How to Apply for Single / Multiple Entry Japan Visa for Filipino Tourists

How to Apply for Single / Multiple Entry Japan Visa for Filipino Tourists

Japan is, without a doubt, one the countries abroad that I would LOVE to visit over and over again! However, as a third world passport holder from the Philippines, we are always required to avail a Japan Visa whenever we want to enter their country — and such can be quite a hassle!

As a Filipino, surely you might be thinking that it’s hard to get one… but I can tell you from experience that it’s actually NOT that difficult!

In fact: it was easy, and by the second time that I applied, I got myself a 5-year multiple entry tourist visa to Japan which now gives me the chance to visit for as much as I want without having to apply for a visa beforehand.

I guess this was all partly due to how the Japan Embassy relaxed their visa requirements in the past years; BUT still and the same, you should still ensure that you submit complete and accurate documents. And hopefully, with the help of this guide, you can get to visit Japan soon!

…But first, a disclaimer:

NO ONE can give you a guarantee of your Japan visa’s approval — not even a lawyer, a consultant, a travel agent, or an embassy employee. Anyone who says otherwise is most likely going to be a scammer.

That being said, what I can offer you here is a comprehensive guide with helpful tips to increase your chances of getting that Japan Visa.

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How to Apply for a Japan Visa

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Step 1: Determine the type of Japan Visa that you need to apply for
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There are, of course, various types of Japan Visas out there that you can apply for: a visa for medical stay, a visa for business, a visa for transit, a visa for being a spouse, etc.

For this particular guide, I will only be discussing the requirements for a tourist visa since it’s an experience that I’ve gone through myself (both for single and multiple entry types, and if you’re visiting with or without a guarantor/sponsor) .

If, however, you have a different situation or purpose of visit, it’s best that you head over to this page of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines for more information.

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Step 2: Prepare the required documents for your application
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Depending on your circumstance, click the symbol ‘+‘ below to view the corresponding requirements for each section. Make sure that you have authentic, original, and complete documents at all times.

(A) Japan Tourist Visa WITHOUT Any Guarantor/Sponsor

  1. Philippine Passport. If your photo has broken lamination, it will NOT be accepted. Make sure as well that your passport is valid for 6 months prior to your intended travel date, it has your signature, and has at least two (2) blank pages.
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  2. A duly accomplished Japan Visa Application Form.
    • Print the Japan Visa Application Form in A4 size.
    • Download the application form from here (you can see a sample filled out form of this here. It is possible to type your information on this form; otherwise, if you’re going to fill it out by hand, make sure that there will be NO erasures. Best to write in print or in capitalized letters too.
    • Do completely fill the form properly and ensure that you have signed it with your signature. Put “N/A” in all spaces that are not applicable especially on the 2nd page.
    • There are sections here that ask for your airline and hotel name…

      This does NOT mean that you are required to book your airline and hotel beforehand because the embassy does NOT require applicants to book it before approval. That being said, just write here your intended airline to book with and the hotel that you plan to stay in should your Japan Visa be approved. If you’re going to stay in multiple hotels, just pick one to write on the form. 

      If in case you want some “peace of mind” and still want to book a hotel to show to the embassy, it’s best to do it with Booking.com or Agoda.com. With them, you can reserve a hotel with NO pre-payment and you can even cancel the booking a day before your arrival with NO cancellation charges at all. For flights, just watch out for promo fares on local airlines like Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. (Yet again, like I said, booking these won’t really affect your application).

    • To view a sample filled out Japan Visa Application Form, see here.
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  3. 4.5cm x 4.5 cm Photo (white background). This must be pasted on the Japan Visa Application Form. Photos that are pixelated or of low resolution will NOT be accepted.
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  4. NSO Birth Certificate. This must be an NSO Original that has been issued within one (1) year. It must be acquired from the NSO main office or from Serbilis Outlet Centers nationwide.

    This is NOT required for submission IF you have already been issued a Japan Visa before (old or still valid).

