How to Easily Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa (and some tips…)

It was really great news when Japan announced last year that the Japanese Government will be relaxing the visa requirements for us Filipinos. Most of us are really excited in visiting Japan – so here are the simple requirements in getting a Japan Tourist Visa. Just complete below requirements, go to one of the accredited travel agencies by the Japan Embassy, pay the fee (approx. Php1200-2000, depending on which agency you choose), and wait for the results from the agency. Please note that I will only discuss Japan TOURIST visa application in this article, since I have experienced applying for this type only.

My tips and experiences when applying for a Japan Visa

  1. Do not go to your chosen travel agency without having completed your requirements. If you have questions, just call the agency first.
  2. To streamline the process and to avoid multiple travels to and from the agency, make sure you have every item in the checklist completed before going to the agency.
  3. What caused the delay in my application is my Birth Certificate from NSO. Damn, I waited too long for my Birth Cert! I already had all my other requirements but I still was unable to submit my application due to this. I didn’t know that applying through the official e-census.com.ph website will take 3-5 days (excluding weekends and holidays) AFTER your payment. That is if you live in Metro Manila. In my case, I had my birth certificate delivered to my office in the Makati Central Business District and it had to take 5 working days for me to receive the much awaited letter. If I knew applying online through the official website would take that long, I would’ve just coursed my request through 3rd party provider NSOHelpline.com. Delivery with NSOHelpline.com takes only 1 to 2 working days. Take note that they have a phone number 737-1111 you can call (ehem, e-census.com.ph, they do not have a phone number so good luck just waiting). Click here for my guide on how to get your NSO Birth Certificate the soonest.
  4. To save on costs, call the agencies from the list provided by Japan Embassy to inquire how much their processing fee is. Fees range from Php1200-2000 – it will be best if you can save at least Php800 by finding the right agency. As for me, I’ll be applying at Universal Holidays. Their office is at Dusit Thani Hotel, and they only charge Php1200 for the service.
  5. UPDATE: My colleagues and I have this theory that having a South Korean tourist visa (single or multiple entry) allows you to be granted a multiple entry visa to Japan and vice versa even when applying for the first time. Okay there were a lot of us in the office (and friends of friends) who’ve applied for a Japan (JP) tourist visa just this year and those who have already had a South Korean (SK) tourist visa were all granted multiple entry visas even if it will be their first visit to Japan (some have US visa, some do not). My other colleague and I have multiple entry visas to the US but do not have SK visa (I’ve been to Seoul, SK for a 12-hour day tour but the visa requirement was waived since I was en route to the US at the time so I did not need to apply for one – I’ll tell you this exciting story in another article), and we were only granted a single entry visa. It seems like there’s a friendship thing going on between the two northern Asian nations, hence, our simple theory.  Of course, this will be up to you but if you are with me in this tip#5, you could just directly apply for a free (yes, they do not charge a single fee) SK visa at their Taguig consulate office to try and see if you’ll be granted a multiple entry JP tourist visa just by doing so. Plus, the requirements are almost the same as with applying for a JP visa so it will be easier if you decide to try tip#5.

See below the summarized list of requirements plus the list of accredited travel agencies that you can call if in case you have questions regarding the requirements and the fees. Requirements may change over time so it is best to confirm with the agency first before heading  there with your requirements. Happy trip!

***Packed your bags already? Hold it! I’ve created a checklist to take note of before you leave for Japan to ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable trip. Click here to find out!

Best,

FRUSTRATEDBILLIONAIRE

Japan Visa Requirements – Tourist

1 Philippine Passport (Original)
• Validity of more than 6 months / Signed Passport
•  Broken lamination of the Picture Portion will not be accepted / Must have at least 2 blank pages left in the passport.
2 Visa Application Form (click link to fill out form)
3 Photo
•   Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background
•    Photo must be pasted on the application form.
4 Birth Certificate of applicant (NSO – Original with receipt; date on receipt should be 1 year or less from the date of issue)
•    You can get from SM malls (bills payment section). Fee is around Php100 but the processing is about a week. Yes, you can also have it delivered for an additional fee
•    You can get from NSOHelpline.com. You can also call them 24/7 at (02) 737-1111. Fee is Php350 per copy. You may pay through Bancnet online, any Metrobank branch, Bancnet ATM or select Bayad Center outlets. Delivery is usually within 2-3 working days upon receipt of your payment.
•    You can get from e-census.com.ph. Fee is Php315 per copy, can be paid through credit card or at any BDO branch (via bank deposit). You will have to wait 3-5 working days for the certificate to be delivered to you, if you are in Metro Manila. 4-9 working days if you are outside Metro Manila, 6-8 weeks for those outside the Philippines.
•    You can get from NSO Serbilis outlets, however, be prepared to go to NSO Serbilis Outlets to apply and travel back on the date of release. You may also have to queue for long hours or take a leave just to be able to do so.
5 Sample 7-day Itinerary for Japan – See attached sample. You do not need to have actual hotel bookings. You just need to fill out the form with your desired itinerary
6 Bank Certificate – Can be requested from any bank branch (fee Php 100). If you have investments with the bank, bring the certificates as well so they can be included in your bank certificate.
7 Income Tax Return (Form 2316) original and photocopy. You can get this from your HR if you are working in a company
8 Employment Certificate from your HR
9 Copy of your Plane Ticket (must be Round Trip). Click here for my guide in searching for the cheapest fare.

