Japan · Visa

How I Got my Japanese Visa (Tips and FAQ)

Are you here because you want a visa so you can visit Japan and see the cherry blossoms? Or do you want to try authentic Japanese food and see for yourself if it is indeed true that sushi there melts in your mouth? Or are you perhaps an anime or manga lover and wanted to see how Japan looks like?

Well you are definitely in the right page if you are trying to find an answer on how to apply for a Japanese visa, and since I’m pretty sure a lot of people will be applying for a visa in the next few weeks just in time for the cherry blossom festival, here are the steps to follow:

First, you need to prepare these documents:

  1. Passport (should be 6 months valid)
  2. Visa Application form. Here is a guide on how to answer the form.
  3. Photo (4.5cm x 4.5 cm; white background)
  4. Birth certificate (issued not more than a year)
  5. Marriage contract (if married; issued not more than a year)
  6. Daily Schedule in Japan (Planned Itinerary)
    I can send the itinerary I used. Just comment your email addressΒ πŸ™‚Β I have a 6 day itinerary and a 10 day itinerary. Just comment which one you need πŸ˜€PS. Both of these itineraries cover Tokyo – Kyoto – Nara.Β If you want an itinerary for any prefecture not mentioned, I cannot help you on that 😦
  7. Bank Certificate
  8. ITR

Applied as a student so I provided my father’s documents,Β plus added these documents:

  • Certificate of Enrollment from my college
  • Copy of School ID
  • Notarized Affidavit of support stating my father will shoulder the expenses incurred in the trip
  • Round trip tickets (optional)

Second, choose from these accredited agencies because you cannot go directly at the embassy to lodge your application.

  1. Reli Tours & Travel Agency (Visa Fee: 950 Php)
  2. Attic Tours Phils (Visa Fee: 1500 + 12% VAT)
  3. Friendship Tours & Resorts Corporation ( Visa Fee: 1200 Php)
  4. Discovery Tour (Visa Fee: 800 Php)

There are a total of 15 accredited travel agencies but I did not include the other 11 in the list because some of the “official” website are not working while other agencies do not have a “Japanese visa” section in their site. But if you want to check out the complete list, click this.

I applied twice through Friendship Tours. They are currently located at Dusit Thani Hotel. Chose this travel agency because of the good reviews I read from a forum plus the hotel is very accessible from MRT Ayala Station.

What I like about them is that the whole application took less than 3 days, called me informing my passport is ready for pick up and told me through phone call that my visa was grantedΒ as oppose to other travel agencies.

I got a multiple entry visa during my second try. Did not really expect it since I do not qualify and did not pass a letter requesting multiple entry so thank you so much Japanese Embassy hehe.

Anyway here are the Frequently Asked Questions (I mostly copied from my How I Got my South Korean visa entry)

1) When can I apply for a visa?

– Once visa is approved, it will be valid forΒ 90 days, so make sure that once you get your visa released, it will cover your intended stay. You can apply 3 months at mostΒ before your travel date. For example if you plan to leave on May, earliest month to apply is February. You cannot apply on January because if the visa is approved, it will only be valid until April. So remember, 3 MONTHS AT MOST πŸ™‚ If you plan to cram lol safest latest date would be a month before your travel date. Why do I say safest? What if you passed the wrong document and you have to get the correct one? Most documents needed in visa applications take time to be released. A month before the trip will give you ample time to get the correct documents. BUTΒ PLEASE DO NOT CRAM YOUR APPLICATION πŸ™‚Β 

2) How much money does my bank account need to have in order for my application to be approved?

– Scout the internet and most of the people will tell you β€œi don’t know”. Which is true. Just make sure that you have enough to cover your trip and there would still be enough money left after your trip. The safest would be more than 150,000 php (for a 10 day trip) while 50k plus if you want to stay for at least 4 days.Β (In my opinion only hihi)

– PS.Β Make sure that what you earn will reflect in your savings account. For example, if your salary is around 20k and you are working for about a year, it would not make any sense if you have 500k in your bank account.