    In case your birth certificate from NSO is unreadable or if you have no record in NSO (in addition to “Certificate of Non-Record” from NSO Heaquarters), please submit your birth certificate from the local civil registrar.

    Or if your NSO is of “Late Registration”, submit:

    • Baptismal Certificate – must have complete address and telephone information of the church
    • School Record (Form 137) – must have complete address and telephone information of the school
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  5. NSO Marriage Certificate. This is only if you’re married, of course. Make sure that it has been issued within one year.

    This is NOT required for submission IF you have already been issued a Japan Visa before (old or still valid).
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  6. Daily Schedule in Japan. Download the form here: [Japanese] or [English]. This is basically where you give them a rough idea of your travel itinerary. I assure you that it doesn’t need to be complicated nor thoroughly detailed. Check out the examples of daily schedule forms that I have filled out before below.
    Sample Daily Schedule.
  7. Bank Certificate. This must be an original copy from your bank which must be issued within the past 3 months.
    • How much should you have in your bank account? The Japan Embassy did not mention any minimum balance requirement, but I have surely heard of someone (and some others) who was(were) granted a Japan Visa even with only Php 50,000 in the bank (with a trip that spanned for 5 days) — so let’s use that as a minimum standard (but again it’s always best that you have more). Meanwhile, do take note that your bank certificate will often show the monthly average balance of your savings account; therefore, depositing a sudden large amount of money in order to assist you in your visa application is NOT really a good idea.
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  8. Proof of Income.
    If you’re retired or a senior citizen, you can refrain from submitting an ITR and you can also apply WITHOUT a guarantor/sponsor — for as long as you submit your Bank Certificate and explain why you can’t submit an ITR. Otherwise…

    • For employed persons.
      • Latest ITR (Form 2316/ 1700/ 1701/ 1702) original and photocopy in A4 paper.
      • Certificate of Employment
      • If you do NOT have an ITR, write a simple letter explaining why you’re unable to submit it (examples: you’re newly employed, etc.)
    • For self-employed / business persons.
      • If you’re a freelancer, provide latest ITR (Form 2316/ 1700/ 1701/ 1702) original and photocopy in A4 paper.
      • If you own a business, submit your Business Registration issued by DTI / SEC and the company ITR.
      • If you do NOT have an ITR, write a simple letter explaining why you’re unable to submit it (examples: if you are a new business, a new self-employed person, you are being taxed in another country, etc.)
    • For OFWs.
      • Provide tax exemption form from BIR.
      • Certificate of Employment (or contract of employment)
    • For unemployed persons.
      • Given the way the Embassy of Japan presents its requirements for visa application, it’s best that you acquire a guarantor/sponsor who can provide an ITR.

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(B) Japan Tourist Visa WITH Non-Japanese Guarantor/Sponsor LIVING OUTSIDE Japan

This kind of application is applicable for studentsminorsunemployed persons, husband/wife (if one of you can’t submit bank certificate) and even self-employed persons/freelancers* (who can’t provide an ITR and have no strong reason why they can’t submit it). This also applies to anyone who would have a company/agency to sponsor the trip.

For submitting the necessary requirements, simply submit the requirements listed in section (A), numbers #1 to #6. And when it comes to (#7) Bank Certificate and (#8) Proof of Income, ask these from your guarantor/sponsor — such could be your mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, relative, company, etc. living in the Philippines.

In addition, you should submit…

  1. Guarantee Letter. Download the template here: [Japanese] or [English]. This must be issued within the past 3 months.
    • Under “Seal”, this is supposedly for companies who will sponsor you. If it’s an individual who does not have a seal, he/she can just put his/her signature there.
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  2. Photocopy of Guarantor/Sponsor’s Passport. Provide a photocopy of the bio page only; if not, it can be a photocopy of any Visa page or any government-issued ID.
    • If your guarantor/sponsor is a foreigner or foreign national, please also provide a photocopy of his/her identity card (I-CARD) or AEP (Alien Employment Permit).
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ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • If you’re a student or minor…
    • Submit your Certificate of Enrollment too.
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  • If your guarantor/sponsor is a foreigner or foreign national…
    • If he has NO account in any of the local banks in the Philippines, he/she can provide a photocopy of his/her bank statement with contact details.
    • Providing pay slips will help.

