Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Japan Tourist Visa For Filipinos

Get ready for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics❗❗

I was lucky to be granted a Multiply-Entry Tourist Visa to Japan early this year. I specifically requested for it because I already had a single entry Japan visa in 2017.

Japan Tourist Visa For Filipinos Guide








Based from Embassy of Japan in the Philippines website, issuance of Multiple Entry Visa to Philippine Passport Holders started in 2013. In 2014, Japan begins to simplify its visa process and relaxes their visa requirements for Filipinos.

I was broke in 2013 and somewhat broke in 2014. My chances were slim to bag a Single Entry
Visa to Japan, especially a Multiple-Entry!

From 2015 to 2016, I traveled extensively to collect stamps on my Philippine Passport. I was able to travel to Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

By February of 2017, I applied for a Single-Entry Japan Visa and got denied!!! DENIED!!!!

I patiently waited for six months to re-apply and by September of that year, I re-applied and was granted a visa!

This year, it was my goal to get a multiple entry visa. I applied and requested for it and I got it!

Japan Tourist Visa Filipinos

Multiple-entry visa is good for a 30-day stay in Japan while my previous single-entry visa was only good for 15-day stay.

Japan Tourist Visa FilipinosJapan Tourist Visa Filipinos

If you're planning to go to Japan and preparing your requirements for a Single-Entry or Multiple-Entry visa, I suggest that you do these three things..

1. Read many blogs as possible. Visit websites of accredited travel agencies. Ask people who already went to Japan regarding all the requirements they submitted. I was too dumb to not read anything on the internet and not talk to people. I was complacent and thinking I will not get denied of a visa on my first try. Don't do the mistake I did.

2. Prepare and submit all the requirements needed. IMO, it's OK to overkill it than not comply or appear lazy with your preparation of requirements.

3. Pray.

Japan Tourist Visa Filipinos
Tokyo Tower from Roppongi Hills (not view from the top and not the best photo I have of the Tokyo Tower)

Requirements for Japan Single-entry Tourist Visa:

  • Philippine Passport
      • Your passport should not be expiring anytime soon (not within 6 months!)
      • Please do not forget to sign your new passport issued starting August 15, 2016 to present.  https://goo.gl/YY4SAE I missed to sign mine and the agency was the one to notice.
  • 2 x 2 inches photo or  4.5×4.5cm
  • Visa Application Form https://goo.gl/x3Fv12
      • Sample Visa Application Form https://goo.gl/wVqksJ
      • Write NA if not applicable to you, don't leave any items blank 
      • Don't forget to write the date and your signature
      • Print this in A4 size paper
  • Schedule of Stay Form (TAIZAI NITTEIHYO) https://goo.gl/JAJJqn
  • Original copy of Birth Certificate
      • Again, original copyMust be from PSA not NSO
      • Released or issued within one year
      • They will not return this to you. FYI.
  • Photocopy of your Income Tax Return Form
      • A clear copy in A4 paper
  • Certificate of Employment
      • Ask your HR to indicate your whole year salary + bonuses. Also, proof of leaves, if only possible to request from your HR. (But I did not requested for this one. Moving on.
  • Certificate of Stocks
  • Peso Savings Bank Certificate
  • USD Savings Bank Certificate
      • Visit the branch where you opened your account (they always ask this when you request for a Bank Certificate). Fill-out the form. Pay Php 100.00.

Additional requirements for Japan Multiple-entry Tourist Visa: 

  • Old passport with Japan Single-entry Tourist Visa and Stamp
      • I already renewed my passport by November 2017
  • Japan Multiple-entry Visa Request Checklist/Form
  • Letter of Request to Embassy of Japan https://goo.gl/omEc1y
      • As much as possible, do not copy the whole thing. Not word for word please. Use your creativity. I beg you.

Japan Tourist Visa Filipinos
Sensō-ji Temple at night past nine in the evening. No tourists, it is all yours!

I searched on the internet reddit for frequently asked questions about Japan tourist visa. I'm not expert, not working for any agency, nor have any connections from the Japan Embassy. Below are just merely my opinion and I'm basing my answers from my own experience..

