|Asakusa, one of my fave places in Tokyo :)|
One obstacle you have to go through before planning your dream trip to Japan is getting a visa. They have a quite different processs in getting one. You have to go to one of their accredited travel agencies instead of lodging your own application directly to the Embassy. After some deliberation, we decided to use the services of Friendship Tours. They are more pricey than the others pero wala pa kase kaming nabalitaan na nadeny sa kanila haha! Once it has been decided, time to gather all the requirements!
- Passport. Signed and should be valid within 6 months. It must have at least 2 blank pages.
- Visa Application Form. Just click the link or download it from the Japan Embassy website. No erasures and put N/A on those fields that are not applicable.
- Photo. Dimensions: 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm with white background. Paste it in the application form.
- Birth Certificate. NSO/PSA issued within 1 year.
- Marriage Certificate - if you are married. Same with Birth Cert it should be NSO/PSA issued within 1 year.
- Daily Schedule in Japan. In other words, your day to day itinerary. You can download a template under the Sample Forms from this link. Please note that what you put in here should match your details in the application form and your supporting documents.
- Bank Certificate. Unlike other Embassies, they don't require specific details. Just a regular bank cert will do. Banks normally charge Php 100 for this.
- Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316. Companies usually release this final week of January through first week of February annually. Bring the original copy just in case they want to see it.
- Guarantee Letter. If somebody else will be financing or sponsoring your trip. Please check the Japan Embassy website or your chosen agency's website regarding this requirement. I don't have a sponsor so I can't explain it in detail.
Note: I did not submit #5 and #9 because I am single and I funded my own trip. :)
When we finally completed all the requirements, I went to Friendship Tours to submit it.
|submitted documents checklist|
Unlike other embassies, wherein they only accept the "required" documents - here you can include as much supporting documents as you want. In my case, I also submitted the following documents:
- Certificate of Employment
- Round trip flight confirmed booking
- Hotel reservation bookings
It's very easy. They just checked if all the documents are valid and good to go. We paid Php 1200.00 per person for their services. I was done in less than 15 minutes.
|the receipt and claim stub|
I was advised processing time is 7 business days but to my surprise, I received their call on the 3rd business day saying we were approved and that we can already pick up our passports. That was fast!
|got it!!! ;)|
Since we had a hassle-free experience and a very quick turn around with Friendship Tours, I guess it's alright to recommend their services:
3F Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Center, Makati
Tel. Japanese (2) 840-1060 Tel. Filipino 893-8180/893-8183
E-mail: Japanese email@example.com
- Validity starts on the date your visa is released and it's valid for 3 months.
- You can do the application and the claiming of passports for someone else. Friendship Tours did not require an authorization letter from my brother. I was the one who submitted and claimed for both of us.
- Make sure your Birth Certificate was issued by NSO/PSA within 1 year. They are very strict about this. My brother had to get a new one because the first one he submitted was issued more than a year ago. Believe me, they have a way of knowing.
- I honestly find their visa requirements and application process easier than the other countries.
- But I was actually more anxious about getting my Japan Visa than my Schengen - mainly because I heard about friends of friends getting denied even if they already have a 10 year multiple entry US visa!
- Don't get discouraged though even if you heard a lot of denial stories. You are never gonna get it if you won't try!
- Ganbatte! ;)
You can also find more helpful information regarding visa application from the Japan Embassy website, especially on this page:
If you've been watching Japanese dramas and manga live action series and movies, then you probably know him!
It was a success because I "saw" him in JR Shinagawa Station haha! ;) ♥♥♥