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(C) Japan Tourist Visa WITH Japanese Guarantor/Sponsor LIVING INSIDE Japan

If your guarantor or sponsor is a Japanese person living in Japan, aside from the requirements listed in section (A), numbers #1 to #6, you should also submit the following:

  1. Guarantee Letter. Download the template here: [Japanese] or [English]. This must be issued within the past 3 months.
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  2. Residence Certificate. Called as “Juminhyo”, this must be issued within the past 3 months.
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  3. Proof of Income.
    • Income Certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho) from City Hall
    • Tax Return Certificate (Nouzeishomeisho: Form2) from Tax Office
    • Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae or Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shomeisho)
    • The following are NOT accepted: Gensen ChoShusho, Nouzeishomeisho Form 1, and Soushotoku (without annual income)
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NOTES:

In addition to numbers #7 to #9 above, if you’re invited and are intending to stay in your Japanese guarantor/sponsor’s residence in Japan who is a CLOSE** (parent, sister/brothers, aunts/uncles, or niece/nephews) or DISTANT relative (cousins, etc.), you must submit:

  1. Invitation Letter. Download the template here: [Japanese] or [English]. This must be issued within the past 3 months, signed and completed by your Japanese guarantor/sponsor.
  1. Family Registration. Called as “Koseki Tohon”, this must be issued within the past 3 months.
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In addition to numbers #7 to #9 above, if you’re invited and are intending to stay in your Japanese guarantor/sponsor’s residence in Japan who is a FRIEND only (non-family), you must submit:

  1. Invitation Letter. Download the template here: [Japanese] or [English]. This must be issued within the past 3 months, signed and completed by your Japanese guarantor/sponsor.
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  2. Proof of Relationship. This can be photos of the 2 of you together, screenshots of chat conversations, or emails.

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(D) Japan Tourist Visa WITH Non-Japanese Guarantor/Sponsor LIVING INSIDE Japan

If your guarantor or sponsor is a non-Japanese person living in Japan, aside from the requirements listed in section (A), numbers #1 to #6, you should also submit the following:

  1. Guarantee Letter. Download the template here: [Japanese] or [English]. This must be issued within the past 3 months. 
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  2. Foreign Registration Certificate. Alien Card acquired from the City Hall, this must be issued within the past 3 months.
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  3. Photocopy of Passport. All pages must be photocopied.
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  4. Photocopy of Residence Card. Both sides of the card.
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  5. Proof of Income.
    • Income Certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho) from City Hall
    • Tax Return Certificate (Nouzeishomeisho: Form2) from Tax Office
    • Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae or Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shomeisho)
    • The following are NOT accepted: Gensen ChoShushoNouzeishomeisho Form 1, and Soushotoku (without annual income)
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NOTES:

In addition to numbers #7 to #11 above, if you’re invited and are intending to stay in your non-Japanese guarantor/sponsor’s residence in Japan who is a CLOSE relative (parent, sister/brothers, aunts/uncles, or niece/nephews), you must also submit:

  1. Invitation Letter. Download the template here: [Japanese] or [English]. This must be issued within the past 3 months, signed and completed by your non-Japanese guarantor/sponsor.
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  2. NSO Birth & Marriage Certificates. Depending on your relationship with the Filipino close relative living in Japan, you must provide birth and/or marriage certificates for…
    • Parent – Child: You and your relative in Japan
    • Brother – Sister: You and your relative in Japan
    • Aunt/Uncle – Niece/Nephew: You, your relative in Japan, and parent of your relative in Japan
    • Niece/Nephew – Aunt/Uncle: You, your parent, and your relative in Japan

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In addition to numbers #7 to #11 above, if you’re invited and are intending to stay in your non-Japanese guarantor/sponsor’s residence in Japan who is a FRIEND only (non-family), you must submit:

  1. Invitation Letter. Download the template here: [Japanese] or [English]. This must be issued within the past 3 months, signed and completed by your non-Japanese guarantor/sponsor.
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  2. Proof of Relationship. This can be photos of the 2 of you together, screenshots of chat conversations, or emails.

