What’s one of the most agonizing moments pre-travel? For us, it’s waiting for your Travel Visa to be approved. We applied for a Visa to China once and got approved and Edcel has applied for a US Tourist Visa last year and got denied.
We recently applied for a Japan Tourist Visa and have read through a number of horrors stories of a number of people’s application getting denied. After 5 days of waiting, we were ecstatic as our Japan Tourist Visa got approved.
Japan is actually more lax now in issuing Tourist Visas for Filipinos. as hear-says go they need to increase the number of tourists for the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics. It is easy as 1, 2, 3 provided that you submitted all the documents required by the Japanese Embassy.
So here it is, sharing you tips and requirements for the first time applicants in applying Japan Tourist Visa in the Philippines.
There are a number of types of Visas for Japan, but this post is particularly for applying a Tourist Visa without a Sponsor/Guarantor as this is what we applied/experienced for. If you are looking for other types of Visas, you can directly visit the official website of Japan Embassy in the Philippines.
I’ve read some articles that before, Japan Visa processing is free, however, you really need to be up early and line outside the embassy located in Manila — quite a hassle and time consuming.
Since July 30, 2007, Japan Tourist Visa application NO longer accepts walk-in visa applicants. It can only be processed through an accredited travel agency of The Japan Embassy in the Philippines. The travel agency will cross-check your documents before submitting it to the embassy and of course, will charge you an extra fee.
Requirements for a Japan Tourist Visa (without sponsor/guarantor)
- Passport (valid for more than 6 months)
- Visa Application Form
- Photo (1 copy of 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background)
- Birth Certificate (NSO issued with receipt and valid within (1)year)
- Marriage Contract (NSO issued with receipt and valid within (1)year) **if married
- Detailed Tour Itinerary
- Bank Certificate
- Income Tax Return (Form 2316 or 1701) – Original and Photocopy
Helpful tip 1: Since this application is for ‘no guarantor/sponsor’, then it would be much better if you could also submit a Certificate of Employment (COE), booked plane tickets and accommodation.
Helpful tip 2: If you are a freelancer and you can’t obtain an ITR, you can simply write a Letter of Explanation and addressed to the Consulate-General of Japan.
Helpful tip 3: We’re not sure as to what the minimum amount you should have on your Bank Certificate because the travel agency nor the Japan Embassy never disclosed this information. Just make sure your bank account is opened for at least 6 months from the date you applied for a visa. The lowest amount we had on one of our bank certificate was roughly around 43,000PHP.
Below are the list of accredited travel agencies who can help you process your visa.
- Attic Tours Philippines, Inc
- Friendship Tours and Resorts Corp
- Rajah Travel Corp
- Reli Tours and Travel Agency
- Pan Pacific Travel Corp
- Discovery Tour, Inc
Once you have submitted all required documents to your chosen travel agency, it will take 5-7 working days to process the visa. The agency will give you either a call or text if your passport is ready for pickup.
For denied applicants, you can re-apply after 6 months.
We chose Friendship Tours and Resorts Corp (Oakridge Business Park in Banilad) to process our tourist visa application because of positive feedback we got from our friends and also due to proximity.
So since our Visas have been approved, it is safe to say, Japan, we’re finally coming for you!