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Travelin' Boots

How to Really Apply for a Japan Tourist


Visa (for Filipinos)
JANUARY 12, 2018 By ADA WILKINSON (HTTP://WWW.TRAVELINBOOTS.COM/AUTHOR/ADA-W/)

This post is for Filipino citizens residing in the Philippines. If you’re a Filipino residing abroad
(http://www.travelinboots.com/passports-visas/get-japan-tourist-visa-us/), please visit the nearest Embassy of
Japan in the country where you live.

Before anything else, let me give you a brief rundown of my Japan tourist visa application. I have visited
Japan as a tourist twice before nally settling down here. However, my application was di erent in that it
wasn’t a standard Japan tourist visa for tourism; my visa type was a tourist visa, Invited by Military Personnel,
meaning that I had a guarantor who is in the military.
Even though my own personal experience is applying for tourist visa with guarantor, I’ve also helped friends
and readers of this blog get their Japan tourist visa approved (http://www.travelinboots.com/passports-
visas/japan-visa-tips-increase-chances-getting-japan-visa-approved/) without a guarantor.

In time, I learned that with or without a guarantor, the Consul of Japan o ce processes all applications the
same way – it’s just a matter of submitting the right documents.

A lot of visa applicants have been sending me emails asking about their chances of getting a Japan tourist visa
approved. Some would even email me all of their personal documents before they submit it to the accredited
travel agency. And, while I appreciate their trust in me, that’s a LOT of personal info to be emailed to
someone you don’t even know. Plus, I’m not even in a position to tell you whether your visa will be approved
or not (http://www.travelinboots.com/passports-visas/denied-japan-tourist-visa/).

I am just a blogger sharing tips I’ve found which help speed the process up and inform you of the best ways to
go about applying.

As long as you feel that you have everything you need, then you are good to go. Also, please stop worrying
about getting denied because the visa requirements have recently been relaxed. This is part of the promotion
of Japan as a tourism-oriented country.

All of that said, relaxing doesn’t mean you should overlook the details of the documents you are submitting.
You should always prove that you are nancially capable to travel to Japan and have strong social ties to come
back to your home country, the Philippines.

In addition, this blog is solely for tourist visa application only.

I do not answer questions regarding working in Japan, how to live in Japan, how to get Japanese citizenship,
etc.

If you’re looking for these things, then this blog is not for you.

If your question is already written in the FAQs section, you will not get a reply either. It’s easy to spot
someone who has read this blog or not.

Never ever email or send me a message on Facebook!


If you didn’t nd the information you are looking for a er reading this blog, just leave a comment
(http://www.travelinboots.com/passports-visas/apply-japan-tourist-visa/#comments). Never ever email or
send me a message on Facebook hoping to get a special treatment. You will never get a reply. I am not a visa
consultant or whatsoever. However, if you badly need an answer because you have been denied a Japan
tourist visa multiple times, I am available for consultation
(https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/AdaWilkinson/50).

If you really want to get your visa approved, read this blog, gulp it, and digest it.

Luck favors the prepared mind.  ~Louis Pasteur

Without further ado, here is the step-by-step guide on how to apply for Japan tourist visa for Filipinos:

Table of Contents 

1. Choose the visa type you are applying for.


The very rst step is to visit the website (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/00_000035.html) of
Embassy of Japan, in the Philippines, then look for “Types of visa.” There are, of course, many types of visa
listed, but again, I will only focus on getting the tourist visa.

Next is ask yourself. Are you applying for a tourist visa to visit a relative? To visit a friend? Or are you visiting
Japan just purely for sightseeing? Visiting Japan for di erent purposes requires di erent documents.

If you want to work in Japan with a tourist visa, close your browser now. As in right now. Get lost. Wake up
early in the morning and head over to POEA to see if Japan is hiring Filipino workers, and apply there in
person. Not here on my blog! Please don’t be stubborn. (In case you haven’t guessed by this point, I get this
question FAR too o en.)