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(E) Japan Multiple Entry Tourist Visa

Submit the standard requirements — depending on the kind of trip you’ll be doing on your first visit should you be granted a multiple entry Japan Visa for tourists (example: with or without guarantor, visiting a relative or not, etc.). For this, refer to the guides (A) to (D) above.

The only other additional documents you should ensure that you submit is a:

  1. Cover Letter. That explains why you are applying for a multiple entry visa. Since you’re already writing a letter, take the liberty to explain your situation as well. Here’s a sample of my cover letter.
  2. Request Form. Download this request form and fill it out.

As an additional measure, check the following info to see if you’re eligible to be granted a multiple entry Japan tourist visa:

  • Multiple entry tourist visa for commercial workers (5-year or 1-year)
    You are a company executive or manager, or a company employee who has been working full-time for at least one (1) year in any of the following:

    • A Public (Government) Enterprise
    • A private enterprise which is listed on the stock exchange (either PSE or foreign Stock Exchange)
    • A private enterprise which is based in Japan or has office in Japan, and also a member of Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines
    • A joint venture company, a subsidiary company or a branch office of a Japanese enterprise which is listed on the Japanese stock exchange
    • A private enterprise with constant business transactions with a Japanese enterprise which is listed on the Japanese stock exchange
    • Among the “Top 1,000 Philippine corporations in terms of gross revenue”
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  • Multiple entry tourist visa for artist and specialist in humanities (3-year or 1-year)
    • An artist (Fine Art, Literary Art, Music, Stage Play, Dance), or a specialist in humanities (Literature, Law, Economics), or a scientist (Technology, Medicine etc), who is internationally well-known or has relevant accomplishments
    • An amateur sports player, nationally well-known or has relevant accomplishments
    • A full-time professor, assistant professor or lecturer of a university or a college
    • An executive or director of a national or public research institution or a museum
    • A Senator, Congressman, Governor / Vice-Governor of a Province, City Mayor, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, Medical Doctor, Lawyer or Certified Public Accountant
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  • Multiple entry tourist visa for immediate family members (spouse/child) of a multiple entry visa holder (3-year or 1-year)

**Feel free to provide additional documents to support your eligibility depending on your kind of work.
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NOTE: It’s NOT really clear if the Embassy of Japan is very strict about this criteria for eligibility because for example, the company I own and work for is NOT located in the Philippines nor Japan — and yet I was granted a multiple entry tourist visa for 5 years. (Maybe it also helped that I’m a frequent traveler, and that I had a 10 year multiple-entry visa to the USA?)

Moreover, it seems to be customary that if you’ve already visited Japan before, you’ll already be automatically granted a 5-year multiple entry visa by your 2nd application (even if you didn’t specifically request for it).

Feel free to also apply for a multiple entry tourist visa even if it’s your 1st application since there are those who have already been successful in doing so. As always though, just ensure that you have complete documents with you for submission.

NOTE: If in case you are a Philippine national living or residing in a foreign country and you wish to avail a Japan tourist visa, kindly inquire with the appropriate Japan Embassy in the country that you’re living in. In my first visit to Japan, I applied for my tourist visa at the Embassy of Japan in Brussels, Belgium and the application was fairly easy — the requirements were almost the same as the above, maybe even less.

Do you need to purchase travel insurance?
It’s always good practice to get travel insurance for your trip. To avail, I would highly recommend World Nomads since they offer the best price and coverage.

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Step 3: Choose an accredited travel agency to process your Japan Visa application.
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The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines does NOT accept direct applications (unless you have a very special or dire case). So what you need to do instead is go to an accredited travel agency — submit your documents to them and they will process your application for you!

