How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa for Filipinos (Updated December 2016)

How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa for Filipinos (Updated December 2016)

Woohoo! We’re going back to Japan in 2017!

Japanese cuisine is my favorite so visiting this country never gets old for me. I just love everything about it – the food, the culture, the technology, the tradition – it’s all so fascinating. Given a chance, I’d go back to this country every year. And from the looks of it, that may just happen in the next 5 years. Because I was just granted a multiple entry tourist visa! How cool is that?!

I applied for a visa last week hoping to get the same single entry tourist visa I got 2 years ago. I didn’t even apply for multiple entry but to my surprise, they gave it to me anyway. Maybe it’s because I just came from Japan not too long ago? Or I look like Mr. Miyagi in my passport photo? Who knows. Whatever the reason, I’m super stoked because that means I get to visit this delicious country as many times as I want in the next 5 years, and I don’t have to apply for a visa every time! Love it! If you’re a Filipino and looking to visit Japan, then this is what you need to do to apply for a tourist visa.

Step 1: COMPLETE BASIC REQUIREMENTS

Here are the documents you’ll need to file your application.

  1. Philippine passport. Must have at least 6 months remaining validity, a signature, and at least 2 blank pages. Passports with broken lamination on the photo page will NOT be accepted. Remove passport cover (if any).
  2. A completed visa application form. Don’t leave anything blank. Just put N/A if not applicable. The travel agency will advise you of this as well when they review your application. You can download it HERE. Must be printed on A4 paper.
  3. 2″ x 2″ ID picture against white background. Must be pasted on application form.

Please don’t staple together the application form or any other documents. Be sure to remove any staples before submitting. Also, don’t use correction tape or liquid if you make a mistake. Instead, cross out any wrong information with a double line.

Step 2: PROVIDE ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Depending on your purpose of travel, these are the additional documents that you’ll need to provide.

A. IF APPLYING AS A TOURIST

If you’re applying as a tourist – ie you’ll be staying at a hotel and not with a friend or relative – then you’ll need to provide the following:

  1. Original PSA-provided birth certificate issued within one (1) year.*
  2. Original PSA-provided marriage certificate issued within one (1) year (if married).*
  3. Schedule of stay. This is your itinerary in Japan, the form for which you can download HERE. If your travel plans aren’t set yet, then just a general outline will do. Here’s an example:
  4. How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa (for Filipinos)

  5. Original bank certificate. Must be issued within the last three (3) months.
  6. Income tax return (ITR Form 2316). They’ll need the original and a photocopy. They’ll keep the photocopy but will return the original on the same day that you file your application. They just need to see it.
  7. Guarantee letter (if applicable). You can download the form HERE.

*If you have a used Japan visa, then you’re exempt from submitting birth and marriage certificates. But you must present your passport containing the used Japan visa.

Though they weren’t required, I provided printouts of my round trip tickets, hotel reservations, and an expired passport with lots of travel stamps as well. Anything to shore up your application will help.

B. IF VISITING A (CLOSE) RELATIVE

This applies to close relatives — parent, child, brother, sister, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle. Everything else falls under the distant relative category.

  1. Birth Certificates to prove your relationship. Must be issued within one (1) year.
    • Parent/Child – Birth certificates of both applicant (PSA-provided) and relative in Japan
    • Siblings – Birth certificates of both applicant (PSA-provided) and relative in Japan
    • Aunt/Uncle visiting Niece/Nephew – Birth certificates of applicant (PSA-provided), relative in Japan, and parent of relative in Japan
    • Niece/Nephew visiting Aunt/Uncle – Birth certificates of applicant (PSA-provided), parent of applicant, and relative in Japan
  2. Original PSA-provided marriage certificate issued within one (1) year (if married).*
  3. Signed invitation letter from your guarantor explaining why you’ll be visiting Japan. Must be issued within the last three (3) months. You can download the form HERE.
  4. Guarantor’s Residence Certificate (Juminhyo). Must be issued within the last three (3) months.
  5. Guarantor’s Family Certificate (Kosekitohon). Must be issued within the last three (3) months.
  6. Copy of guarantor’s Residence Card from immigration (Zairyu Card) or copy of passport (all used pages).