3) What if i’m an OFW, I do not have an ITR.

– My dad is an OFW and we were able to get a BIR tax exemption.Β As far as I know, you need a barangay clearance for this and proceed to the BIR office that covers your barangay.

4) What if I own a business. What documents do I need to pass?

– You need to pass your business registration as well as the Mayor’s permit.

5) Do I need to book a flight and reserve a hotel before I can apply for a visa?

– No. You can apply for a visa without these. These will not be asked πŸ™‚

6) Do I have to personally submit my application?

–Β It depends on the travel agency. In the case of Friendship Tours, they require the person to personally submit his/her document. I am not sure if this is the case for a family application, since this is only based on my observation during the times I applied with a friend.

In the case of releasing of the passport, you can ask someone to claim the passport for you but you have to provide an affidavit stating she/he can claim the passport plus a scanned copy of your valid ID.

I hope this blog post was able to answer and help anyone who is preparing and thinking of applying for a Japanese visa. Just remember to be honest and have a complete set of documents. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and I will try my very best to answer them πŸ™‚


212 thoughts on “How I Got my Japanese Visa (Tips and FAQ)

  1. Hi, we intend to apply for tourist visa without a guarantor, but since my friend’s brother owns a house in Japan, we decided that we should stay there for free. We’ll be shouldering all of our travel expenses, so i think it’s not much of an issue. But I’m worrying about the itinerary. Is it okay if we’re going to list down his address, and contact number for our place to stay/contact details? Or we can just get a hotel address in the vicinity and place it in our itinerary?

  2. Hi!

    I already have a roundtrip ticket to Japan. (Sept. 29-Oct. 9). I’ll be going with my cousin and her husband. I am so nervous because I still don’t have a Japanese Visa (and the thought that I might get denied).

    I only have P50,000 in my bank account. However, I have a 2015 and 2016 ITR (would this increase the chance of getting my visa approved?) Currently, I help manage our family business. Do you think I could provide a COE using the business owned by my father?

    Sorry for the annoying questions. Hoping for your response. πŸ™‚

    btw, love your blog! It’s so detailed. Kindly send me your 10 day itirenary please – diannepulido@gmail.com πŸ™‚

  3. Hello, I have a quick question. I’ve visited the Japanese embassy website a lot of times and dun sa section where in Tourist visa lang ang type of visa na kukunin ko, necessary ba talaga ung Invitation Letter ng Guarantor? (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/visiting/new%20visa/tourism.htm)? Kasi the other items require documents from the guarantor, wala kasing note na if may guarantor lang. Hehehe. Kumbaga 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 10 lang massubmit ko. Ok lang po ba un? πŸ™‚ Thank you!!

  4. Hi,

    > My flight will be on January 15-22, 2017 (8 days ang trip). Can I apply on October 24 onward? πŸ™‚

    > I have my COE, ITR for the year 2015, I’m a Production Manager at Universal Robina Corporation for 4 years and 8 months.

    > 120k-150k ang bank account ko.

    Mabigyan na ako ng Visa nuh?

  5. Hi,

    I would like to ask if pano kaya kapag hindi enroll this sem 😒 Walako cert of enrollment . Still student palang ako , Planning to apply tourist visa for japan, kasama ko magTravel tito ko with support of parents , hope you reply Thankyou

  6. Hi, i would like to ask pwede kaya maging guarantor ang tita? sister ng dad ko ayun kasi magiging kasama ko magtravel πŸ˜… Thanks

  7. Hi!

    Thanks for all the tips!

    Can you please send me your 6 and 10 day itenitary? I am interested in visiting cities too.


