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:
- Passport (should be 6 months valid)
- Visa Application form. Here is a guide on how to answer the form.
- Photo (4.5cm x 4.5 cm; white background)
- Birth certificate (issued not more than a year)
- Marriage contract (if married; issued not more than a year)
- Daily Schedule in Japan (Planned Itinerary)
I can send the itinerary I used. Just comment your email address 🙂 I have a 6 day itinerary and a 10 day itinerary. Just comment which one you need 😀PS. Both of these itineraries cover Tokyo – Kyoto – Nara. If you want an itinerary for any prefecture not mentioned, I cannot help you on that 😦
- Bank Certificate
Applied as a student so I provided my father’s documents, 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.
- Reli Tours & Travel Agency (Visa Fee: 950 Php)
- Attic Tours Phils (Visa Fee: 1500 + 12% VAT)
- Friendship Tours & Resorts Corporation ( Visa Fee: 1200 Php)
- 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 granted 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 for 90 days, so make sure that once you get your visa released, it will cover your intended stay. You can apply 3 months at most 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 🙂 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. BUT PLEASE DO NOT CRAM YOUR APPLICATION 🙂
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 “i 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. (In my opinion only hihi)
– PS. 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. 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 🙂
6) Do I have to personally submit my application?
– 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 🙂