Japan visa for Filipinos: I was granted 5 years with multiple entries!
I was pretty shocked to get a 5-year visa on my first application for a Japan visa for Filipinos. As a freelancer/self-employed, I didn’t think I will have this chance to be granted but my mother proposed that we apply as a family. Both my brother and I didn’t have ITRs and were not minors during the application period so my mother presented all her documents as a sponsor on our behalf.
Just last year, Japan Embassy in Manila changed their rules for applying for a 5-year visa but I think a family application is still the most effective! Japan has been flocked by Filipino tourists for the past few years so I guess they will be generous in granting a visa as long as the paperwork is complete.
Here are the easy steps in applying for a Japan visa for Filipinos. Good luck and may the force be with you!
Step 1: Prepare the documents you need in applying for a Japanese visa.
There are many types of Japan visa for Filipinos. Depending on your circumstance, see the requirements below:
- A passport valid for 6 months prior to departure. Remember you can’t really travel without this one! Make sure your passport is up to date.
- Accomplished Japanese visa application form. You may download the form here. I filled out the form using a computer. If you’re writing by hand, make sure to write diligently! A sample of a filled out application form can be found here.
- 4.5cm x 4.5 cm Photo (white background).
- NSO birth certificate issued within a year. If you are frequently traveling, applying visas or obtaining government-issued IDs, make it a habit to order your birth certificate online via NSO Helpline! I always do it and I receive my documents on time!
- If married, you will need to submit a marriage certificate, too. You can also order online using the website above.
- A travel itinerary is required for Filipinos applying a Japanese visa. You may follow this format to create your day to day activities in Japan.
- A bank certificate issued in the last 3 months is also required.
- Proof of income, certificate of employment and ITR for employed persons. If you are self-employed, you will need to submit your DTI/SEC registration and/or business permit.
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It is possible to have your Japanese visa sponsored if you are a minor or a student. Your sponsor will be the one who will present his/her documents. He/she should also guarantee that he/she will pay for all your expenses in Japan.
In this case, you will still need to submit all the requirements listed above except for the last two items (bank certificate and proof of income). Below are some of the additional requirements:
- A letter from your sponsor/guarantor. You may download a sample guarantee letter here.
- Photocopy of your guarantor/sponsor’s passport data page.
- You also need to provide a proof of relationship. If it’s just a friend, provide photos of you and your sponsor.
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If your guarantor is a Japanese, submit all the documents needed in the first section plus the additional requirements below:
- A letter from your sponsor/guarantor. You may download a sample guarantee letter here. Since your sponsor is a local, this document is in Japanese.
- Your Japanese sponsor’s Juminhyo, issued within the past 3 months. Juminhyo is your sponsor’s proof of residency in Japan.
- Your sponsor’s proof of income such as his/her Income Certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho), Tax Return Certificate (Nouzeishomeisho: Form2), and (Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae) or Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shomeisho).
If you were already granted a single-entry for a short visit in the past, you have a great chance of applying for a 5-year visa, however, the requirements will be different. Note that it is very important for you to use the visa granted to you in the past. If unused, there will be a slight chance they will not grant you a visa.
For the requirements, you may refer to the first item of this section (Japan visa for Filipinos without a sponsor). You will also need proof of travel to Japan within the last 3 years. Submit a photocopy of your previous Japan stamps.
Step 2: Choose a travel agency to process your Japan visa application.
The Japanese Embassy in Manila does not accept direct applications from individuals. You need to process your application through an agency. Please remember that there is no fee for applying for a Japanese visa. However, you will need to pay the travel agency. Below are some travel agencies accredited by the Japanese Embassy in Manila:
SM Southmall, Lucky Chinatown Mall
Based on experience, it does not matter which travel agency you pick. All of the above are reliable and are certified by the Japan Embassy in Manila. The results of your Japan visa application does not depend on the travel agency you will process it with. Of course, the visa processing prices for each agency is different so I guess this is where you’ll weigh your selection process.
Step 3: Wait for the results of your visa application
Results will come out within 3-5 days but I got mine in just 2 days. The travel agent will be responsible for delivering your passport to your home address. If you did not choose the delivery option, your travel agent will notify you when you can pick up your passport.
Tips on applying for a Japan visa for Filipinos:
- Make sure all the requirements are complete. The Japan Embassy in Manila will not process your application if you’re missing one (1) document.
- Consult your travel agent on how you can improve your requirements/application.
- If you are a freelancer without an ITR, it wouldn’t hurt to provide materials from your freelance work. For example, I provided screenshots of my blog and social media. This way, they would know the nature of work that I do.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Application is really easy and the results take 3-5 days. I applied for my visa 2 weeks before the departure but you can do it as early as 2 months (60 days).
It normally depends on the number of days you stay in Japan. In my case, I submitted a bank statement with ₱50,000 PHP in it.
Applying for a Japan visa is free. The only thing you need to pay for is the travel agency that will process the visa for you. See the prices for each travel agency in “step 2.”
No. Interviews are not required when applying for a Japan visa so make sure your requirements are complete. Your documents will be your chance to get your visa approved so be diligent!
If you read the first part of this article, I mentioned that I applied with my family. I was already 27 years old when I applied for the visa (2016). I did not have an ITR then so my parents served as my sponsors.
No. Japan Embassy in Manila does not require you to book accommodations and hotels when processing your visa. You can do it once approved.
Your travel agent will update you on this. Make sure to coordinate with them, not at the Embassy of Japan in Manila.
You can try applying again after 6 months. Application is free so there’s no harm in trying again!
Are you a Philippine passport holder? How was your experience in applying for a Japanese visa?
Was it difficult? Which travel agency did you process it with? Share your experience in the comment box below! Your experience can give insights to other Filipinos applying for a Japanese visa!