I'm one of those Filipinos who dream of seeing Japan someday. Months ago, when there were news about the Japan government has removed visa for Philippine - passport holders, I rejoiced silently only to find out it was a hoax story. A very good friend of mine - Ms Lyn, went to Japan via ferry from South Korea last year. She is planning to come back and inviting me this time, I told her I am as scared as every fellow Kabayans who are not confident and still unprepared to go through the whole process of applying a Japan visa here in Manila.
Today, I was browsing my favorite backpacker group - DIY Travel Philippines when I came across a fellow Filipino backpacker,Tophee Marquez who was just recently granted a tourist visa to Japan. His trip is this August - 2 months of preparation is fair enough. Somehow it gave me hope that when time comes I have to do it, I will be granted. I know there are hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who have the same sentiment right now so I sent him message if it's fine to share his personal experience as a regular Filipino worker who applied and successfully given a Japanese visa. He said yes so with his permission I'm sharing below the step - by - step guide on how to get Japan tourist visa for Filipino passport holders:
Commonly asked questions answered:
1. Your Philippine passport's laminated photo shouldn't be altered and there's a valid signature. Please make sure that you have at least two remaining blank pages as well.
2. Fill all the blanks on Visa Application Form. If it's not applicable, be honest - put N/A. You can do it online or get a copy from an accredited travel agency where you'll pass your documents. NO erasures please... you might get denied. You can click here the the official application form from Embassy of Japan in Manila.
3. Your photo size should be 4.4cm x 4.5cm with white background. Usually photography booths in malls already knew the actual size, just tell them you're applying for a Japanese visa. Take note: no smiling in the photo.
4. NSO Birth Certificate issued within a year.
5. Marriage contract issued by NSO and 1 year valid if your married.
6. Daily itinerary or your schedule while you're in Japan. Please click here format.
7. Bank Certificate - preferably the one that shows average daily balance. His bank is BPI Farmers Mall Cubao. He had no problems getting his copy. It's highly recommended that you should have Php10k per day of your stay in your bank account. Meaning if you're gonna stay for 4 days in Japan, you'll have to have a minimum of Php40k.
8. Income Tax Return (Form 2316). Please present the original and photocopy. The original you'll show it to the travel agency then you keep it. If your company website shows your ITR, by all means you can have it printed or save a copy on your email.
You DON'T NEED #7 & #8 of you got family, friends or Japanese locals who sponsoring all of your expenses. However for your peace of mind and greater chance of getting your visa approved, make an effort to submit these documents.
9. If you're reason to go to Japan is to visit someone who lives there, you needPHOTOS & DOCUMENTS to prove your relationship. You can have it printed either colored or printed. You can make a collage of your photos in 1 bond paper (have at least 5 all) with name. A screenshot of your conversation via messenger alps such as Facebook, Viber, Line et cetera also helps. Please NOT the one in Tinder.
10. Invitation letter from your guarantor who is/are a Japanese resident(s). You can click here a sample of that. It comes in English and Japanese version. The signature should be handwritten ( not printed) per page or with a family name seal of the one who invited you. If this person can speak Japanese, much better have everything communicated in this language. Please click here for the format.
11. If the one who invited you is a Japanese resident, please ask a Residence Certificate (Jumihyo). If not, what you need is Foreign Registration Certificatefrom City Hall.
12. If your trip to Japan is sponsored, you need to submit a Guarantee Letter. Here is the link to get the form. Same with the Invitation Letter, the signature should be handwritten or with family name seal. If this person knows Nihonggo, better communicate using this language. Please click here for the format.
13. Ask your guarantor's Income Certificate from City Hall (Shotoku Shomeisho), Tax Return Certificate from tax office (Nouzeishomeisho) Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae or Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shomeisho). This person should have a free will to show how much money he/she has.
You can present only one of these.
Additional documents that can improve your chances more:
14. Certificate of Employment that indicates your job position and salary.
15. Photocopy of 2 valid ID's of the person you'll visit in Japan.
16. Your hotel proof of booking if you got no relative or friend in Japan where you can sleep over. If you're travelling with a companion, you can pass the documents indicated in #10, #11, #12, #13 & #15 all together.
Please make sure that all of your documents and information are consistent. If not, you're giving the embassy officers to scrutinize you, ask more and doubt your capability to go to Japan without causing any harm. It's normal to get worried but compared to prior years, the Japanese government has been trying to ease the hassle of getting a visa approved for Filipinos so your chances are way bigger than those who tried before.
He sought the assistance of an accredited travel agency, Reli Tours and Travellocated in SM Megamall 5th floor. The processing is usually 7 - 10 business days but after 3 days, they got it approved. It only took them 10 minutes all the documents. If you're getting the same agency, he suggest you go there as early as 10am to avoid the long queue.
Again, a huge thank you to Tophee for sharing us his personal experience of applying for a Japanese visa. We wish you a happy trip in the land of cherry blossoms! In case you have questions or you want to get in touch with him. You can click here his Facebook profile and here his Instagram account.