Kidding aside. Once you nally determined the type of tourist visa you’re applying for, read the requirements
thoroughly and carefully, and make sure to obtain them all as soon as possible.

2. Obtain and prepare the required documents.


Now that you know which Type of visa you are applying for, obtain all the required documents listed from
the Embassy of Japan website.

Many applicants are confused on the requirements listed on the Embassy of Japan website. This is why I have
carefully arranged these requirements as your easy guide.

Keep in mind that all documents must be original and in A4 format unless otherwise stated.

Requirements for Japan tourist visa without guarantor or sponsor


If you are visiting Japan mainly for sightseeing without any guarantor or sponsor, then these are the only
documents you need. You can also download the checklist here
(https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hWWss-5DQ6E-vjdnPlX2DrGmhILFjJjHmCvoGXVG858/edit?
usp=sharing).
Valid Philippine Passport. Passports should have at least 6 months validity during your intended date of
stay in Japan, it must be signed, and have at least two (2) blank visa pages.
Visa Application Form. Preferably printed. Download here (http://www.ph.emb-
japan.go.jp/ les/000163096.pdf). If handwriting, write neatly and legibly. Avoid any erasures.
Photo 4.5cm x 4.5cm. White background. Write your name and birth date on the back side of the photo
and paste it into the visa Application form. Photo must be taken within 6 months.
PSA Birth Certi cate (formerly known as NSO Birth Certi cate). Must be issued within one year.
For late registration or unreadable NSO, submit the following:
a) certi cate of baptism.
b) school report cards or school record form 137.
c) graduation albums or school yearbook.
Marriage Certi cate (if married). Issued within one year.
Daily Schedule in Japan. Download here (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/ les/000163103.doc). Below is
my example daily schedule.
Important tips on booking hotels, tours, and ight tickets in advance:

For Accommodation column, you will need a tentative hotel reservation.

Here’s what I did:

I booked through agoda.com for Okura Frontier Hotel (https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?


cid=1646872&pcs=1&hid=77475) (a liate link) and booking.com for Shinagawa Prince Hotel
(http://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/shinagawa-prince.html?
aid=855144&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1) (a liate link). These two hotels had “book now, pay later” feature. I
was able to print out the booking con rmation and submit it as my supporting document. That way, if my
visa application denied, I would just cancel the booking. Thankfully, my Japan tourist visa was approved that
time.

You can also try Airbnb (http://www.airbnb.com/c/awilkinson38) (if you sign-up using my link, you’ll get Php
1,500 Airbnb credit). When using Airbnb, look for a host with the Flexible Cancellation policy
(https://www.airbnb.com/home/cancellation_policies). That way, you will get the full refund prior to your
check-in date if you were denied a visa.

I was also very interested in seeing Mt. Fuji. So I booked through an online booking site
(https://www.govoyagin.com/activities/japan-yamanashi-mt-fuji-tour-including-hakone-and-lake-ashi-
cruise/876?acode=boots) (a liate link) in Japan and submitted the booking con rmation. There was a free
cancellation 1 month prior that time.

Booking your hotel and tours are completely optional. Most visa applicants who shared their experience with
me felt that their hotel and tour booking con rmation helped with the approval process.

The same is true for booking ight tickets. If you have already booked your ight ticket because of ‘sale’, it
won’t hurt to submit it too. But if you have no ight tickets yet on hand, I strongly suggest not risk getting a
ight ticket.

Proof of income.
For employed:

Latest Copy of ITR Form 2316 or from the previous year if it has not been issued yet within the year.
Certi cate of employment.
For self-employed:

Latest Copy of ITR Form 2316 or from the previous year if it has not been issued yet within the year.
If you have your own business, or you’re a freelancer, submit your Business Registration issued by
DTI (also known as DTI Permit).
For OFW:
Tax exemption form from BIR.
Certi cate of employment or copy of employment contract.
Bank Certi cate. Must be issued within 3 months.

