When a friend or relative posts on social media or sends you a message “Huy! Seat Sale!!!”, what do you do?
Well, I think it’s safe to say that we all drop what we’re doing and type the airline’s website on our browsers as quickly as possible and take our chances. 😳
We click on a random destination or a place that we’ve been wanting to visit and check if the price is right! If it’s not, deadma, may next time pa naman! But if the price is right, we take a screenshot and send it over to a travel buddy and ask for approval.
You: “Ano, ibook ko na ‘to? Sayang!” 😉
Friend: “Go mo na ‘yan! Push!” 😎
And when you’re ready to book, holding on to your credit card and all… Wala na!!!! The website sends you to an error page na. 👿
Don’t lose hope, refresh-refresh lang ‘yan! Patience!!! 😉
You: *sends a screenshot* “We’re booked! Yay!!! In 6 months pa naman so we have time to save and prepare pa!”
Friend: “Push! Japan na ‘to! Thanks, ah! I’ll just transfer the payment online or give you cash, let me know!”
You: “Yassssss!! Cash nalang or whatever’s easier, go lang!”
Friend: “Ok, check! Buti na lang di pa expired Visa ko!”
You: “OMG!!! Visa? Visa! Visa? Wala akong VISAAAAAAAAAAAA!”
Don’t worry, super easy lang!! Kung ang Japan nga nag relax na daw sa requirements eh, dapat ikaw ren! 😉
Here are the steps:
Go to the website of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
- Look for the header which says “Visiting Japan” or click here
- Scroll down and look for the portion which says “Types of Visa”
For this example, since we’re just travelling to Japan for leisure, we will click on the “Visa for Tourism/Visit Friends or Distant Relatives”.
- On this page, you’ll find all the requirements, make sure that you write them down or take a screenshot, you’ll surely miss out something if you don’t, trust me on this. Listing it down’s easier so you can cross out those that you have already.
Start gathering all of the documents and forms required
- Valid Passport
- Visa Application Form (downloadable from the website) – I downloaded the form on my computer and filled it out before printing. This saved me a lot of time and trouble since my penmanship really sucks. My mom got a form from the agency directly and she filled it out manually, the agency gave it back because she had an erasure. Yup, they won’t accept forms with erasures so be careful.
- Photo – Make sure that you follow the required size. Most shops are familiar with the sizing, just tell them it’s for your Visa Application Form. If they’re not familiar, you can show the size guide below.
- Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate (if applicable) – Both forms must be issued within 1 year. Since I don’t have the patience to fall in line at an NSO office and it’s more convenient to do it online, I requested for my birth certificate and my mom’s at this website. I also paid them via my BDO phone app and got an email confirmation immediately.
- Daily Schedule or Itinerary – You need to lay out your schedule and show it to them, I’ve gathered that it’s important for them to really establish the purpose of your visit
- Bank Certificate – I requested mine from BPI Megamall, it took me less than 20mins. If you have multiple accounts, make sure to include it on the certificate. I requested the BPI officer to include my Savings and Checking account in one certificate. Also, it’s important to know that you don’t have to go to your main or home branch if it’s not convenient for you, any BPI branch can and should accommodate this request. I opened my savings account in Greenbelt and my checking account in Bel-Air but their Megamall branch accommodated me anyway. They charged me P100.00 for it.
- I was told that it’s important to show that you have enough budget to cover your expenses for the rest of your trip. How will they approve your Visa if you booked for 8 days and your bank account only reflects P10,000.00? This will look suspicious and give them an impression that you can’t afford it. Not unless you’re travelling with your family and your Mom or Dad writes a letter guaranteeing support.
- Income Tax Return (Form 2316) original and photocopy – You can request this from your company’s HR department. But if you’re self-employed, you have to go to BIR and have this processed and printed out for you. If you don’t have one, I was told that you’d need to provide a letter of explanation.
Prepare supplemental documents
- Certificate or Employment or Consultancy – This is not included on the list found on the Embassy of Japan’s website, but when we went to Europe and applied for a Visa, I submitted one. I felt that a certificate of employment showing your monthly income and tenure with the company helps any application, may it be a mobile phone application, credit card or visa, to establish stability and credibility. For me, I think it’s just a nice supplemental document especially I wasn’t that confident about my BIR2316 since it was issued in 2015, and not this year. LOL (sorry na!)
- Hotel and Airline tickets/receipts – Again, this is not found on the official list of requirements, but once you’ve downloaded and printed the application form, you’ll notice that there are fields asking you about your travel dates and where you’ll be staying. Why not print them and provide them anyway, right? It’s nice to be ready.
- Letter of Explanation – As mentioned above, if you do not have a BIR Form 2316, you’d need to explain and justify why. Also, I was told by my friend that a letter of explanation can also be provided if you need a multiple-entry visa on your first application. I’ve gathered that, usually, on the first application they only give a single-entry visa. My friend, Jason, got his multiple-entry visa on his first try because he provided a letter stating that he is a writer and will be going back and forth to Japan to write about the country and its culture.
Choose an accredited agency
Pay the processing fees, submit your documents and wait
It was my uncle, Tito Nonnie, who coordinated everything. We just gave him our documents and he was the one who submitted them in person. I only went to the agency once, to claim my passport.
We were told that processing usually takes 7-10 days, but it can take longer if further verification needs to be done.
In our case, Tito Nonnie got an SMS that our passports were ready for pick-up in 3 days! 😎
Btw, they won’t tell you if you got approved or denied via SMS. You’ll find out when you claim your passport.
Claim your passport
We claimed our passport on a Saturday. Yup, UHI’s open even on Saturdays, but only until 12pm. 😎
Tadaaaaaa!!!! Visaaaaa! <3 <3 <3
It’s really easy, dba? The whole process can only take about 10-15 days if you’re really prompt and organized.
It’s easier these days ’cause almost everything can be requested and paid for online – let’s utilize this and enjoy its perks!!! No more skipping work or filing leaves just to make pila, dba? Yun kasi yung nakakatamad, eh! Kaya some people are discouraged to travel ‘cos they think, super effort mag request and gather ng docs. Hindi na ngayon! 😎
I hope that you’ll find this post helpful, it might not guarantee you an approved visa, but it will at least help you get organized! =)
Please let me know about your experience and share some of your Japan Travel tips, ayt?
Good luck and Safe Travels!!!