How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa for Filipinos

How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa for Filipinos

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:

How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa (for Filipinos)

  1. Original bank certificate. Must be issued within the last three (3) months.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa (for Filipinos)

  1. 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 Sapporo in winter, check out our Sapporo Winter Travel Guide.

The Ultimate Sapporo Winter Travel Guide

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 37 comments for this article
  1. Joed at 6:05 am

    Hi, I recently applied for a japan tourist visa, its been a week now and I called reli tours. They said japanese embassy is asking for my bank statements. I am loosing hope now since I have a credit card with a high credit limit and I don’t have that huge amout of money in my savings acc. What I did is, I made a cash advance of 70xxx.xx from my credit card acc and then have it transferred to my savings. What do you think about this. Thank you in advance.

  2. JB Macatulad at 8:40 am

    Hi Joed, I’m sorry but I really don’t know. Only the embassy can determine that. In any case, you’ve already submitted your application so there’s nothing else you can do at this point but wait. I hope you get approved. 🙂

  3. Mai at 6:00 pm

    Hi JB, I will be applying for a japan tourist visa this week. Is it ok to put just the name of the host in the application form since we will be staying in an airbnb apartment? Thank you in advanced.

  4. JB Macatulad at 8:08 am

    Hi Mai, yes that should be ok. In my case, I put down “Various hotels and AirBnB rental”. Hope that helps and good luck!

  5. KRSL at 7:38 am

    HELLO! It’s my first time ever going on a trip outside philippines, I only have debit card from chinabank will it suffice or allowed to have it as bank statement back up? Thank you!

  6. JB Macatulad at 1:13 pm

    Hi KRSL, I’m sorry but I’m not sure. Please call the travel agency you intend to file with to be sure.

  7. LAIKA at 11:16 pm

    Hello JB, Can you help me how to do the itinerary? I will be applying for japan visa this week but i dont have a contact person in JP. What should i do? thanks 🙂

  8. JD at 12:13 am

    Hi JB,

    Would you know the recommended minimum balance that should be available in my savings account at the time I get the bank certification? My mother and I, intend to travel to visit Japan for 4 days and we are to explore on our own, not through any designated tour. Also once the visa is secured we intend to use the funds to get foreign currency towards our trip expenses. Thanks in advance for any further insight.

    Julie

  9. JB Macatulad at 8:23 am

    Hi Laika, you can just list the contact details of the hotels you intend to stay at. They don’t have to be confirmed bookings. You can still change after getting your visa. Hope that helps!

  10. JB Macatulad at 8:26 am

    Hi JD, there’s no minimum required balance as far as I know. Just be sure it’s a large enough amount to support you and your mother for the duration of your stay. It’s best to change your currency in Japan. Exchange rates are better there and the best places to do it are at post offices or banks. Even currency exchange booths at airports aren’t bad. Hope that helps and good luck!

  11. KRX at 3:42 pm

    Hi,

    Im planning to visit Japan this November. Im a dosumented OFW w/ OEC & OWWA certificates. i used to travel on nearby countries around Cambodia where I am working from 2012 to present.

    I wonder if I need to go to Philippines first to apply for Visa or I can do it here abroad. And as you know, OFW doesnt require ITR but i have documents as below.
    Do you think its enough?

    1.) employment certificate
    2.) employment contract w/ compensation
    3.) working permit
    4.) bank accounts here and in philippines ( dollar & peso account) debit cards.

    Please kindly let me know if there is still any missing documents I need to submit.

    Thank you in advance.

  12. JB Macatulad at 11:35 pm

    Hi KRX, I think it’s best that you consult with your local Japan embassy first because your requirements may be different. People who work abroad do the same when they apply for a visa to Korea for example. Hope that helps and good luck.

  13. Castle at 12:29 am

    Hello. I am currently employed, but my salary could not cover my Stay in Japan, good thing is, my mom is coming too, can she shoulder my expenses, and not tell i am employed? how? Thanks in advance.

  14. zel at 9:33 am

    Hi,

    I would like to ask, I also have a multiple entry visa and just got back from Japan last week. When can I go back? Is there something like a 90-day rule or whatever before going back? I miss Japan already! 🙂 I’m not planning to work there, I just want to visit again other places ’cause last time was so bitin! I’m not also planning to go back immediately like next week or next month, I just want to know if you have any ideas when can I go back considering I have 5 years multiple entry with 90-days stay.

  15. JB Macatulad at 11:42 am

    Hi Castle, if you’re employed then you should indicate that in your application. It’s always best to be honest and forthcoming. If you put down you’re unemployed then that might raise red flags because they’ll think you’re going to Japan to find work. It should help that you’re traveling and applying for a visa with your mother. Maybe you can submit a letter explaining that your mother will be the one to shoulder most of your expenses? In any case, best to ask the travel agency you intend to file with to be sure. Hope that helps and good luck!

  16. JB Macatulad at 11:44 am

    Hi Zel, that’s a good question and I know how you feel! We want to go back at least once a year too haha. I’m afraid I don’t know though. I’d assume you can go back as many times as you want within the validity of your multiple entry visa. Best to call the travel agency you filed with to be sure.

  17. Mai Encabo at 3:04 am

    Hello! I was wondering if I am to apply for a Jap visa without the plane tickets and hotel bookings yet, do I just put a certain date and airline that I plan to book when I finally get approved? I’m afraid that I’ll just be wasting money on bookings if ever I get denied. Thanks in advance! I’m planning to go on May, btw. Cheers!