Tip #1: For applicants with guarantor, proof of income and bank certi cate is not required.

Tip #2: For applicants without the guarantor and without ITR and Bank Certi cate, please apply with a
guarantor/sponsor. If you can’t nd a sponsor or guarantor, you may write a Letter of Explanation addressed
to the Consulate-General of Japan on why you are unable to submit it an ITR. Download the Letter of
Explanation format here
(https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FlQtm6xFg7hZjQl8lc4JA8oSgpGT8zVFtKuAaCso3jc/edit?
usp=sharing).

Requirements for tourist visa for Visiting Relatives (spouse, immediate


family members, and other blood relatives)
Applying with a guarantor or sponsor is great for applicants who don’t have proof of income like ITR and
Bank Certi cate. Guarantor’s documents also help increase the chances of your visa approval.

If you have a family member living in Japan, ask them if they can be your guarantor for your Japan visa
application. You can also download the checklist here
(https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qPRqRU9BntirG3aDGCz0iNmGy44r5_ce36C9ghtzI0I/edit?usp=sharing).

In addition to the basic requirements (1-8) above, make sure to obtain the following from your relative or
family member.

Birth certi cate of the guarantor/sponsor family member. To attest relationship of applicant and
guarantor.
Invitation Letter. Completed and signed by the guarantor. Download here (http://www.ph.emb-
japan.go.jp/ les/000163101.doc) for English or here (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/ les/000163100.doc)
for Japanese.
Documents explaining the reason for the invitation. If visiting because of health reason, checkup,
wedding invitation, etc. Provide copies of each.
Guarantee Letter. Completed and signed by the guarantor. Download here (http://www.ph.emb-
japan.go.jp/ les/000163099.doc) for English or here (http://www.ph.emb-
japan.go.jp/ les/000163098.doc) for Japanese.
Family Registration or koseki tohon. Must be issued within 3 months.
Residence Certi cate or juminhyo. Must be issued within 3 months.
Proof of Income. Provide more than one of the following documents:
Income Certi cate or shotoku shomeisho. Must be issued within 3 months. This can be obtained from
the city hall of the persons place of residence, issued by a tax o cer director.
Final tax return certi cate or nouzeishomeisho (Form 2). Should indicate gross income for the
previous year and seal of reception from the tax o ce. Statement of tax withholding is not
acceptable. If e-Tax: submit Receipt Noti cation and Final Tax Return)
Bank Certi cate or kakuteishinkokusho hikae or yokin zandaka shomeisho.
IF the guarantor/sponsor is a foreign national living in Japan, submit these additional documents:
Photocopy of valid residence card. Both sides.
Photocopy of resident Record Code. This can be requested from the city hall where the foreign
guarantor/sponsor live.
Photocopy of his/her passport. Must include the pages of status items, the record of
entry/departure, and of residence permit.

Requirements for tourist visa for Visiting Friend


These are the requirements for Japan tourist visa if visiting a friend. Visiting your boyfriend or girlfriend also
applies here. You can also download the checklist here (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rt_lufZ8KwWKPii_o8up-
LIoGbaFkT2yHKV2Vp-voKQ/edit?usp=sharing).

Documents to prove the relationship. Includes chats, texts, emails, and photos.


