Situated in the Far East and referred to as the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is a world-famous archipelago which offers a lot of activities from its bustling cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Sapporo. Perhaps when a Westerner thinks of an interesting Asian country, Japan would be one of his first thoughts. Almost everyone wants to visit this place, as it draws curiosity and excitement from foreign tourists. Some of the people I know also crave for an exposure to unique culture of Japan, especially the anime addicts. Going there could be a struggle because of visa requirements, but as long as you have all the requirements and you follow all their instructions, it will be easy to obtain one.
As of 2007, application for the Japanese visa must only be done through accredited travel agencies. (Click the hyperlink for the complete list). Direct application is not allowed, so even if the embassy does not charge for the issuance of visa, you will have to pay these travel agencies for their services. Prior to submission to any of them, completion of the requirements is necessary because they will not accept incomplete papers. Here are the things you should include, all documents must be original unless otherwise stated:
Basic Requirements for Applicants without Guarantor
- Philippine Passport – it must have at least two blank pages for the visa
- Visa Application Form – this form is fillable using a PDF reader. Handwritten forms are accepted. Do not leave any field blank. Write N/A if the question does not apply to you. Print in A4 size paper.
- Photo – must be glued to the application form. Although it is required to have a size of 4.5cm x 4.5cm, a 2×2 picture is acceptable. Picture must be taken on a white background.
- Birth Certificate – obtained from NSO and must be issued within the year.
- If Birth Certificate from NSO is unreadable, or if there is no record in NSO, submit a Certificate of Non-Record from NSO Headquarters and birth certificate from local civil registrar.
- If Birth Certificate from NSO is Late Registration, submit a baptismal certificate and form 137 instead. Form from college/ transcript of records is not accepted.
- Marriage Contract (if the applicant is married) – same as above, must be issued within the year.
- If the applicant has a previous Japanese visa, birth certificate and marriage contract are not needed to be included.
- Taizai Nitteihyo or Daily Schedule in Japan – in this form you will write your detailed itinerary on your visit to Japan. If you will stay in a hotel, put its address on the last column.
- Bank Certificate – this one is obtained from the bank. It usually costs PhP 100 and can be processed within the day. Save the address of the embassy (2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, 1300) before you go to the bank as it will require you to fill a form that will need some details about the reason of getting a bank certificate. It is recommended that you have at least PhP 50,000 on your account enough for 1-7 days stay (or PhP 100,000 for first time travelers) so you can prove that you can fund this trip. Maybe if you have a higher balance, but not too much, you will have a greater chance to be granted a longer stay.
- Income Tax Return Form 2316 – original and photocopy. If you do not have an ITR (like when I applied), write a letter stating the reason why you can’t show them one. There is no format needed. You can see my example here.
Additional Requirements for Applicants with Guarantor
- If visiting friend, documents or photos to prove relationship
- Invitation Letter from Guarantor in Japan
- Residence Certificate (JUMINHYO) – if guarantor is a Japanese
- Foreign Registration Certificate from City Hall – if guarantor is not a Japanese
- If Guarantor in Japan Shoulders Any Part of Travel / Living Expenses:
- Guarantee Letter (MIMOTO HOSHOSHO)
- Income Certificate (from City Hall) (SHOTOKU SHOMEISHO) from City Hall, Tax Return Certificate (NOUZEISHOMEISHO: form2) from Tax Office, KAKUTEISHINKOKUSHO HIKAE or Bank Certificate (YOKIN ZANDAKA SHOMEISHO) – “Gensen-Choshu-Hyo” is not accepted.
After you complete the requirements, you may submit it to the travel agency you chose. As for me, because I wanted to apply at the earliest possible time, I went to Universal Holidays, Inc. as they are the only one that can accept applications that is three months before flight. Other agencies accept only up to two months early. They may tell you that it can take 7-14 days to apply but sometimes it is earlier because I got mine three days after I went to the office.
- It is encouraged to submit additional documents that may support your application, such as Certificate of Employment and photocopy of Company ID, which prove your social and economic ties in the Philippines.
- Documents submitted for application will not be returned.
- When visa is denied, the Embassy will not disclose its reason and you will have to apply again after six months unless it’s an emergency, or unless it’s a different purpose.
- If you want an easier visa application, you can try joining a package tour instead in which a registered travel agent will organize all the necessary bookings such as accommodations, roundtrip airline tickets, and visa processing as well. Period of stay in Japan must not exceed 15 days, and you only have to submit the Passport, Visa Application Form, Photo, Birth Certificate, and Marriage Certificate. Here is the list of registered travel agencies, (which is a different one from above).
And that’s it. On the day you will receive your passport back, the agency staff will show you your visa and make sure it has your correct details. I’m sure you will be approved, and I hope you to have a nice holiday in Japan!
Featured Image taken from girlslove2travel.com