Sep 22, 2017

Steps and Tips for a Successful Japan Visa for Filipinos



While other countries welcome us with open arms, Filipinos still have to go through visa application
nightmares before we can travel to most countries and Japan is one of them. It's a daunting task and quite stressful if you already purchased your airline ticket in advance before applying a visa. The standard practice is to apply a visa first before purchasing your airline ticket that's why it's a least requirement when applying for a visa for most countries. We're not travel consultants nor a visa expert  to give you some expert advices but below are steps and tips from my personal experience on how to increase your chances of getting your Japan approved.

STEP 1
Go to Japan Visa Section Information for the type of visa you wish to apply.

STEP 2
Gather your requirements.Click  Japan Visa Requirements for the list in pdf format to have a quick view of the requirements needed. Then you need to download Japan Visa Application Form in  PDF format and Schedule of stay in DOC format. 
  • NSO Authenticated Birth Certificate issued not more than a year.
  • Vaild Passport with signature; must have at least two blank pages.
  • Visa Application Photo. Click here for the Visa Application Photo Requirement. 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background and must be taken within 6 months. Please write your name and birthday on back side of the photo and paste this in the photo-box of the application form. Do not staple. Glue or paste it. 
  • NSO Authenticated Marriage Certificate not issued more than a year if the applicant is married. The accredited travel agency will only require one copy if you're applying as a couple.
  • Original copy of Bank Certificate ( Original copy issued within the last three months).  Some banks will provide it to you on the spot while other banks will ask you to come back when the certificate becomes available. For major banks like Banco de Oro and Philippine National Bank, you have to pay a nominal fee of Php 100.00 for the certificate. You have to comeback 2 days after to get your bank certificate. On the other hand Bank of Philippine Islands can issue machine validate bank certificate on the spot. BDO and PNB bank certificate will only show your total deposit for that particular account. Bpi and Metrobank bank certificate will show ADB or Average Daily Balance- the total amount of daily balances in your account divided by the number of days in the month. Let's say you have only Php 20,000 deposit in your BPI or Metrobank account which is quite low for a 7 day trip to Japan, then you have this wise idea to borrow additional Php 100,000 from your friend or family. ADB will show your daily balance which is Php 20,000 and the total balance  Php 100.000 which is an indicator that you deposited large amount on a single transaction which can get you denied. They have to make sure that you can financially fund your trip and not going broke after your trip. Everything is expensive in Japan, a small bottled water cost around 150 yen to ( Php 75.00) and a small bottle of soda ( 500ml) cost around 250 yen ( Php 125.00)
  • If employed, Income Tax Return (ITR) Form 231. For corporate or business, Certificate of Registration and Security & Exchange Commission (SEC) - photocopy
  • Proof of assets and ownership such as land titles, DTI, Business Permits and car registration documents - photocopy 
  •  Daily Schedule in Japan (TAIZAI NITTEIHYO). You can download the form here Just keep your itinerary simple. If you're unsure yet about your accommodation and you need to submit you application, you can use Agoda and choose a hotel that can be refunded, Book now and Pay before xxxx,xx, 2017  or Pay at the hotel option.
Additional / Optional Documents
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Airline Ticket
  • Payslips
  • Hotel Reservation Confirmation
  • Old passport with stamps if you have one. You can attach your old passport with stamps together with your new passport with a rubber band.
FOR MULTIPLE ENTRY APPLICANTS

If you wish to apply for a multiple-entry visa, you need to submit a form of reason for requesting a multiple-entry visa with documents to prove that you are qualified for a multiple-entry visa. A single (or double)-entry visa may be issued, depending on the result of the examination, even if you have applied for a multiple-entry visa.

If  Guarantor  who  lives  in  the  Philippines  will  shoulder  part  or  all  of  the  applicant’s  travel
expenses, he/she needs to have the requirements stated below.
  • Guarantee Letter 
  • Proof of relationship between applicant and guarantor (e.g. Birth Certificates etc.) 
  • Bank  Certificate  (original)  and  Income  Tax  Return  (ITR  Form  2316)  (clear  Photocopy)  of  Guarantor
     
STEP 3
Choose from the five (5) accredited travel agencies listed below. Visa is gratis, however, you have to pay the travel agency facilitating your travel documents. Some travel agencies have satellite offices in Cebu or Davao. Just check their website if they do have one. In our case, we sent our documents to Friendship tours in Manila  thru LBC. We deposited our payment of Php 1,200 and additional Php 300.00 for shipping and back thru the agencies bank account. Provincial applicants have to check and triple check if their documents is complete to avoid delays.  After all is well, they will submit your application the following day. They will notify you if they ran into problems or need additional documents during the application process. We sealed our documents in a brown envelope and 5 days later I got a notification from the agency that our application has been approved. Agency fees may range from Php 900- 1,200.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL JAPAN VISA

1.) DITCH THE PEN PRINT IT
         Filling our the form incorrectly or wrong information may deny your application. Filling the application form using photoshop or similar software is way better than writing. Download the form, fill it and print it. If the  item is not applicable, please fill in [N/A] and don't leave blank. The embassy may not accept application with blank item, no signature or no date in the form. The application form should be printed in black and on A4 size paper.
     
2.) GET THE RIGHT APPLICATION PHOTO TAKEN
         Most photo studios are aware of the embassy photo requirements. Just tell the photo studio staff that you need a Japan Visa photo taken and they will surely assist you. We had our picture taken in a photo studio and wore a red shirt attire and my hubby wore a checkered polo but we got the shock of our lives when we received our pictures an hour after wearing a formal top  and  a business suit. Nice photoshopping! :-)

3.) SUBMIT THE RIGHT DOCUMENTS ( PROOF OF TIES )
        Japan embassy encourages the submission of any supporting documents not listed on the main requirements listed above (i.e. applicant’s economic or social ties with the Philippines, urgent reasons for visit: medical certificate, wedding invitation) Any supporting documents will do like Stock investments, Credit card statements, Land titles, vehicle registration or  DTI. Don't submit fake as the embassy will know the fake from the real ones. You will be banned  from entering Japan. 

4.) NO INCOME TAX RETURN? WRITE A LETTER OF EXPLANATION

        Some freelancers don't have ITR but it doesn't mean that lacking that said document will hold you back from applying a visa. You can write a letter of explanation addressed to the Consulate-General of Japan explaining why you can't provide one.

4.) TRAVEL HISTORY

       Old stamp visas in your passport  will give good emphasis that you've been always going back home and not stay illegally thus increasing your chances of obtaining a visa. But don't fret, I heard some applicants who never had travel history abroad but were granted a visa!

5.) SYNCHRONIZE YOUR ITINERARY WITH YOUR BANK CERTIFICATE

      Keep your Daily Schedule (TAIZAI NITTEIHYO) simple. A budget of Php 70,000 to Php 100,000 is enough for a 7 day stay in Japan. An increment of  Php 15,000 every 3 days if you stay more than a week. Expect a budget of  Php 140,000 to Php 150,000 if you plan to stay in Japan for 15 days. Don't apply for a 15 day stay in Japan if you only have Php 50,000 in your bank account. It will only raise  suspicion that you're gonna look for work and not coming back. By the way, having a fat bank account is not necessary. I heard of  stories of applicants who applied and had six figures in their bank account but got denied. It's all about synchronizing your itinerary with your bank certificate.


That's about it. Just follow the steps and pray. The agency will notify the applicant  if she/he can already claim the passport. Think positively and be confident. If you get denied, the embassy will never disclose the reason of refusal. Don't worry it's not yet over, you can reapply after 6 months and try to recheck what went wrong with your application.
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