A Japan Visa is FREE, however, these travel agencies charge for the service that they offer of processing/sending your application, and their corresponding single-entry Japan tourist visa without guarantor fee are as follows (for fees on other types of tourist visas, kindly inquire with them or check their website).

◘◘ Which is the best travel agency to go to if I want to increase my chances of approval?
There really is NO best travel agency out there when it comes to visa approval because they have NO control whatsoever over that matter. Again, these accredited travel agencies simply ensure that the documents you are going to give are complete. After which, they just pass it to the embassy who makes the analyzation and final decision.

If however, it’s about the best in price or the one closest to where you live, then yes, it will be easy to see who’s “best”.

Personally, I applied to Universal Holidays because they were closest to my address at that time. They’re located in Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati alongside Reli Tours and Friendship Tours, but I ended up picking Universal Holidays because they didn’t have a long line. Once I was in, the overall process of submission was streamlined and easy too!

NOTEOnly pass your documents to the accredited agencies above! If you’re located far away, it’s also possible to send your documents by courier or by representative. Just inquire with the travel agency that you’re interested in to see if such is possible.

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Step 4: Wait for the results of your Japan Visa application.
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After you submit your documents to an accredited travel agency, you’ll just have to wait for their email/call/text message that either notifies you of when you can pick up your passport or when you still need to give them additional requirements. (Again, be aware that submission does NOT guarantee issuance of visa.)

Visa processing normally takes 2-5 business days — I got mine in just 2 days with Universal Holidays.

Also, I was told that if there’s a red sticker at the back of your passport upon pick-up, it means that your application has been denied. (Mine had a white sticker, which was approved).

Ideas for your Japan travel itinerary:


I have been to a LOT of places in Japan, and you can find my travel guides below for…
Tokyo (e.g.: Top Things to Do in Tokyo)
Kyoto
Osaka
Niigata
– …and more!

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See ALL of my Japan articles here.

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F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

Multiple Entry Japan Visa

◘◘ Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
I highly advise that you get travel insurance for your trip. To avail, I would highly recommend World Nomads since they offer the best price and coverage.

◘◘ How long can I stay in Japan with a Japan Tourist Visa?
As a temporary visitor, the Embassy of Japan only grants 15 or 30 days of stay. (If you’re visiting a relative, they can allow up to 90 days).

◘◘ If I have a multiple entry tourist visa, how long till I can re-enter Japan again after a trip?
There seems to be NO existing rule for a “break period” when you want to enter Japan again — however, take note that if you enter the country again too soon, that will raise questions and the immigration might not let you in. Also, take note that you should NOT spend more than 180 days total in a year in Japan as a tourist.

◘◘ When is the earliest time that I can apply for a Japan Visa?
You can apply no earlier than 60 days before the date of your intended departure.

◘◘ When is the latest time that I can apply for a Japan Visa?
To be safe, apply at least 15 working days before the date of your intended departure.

◘◘ How long does it take for a Japan Visa to be released?
Like I’ve mentioned above, it can take 2-5 working days. I got mine in just 2 days.

◘◘ Will there be an interview?
Nope. The travel agencies are only there to collect and check your documents. However, it is possible that the Embassy of Japan will request that you visit them for an interview after they receive your documents — but I’ve never heard of such a case when applying for a tourist visa only.

◘◘ Do I need to book accommodation and plane tickets by the time I send in my application?
The embassy does NOT require applicants to book nor submit roundtrip flight tickets and hotel(s) before applying for a visa. I never booked mine. But if in case you want some “peace of mind” and still want to book a hotel to show to the embassy, it’s best to do it with Booking.com or Agoda.com. With them, you can reserve a hotel with NO pre-payment and you can even cancel the booking a day before your arrival with NO cancellation charges at all. For flights, just watch out for promo fares on local airlines like Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. (Yet again, like I said, booking these won’t really affect your application).

◘◘ Can I submit other documents not listed above?
If it can support your application even further, then sure! The Embassy encourages that, especially if it can help provide proof of your economical or social ties within the Philippines (example: pay slips, real estate properties, land title, etc.).