NOTE: If your guarantor in Japan will shoulder any part of your trip, then you must also submit the following:

  1. Signed guarantee letter (Mimoto Hoshousho). Must be issued within the last three (3) months. You can download the form HERE.
  2. Guarantor’s Income Certificate (Shotoku Shoumeisho), Tax Return Certificate (Nouzei shouzei shoumeisho: Form 2), Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae, or Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shoumeisho). Must be issued within the last three (3) months. Gensen Choushuhyo is not accepted.

NOTE: If you’ll be paying for your entire trip, then you must also submit the following:

  1. Income tax return (ITR Form 2316). They’ll need the original and a photocopy. They’ll keep the photocopy but will return the original on the same day that you file your application. They just need to see it.
  2. Original bank certificate. Must be issued within the last three (3) months.

C. IF VISITING A (DISTANT) RELATIVE OR FRIEND

If you’ll be staying with a friend or distant relative, then you must provide the following:

  1. Original PSA-provided birth certificate issued within one (1) year.*
  2. Original PSA-provided marriage certificate issued within one (1) year (if married).*
  3. Signed invitation letter from your guarantor explaining why you’ll be visiting Japan. Must be issued within the last three (3) months. You can download the form HERE.
  4. Guarantor’s Residence Certificate (Juminhyo). Must be issued within the last three (3) months.
  5. Copy of guarantor’s Residence Card from immigration (Zairyu Card) or copy of passport (all used pages).
  6. Schedule of stay. This is your itinerary in Japan, the form for which you can download HERE. If your travel plans aren’t set yet, then just a general outline will do. Here’s an example:
  7. How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa (for Filipinos)

  8. Any documents or photos that can prove your relationship.

*If you have a used Japan visa, then you’re exempt from submitting birth and marriage certificates. But you must present your passport containing the used Japan visa.

NOTE: If your guarantor in Japan will shoulder any part of your trip, then you must also submit the following:

  1. Signed guarantee letter (Mimoto Hoshousho). Must be issued within the last three (3) months. You can download the form HERE.
  2. Guarantor’s Income Certificate (Shotoku Shoumeisho), Tax Return Certificate (Nouzei shouzei shoumeisho: Form 2), (Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae), or Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shoumeisho). Must be issued within the last three (3) months. Gensen Choushuhyo is not accepted.

NOTE: If you’ll be paying for your entire trip, then you must also submit the following:

  1. Income tax return (ITR Form 2316). They’ll need the original and a photocopy. They’ll keep the photocopy but will return the original on the same day that you file your application. They just need to see it.
  2. Original bank certificate. Must be issued within the last three (3) months.



Step 3: FIND AN ACCREDITED TRAVEL AGENCY

You can’t file your application directly with the Japanese Embassy. It must be coursed through one of their accredited agencies. Though the visa itself is free, please be advised that the travel agency will charge you a processing fee. This varies from agency to agency. I coursed mine through Reli Tours & Travel at their Dusit Thani Hotel office (3rd floor). They charge a processing fee of PHP 950 if you’re applying as a tourist (A), and PHP 2,000 if you’ll be visiting friends or relatives (B and C).

Step 4: PRAY THAT YOUR VISA GETS APPROVED

Once you’ve submitted everything to the travel agency, there’s nothing left for you to do but wait and hope for the best. If they encounter any problems (ie additional requirements), then they’ll let you know. Single entry tourist visas are good for three (3) months from the date of issue so it’s best that you apply as soon as possible in case any issues arise. Multiple entry visas are good for five (5) years.

Processing time normally takes 7-10 days after which you can claim your passport from the agency’s office. They sent me a text advising that my passport was available for pickup 3 business days after I filed. For some reason, they won’t tell you in advance if your visa was approved or not. I guess they just want to add to the suspense? 🙂

Good luck and I hope you get approved!

Disclaimer

I’m not an expert on Japan tourist visas. Like you, I’m just a traveler. I’ll try to help as much as I can but please understand that my knowledge is finite and limited to my experience only. Unless otherwise noted, all requirements listed above were valid at the time of my application. Please be sure to check with the travel agency you’ll be filing with for updates. If you need answers to any pressing issues, then it’s best that you call the embassy or travel agency directly.

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For travel tips to Osaka, check out our First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Osaka, Japan.

