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JAPAN VISA: How to Apply for a Tourist Visa 2019 (for Filipinos)

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Please note that the information in this article hasn’t been updated to reflect current travel restrictions. It’s important to confirm any information with the Japan embassy before making any plans.

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.
  4. Original bank certificate. Must be issued within the last three (3) months.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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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Featured image visual by Chickenonline via Pixabay

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