Step-by-Step Guide to Japan Visa Application in the Philippines

Back in 2009, I posted a guide to Japan tourist visa application for Philippine citizens. Almost 8 years have passed since then. There have been changes. For starters, they’ve started issuing 5-year multiple entry visas. Before 2015, we had to apply for a visa for every single trip. I’ve even experienced lining up at the Japanese embassy — thank goodness they implemented the no appearance policy.

Japan Visa ApplicationAnyway I’m soooo happy hubby, the kids, and I all got 5-year multiple entry visas! I find visa applications tedious so the less I have to do it, the better.

I’m posting this guide so I have something to refer to 5 years from now, lol. Ready?

  • Go to http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/visiting/new/visa/tourism.htm and check the requirements.
  • Now lets go through the requirements:
    • Philippine Passport – This should be in no less than PERFECT condition. My sister-in-law’s passport had this tiny little slit (tear) just a few mm in length near her photo. The Japanese Embassy told her that her passport is considered tampered. She was told to get a new passport before applying again.
    • Visa Application Form – Download this from http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/visiting/new/visa/tourism.htm. Print it out and fill it up. You can also get a copy from the entrance of the Japanese embassy or from an accredited agency.
    • Photo – They’re really strict about the photo. Photo requirements can be found HERE. Not all photo studios get it right. If the spacing is off by just a few mm it’s not accepted. I recommend Picture City because they’ve been taking my Japan visa photos since 2005. They’re cheap and they’re fast too — your photos are ready in 10 minutes. Just google Picture City to find the branch nearest you.
    • NSO Birth Certificate – No need if you’ve previously been issued a Japan visa. You just need to submit your passport with the Japan visa.
    • NSO Marriage Certificate – No need if you’ve previously been issued a Japan visa.
    • Daily Schedule in Japan – This can be your tour itinerary or your own DIY itinerary. You must detail where you will be every single day of your stay. I put all the tourist attractions that we would be visiting, hotel details, and flight details.
    • Invitation Letter from Guarantor in Japan – This is not necessary if you’re just going there for sightseeing and tourist purposes.
    • Bank Certificate – This is basically a summary of the money you have in the bank. Your bank will issue this for a small fee. I don’t know how true but someone told me that to be safe, it should amount to at least P350,000 for a single person. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Update: I was told people have gotten visas with less than P350k on the bank certificate.
    • Income Tax Return – According to their website they require the original and a photocopy. I only submitted photocopies as per the travel agency’s advise. If you are self-employed, your SEC Registration and Corporate Income Tax can be submitted. This is provided your name is actually on the SEC registration. About the ITR, it doesn’t have to reflect super high wages. Mine was minimum wage since that’s all I really get.
  • The agency I applied through asked me to submit photocopies of my kids’ school IDs as proof that they’re studying here. My husband and I were asked to submit employment certificates.
  • All documents must be recent. The Japanese embassy pegs the validity at up to 3 months after issue date.
  • All visa requirements must be submitted to an accredited agency. You can check the list HERE. Processing fees vary per agency. So far P800 seems to be the cheapest.

You will only know if you’ve been approved or denied when your passport is returned to you. Processing time is 5-7 days. You can ask your agency of choice for recommendations based on your situation. You can also call the Japanese Embassy at 834-7514 or e-mail ryoji@ma.mofa.go.jp for inquiries.

I hope this helps… good luck!

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23 Comments

  • Reply Shayne February 28, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    I’ve been to Japan in 2014 but I still have a job then. Now, I just quit my job so I don’t have ITR. But I have bank cert. Do you think that will be enough together with the letter of explanation?

    • Reply lorc March 1, 2017 at 12:20 am

      My cousin and friend just presented bank certificate/s and they were approved. It was just last year. And its not true that you need 350k.

      • Reply Shayne March 1, 2017 at 1:33 am

        Yeah i did not have 350k on my first application too. Kahit naman ngayon wala pa rin. Haha may letter ba silang pinasa? thank you!

        • Reply animetric March 1, 2017 at 10:59 am

          Hi Shayne, when I applied wala naman akong letter, just the ITR, bank cert, and certificate of employment. 🙂

      • Reply animetric March 1, 2017 at 10:59 am

        Hi Lorc, okay thanks for the info, I’ve updated my post accordingly. 😀

    • Reply animetric March 1, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Hi Shayne, I haven’t experienced not submitting an ITR but it’s probably a good idea to inquire at the Japanese Embassy by calling 834-7514 or e-mailing ryoji@ma.mofa.go.jp. If you already have an accredited agency you plan to apply with, you can ask them if they have handled similar cases,

  • Reply Gigi Mio March 1, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for this! I am planning to go there on May this year.. I already completed my requirements.. for some ‘me’ time.. because the one I love will get married during that time.. so I wanted to leave the Philippines for a while.. ang sad noh.. I’ll go there para wala ang presence ko sa Pinas.. habang kinakasal sila..

    • Reply animetric March 1, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Hi Gigi, good luck on your application! Japan is a great place for some me-time. 🙂

  • Reply Chessy Alejandro March 8, 2017 at 6:14 am

    Will share this with my MiL, she wants to go on December! But the articles on radiation levels are alarming. Is it true kaya?!

  • Reply Shalene R | PurplePieces.com March 8, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Ohh, they are that strict with the passport, even with the photos. Japan is in my bucket list. I’m bookmarking this! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Jen Ubongen March 8, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    They’re also strict with the photos? I remember when we applied visa for NZ, they were also very strict that we had to submit our photos thrice. Anyway, hopefully we can visit Japan soon 😉

  • Reply Juvy March 8, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I am sure many will find this guide useful.

  • Reply Michi March 9, 2017 at 7:39 am

    First time namin mag-apply last year, happy na ko sa single-entry visa namin pero ok din kung multiple entry na next time para less hassle sa pag-apply.

  • Reply RJ Dancel March 9, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! Been forcing my family to get visas already, and this would really help considering they haven’t done this too 🙂

  • Reply Josephine March 10, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Wow! This will really be helpful! Japan is another country that I really wanted to visit! Will definitlely save this link for future use, and hopefully, soon! 🙂

  • Reply Michelle March 10, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Sana someday makapag-travel din kami ng family ko sa Japan. And this will be helpful by the time we’ll be applying for a Japan Visa.

  • Reply Dan March 22, 2017 at 4:15 am

    Hello,
    I just received my passport with an approved visa.
    Tanong ko lang. Wala ba talagang *middle name* dun sa visa?
    Thanks in advance

  • Reply Ezel May 24, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Hello, i would like to ask if ok lang kahit 1 month lang maturity ng bank account ko? I am self employed for almost 2years. And also have complete documents to prepare. I am planned to apply this coming june 1, 2017.

  • Reply Bliss jem September 29, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Its been 5 days na.. no text from the agency regarding my applications. This is frustrating! Do i need to call them tommorow. Im thinking they forget to inform me.

  • Reply Leo October 6, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Kami din wala yung middle name dun sa visa..kaya eto nagreresearch ako kung ne issue ba yun..

  • Reply melissa January 24, 2018 at 6:06 am

    I can’t open the list of accredited agencies sis..

  • Reply Ana Liza Benetua January 27, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you for this detailed post on how to go to Japan. Planning to go someday!

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