  8. hi,
    gusto ko lang itanung kase un linagay ko na number of intended days sa japan is 4 days, where in fact i plan on staying for 10-13 days. i applied for a tourist visa . Kase nung nagpasa ako sa reli travel and tours, i only presented 80k , the guy think it’s too small considering i still dont have book flights so he told me to just put 4 days . i applied oct 2016, but i plan to go by dec 24, so i have time enough to save more money. . so u think if ever ma -approve ako, u think haharangin ako sa japan immigration , kase i would still go for 10-13 days , not the for 4 days? Nabobother lang kase ako .alam ko standard is 15 days wag lang lalagpas. . about dun sa hotel, ill be going with my friends and we will be splitting the cost

    thank you!

    1. Tama yung sinabi ng tiga reli na maliit ang 80k for 10-13 days.

      Hindi ka naman haharangin sa immigration basta hindi ka magoverstay ng more than 15 days.

      IO lang naman ng Pinas ang nagchecheck (although not all the time) ng plane tickets and hotels.

  9. hello. My Aunt is asking me to ask Frienship (travel agency) on how to fill up Invitation and Guarantee letter as she do not want to make mistakes or erasure when fill up-ing the forms. However the person whom I talked to cannot really give me an idea so he told me to call/go to Japanese embassy instead. I will accompany my 83yr old grandma (her mom) which is btw not her first time, alam ko pang 3rd time na, however her vision is really poor already so this time she needed someone to accompany her but other than that malakas pa naman siya. And, as of me, it will be my first time to travel and applied for a tourist visa and My aunt will be my guarantor. Aunt is confused if she will fill up separate forms for me and lola or 1 lang ang need? there is a note on the bottom of the form but ayaw niyang magkamali since the requirements will be coming from Japan and she only have a one rest day in a week so mahirap if may mali or kulang sa papadala requirements. I hope you can help me out on this and am sorry for the long explaination. 😁 thank you so much in advance. πŸ’•

  10. Hi. How much money do you think I should have in my bank acct. if Im planning to fund a trip of two persons who are unemployed. Btw I’m an ofw and I’ve read your comment about the requirements i.e ITR exemptions , COE,Bank statement and Affidavit of suport.Thanks.

  11. Hi! My family and I intend to visit Osaka this December, ask ko lang po sana for clarification

    If student, enough na po ba to present yung reg form/photocopied reg form or need pa humingi ng certificate of enrollment? (Or same na po ba yun hehe)

    And if wala pong inviter, no need na po to fill up that part po or N/A po yung lalagay? Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  12. Hi po! πŸ™‚

    I have an inquiry lang po, my family and I are planning po to go to Osaka this December, and ask ko lang po sana

    If student, same na po ba yung registration form with certificate of enrollment or need pa po humingi sa school? πŸ™‚

    If wala pong inviter, no need to fill up that part na po ba or need sagutan ng N/A? Thank you po πŸ™‚

  13. Hi! Ask ko lang kasi nag apply na aq one’s sa UHI for tourist visa suddenly it’s denied,pwedi pba ako mag apply sa ibang accredited agencies? Worried lang aq kasi nka booked na kame nang flight at hotel at non refunded pa. Next month na travel namin pero denied ung pag apply q sa UHI. Pwedi paba aq mag apply sa ibang agencies? Please help me. Salamat.

  14. Hi ask Lang po andito ko sa russia, plan ko po Punta ng Japan by January,ofw ako dito, okey Lang ba na iPasa ko old bc and Mc ko though hiwalay ako Sa Japanese husband ko,napunta na ako ng Japan before pero working visa
    Ano pa po need na req,ako lang po kc mag ayus ng application ko and limited time Lang so d pd mgkasakit
    Tnx po sa help
    Pls email po Nbhuk@yahoo.com
    Salamat ng madami

  15. Hello. I would like to ask kasi ung best friend ko OFW sya gusto nya ulit pumunta dto sa japan this dec. 12-24 , ask ko lang kung pano ung gnwa ng dad mo nung nagpasa sya ng visa application nya? Ano ano po ung mga pinasa nya saka humingi pa ba ng additional documents si embassy? Thank you very much in advance. πŸ™‚

  16. Hi,
    I just want to know if ok lang ba magfile na ng Japan visa application kung kakakuha ko lang ng bank cert today. Plan ko kasi magpunta na this coming friday. Also can you send to me your 5 days itinerary for Osaka. Thanks a bunch!