Invitation Letter. Completed and signed by the guarantor. Download here (http://www.ph.emb-
japan.go.jp/ les/000163101.doc) for English or here (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/ les/000163100.doc)
for Japanese.
Documents explaining the reason for the invitation. If visiting because of health reason, checkup,
wedding invitation, etc. Provide copies of each.
Guarantee Letter. Completed and signed by the guarantor. Download here (http://www.ph.emb-
japan.go.jp/ les/000163099.doc) for English or here (http://www.ph.emb-
japan.go.jp/ les/000163098.doc) for Japanese.
Family Registration or koseki tohon. Must be issued within 3 months.
Residence Certi cate or juminhyo. Must be issued within 3 months.
Proof of Income. Provide more than one of the following documents:
Income Certi cate or shotoku shomeisho. Must be issued within 3 months. This can be obtained from
the city hall of the place of residence issued by a tax o cer director.
Final tax return certi cate or nouzeishomeisho (Form 2). Should indicate gross income for the
previous year and seal of reception from the tax o ce. Statement of tax withholding is not
acceptable. If e-Tax: submit Receipt Noti cation and Final Tax Return)
Bank Certi cate or kakuteishinkokusho hikae or yokin zandaka shomeisho.
IF the guarantor/sponsor is a foreign national living in Japan, submit these additional documents:
Photocopy of valid residence card. Both sides.
Photocopy of resident Record Code. This can be requested from the city hall where the foreign
guarantor/sponsor live.
Photocopy of his/her passport. Must include the pages of status items, the record of
entry/departure, and of residence permit.

Requirements for tourist visa with a guarantor or sponsor outside Japan


These requirements are for students, unemployed, housewives/househusbands, or even some (stubborn)
freelancers who are unable to provide ITR.

If you don’t know anyone in Japan to sponsor you, there must be someone in your family who can sponsor
your trip. Is there anyone you know who’s employed and has ITR, Certi cate of Employment or DTI
Business Permit, and bank certi cate? Ask them to help you. It could be your father, mother, brother, relative,
friend, boyfriend, etc.

For students.
Certi cate of Enrollment
A davit of Support. Notarized and original. Download the A davit of Support template here
(https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BFiJl063A5Ye8ZqRc1qF6X1KpumviDp_gVqTMQHwPlY/edit?
usp=sharing) for students and minors, and here
(https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jgLALHbZMkloD-gIaoP0IdBE9XmeeK76uSHAkN0C-_8/edit?
usp=sharing) for unemployed or freelancers.
Important information Guarantee Letter vs A davit of Support:
Many applicants are o en mistaken of submitting Guarantee Letter instead A davit of Support. Guarantee
Letter is for visa applicants with guarantor/sponsor who lives in Japan, while the A davit of Support is for visa
applicants with guarantor/sponsor outside Japan. Both documents are lled out by the guarantor.
Bank Certi cate of guarantor/sponsor.
Income tax return of guarantor/sponsor.
Certi cate of employment (if any) or DTI Business permit if guarantor/sponsor is self-employed.
Photocopy of Passport of guarantor/sponsor.
If guarantor/sponsor is OFW, provide tax exemption form from BIR and photocopy of the employment
contract.

Requirements for Multiple Entry tourist visas


Visit Embassy of Japan website (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/ les/000232596.pdf) for complete
requirements and see if you qualify.
Same requirements as the above with the addition of Request Form for Multiple Entry visa.

3. Choose an accredited travel agency.


Now that you have completed all the requirements, time to choose an accredited travel agencies. The
Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, and Japan consular o ces, no longer accept applications directly from
the applicants but instead will accept applications through the accredited travel agencies. It is very important
that you only apply through these accredited agencies. If your travel agency is not listed on the Embassy
website, there’s a high probability that you are dealing with a middleman.

For applicants who live outside Manila or Cebu, contact at least one of the Travel Agencies for mailing
instructions.

There are now 17 accredited travel agencies (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/00_000256.html) who


can process your Japan tourist visa. Eight of them are well-established since they have been processing Japan
visa so long.

Visa Processing Fees for Japan Tourist Visa


The visa fee for Japan tourist visa varies per travel agency and you must pay the fee a er you have submitted
your documents. Visa fees range from Php 700-1,500.
Reli Tours & Travel Agency (http://www.relitours.ph/en-visa.html) in Dusit Thani Makati, SM Mall of
Asia, SM Megamall, Lucky Chinatown, SM Southmall = Php 950
Attic Tours Phils (http://www.attictours.asia/visaApplication.php) in Pasay, Hotel Jen Manila, and
Waterfront Airport Hotel Cebu = Php 1,500
Universal Holidays (http://www.universalholidays.com/HomePage.aspx?&lan=en-US) in Makati and Cebu
= Php 700 (for online application)
Friendship Tours and Resorts (http://www.visa.friendshipmanila.com/) in Makati, Cebu, and Davao = Php
1,200
Discovery Tour, Inc (http://discoverytour.ph/japanvisa/tourist-visa-single-or-multiple-252.html). in
Makati, Cebu, and Davao = Php 800 (Makati branch) and Php 1,000 (Cebu and Davao branches)
H.I.S. Philippines Travel Corp (http://his.com.ph/en/japan-tourist-visa.html). in Taguig and Cebu =
Inquire for price
Rajah Travel Corporation (https://www.rajahtravel.com/) in Makati and Manila = Php 1,500
JTB Philippines (http://www.jtbphilippines.com/home/) in BGC and SM Mall of Asia = Inquire for price

There’s no one particular agency which is recommended over the others, so just choose the agency that’s
closest to where you live.

When I applied for the rst time, I chose Reli Tours & Travel Agency, in SM Megamall, because it was the
nearest to my house. My overall experience with them was OK; I had an unpleasant experience the rst time I
applied, as their sta was very unfriendly, especially the front desk. The second time I processed a visa
application through them, those irate sta s were no longer there, and I had a better experience with the
agency. I got my Japan tourist visa just 2 days a er I submitted my documents.

For some, they would choose the cheapest travel agency such as Discovery Tours which process Japan tourist
visa for without guarantor for 800 pesos only. This is where my mother would always apply for her visa
because they have the cheapest rate for tourist visa invited by the military. She would always get a call from
them 3 business days a er she submitted her documents.

4. Submit requirements to the agency and pay the


processing fees.
Before you go to the travel agency, double check if you’ve met all the requirements, and have all the correct
documents. This saves you time and money, avoiding going back and forth to the travel agency.

Each travel agency has di erent processing fees. Some would require you to pay down payment, and some
would ask you for the full price up front. So make sure to call them rst before going and verify the correct
price for the type of visa you are applying for.

5. Wait for the call.


If you receive a call from the travel agency, it’s either because you’re lacking a document or your passport is
ready for pickup.
For some reason, agencies do not disclose results over the phone. You will nd out only upon passport
pickup; a white sticker at the back of your passport indicates that your visa application was approved.
Congratulations! A red sticker, on the other hand, denotes that your application has been denied.

It usually takes 2 to 3 business days to process your application provided that all required documents were
submitted and are in order.

Japan Tourist Visa Frequently Asked Questions


(FAQs)

Visited Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. I got my USJ tickets here (https://www.govoyagin.com/activities/japan-osaka-
discount-usj-universal-studios-japan-tickets/1058?lang=en&acode=boots).

I collected these FAQs from my comment box section.

1. Do Filipinos need a visa to enter Japan?


So, you’re one of the gullible Pinoys who use Facebook too much and believes in fake news. The Embassy of
Japan in the Philippines released (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/pressandspeech/press/exempt_false.html)
an O cial Notice to the Public that Japan has not li ed the visa requirements for Philippine national.
Although recently, the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines has announced (http://www.ph.emb-
japan.go.jp/pressandspeech/press/visa_relaxed.html) the Relaxation of visa Requirements for Filipino
Nationals. So, yeah, you still need to apply for Japan visa.

2. How many days can a Filipino tourist stay in Japan?


Japanese Consul can grant 15, 30, and 90 days of stay to Philippine nationals.

3. How long is the processing time for Japan Tourist Visa?


If the documents are complete and in order, usually 2 to 3 business days.

4. I am a dependent of a US Military personnel stationed in Japan. I have a


military card. Do I still need a tourist visa?
If you’re a Filipino residing in the United States, please refer to the Embassy of Japan-US website
(http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/travel_and_visa/visa/other-status-of-us-forces-
agreement.html). If you’re a Filipino residing in the Philippines, you still have to apply (http://www.ph.emb-
japan.go.jp/ les/000265695.pdf) for a visa Invited by Military Personnel (SOFA STATUS) through the
accredited agency.

