Just recently, I applied for a Japan visa and I thought it would be nice if I can share the process to you. This is actually my first time applying for it and I don’t have any stamps on my current passport because I just renewed it.
For starters, the Japan Embassy in the Philippines does not accept visa applications directly. You can, however, go to one of their accredited agencies to have your visa processed. In my case, I submitted my visa application form at Reli Tours & Travel Agency. Processing fee is Php 1,200.00.
For those Without Relatives in Japan and are visiting Japan with a Purpose of Tourism, here are the requirements for submitting a Visa Application: (Source: http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/visiting/new%20visa/tourism.htm)
1. Philippine Passport
– Broken lamination of the photo part is not accepted. Must have signature and have at least two (2) blank pages.
2. Visa Application Form
– Also available at the entrance of Embassy or through accredited agency.
(Note: Be sure to fill-out all the blank fields with N/A. Also, if you downloaded the Visa Application Form online, you will notice that they have a dropdown for nationality or citizenship. This dropdown contains a list of countries. Instead of selecting a country, just type your citizenship. For example, instead of selecting Philippines, write Filipino. I selected Philippines for my citizenship and I was asked to changed it to Filipino when I submitted my form.)
– Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background
– Photo must be pasted on the application form.
(Note: I heard lots of good feedbacks with Great Image. I initially took my picture on a different photo studio but I’m not satisfied with the way they cut my photo so I have my picture taken again at Great Image. If you’re going to have your picture taken at Great Image, you can just tell them that you need the picture for a Japan Visa.)
4. Birth Certificate of applicant
5. Marriage Contract (if the applicant is married)
6. Daily Schedule in Japan
(Note: Also known as the itinerary.)
7. Bank Certificate
(Note: I had my bank certificate addressed to the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines. Also, I read somewhere that it will be helpful if you have at least Php 100,000.00 in your bank account.)
8. Income Tax Return (Form 2316) original and photocopy
(Note: Japan Embassy in the Philippines’ website listed that both the original and photocopy of form 2316 are needed. However, when I submitted my documents at Reli Tours, the staff told me that I only need to submit the photocopied one and the original was returned to me.)
9. Other supporting documents. This is listed on their site as a note: “It is applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he/she meet the requirements for the grant of a visa. Submission of any supporting documents not listed above is encouraged (e.g. applicant’s economic or social ties with the Philippines, urgent reasons for visit: medical certificate, wedding invitation).
(Note: For my case, I also submitted a Certificate of Employment, a Certificate of Leave, a Copy of My Airline Ticket and a Copy of My Hotel Reservation. It’s a risk to book your flight in advanced when you don’t have a visa yet but I booked mine in advanced to avail the Piso fare promo.)
And that’s it! I submitted my visa application on a Saturday and after 4 working days, I was informed that I can already pick-up my passport. When I checked my passport, I got a single-entry visa valid for 3 months. My 2 friends who’ve already went to Japan before (just last year) got a multiple-entry visa without even asking for it. 😀
For more information on Japan visa requirements, you may visit Japan Embassy in the Philippines’ website: http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp