Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Get a Japanese Tourist Visa for Filipinos

I would love to go back to the Philippines to spend the holidays but the airfares are impossibly high. So my boyfriend decided to just come here in Japan instead. Surprisingly, it's a lot more cheaper. Our only fear was that his visa may not be granted because the Japan Embassy are very strict in issuing tourist visa for Filipinos. I can't blame then since it is also our doing. A lot of Filipinos try to obtain a tourist visa with malicious intentions. But this is not to say that obtaining a tourist visa is impossible. The key is strict compliance with the Japanese Embassy requirements. 

Basic Requirements: 

1. Passport- Make sure your passport won't expire within 6 months. I think the more stamps you have on your passport from other countries, the higher your chances. This would show that you are a regular tourist. I heard that it is also easier for those who were issued Japan visa before. 

2. Application Form- This can be downloaded from the Embassy's website or from accredited agencies. 

3. Income Tax Return- As much as possible, submit your ITR. I think this reflects that you have a job and you are paying your taxes. My boyfriend is a free lancer. In his case, he submitted a letter explaining why he won't be able to submit an ITR. 

4. Bank Certificate- This shows that you can support your trip or that you are in good financial standing. I don't think that the Embassy would be impressed if you have lots of money but you only opened your account a few days or weeks before your application. I think your bank account should be at least 6 months with reasonable amount of money on a regular basis. 

5. Photo- Just go to a studio and ask to have your picture taken for Japan Visa. They know what to do. 

6. Itinerary- The Embassy requires that you enumerate the things you will probably do in Japan. If you are in a package tour, just submit the tour's itinerary. If you're making it alone, make sure that your itinerary looks reasonable and within your budget. You can't go on touring from one place to another if you only got 50,000 Php. 

7. Birth Certificate- Most probably, if you have a passport you also have this. 

Other Requirements: 

1. Invitation Letter and Letter of Guarantee - These would be coming from your relative or friend in Japan if you have one. I think with these letters, you chances of getting a visa is higher since someone in Japan will be responsible for you. If you're joining a tour, they will act as your guarantor. If your going alone, you don't have to submit any of these. These can be downloaded from the embassy's website

2. Residence and Bank Certificates- If you are being invited, make sure that a residence and a bank certificate are also sent to you. The residence certificate is a testament that the person inviting you really lives in Japan legally. The bank certificate testifies that your guarantor tor inviting person can support your stay. The residence certificate can requested from the City Office. 

3. Income Tax Return- Your guarantor and invitee must also submit an income tax return from the city office. In my case, I wrote a letter explaining I don't have an ITR yet because I was just here for a few months. 

4. Photos- If you are visiting a friend or relative, show photos that would prove you are related. 

Also, take note that the Japanese Embassy does not accept direct applications. You have to go through accredited agencies to process your visa. My boyfriend had his at Reli Tours in SM Megamall. They are open from Mon to Sun so it's very convenient. He made sure that all documents are complete before he passed his requirements. After 5 working days, he got his Tourist Visa, thankfully. 

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