Update: Japan Tourist Visa Requirements for second time application

The requirements are the generally the same, except that some of the requirements would no longer be required for your second application (if your application was approved the first time).
If you have USED your single entry visa the first time for a trip to Japan and would need another visa, there is no need for Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, and flight booking (whew). Since you were able to visit and return from Japan the first time, most likely they’ll be granting you a multiple-entry visa valid for 5 years (hopefully).

  1. Visa application form
  2. Valid passport, and also your passport with Japan visa and immigration stamps
  3. ITR (Income Tax Return – Form 2316)
  4. Bank Certificate
  5. 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background, must be pasted in the application form
  6. Schedule / Itinerary – sample itinerary here
  7. Certificate of Employment (COE) – not required but good to have
  8. Letter of Intent, requesting to be granted a multiple entry visa – you are free to create your own just as long as the content of the letter achieves the same objective. You can also refer to or use this template that I used to request for my own multiple entry visa.

List of accredited travel agencies by the Japanese Embassy. Contact them for inquiries (especially the agency, as they differ in fees ranging from Php 1,200 to 2,000

A. For ANY visa application

Universal Holidays Inc.
Main Office: Mezzanine Floor, Dusit Thani Manila Hotel, Ayala Center, Makati City
Direct lines: 02-859-3857, 02-859-3858, 02-859-3859, 02-859-3860, 02-502-4574, 02-502-5942
Mobile Nos.: 0917-5221130, 0917-5302998

Discovery Tour Inc.
Main Office: Unit301G/Floor Sagittarius Building,H.V.Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Direct Lines: 02-892-2849, 02-843-5832, 02-843-5083
Mobile Nos.: 0915-320-0780, 0999-943-5231, 0932-650-0420
Cebu Office: G/Floor Casinillo Buiding, Pajo,Airport Road, Lapu-Lapu City
Direct Lines: 032-341-1923, 032-341-1935
Mobile Nos.: 0916-958-3489, 0999-420-5556, 0922-769-8369
Davao Branch: Door 3 L&R Building, Tulip Drive, Juna Subd., Matina, Davao City (near SM-Ecoland)
Direct Lines: 082-285-7188, 082-284-4114
Mobile Nos.: 0915-326-0111, 0920-210-4677, 0923-423-2207

Rajah Travel Corporation
Makati Branch: 3/F Gercon Plaza, 7901 Makati Avenue, Makati City
Direct Line: 02-8940886
Manila Branch: Ground Flr., GLC Bldg., A. Mabini cor. T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila
Direct Line: 02-523-8801 to 07

Reli Tours & Travel Agency
Main Office: Mezannine Floor, Dusit Thani Hotel, Ayala Center, Makati City
Direct Lines: 02-893-9226, 02-893-7259, 02-840-1861, 02-867-3655, 02-894-1210, 02-894-1213
Mobile No.: 0906-280-6666
SM Mall of Asia Branch: South Entrance, SM Department Store, SM Mall of Asia, Bay City, Pasay City
Direct Lines: 02-556-1447, 02-556-1446, 02-556-1445, 02-556-0546
SM Megamall Branch: 5th Flr., Bridge way, SM MEGAMALL, EDSA, Mandaluyoung City
Direct Lines: 02-637-4694 to 96, 02-637-5020, 02-632-9207
Mobile No.: 0906-513-6555
SM SouthMall Branch: Basement Level,Door2, SM SOUTHMALL, Alabang Zapote Road, Las Pinas City
Direct Lines: 02-800-4948 to 50, 02-805-3588
Mobile No.: 0906-513-6222

Attic Tours Philippines, Inc.
Main Office: Unit 202 Coko Bldg.1, Patio Madrigal Compound, 2550 Roxas Blvd., Pasay City 1302
Direct Lines: 02-556-6301 to 6305
Traders Hotel Branch: Ground Floor, Traders Hotel Manila, 3001 Roxas Blvd. , Pasay City 1305
Direct Lines: 02-984-0566, 02-668-9845, 02-516-0699
Cebu Office: Lobby, Waterfront Airport Hotel 1, Airport Road, Lapu-lapu City, Mactan Island, Cebu
Direct Lines: 032-341-2299, 032-341-2011, 032-341-2012, 032-341-2015

Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation
Main Office: 3rd. Fllr., Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Center, Makati City
Direct Lines: 02-810-9622, 02-893-8180, 02-819-5644
Mobile Nos.: 0915-839-4654, 0920-487-6880, 0922-564-9061
Cebu Branch: Unit 101 Bldg. 1, Oakridge Business Park, 880 A.S. Fortuna St., Banilad, Mandaue City
Direct Lines: 032-345-3459, 032-344-4825
Mobile No.: 0917-724-3373

B. For application WITHOUT Japanese Guarantor

Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
Main Office: 353 E.T. Yuchengco St., Binondo, Manila
Direct Line: 02-243-6666
Ermita Branch: Space A, Ground Flr., Pacific Pace Apartelle Suite, 539 Arquiza St., Ermita, Manila
Direct Lines: 02-521-3141 to 46
Makati Branch: LG01, Herrera Tower, 98 V.A. Rufino St. cor. Valero St., Salcedo Vil., Makati City
Direct Lines: 02-810-8551 to 56
Cebu Branch: Diplomat Hotel, 90 F. Ramos St. Cebu City
Direct Lines: 032-254-0343/0345/0347/0349

FrustratedBillionaire