FAQs

  1. I already renewed my passport and my Multiple-Entry Japan Tourist Visa is on my old passport. How do I deal with this?
    • A friend of mine has her US visa in her old passport as US visa lasts for 10 years. I believe you'll just have to bring your old passport with the visa and the immigration officers will stamp your departure/arrival on your new passport.
  2. I have a friend in Japan who is willing to send me a Letter of Invitation. Would this secure me a visa?
    • Not really to be honest. The Embassy considers many factors. If you're friend is not paying for your trip, the embassy will have to look at your bank account/savings if you can fund your travel. They will look at the length of your stay and activities you put in your Schedule of Stay (itinerary) if you have sufficient money to fund your travel around Japan. 
  3. What about travel history? I have traveled to many countries.. would this be an advantage
    • Despite my travel history, I was denied once for a single entry visa.
      • Singapore (2011 & 2016)
      • Thailand (2013 & 2016)
      • Vietnam (2015)
      • Taiwan (2015)
      • Hong Kong & Macau (2016)
      • Malaysia (2016)
      • South Korea (2016)
      • Cambodia(2016)
      • Indonesia (2016)
      • Feb 2017 - I got denied on my first attempt to get a Japan Single-entry Visa.
    • But don't fret, some friends who've never travel as much compared to me still got their Japan visa application approved. Also, it's an edge if you already have a visa from any of the G7 countries. 
  4. How much should I have in the bank?
    • Depends. Because I was denied on my first application, I shamelessly asked my friends who already went to Japan how much they have in their bank account when they submitted their bank certificates. Three of them said over Php 100,000. I swear they're not lying. Some blogs say 50k-100k. I believe the embassy evaluate your money in the bank and daily schedule/activities in Japan if you can fund it.
    • Semi pro tip: Don't complicate your itinerary in Japan. Keep it simple and show that you're not going to too many places and expensive areas.
    • Source : I had a really complicated itinerary on my first application backed by a slim bank account.
  5. I'm not employed and I don't have any source of fund.. any hopes?
    • As we all know, Japan has already relaxed their visa application process and requirements. But like I said, I had a job, a round-trip ticket to Japan, and reserved an accommodation but got denied. You still have a chance if someone else like a family member (parents, brother, aunt, etc.) is paying for your trip. But don't solely rely on this since I have a friend who planned on bringing his girlfriend in Japan and he would be the one to pay for everything and be the sponsor. The boyfriend has multiple-entry Japan tourist visa valid for 3 years. The girlfriend has traveled to one or two countries abroad. Girlfriend's visa was denied. They're now engaged. :-) win-win. In short, the chance of getting approved is slim.
  6. Do I need to purchase a round-trip airline ticket and book a hotel?
    • I did. I cannot resist Cebu Pacific's promo fare! In all of my three applications, I had already purchased a round-trip airline ticket. I also booked dummy accommodation thru booking.com. Through booking.com, it's possible to book a hotel room online, and have an option to cancel it later with no cost or pay at the hotel/hostel when you arrived. BUT this have no bearing because like I mentioned above, my application was not approved considering I already have a round-trip airline ticket and booked hostels.
  7. How much is a tourist visa to Japan?
    • I paid Reli Tours Php 950 for a Single-entry visa, but got denied. On my second application, I applied through Universal Holidays, Inc. in Dusit Thani Hotel. I paid for Php 1008, discounted because I work for a company which is their major client.
    • When I applied for a Multiple-entry, I paid UHI Php 1505. Or I already forgot but around this amount. It's the regular price, no discount this time.
  8. How long does it take to process a Japan tourist visa?
    • Ha! Classic question. I love it. With my first application, I went to UHI agency and submitted my requirements on a Monday afternoon. By Tuesday morning I received an SMS from the agency that my application was already lodged in Japan Embassy. I received another SMS by Thursday afternoon that my passport was ready for pick-up. Thru a representative, (my father) I had it picked-up by Friday afternoon. Before Saturday noon, I was already in Tokyo. Lost. lol Some say it can take up to a month!
I hope someday we can all freely get to travel to many countries without needing a visa. It's a pain getting one. It's not cheap. But we will need to have to go through a lot of changes in our country before this can happen.

Let me know what you think and thanks for reading! I'm also on Facebook and Instagram. :-)