[UPDATED February 03, 2020] Every once in a while, rumors start circulating on social media about the possibility of Japan removing visa requirements for Filipino visitors. It always excites Filipinos as Japan is a dream destination for many.
Unfortunately, those rumors always end up being just rumors. While Japan has slowly been relaxing visa requirements since 2014, Filipinos still need them to enter Japan. In an effort to make your application as seamless as possible, we’ve come up with this handy guide on how to get a Japan visa in Manila.
2019-nCov update: Because of the Novel Corona Virus, Japan visa applicants are now required to answer a questionnaire on whether they plan to travel to China’s Hubei Province within 14 days before arriving in Japan. Note that starting February 1, 2020, foreign nationals who have traveled to Hubei Province within 14 days will not be permitted to enter Japan, regardless if they hold a valid visa.
Be sure to double-check with the Japanese embassy’s website for requirements that you may need.
Japan has 17 kinds of visas for foreigners visiting the country. Aside from the tourist visa, Japan also has visas for those visiting friends or distant relatives, those attending conferences, and for those in the country for a medical stay.
Head over to the website of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines to find out which one you need.
If it’s your first time heading to Japan as a tourist, here are the Japan visa requirements you need to have when applying for a visa:
Your passport has to be valid for the next six months and in good condition. At least two pages of the passport must also be blank. Renew a damaged or expiring passport before applying.
The embassy has specifications with regards to the photo needed for your visa, so it’s best to check them out here. But in any case, you will need to submit a 4.5cm x 4.5cm photo with white background, taken no longer than six months prior to your application.
Most photo studios will know the photo requirements of embassies, so tell them you’re applying for a Japanese visa when you have your photo taken.
An NSO-certified birth certificate will cost you P350 if you have it delivered, and P140 if you pick it up personally. Order it online here. The embassy also accepts a birth certificate from the local civil registrar if your NSO-certified birth certificate copy is unclear.
If your birth is not registered with the NSO, you will need to get a Certificate of Non-Record from the NSO and submit it with a birth certificate from the local civil registrar. You will pay P350 if you have this delivered and P140 if you pick it up personally.
If the birth certificate is a late registration (your birth was not registered with the NSO within 30 days), you will need several documents: a birth certificate from the local civil registrar, the original baptismal certificate, the school record (Form 137 or school report card), and school yearbook are required. The contact number of the church and the school is also needed.
If you don’t have a marriage certificate with the NSO, you will need to get a Certificate of Non-Record together with a marriage certificate from the local civil registrar. You will pay P350 if you have this delivered and P140 if you pick it up personally.
The embassy will also need an itinerary that covers your entire stay. If the travel agency you booked with doesn’t have an itinerary for you, then you can make one for yourself. Make sure that your itinerary for your Japan trip is as detailed as possible. Download a sample form here.
The certificate you present to the embassy should be recent (within 3 months of submission of the application) and the amount should be enough to cover your airfare and your stay.
The embassy will require an original and photocopied version of your income tax return. If you don’t have an ITR for some reason, the embassy will require a letter from you explaining why.
It would certainly be heartbreaking if you went through all the stress of completing your requirements and then finding out that your application was denied because of an incorrectly filled-out application.
Review everything before handing it over to the travel agency so your hard work won’t go to waste.
While it’s not really clear how much money you should have in the bank to have your Japan visa approved, it’s safe to have at least six-digits or more.
Many would say that you need to have at least PHP100,000 in your account for at least half a year to get a better chance at acquiring a visa, especially if you are staying for a week or more.
Some banks will show the average balance for the past six months as well as the most recent balance in the bank balance certificate you will submit. If reviewers catch a sudden influx of money into your account, your application may be denied.
This can be established either through your ITR, certificate of employment, or your travel history. You also get a higher chance of getting approved if you submit an old passport with plenty of travel stamps and visas on it.
One thing you should know on how to get a Japan visa in Manila is that the embassy will require you to course it through accredited travel agencies. These agencies will charge you anywhere from PHP800 to PHP1500, so pick one that fits your budget.
Once you’ve paid and submitted your requirements, all you need now is to wait for their call.
Here are some of the accredited travel agencies:
The information contained in this article is up-to-date as of February 2020 and may be updated occasionally. Given the changing nature of laws, rules, and regulations of visas, there may be outdated information in this article. The information contained on this webpage is intended to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader only.
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