Sunday, February 5, 2017

Single Entry Tourist Visa for Japan

Philippine passport holders can enter some countries visa-free. Unfortunately, Japan isn't one of them. It is best to apply for a tourist visa to Japan not more than three months before your intended travel date. Reason for this is that a single entry visa,  if granted, is usually valid for three months.


REQUIREMENTS
These are the requirements for a single entry tourist visa to Japan:
  • Philippine Passport – The passport should have your signature and should have at least two blank pages.
  • Application Form – Write N/A for not applicable items; do not leave blanks. Print the application form on A4 size paper. Do not forget to write the date and sign the form.
  • Photo – 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm, with white background, taken within six months from the date of application. Affix the photo on the application form.
  • Daily Schedule in Japan – Use the Schedule of Stay template found in the website. Indicate the address and contact numbers of the accommodations you plan to stay in.
  • Bank Certificate – should be issued within three months from the date of visa application
  • Photocopy of Income Tax Return (ITR Form 2316)
  • Birth Certificate – issued by NSO within one year from the date of visa application
  • Marriage Certificate – for married applicants; issued by NSO within one year from the date of visa application
  • Old passports with previous visas to Japan – If you have previous visas to Japan, there is no need to submit your birth certificate and marriage certificate.
Other documents that you may want to include:
  • Certificate of employment – if you are an employee. The document should contain your position, hire date, and salary.
  • Photocopy of company ID – if you are an employee
  • Photocopy of previous visas to Japan – no matter how old! Mine was from 1997!
  • Photocopy of plane ticket – if you were tempted to buy a promo ticket before applying for a visa. (Buying a ticket before applying for a visa is NOT recommended though.)
Note: All printouts and photocopies should be on A4 size paper.

For the list of requirements for other visa types, please refer to the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines website.


PROCESSING
Tourist visa applications can only be processed through accredited agencies in Manila, Cebu, and Davao. The visa fee for a single entry visa is Php 1300 and the processing time is at least one week.


EXPERIENCE
Of the four accredited agencies in Cebu, I processed mine through Friendship Tours in AS Fortuna St, Banilad, Mandaue City since it was the most accessible for me. They checked my requirements before accepting my application (if a document is lacking, they will wait for you to submit it before forwarding your application to the consulate). Upon acceptance of my application and requirements, I paid them and was issued a receipt with the application number. They contacted me through text message once the passport was ready for pickup.

I applied for a single entry visa and was unexpectedly and luckily granted a 5-year multiple entry visa. I don't know if having a used Japan visa no matter how old (mine was from 1997) played a part in that. As for the bank certificate, I read a blog that the blog author had about Php 60,000 in his account and was granted a visa for his 5-day planned trip; a friend had Php 80,000 in her account and was granted a visa for her 10-day planned trip. With this, I suggest having Php 60,000 as the minimum amount; Php 100,000 and above, even better. (The suggested amount is not a guarantee though—I really have no idea what the consul's basis are!—but I'm just sharing from what I have read and from friends' experiences.)



Japan
Know Before You Go
Single Entry Tourist Visa for Japan (you're here!)
Roam Around Japan with a Swagger

From Tokyo to Hiroshima (2015)
10D/9N | Tokyo, Toyama, Kyoto, Hyogo, Osaka, Hiroshima
Tokyo Accommodation: Shinjuku Airbnb
Tokyo: Memorable Tokyo Eats
Tokyo: Odaiba
Tokyo: Doing Touristy Things in Tokyo
Toyama: A Hamlet Called Ainokura
Kyoto Accommodation: K's House Hostel Kyoto
Kyoto, Japanecdote: Wisdom from the Road: On exits #2
Kyoto: By the Thousands (Kyoto Imperial Palace, Sanjusangendo, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove)
Kyoto, Japanecdote: Turning Japanese
Kyoto: Braving the Crowds at these UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto (Kiyomizu-dera, Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji)
Hyogo, Japanecdote: If Only I Could Speak Nihongo
Hyogo: Day Trip to Himeji: Himeji Castle and Shoshazan Engyoji Temple
Hyogo, Japanecdote: Am I an Alien?
Hiroshima: Strolling and Snacking in Miyajima
Hiroshima: Remembering the Past in Hiroshima
Osaka, Japanecdote: How to Lose Friends
Osaka Accommodation: Osaka Airbnb
Osaka, Japanecdote: Where is Bentencho Station?
Osaka: Osaka Castle and Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai

Concentrate on Kansai (2016)
Kyoto Accommodations: Guesthouse Wind Villa, Shiori Yado
Osaka Accommodations: Hotel Raizan, Hotel Mikado

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