Japan used to be that country that seemed too distant for me. With the stories of visa rejection and people saying how strict Japan is with granting visas to Filipinos, I thought it would take me a long while before I can finally step foot in the land of the rising sun.
Come February 2019, an opportunity arose and I was suddenly given a chance to consider traveling to Japan this year. Hesitations and doubt came to greet me like a familiar friend but I decided to give it a shot, shutting down the worries and braving the process of having to anxiously wait for the result. Favorably, I was granted a single-entry tourist visa.
When the process was finally over, I couldn’t help but think that it was actually easier than what I pictured it to be. The process was so smooth and everything went by too quickly that when I got the prized sticker on my passport, I stared at it in total admiration and stole quick glances at it whenever I got the chance. It was like love at first sight, except you’re assured there will be no heartaches, just sweet and happy memories.
What documents should I submit? (Or more like what documents did I submit LOL)
Make sure your passport is not expiring within the next 6 months. Affix your signature on the 3rd page or else it won’t be accepted.
2. Completed Application Form
The form I submitted was computerized, meaning, I typed my answers on the computer. This is to ensure that it is clean and there are no unnecessary erasures in the form. Provide complete details. Application form should be printed in A4-sized paper.
Click here to download the application form.
Sample completed application form:
3. Birth Certificate
Only those who are flying to Japan for the 1st time are required to submit this. Make sure it’s valid or issued recently.
4. Bank Certificate
This should be recently issued by your bank and should be original that reflects your name, of course. Tell the bank representative that the purpose is for a Japan visa application. I only had 5-digits worth of money on my bank account when I applied so fret not and don’t panic when you hear people saying your account should have more than a 100k pesos. That is not always the case. If you have a steady income flow, a stable job, and your intentions of going to Japan are genuine, I don’t see why the consul should not grant you a visa.
Here’s the address of the Japan embassy since the bank representatives will most likely ask for it:
Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
2627, 1300 Roxas Blvd.
Pasay, Metro Manila
5. Daily Itinerary in Japan (Taizai Yoteihyo)
This is basically just an outline of your daily activities in Japan. No need to make it complex, just list down the things you intend to do. Travel agencies can assist you in making one.
Click here to download the document.
Sample completed itinerary:
6. ITR Photocopy/Explanation Letter
If you have the BIR form 2316 or ITR, submit it. But for me and my freelancer friends who can’t submit one, our go-to friend is the explanation letter! I explained in writing why I’m not able to submit one and stated why I wanted to go to Japan. I mentioned in the letter as well that I write a blog, for plus points. Haha. Don’t be scared to submit an explanation letter! I also submitted one for my South Korea visa application and I was also granted! (Thank you, Lord! And my travel history might have also helped with the ease of this application.)
Sample explanation letter:
7. 2pcs Colored 2×2 Picture
It should be recent or taken within the last 6 months. Tell the studio to shoot one that aligns with the Japanese embassy standard, they should know what to do. Make sure you tidy yourself so you could look pretty on your visa once its granted! Yay!
I also submitted:
8. Employment Certificate
Acquire this from your HR personnel. Be kind to ask them to include position title, monthly compensation, and hiring date. Make sure complete details of your company like address and contact numbers are included in the certificate.
I was told this wasn’t required but I sent it to the agency rep anyway, though I’m not sure if they actually submitted it. Haha
9. Photocopy of Credit Card
This is just to show more proof that I have the capability to fund myself during the travel.
10. Photocopies of Valid IDs
For proof of identity
Other documents you could submit:
11. Marriage Certificate
You should submit this when you’re legally married.
Filipinos are required to apply for a visa before flying to Japan, and you can only apply for the visa in their accredited agencies. Who are these accredited agencies? Check here to see updated list.
I chose Pan Pacific Travel as they impressed me with how quick and helpful they were with their responses when I was just inquiring through messenger. I initially asked about the requirements and they were more than willing to share the details with me so I went ahead and emailed them my documents for them to screen it. Iris, their kind representative, checked my documents thoroughly and told me that they were actually good for submission already (yes, I’m very detailed with my travel documents and always ensure that I prepare everything down to a T).
Since their office is in Manila, I took the risk of shipping my important docs (including my passport, yes) to Manila so they could process it with the Japanese embassy.
Iris lodged my visa application on May 17th. On May 21st, she told me my passport just got released with my Japan visa attached to it (YEEEES!) and I was surprised that it was that fast! And you would see that the visa was actually issued on the 17th as well! Amazing! On May 22nd, I received my passport here in Dumaguete and I swear I felt little tears when I saw my face on that shiny sticker! It was really a sight to behold.
Pan Pacific Travel’s visa assistance fee for Japan is only Php1,000.00 though I had to pay additional for the shipping fee. But with the service I got, it was worth it.
For more information, you can visit their website. They also have tour packages that you could avail. You could also reach them via their Facebook page if you have inquiries.
Double check all your documents to have a higher chance of success with the approval and pray that you will be granted this favor. Japan is too lovely to be missed!
If you have questions, shoot me a message or comment below, let’s help each other achieve our dreams of traveling the world.
Lastly, here’s my Japan visa to inspire you!
I’ll write about my Japan trip next.
For now, this blog ends here. 🇯🇵