 The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Osaka, Japan

For travel tips to Kyoto, check out our First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan.

 The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Kyoto, Japan

JB Macatulad

JB Macatulad

JB is one half of Will Fly for Food and its chief itinerary maker.  He's the one to blame for all the crappy photos and verbal diarrhea on this blog.  Don't listen to him.
JB Macatulad


There are 185 comments for this article
  1. Ria de Lara at 1:09 am

    hi, i noticed that you bought the tickets to and leaving japan before applying for the visa. would you suggest doing the same or get the visa first? . 🙂 thank u

  2. JB Macatulad at 8:00 am

    Hi Ria, no, definitely apply for a visa first. The only reason I bought tickets beforehand was because Cebu Pacific had a seat sale. They’re not required so no need to book in advance.

  3. rosie at 8:28 am

    hi sorry to ask this but this is my first time applying for a visa. what happens when you’re granted a visa but not use it because you decided to go to another country for vacation instead?
    will they take it against you when you apply for japan again next time? 🙁

  4. JB Macatulad at 2:10 pm

    Hi Rosie, that’s a good question but I’m afraid I have no idea. I’d like to think not. 🙂

  5. Angie at 7:16 pm

    Hi im not sure kung may naka experience na but i just want to ask po. Im currently living in australia and we are planning to visit japan by feb or march 2017, my permanent residency here is on process so maybe by the time na ppunta kmi japan eh im already a PR here in australia. Ppano po ba ang apply ng visa sa jpan,pare pareho lang po ba khit na andito aq australia at dito aq syempre magaapply ng visa to japan,mgkano po at gaano katgal?
    TIA

  6. JB Macatulad at 9:04 pm

    Hi Angie, I’m sorry but I don’t know. Best to call one of the accredited travel agencies directly.

  7. Makki at 3:14 am

    Hi! Thank you for this helpful article. I’m planning to have a vacation in Japan (Q1 2017) and may I ask kung how long will the updated Japan Visa last? (In terms of validity) :—–)

  8. JB Macatulad at 7:42 am

    Hi Makki, when I applied, they were good for 90 days from the date of issue. You may want to call the embassy though to confirm.

  9. Lala at 10:18 am

    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?
    Hoping for your reply for this.

  10. Lala at 10:49 am

    Would like to add that we have all complete requirements (COE, ITR, bank cert etc.). Or is it okay if won’t mention it at all, and just put on his address instead? will the embassy check on this?

  11. JB Macatulad at 8:19 am

    Hi Lala, it’s always best to be honest in my opinion but I do understand your concerns. If it helps, only a rough outline for the itinerary is needed so listing down a temporary hotel is fine. It doesn’t have to be a confirmed booking so you can change that after you’ve received your visa.

  12. Jone Lyn Zabal at 9:19 pm

    Hello I need your help, nahihirapan po ako mag answer nang 1. Purpose of invitation 2. Background to invitation , buntis po Kasi ako and papuntahin Ko nanay Ko Dito Sa Japan. Spouse of a permanent resident visa Ko… Kailangan Ko pa po ba maglagay nang schedule of stay?? Kung d nman Kami makakagala…. Help nman po… Thank you….

  13. JB Macatulad at 12:13 pm

    Hi Jone, yes I think so. Just write down exactly what your mother plans to do while she’s there, even if it’s just staying at home.

  14. Kara at 9:47 pm

    Hello, i applied for a bank cert at bdo, surprisingly the japanese embassy address they placed is at gercon bldg. Makati city and they claimed that this is the address they are issuing for any japanese visa bank cert applicants.so i just said it’s okay Since they said they have been issuing this address ever since. To my surprise i found out that this address belongs to a travel agency not the japanese embassy itself. The bank teller told me not to worry since it wont affect my visa application and i have my OR to back its authenticity. I know i made a mistake by not double checking it. Would that be okay?

  15. JB Macatulad at 10:49 am

    Hi Kara, I’m not 100% sure but I think it should be ok. It’s best that you confirm this with the travel agency you’ll be filing your application with. Good luck.

  16. Anna at 3:08 pm

    hello! how many months/days ahead of your travel date did you submit your japan visa application? i just came from reli travel and surprised they turned me down. they just gave a vague answer “too early” and “come back in november/december to apply” – so many people so they were in a rush and didn’t explain in detail. i’m targeting to travel jan 14-22 of 2017 and i can assume that the visa is good for 90 days from the time it was issued. is this right? but i mean realistically can one book a whole trip – plane fare, hotel, tours in just 1-2 months ahead without breaking the bank?

  17. JB Macatulad at 6:15 pm

    Hi Anna, the visa is valid for 90 days so if your trip is on the 14th of January, then the earliest you can apply is October 14. I agree, the best deals do come months before. I often snap up budget airline deals 8-9 months in advance so it’s always a risk when applying for a visa. I figure the big savings I make on the airfare makes the risk worthwhile. It’s up to you though. Good luck!

  18. Irene at 12:42 pm

    I have a question, kelangan pba mag present ng guarantee letter kung ako nmn gagastos sa fare, etc.. pero mag sstay lng ako sa friend ko sa japan.

  19. BBoi at 12:32 pm

    Hi. Kailangan ba nakapag-book na rin ng hotel na tutuluyan mo before ka pumunta dun?

  20. claudine constantino at 12:05 am

    Hi, JB .PLan ko pumunta sa japan ng dec 24, 10 days kame dun, together with my friends applying for tourist visa only. the money i plan to show is 70-80k? the itinerary that i will show, we don’t necessarily have to stick with it right because it then might change. .will it be advisable for me to apply for the visa this coming 3rd-4th week of october? also, the bank cert, should it be really issue within the last 3 months? cuz i plan to get the bank cert 1 week before i apply for the visa..i’m sorry i got lot of questions, 🙂 thank u so much

  21. JB Macatulad at 1:56 pm

    Hi Irene, no I don’t think so. But please confirm this with the travel agency you intend to file your application with.

  22. JB Macatulad at 2:14 pm

    Hi BBoi, confirmed hotel reservations aren’t required. You can just put down the hotel you intend to stay at. You can still change it after your visa gets approved.

  23. JB Macatulad at 2:20 pm

    Hi Claudine, applying on the 3rd or 4th week of October is fine. And yes, the more recent the bank certificate the better. Good luck!

  24. Jem at 8:52 am

    Just wanna confirm the passport with signature? Ours dont have signature yet would that be ok?

  25. JB Macatulad at 10:07 am

    Sorry Jem, but I’m not too sure about that one. Best to consult with the travel agency you intend to file with.

  26. Gem at 7:48 pm

    Hello,

    Sorry for the noob question, but what should I put in “ID No. issued to you by your government” on the Visa Application form?

  27. claudine2420 at 7:31 pm

    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!

  28. Kelly at 11:17 am

    Hi Good day!

    May question lang po, is it possible to apply for a tourist visa as a family member? 2-3 members? I’m planning po kasi to visit Osaka next year 2017 for 7 days with my family sana. (Mom, Dad and sister) but they don’t have an ITR. possible po kaya yun? I can present naman po my ITR, COE and bank account (120,000) and land title named to me as a proof na we have ties to go back after 7 days. My mom have a savings around 30k din po and my dad have a car named after him. Can we present those as a proof din kaya? Kating kati na kasi ko magbook ng ticket pero nag aalangan pa ko kasi baka madeny. please help what to do. Thank you, your reply is highly appreciated.

  29. JB Macatulad at 8:47 pm

    Hi Kelly, I think it’s fine to apply as a family. You’ll be filing your applications with a travel agency anyway and they’ll be the ones to submit them to the embassy. It’s a good idea to submit the land titles, car titles, additional bank accounts, etc as well. They can only help. Good luck!

  30. Harriett Berina at 5:00 pm

    Hi!
    Do they invite for interview pa?

    Thank You!

  31. Iyah S. at 6:35 pm

    Hi,

    Nakapag travel na po ako sa Australia just this year lang. I used my parent’s bank statement and ITR kasi student palang po ako. But this time, I want to use the bank statement and ITR of my friend’s mom kasi mas malaki po yung money nila sa bank.

    Question ko po is, would it be possible to make my friend’s mom the guarantor? My friend will also be traveling with me pero meron na po siya multiple entry visa kaya she doesn’t have to apply for it as of the moment.

    I hope I could get an answer from you po… Thanks so much…

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