Japan, the land of the rising sun. Often known to be one of the most expensive countries to visit in Asia. But i have to tell you, totally untrue!
How this Japan craze started: Cebu Pacific threw a piso fare promo (tadaaah) and I was itching to travel again. I don’t want to revisit the places I already went to so my aim was to actually find a great deal in places which requires a visa. So after hours of searching, I have finally found a great round-trip deal from Cebu to Tokyo. And guess how much I paid: Php3,500 pesos only!
So it immediately upped the excitement and fear with the million dollar question in place: Am I going to be granted with a Japanese Visa?
I did a lot of research and it landed me to this page: The Japanese Embassy of the Philippines.
Basically, applying for a Japanese Visa is easier (daw) as compared to the other Visas where you are required to appear for an interview. The Japanese Embassy has a number of accredited agencies where you can just request for Visa assistance. I chose Reli Tours since they offer the cheapest processing fee at Php1,200 (including courier of passport). I am from Iloilo by the way, so I still need to send my passport to Manila. Don’t worry, they will take good care of it.
So prior to my request, I read some sites online and checked the requirements:
- Philippine Passport with at least 6 months validity from the date of travel
- Visa Application Form (Download).
- If you have a printer, you can download the form and just print it. But if you don’t have one, you can print it from a cafe and write neatly. Write neatly!
- 2×2 photo with white background which will be pasted in the application form. Don’t smile, but you are allowed to smize!
- NSO birth Certificate.
- Marriage Certificate if married.
- Daily Itinerary in Japan.
- Very important: Create an itinerary based on your budget. This will be a major qualifier as the consul will check if you have enough money based on your itinerary.
- Check out my sample itinerary Itinerary Japan
- Proof of Income: Latest ITR form 2316 or DTI Permit (if you have a business).
- Certificate of Employment (if employed)
- Bank Certificate
- I presented a little over P70k for a 5 day visit in Japan. But some friends also mentioned that they were able to present P40k for a 5-day trip and got approved! Remember that the embassy does not state an amount so you have to be REALISTIC with your numbers. A call center agent with 20k monthly salary presented a Bank Certificate amounting to 200k can get denied since the profession and the savings does not match at all. So it has to be REALISTIC.
- Additional requirements (optional):
- Approved Vacation Leave Documentation
Major Tip: Even if the embassy’s processing is more relaxed now, it is still important to prove that you are indeed coming back to the Philippines. And your documents are the only proof of your intent. Should you get denied, they will not provide you with a feedback. So you better make sure that all of your documents are complete and comprehensive.
Honestly, when I submitted the documents, I got scared as I might get denied. But I was more positive that I’m getting the Visa since I submitted all of the required documents. After 7 days, voila! I got a Visa!
Update: When printing your documents, make sure that it is printed in an A4 sized paper.