  18. JB Macatulad at 8:16 am

    Hi Mai, confirmed flight and hotel bookings aren’t required so no need to book in advance. For the schedule of stay, you can just put down contact details for the hotels you intend to stay at. You can still change after you’ve been granted a visa. Hope that helps and good luck!

  19. Liz at 9:36 pm

    Hi! My mom and sister are coming with me to Japan, they will apply their visa in PH and I will apply mine in UAE. What do I need to do as I will be shouldering all the expenses? Thanks!

  20. Thens at 5:12 am

    Hello JB! We’re travelling to japan this coming April 5 but we’re having trouble with our agency because they still couldnt provide us our flight details ng aming departure abroad (Kainis!)
    I am a govt employee And I am having a problem with my travel authority kasi di pa binibigay ng aming office. Im afraid bka di nila marelease before my flight. Ask lang po ako if there is a way na makalusot ako sa immigration without the travel authority. Any tips po sir? I hope you could respond immediately sir JB. Thank you!

  21. JB Macatulad at 9:04 am

    Hi Liz, I think you’ll need to provide your financial documents on their behalf. Please have them call the travel agency they intend to file with to be sure. Good luck!

  22. JB Macatulad at 9:09 am

    Hi Thens, sorry but I’m not sure I understand. You already have a visa but you’re still waiting for your travel authorization letter to be issued? Is that right? I’m sorry but I don’t know. I didn’t have to get a travel authorization letter so I have no idea.

  23. Lee at 11:46 am

    Hi JB, do you know the requirements for kids? Our family will be applying for visa. My wife and I are bith employed and will cover our travel expenses. We completed our requiremets but we are not sure what we need for the kids except their BC. Do you have any idea? Thanks much

  24. JB Macatulad at 9:34 am

    Hi Lee, sorry but I’m not sure to be honest. I think maybe just a school certificate if they’re already in school? Best to call the travel agency you intend to file with to be sure. Good luck!

  25. Jam Pascua at 8:18 am

    Hi. I am applying for a visa to japan with a guarantor. The invitation will be coming from my aunt. Im aware that birth certificate of my father is needed to prove our niece-aunt relationship. The problem is, the father’s name of my father is incorrectly stated in his birth certificate. I am afraid it would create a problem with my visa application since may aunts fathers name is Cesar and in my fathers b.cert is Cesario though they are just the same person. What else can we do aside from changing the name of his father? Cos it takes time to process since we are going to japan possibly after 3 weeks. Please help.

  26. JB Macatulad at 1:00 pm

    Hi Jam, it’s best you contact the travel agency you intend to file with asap. They may ask you to provide supporting documents. Just go ahead and call them and explain your situation. Good luck.

  27. Jojee at 9:41 pm

    JB!!! Hubby and I just got our visa today!! Hurrah! Thank you for your tips! I also made sure our IT is doable by using Hyperdia and Sygic travel 😀 See you soon, Japan!!

  28. JB Macatulad at 8:10 am

    Wow that’s great to gear Jojee! Congrats! I’m familiar with that super happy feeling of getting a visa approved haha! Have an awesome time in Japan! 😀

  29. Jojee at 9:39 pm

    Oh by the way, when you say exchange our currency in Japan, do you mean we should bring our Peso and just exchange it at KIX? Would you know if the forex will still be open by 8-9pm when we arrive? Thanks!!

  30. JB Macatulad at 7:18 am

    Hi Jojee, yes it should be. Do you have USD? If so, then probably better to bring that. Not sure how good a rate you’ll get for PHP. The rate at KIX is good but you can probably still get a batter rate at a bank or post office. I suggest changing just a small amount there then changing the rest the next day. Hope that helps.

  31. shyne at 7:51 pm

    I will be having my tin number just this week but I’m employed for 6 mos now. (great company huh?) so I couldn’t submit any ITR yet. The thing is, my step-father will be my guarantor. is it still necessary? what questions have you encountered in the immigration? I have been to malaysia and indonesia so I may have some ideas but its still feels different when you’ll be going to the immigration having to proof your visa. i have heard a lot of people getting offloaded. 🙁

  32. shyne at 7:55 pm

    this is just to help out ms. thens. my mother in law also works in the govt and went to different countries icluding countries requiring visa. it is mandatory to have an authorization to travel letter because you are a govt employee. no excuses. it will show on your record. 🙂

  33. JB Macatulad at 7:39 am

    Hi Shyne, I’m sorry but I’m not sure. Best to ask the travel agency you intend to file with. They’ll go through your application carefully and will tell you if there are any documents you need to provide. As for immigration in Japan, they just ask the typical questions like how long you’ll be staying, etc. In my experience, they usually look at our luggage to see if the length of our stay matches how much stuff we’ve brought. 😆 Hope that helps and good luck.

  34. Daphne Yonzon at 12:16 am

    Hi,

    I saw that you have multiple hotels in your itinerary. Did you list all these hotels in the application form as well or did you just picked one? 🙂

  35. JB Macatulad at 10:19 am

    Hi Daphne, you should list all the hotels you intend to stay at. Basically create as detailed a day-by-day itinerary as you can.

  36. Sherilyn Egama at 9:42 pm

    hi

    i already have a tourist visa for japan. and i didn’t book for a hotel in japan since i will be staying with my sister who work in japan. does the philippine immigration requires mi an invitation from my sister?

    hope you could answer me.. thank you

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