Visa. Why do we(Filipinos) need a visa to enter Japan? WHY? 🙁 Anyway, even if the word Visa itself sounds complicated, I never had a hard time getting one. You may already find a lot of guide for Japanese Visa in the web, but I’ll share my own personal experience anyway.
How to apply for a Japanese Visa for Philippine Passport Holders?
For more info please visit the official website of Japan Embassy in PH.
And we submitted the following requirements:
> Philippine Passport
Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) meeting (ICAO) standard or ordinary IC passport
> Visa Application Form
Click here. Be sure to write clearly and neatly. And of course, ALL CAPS. But in my case, I fill up the form online and then print it. I can’t show mine because I have printed only 1 copy and it was submitted to the embassy. When you use the online form, it can’t be save. :/
Specs 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background. I think it is advisable to wear a collar shirt during the pictorial so you look presentable. We got our photos in Colours Digital Foto in Ayala Center Cebu(new wing) at P120 for 4 copies. Be sure to let them know the specs of the photo. Also please note that the photo must be pasted on the application form.
> Birth Certificate of Applicant
I got mine online at https://nsohelpline.com/. It’s a bit expensive(P350) compared to the regular price which is less than P200. But I hate lining up and I’m in a hurry so. My birth certificate was delivered the next day after I ordered and pay online through credit card.
> Daily Schedule in Japan (TAIZAI NITTEIHYO ）
Download this form and fill up: http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/visiting/new%20visa/requirements/schedule%20of%20stay.doc
Daily schedule will require a place and a contact number of where you’re gonna stay in Japan. So what I did was I temporarily booked each one of us a hostel in Agoda. It’s temporary in the sense that I chose those hostels that offer Book Now Pay Later option. They’ll not charge my credit card if I cancel my booking 3 days before the arrival. I would also like to emphasize that it should be temporary because WHAT IF YOUR VISA APPLICATION GOT DENIED? You’re so dead. After all, my original plan for our accommodation is AIRBNB =)
Next important thing to take note is that your daily schedule should match the money you have in your bank statement. What I mean is that you should not write like your staying in Tokyo Disneyland Hotel(Php15k/night) for 5 nights and you’ll ride a bullet train(Php10k) going back and forth in Kyoto and you only have Php70000 in your bank statement. Are you kidding me? I hope you get my point.:D
You may refer ours as a guide but it won’t guarantee your visa approval: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1aEZmWeESjSHJja3N3RW5GLW8/view?usp=sharing
> Bank Certificate
We got ours from BPI(1 week before we filed our application in the agency) with P100 charged . Hmmp! How much money did we have in the bank? Surely we had more than Php 50000 each. The embassy will assess if you can finance your stay in Japan so be sure to put enough money in the bank.
> Income Tax Return (Form 2316) original
> Certificate of Employment
Additional(optional) documents that we submitted (to show that we’re sincere and dead serious in visiting Japan) are the ff:
> Air Plane Ticket(back & forth)
> Leave Approval
> Booking Confirmation in Agoda (accommodation)
So after gathering all the documents mentioned above, we went to Friendship Tours in Oakridge, Mandaue. The process was smooth that lasted for about 15 minutes. Don’t worry, they will check your documents one by one to make sure you don’t miss anything. Visa fee is P1200 for tourist.
To know more about them, please visit their website: http://friendshipcebu.com/?page_id=1270&lang=en
We filed our visa application on October 14(Wed) and got confirmation from the agency of our visa approval on October 21(Thurs). Was it long? HELL YES!!!! I was scared and nervous on each day that passed by. When I received the text message around 11 in the morning, I totally went crazy!!!!!
All of us four friends got our visa approved. If it’ll give you a relief, one of my friends Jeffrey, it’s his first time traveling abroad meaning his passport is fresh and empty but he got the visa! 🙂
We rushed to the agency to get our precious passports. I’m not gonna share how my visa looked like because I swear.. never mind. We had Chocolate Decadence after to celebrate from 10 Dove Street.
So that’s it. I hope I took away the anxiety you always felt when you hear the word “Japanese Visa”. Also I hope that getting visa won’t stop you from coming to Japan because I swear to God, IT’S WORTH IT.
By the way, I canceled our booking in Agoda that night when we got our visa approval.
Read my Tokyo Travel Guide here.