5. Do you think my visa application will be approved?


I am not the Consulate-General of Japan. I am not in the position to answer your question. Please, don’t ask
this.

6. I have a Japanese boyfriend and he’s inviting me to visit Japan. He’s


willing to sponsor. But the problem is, I am still married but separated
with my current husband.
Process your annulment rst. For Pete’s sake. Please don’t ask me these kinds of questions.

7. How can I apply for a multiple-entry Japan tourist visa?


Please refer to the Embassy of Japan in the PH website (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/ les/000232596.pdf),
and check rst if you are eligible.

8. Do the Invitation and Guarantee letters have to be original with


Signature?
Yes. Yes and Yes. Invitation letter and Guarantee letter should be both original. Tell your guarantor to mail the
original documents to you. Mailing Express documents from Japan to the Philippines only takes 7 to 10 days.
Mail. Mail. Mail.
9. How much money show money should I have on my bank certificate?
Read my separate article: Japan Tourist Visa Application Tips for Filipinos
(http://www.travelinboots.com/passports-visas/japan-visa-tips-increase-chances-getting-japan-visa-
approved/).

10. My visa Application was denied. But I really want to see cherry
blossoms. When can I apply again for Japan tourist visa?
You may apply again a er 6 months. Be persistent!  Also read: Common Reasons for a Denied Japan Tourist
Visa (http://www.travelinboots.com/passports-visas/denied-japan-tourist-visa/)

11. I just want to ask if I can visit Japan? So that I can visit my uncle, aunt,
brother, and sister.
Of course, yes, you can visit them. Just apply for a Japan tourist visa and submit the required documents.

12. Do I need to book flight tickets and hotels in advance?


Not really necessary. But I would recommend that you book through sites that have ‘Book Now Pay Later’
feature. This allows you to do mock booking without paying in advance. Such booking websites are Booking
(https://www.booking.com/index.html?aid=855144) (my favorite), Agoda
(https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?cid=1646872&pcs=1), and even Airbnb
(http://www.airbnb.com/c/awilkinson38).

13. How early can I apply for Japan visa?


At least 2 months before your travel date.

14. I have an unused and expired Japan tourist visa. Will it a ect my
application?
I am not the Consulate-General of Japan. I am not in the position to answer your question! Please. Just submit
the required documents.

15. Can I mention that I will be staying at a friend’s place?


If you are applying for a tourist visa without a guarantor, never mention it. Also read: Common Reasons for a
Denied Japan Tourist Visa (http://www.travelinboots.com/passports-visas/denied-japan-tourist-visa/)

16. How can I be a citizen of Japan?


Please don’t ask me. I don’t know.
17. Can I work in Japan with a tourist visa?
No. No. No. Do you want me to report you?

18. What if I already have a confirmed flight ticket. Can I submit it with the
requirements?
Yes.

Do you have any more questions? Please leave your message below.

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About Ada Wilkinson


Ada moved to Japan in 2014 as a result of her husband's deployment. A former assistant
language teacher (http://www.travelinboots.com/teaching-in-japan/how-to-really-get-an-
english-teaching-job-in-japan/) who's been exploring Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefectures slowly.
She hopes to uncover other regions of Japan.

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Jeky • a day ago − ⚑


Hello po Ms. Ada, we are planning to visit japan po this coming april. Pwede ba kaming mag stay sa house ng relatives namin
sa japan? But we are using tourist visa, hindi nalang namin imemention sa pag apply ng visa. If ever lang hindi kaya harangin
ng immigration? Baka kasi i-offload kami if wala kami mapakita na hotel bookings. 3 kami mag punta ng japan sana. Thanks
po
△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

please be gentle⁸⁹ • 3 days ago − ⚑


d ft !i tl l d d idi i PH k l b i'll b h i i t