioned earlier, you can submit a letter of explanation on why you don’t have one. Be honest and make your letter direct to the point. I don’t have an ITR when I applied, but I was still granted a Japan Visa.
- Do I need to book my plane tickets and accommodations before my application? It’s up to you. But we usually book our tickets during seat sale. That’s why when I applied for the Japan Visa, I already have my round trip tickets. I submitted my plane tickets and hotel voucher to the agency even if it’s not part of the required documents. Not sure if it was a big help, but it wouldn’t hurt to add some supporting documents, right?
- Do passport stamps play a big role in getting a visa? Not sure about this one. I do have a lot of stamps because of my previous trips in other countries so I insisted to submit my old passport too. The staff from the agency told me that is has no bearing. But I personally think that it’s going to give you a higher chance of getting approved. Because it’s a proof that you are always returning back to your country once you’re done traveling.
There you go. Create your own checklist and make sure you didn’t forget a single thing! If you have more questions about this topic, feel free to comment below. Good luck!
*This guide is for Filipinos who are applying for a Japan Tourist Visa for the first time. For other types of visa and sample forms, you may visit here.