  17. Submitted all of my requirements last wednesday.
    Bank account was less than 100k. I was advised to add some more “para sure” . I begged off since ayaw ko nman mag hiram na ng money. and adding up more makes it more suspicious.

    I have my ITr and Coe to support the financial requirements.

    My itinerary trip lasts for 5 days only. Actually -1 na since arrival ko in Osaka will be at 12 midnight.

    I will be travelling alone. Gusto ko lang tlaga ma enjoy ang vacation ko and ma experience Japan. But travelling alone makes the consuls more suspicious daw. Sana wag ma deny. Probably that will be my first and last time to apply for a Japan visa.

  18. Hi, I hope you can help me since I have the same situation like you..

    you said

    “My dad is an OFW and we were able to get a BIR tax exemption. As far as I know, you need a barangay clearance for this and proceed to the BIR office that covers your barangay.”

    I’m kinda confused, is it my dad who’s gonna get the barangay clearance? or is it me? I know they are exempted with BIR tax so what will I get from BIR office, is it a certificate? What did you do exactly? I hope you can help me I really wanted to go to Japan. Thank you so much! God bless πŸ™‚

  19. Hi, I just want to ask. My mom and I are planning to apply for a visa and its our first time traveling overseas so wala pang stamp yung passport namin. Pwede bang mag-apply kahit wala pang stamp yung passport? We are confident with our financial capacity naman and my mom is a government employee. Thank you:)

  20. Hello, i already have a return ticket MNL-Osaka april 25 (2017) then Tokyo(Narita) – MNL April 8

    I have my NSO, Freshly renewed passport ready.
    i have a guarantor who will send me all the documents:

    1. Invitation letter

    (Use Nihongo as language)
    (Signature must be hand written)

    2. Guarantee Letter

    (Use Nihongo as language)
    (Signature must be hand written)

    3. Residence Certificate (Juminhyo) (issued within 3 months)

    4. Family Registration (Koseki Tohon) (issued within 3 months)

    5. Income Certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho) From City Hall

    6. Tax return Certificate (Nouzeishomeisho) From Tax Office

    7. Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae or Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shomeisho)

    What other things should i consider? by the way, i am an online english tutor and the one i am going to visit is a student of mine. i just renewed my passport this year and i got a unified id (UMID) just this year too. do you think im missing out on something? Im also planning on going to Reli Tours and Travels at SM Megamall for the processing. thank you in advance for your help.. My fear is the cost of the ticket if i get denied T_T

    1. I forgot to ask when should i make my student send her documents to me, and when should i apply for the visa.. thank you very much.. you are helping a lot of people :’D

      1. If april ang travel date mo… you can apply as early as jan hehe so okay na din asap kahit before march ka pa magapply πŸ™‚

    2. Hmmmm follow mo lang lahat ng docs na stated sa site ng embassy. Dont really have an idea on this since ive never applied with a guarantor. Goodluck!! πŸ™‚

  21. hi! what if we will stay in a friends house in japan (we will apply for a no guarantor since madami masyado requirements) ok lng ba na hotel ang nsa itinerary?

    also, can you please send me itenary for 5 to 6 days, zhayuri@gmail.com, tnx a lot

  22. Thank you for this info. Didn’t know that visa is valid up to 90 days only. I was about to lodge my docs for a planned trip on June. 😊Kindly send me your 5 day itinerary trip to Tokyo Osaka. Thank you.

  23. Hi I’m planning to go to Japan this April and like you did, I’m planning to apply as a student and my mom is an OFW as well. Do I really need to get a BIR tax exemption for the ITR? Thanks.

      1. Hello again, may I know what are the other docs my mom needs to provide as an OFW to support me aside from the BIR tax exemption?

  24. hi..can u send me a sample of 5 days Tokyo Iterinary…
    can you adviced me too if how much do I need in my bank cert.

    Thank You

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