Visa applications can be daunting, especially if you have never applied for one before. Thankfully, Japan has relaxed its visa policies precisely because they want you to visit their country. So, don’t fret! As long as you submit the right –and complete - documents, you shouldn’t have to worry. Read on to find out exactly what you need to get your visa to Japan:

1. Check the website to find out the exact type of visa you need

Japan offers several types of visas depending on your purpose for traveling. Visit the website of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines and browse through the “Types of Visa” section to see where your needs fall.

2. Prepare all the required documents and provide additional requirements if necessary

If you’re traveling as a tourist for the first time, and without a guarantor, here’s a list of what you will need, plus some helpful tips for a smoother application:

  • Philippine Passport - Make sure that your passport won’t expire for at least another 6 months from the date of your departure and has a minimum of two blank pages for where they will attach the visa.
  • Visa Application Form - You can download and fill out this form neatly and legibly in all block letters. Review the whole application form beforehand to keep yourself from making any erasures.
  • 2x2 Photo - Avoid wearing accessories such as earrings and headbands in the photo. Have the photo printed and stick it on your application form. If you’re taking the photo yourself, make sure it’s against a plain white background. You can use this illustration as a guide.
  • NSO Birth Certificate issued within one year - This can be requested online and delivered directly to your doorstep through this website. If the document is unclear or is for late registration, you may also provide your baptismal certificate, school report cards, school record form 137, and/or school yearbook.
  • Marriage Certificate issued within one year, if married - You may also acquire this document from the NSO website.
  • Daily Itinerary - Create a list of the sites you want to visit or cities you will travel to on each day of your trip. The more details, the better. (Planning to include Cherry Blossoms to your itinerary? Click here to find out when and where to do it.)
  • Proof of Income - To prove that you can sustain yourself throughout the trip, simply provide your most recent ITR Form 2316. If you’re a business owner, submit your Business Registration issued by DTI. In case you are a freelancer and don’t have an ITR, it would be best to ask your parents or a relative to accept financial responsibility for you throughout your trip. You may present an affidavit of support that has been notarized to avoid any suspicion as to why you cannot present your ITR. The last thing you want is for them to assume that you’re evading taxes – that’s a direct flight to getting denied.
  • Certificate of Employment - Strong ties to the Philippines will be your ally for your application. Your CoE will count as evidence that you will be returning home after your visit.
  • Bank Certificate - It is important to make sure that you have more than enough money in your account to shoulder the expenses of your trip. (Find out here how you can minimize your budget.) If you are applying with an affidavit of support, you will have to request for a bank certificate from your acting sponsor.

3. Choose an accredited travel agency

The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines does not accept applications directly. That means that you will have to get in touch with one of their accredited travel agencies to help you process your visa.

4. Submit requirements and pay processing fees

Review your documents one last time before submitting. Keep your application form neat and the documents in the proper order. Remember: include both the original copy and a photocopy of all your documents.

5. Be patient

Your application will take 2-3 business days to process. If after the third day you haven’t heard from the travel agency, don’t be afraid to follow up. Once you pick up your passport, a red sticker will indicate that you have been denied; while a white sticker will indicate that you have been approved.

Good luck!

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