◘◘ Do I need to provide a cover letter?
It’s not required, but it’s good practice to provide one. After all, if you can’t provide an ITR or if you’re planning to apply for a multiple entry visa, it’s important to write a letter to explain your situation.

◘◘ Do you have an example cover letter?
Yes, I have. Check it out here.

◘◘ What do I say if I don’t have an ITR?
Just be honest and explain why; just make sure you have a strong reason as to why (example: you’re new to your job, etc.). But if you’re nervous about not being able to submit an ITR or if you’re unsure if your reason is enough, you can then choose to take on a guarantor/sponsor for your Japan Visa application.

What did I do? Well, I’m a self-employed person who has no ITR but I did NOT take a guarantor or sponsor when I applied for my multiple entry visa. Nevertheless, I was given a Japan visa after I explained in my letter that I have no ITR because I’m being taxed in another country (Belgium) — I even provided my payslips to prove it. So my situation is one example of a strong reason as to why one is allowed to NOT submit an ITR to the Japan Embassy.

◘◘ How much money should I have in the bank?
The Japan Embassy did NOT mention any minimum balance requirement, but I have surely heard of someone (and some others) who was (were) granted a visa even with only Php 50,000 in the bank (with a trip that spanned for 5 days) — so let’s use that as a standard. Meanwhile, do take note that your bank certificate will often show the monthly average balance of your savings account; therefore, depositing a sudden large amount of money in order to assist you in your visa application is NOT really a good idea.

◘◘ What if there’s a problem with the spelling of my name/birthday on my Birth Certificate and Passport?
Kindly provide an Affidavit of Discrepancy.

◘◘ I will be traveling with my family/friends, are we all required to be there at the travel agency when submitting our documents?
It’s not really required. Besides, some travel agencies provide the option of submitting your documents and/or receiving of your passports (after application) via courier. Some travel agencies may want you all to be there upon submission though, and if in case one of you can’t personally come, just provide an Authorization Letter and photocopy of that person’s valid ID.

◘◘ Can one person among my family/friends be our overall guarantor/sponsor? We are all traveling to Japan together, and applying for a Japan Visa together.
Sure, but take note: this would mean that such person should have enough financial capacity and income to prove that he/she can shoulder each and everyone of you.

◘◘ How can I follow up on my application?
If you haven’t heard back from the travel agency in 5 days, feel free to call them to follow up.

◘◘ My Japan Visa application was denied. Is there anything I can do?
When a visa is not granted, the reasons for such denial will never be disclosed (yes, even the travel agency would NOT know why). Regrettably, I can’t find any information about making an appeal to the Embassy of Japan. You can, however, apply again after six (6) months with the same purpose of tourist visit — unless there are emergency / humanitarian reasons, or if you want to apply for a different purpose (work, study, etc.).
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Overall

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As you can see, applying for a Japan Tourist Visa is relatively easy — and I hope the process of preparation becomes absolutely hassle-free with this visa guide.

Let me know how it goes… good luck!

How about you?

  • Do you have any other tips to add?
  • If you’ve already applied for a Japan visa before, how was your experience?
  • Were you approved or denied? Please feel free to share your story!

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206 comments

  1. Hi! ask ko lang po, ang dapat po ba naka-address sa COE is sa japan embassy dapat?

    Reply
    1. Yes, for purpose of applying for the tourist visa. :) Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Hi Ms. Aileen! I've read in another blog that I need to have an authenticated and notarized affidavit of support or invitation letter not for the visa application but for the immigration. Is this really needed at the immigration? What's the difference between that notarized document and the invitation letter and guarantor letter you mentioned? Should the invitation letter and guarantor letter also be notarized and authenticated? (Sorry for the many questions.) Thank you, Ms. Aileen.

    Reply
    1. Hmmm... not sure where you heard that but I didn't have to show that at the immigration when I left the country. Of course it helps to have documents ready in case the immigration asks for it, but I've never heard of such a thing where they want notarized documents. :(

      Reply

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