December 10, 2015

How To Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa [LAST UPDATED: August 24, 2015]

Aside from the Backpacking Korea package tour, I also availed Travel Factor's Backpacking Japan.  A Philippine Passport holder needs a Japan visa in order to enter the country, but I had NO visa to begin with.  So, part of my checklist for preparing for that trip was to apply for one.

Applying for a Korean Visa vs. Applying for a Japan Visa

Based from my experience, the major difference between the two is that you cannot personally apply for a Japan visa.  It has to course through an accredited travel agency.  They will send the documents in your behalf, and you will have to claim the results from them as well.

Another difference is that, part of the requirements to applying for a Japan visa is a Daily Schedule ("TAIZAI NITTEIHYOU" in Romaji).  This is basically a formal itinerary of your planned trip to Japan.  This will be easy if you are availing a package tour, or perhaps a business trip, since the schedule will most definitely be provided.  However, if you are going there on your own or maybe to visit a friend, then perhaps you need to do a little more work researching on the places you need to go during your trip.

And since we're already on the topic of requirements, might as well proceed with it...

THE REQUIREMENTS
  1. Philippine Passport. Must be valid for at least six (6) months from the travel date and has at least two (2) blank pages.
  2. Visa Application Form.  Travel Factor emailed the form to us as part of their assistance in applying for the visa, but you may also download the PDF copy of the form here.
  3. Visa Application Photo.  There is a specific standard for these photos; the most basic of which is that the size of the photo should be 4.5 cm x 4.5cm.  Use a white background for this photo. (Update: A 2x2 ID photo is acceptable as well)
  4. NSO copy of Birth Certificate.  They will only accept copies that were requested within one year from the application.  For those who don't have time to apply for their birth certificates personally, you may order them online. (Update: For those with a previous Japanese Visa--regardless if from an old passport or not--this requirement is no longer needed)

  5. Date of Issue is encircled in red.

  6. Marriage contract (if married).  I don't need this requirement, but FYI you can also request for it online(Update: For those with a previous Japanese Visa--regardless if from an old passport or not--this requirement is no longer needed)
  7. Bank certificate original. I was advised that the appropriate balance in your account should be a minimum of 200,000 PhP.
  8. Income Tax Return certified true copy, if possible.  This is the BIR form 2316, filed on the year of your application.  You may have it certified by your company payroll officer, if you are employed.
  9. Daily Schedule in Japan (TAIZAI NITTEIHYOU). This was discussed in the previous section.  Ours was just a printout of what was sent to us via e-mail. (Update: A sample of the document can be downloaded here)
  10. Optional requirements are as follows:
    • Certificate of Employment. Include period of employment and salary.
    • Proof of Business Ties in the Philippines. Examples are Articles of Incorporation, DTI Registration, etc.
    • Other Proof of Financial Capability. Examples are Land Title/s, Vehicle Registration/s, Stock Certificate/s, etc.  I submitted certificates from various investment plans from PhilAm life.
    • Credit Card Billings
Rule of thumb: In applying for Japan visa, they are particular with your financial security as a visitor.  Whereas in applying for Korean visa, they are particular with how well-travelled you are.


WHERE TO APPLY
TF has chosen Reli Tours and Travel Agency as the accredited agency to apply in our behalf.  We applied at their SM Megamall branch, at the 5/F Building BSM Megamall is located at EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

TIPS AND TRICKS
(Update: A checklist for Japan Visa application, for tourists without a guarantor)

The visa application fee is 1,200 PhP.  This already includes the service fees required by Reli Tours. (Update: For tourists without a guarantor, the visa application fee has been reduced to 950 PhP. More information on the rates can be found here)

Make sure that you have complete and correct documents before submitting them.  This is a no-brainer, but just to emphasize the importance of this tip.  Reli Tours will not accept incomplete requirements, and if ever there are incorrect documents missed during the initial submission, the Japan embassy will request for them, which would take up more time.  Or worse, reject your application altogether.

It will take an average of seven (7) business days to process your application.  Reli Tours will submit your visa application to the Japan embassy on the next business day.  But if everything goes well, you can get your visa within two (2) business days.  We submitted our application on a Thursday morning, and received a call from Reli Tours on Monday of the following week.  Quite fast, eh?

As with the application for the South Korean visa, the contact number and address of the place you will be staying is important.  This is required in both the application form and the taizai nitteihyou.

Based on the duration of the trip, you may be given a validity of 30 days up to 90 days.  Since our trip will only be for six (6) days, I was only given the 30-day validity, with an allowable stay of up to 15 days in Japan.  Pretty shot, huh. (Update: Starting September 30, 2014 the Japanese Embassy has been granting multiple entry visas to tourists as well)

As we are applying though an accredited agency, I'm guessing that they allow proxy application.   They also allow proxy pick-up, as long as you representative has the receipt, an also a letter of authorization.

    So, that's about it.  Good luck!

    Additional Resources:

    7 comments:

    1. pwede po bang mapalitan yung sasakyan? Phil Airlines tapos palitan ko po ng Cebu pacific, pwede po ba yun?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi, kapag naipasa na 'yung application form, hindi na pwede palitan 'yung airlines sa application form. Pero kapag nabigyan na po kayo ng visa, pwede naman po kayo magpalit ng ticket mismo. Hindi naman po nakalagay sa visa kung anong dapat nyong sakyan na flight para sa trip nyo sa Japan. :)

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    2. elow po ask q lang po f anu dapat unahi magpabook ng flight o ung visa po? and panu po f unemployed wala po ung sa BIR? thanks po

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi, I recommend not booking a fligt until your visa application has been approve. You only need the flight number of your target airline, and this can easily be researched online.

        As for your BIR query, I suggest calling Reli Tours to inquire, maybe a different type of visa or alternative requirement will be given to you.

        Good luck!

        Delete
      2. Hi, I recommend not booking a fligt until your visa application has been approve. You only need the flight number of your target airline, and this can easily be researched online.

        As for your BIR query, I suggest calling Reli Tours to inquire, maybe a different type of visa or alternative requirement will be given to you.

        Good luck!

        Delete
    3. 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.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi, based on your profile I think you should apply for a visa with guarantor. I'm not sure if you have enough means to show financial stability to support your trip to Japan, but since you already know someone living in Japan, maybe he can vouch for your expenses.

        Best that you call Reli Tours to inquire about this so they can advise which is the best type of visa for you.

        Good luck!

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