A little background:
We’re from Davao City. My sister and I were planning to go to Japan for spring. My sister was still a student at the time we were applying for the visa and I am a freelance virtual assistant with ample experience in travelling overseas.
Since we’re from Davao City, I thought that we need to go to Manila to personally apply and submit our documents to the Japanese Embassy. I just recently learned that we can apply at the Japanese Consulate here in Davao. Because of that lack of knowledge, we opted to go to an accredited agency in Davao which is Attic Tours that can process our visa application. I think it’s also a plus to opt for an agency because they would know what documents you’d lack and they can guide you in the process. They are much more experienced with visa processing so you can also trust them. Though it would still be the embassy that would approve your visa, so don’t blame the agency if you don’t get approved 🙂 Here’s a link for a list of accredited agencies for Japan visa processing.
Preparation of documents:
This photo is the list of requirements for Filipinos who wish to apply for a Japanese Tourist Visa. I got this from the agency, please refer to it for your specific conditions or go directly to the agency or embassy’s website for more information.
Below is the list of documents that I prepared in applying for a Japanese Tourist Visa:
- Philippine Passport
- Visa Application Form
- Birth Certificate (PSA)
- Daily Schedule (Trip Itinerary)
- Personal Bank Certificate
- Explanation Letter for not being able to submit an Income Tax Return
- Certificate of Employment
- (Not a document ^_^) Payment! (P1680 per pax + P300 LBC fee) See photo below.
And below is the list of documents that my sister prepared in applying for her Japanese Tourist Visa as a student:
- Philippine Passport
- Visa Application Form
- Birth Certificate (PSA)
- Daily Schedule (Itinerary)
- Guarantor’s Bank Certificate: As a student, she just submitted a guarantor’s Bank Certificate. She submitted our mom’s bank certificate.
- Guarantee Letter: The Guarantee letter can also be downloaded from Japan Embassy’s website. Here’s a sample of her guarantee letter
- Proof of Enrolment / Certification that she is currently enrolled to a university
Details of my document preparation:
You can download the visa application form and itinerary format from Japan Embassy website 🙂
- Philippine Passport: Broken passport is not accepted. Passport must be signed and must have at least two (2) blank visa pages.
- Visa Application Form (No erasures, no blank items, if not applicable, please fill in N/A). You can download the editable form here: Visa Application Form. For the address of accommodations in Japan, I pre-booked our accommodation that needs no downpayment. Make sure that the place you book offers a free cancellation so that whatever changes happen, you can just cancel it. You can copy the exact address of the accommodation which you can find on the booking confirmation you got. Other applicants/bloggers suggest that you don’t necessarily have to book your accommodation and just look for your prospect accommodation on google or booking sites and just copy their addresses. For us, I just wanted to make sure I get it right that’s why I booked with free cancellation 🙂
- Photo (4,5 cm x 4.5 cm, with white background, must be taken within six months. Please write applicant’s name and birth date on the back side of the photo, must be pasted/glued on the application form)
- Birth Certificate (PSA) Must be issued within one year.
- Daily Schedule (Itinerary): I downloaded the form from the embassy’s website and just filled-in the table. I researched a lot on this and found some helpful blogs especially from thepoortraveller.net. I kinda copied their itinerary because it’s very similar to what we planned to do in Japan. I was very careful on filling-up this form and I saw to it that I typed every word correctly – even the capitalisation and punctuations. Here’s a photo of our Japan Trip Itinerary submitted to the embassy.
- Personal Bank Certificate (validity is within three (3) months): For this one, I really prepared for this by saving every month before we submitted our application. I researched about this and I read that it can be shown on the bank certificate if you just put a lump sum to it for the sake of the show money. So I carefully planned it months before to save into my bank account every month for 4 months. Also, I have read that the average daily expense for Japan tourist is 10,000 pesos a day. So if you plan to visit Japan for 4 days, you may save at least 40,000 pesos or more to your bank account. As for me and my sister, we submitted a bank certificate with 80,000 pesos each just to be sure. I don’t know what is the Japanese Embassy’s basis for approval with regards to show money, but for us, we got approved with this.
- Explanation Letter for not being able to submit an Income Tax Return: This part was kind of a headache for me because since I started freelancing, I saw to it that I pay my taxes regularly. I intentionally paid my taxes because I’d want to use my ITR for this kind of situations. I know that the ITR is relevant especially in visa applications. But this time, I was not able to use it. It was February 2019 that we submitted our application and the BIR has just transitioned to TRAIN Law and they are still updating the ITR forms. That is why I was not able to submit mine. Fortunately! I just sent an explanation letter for this and also submitted my certificate of employment. This part added to my anxiety of not getting approved but thank God we got approved! Hehe.
- Certificate of Employment: As a freelancer, it’s a bit hard to acquire one. But I requested my kind employer to issue me a certificate of employment. I had been working for her for almost 2 years now so I think I may be entitled to request one 🙂 As for government employees, I have heard that it is difficult for them to travel abroad for vacation purposes. This is only what I heard and not based on people I know with actual experiences, but they said that the immigration is strict with government employees leaving the country. However, as per my mom who is a local government employee, she said that a government employee should ask for a Permit to Travel document from their office to be able to travel abroad.
After submitting our documents to the agency, the next step is to pray and wait for 5-10 working days then the agency will contact you to pick-up your passports 🙂
- Make sure to prepare everything and double-check even the spellings 🙂 If you’re not sure of something or you’re not able to submit some documents, ask the agency for advice.
- Be honest. The Japanese Embassy just wanted to make sure that you, as a tourist, will not be experiencing any trouble if you get to Japan and/or that you may not become a threat to their country.
- Plan in advance especially for your bank certificate. Save a lot beforehand.
- Research for your itinerary. Make sure its doable and can fit to your budget. (Japan’s transportation is costly and it took more from our budget than food)
- Prepare for major changes in your flight and itinerary. We did not book our plane tickets until we got approved with our visa application. So our roundtrip plane ticket is quite expensive. As we booked, we looked for dates that has the lowest price and instead of having a 4-day trip, we adjusted to have a 12-day trip. Haha. Since we have friends living in Japan, we saved a lot for our accommodation expenses. But this depends on your budget. Just expect a lot of changes, unless you booked a trip package, that would be easier and hassle-free 🙂
Just so you know:
I don’t get any commission from the sites and agencies I mentioned on this blog post. I just want to share my Japan Tourist Visa Application experience and I hope this also helps 🙂
P.S. I’ll be posting our Japan Travel sooooooooon!!! 🙂