Japan Visa Application For Philippine Passport Holder

Many people say that Japan is one the easiest countries to apply for a tourist visa. October of 2015 when my friend asked me to get a visa so he could be able to show me the beauty of one of his favorite countries. Since it was my first time to submit an application for the said purpose, I conducted my own research and gathered information on how to get a visa.

Visa application to Japan shall be submitted only through the accredited agencies. I processed mine at Discovery Tour, Inc. in Makati City. Take note that what they require are original copies except for ITR and IDs.

List of Submitted Documents (Not all are in the list of requirements. I just submitted other documents because according to the blogs that I’ve read, the decision of approving your visa application depends on how you can prove your intention and financial capacity):

  1. Visa Application Form (Printed in A4 size paper). This application came from the travel agency where I submitted my application. If you are to apply, I suggest that you call them so they can send you the documents that you need to fill-up. Make sure that all items are properly answered, and write N/A for those that are not applicable.
  2. Schedule of Stay. You should present to them your itinerary. Well, it doesn’t really have to be your exact plan, but before you visit the country, you should have at least an idea on how you are going to spend your time there. This is what I wrote in my Itinerary :
    1. Day 1 – Travel From Manila to Narita.
    2. Day 2 – Disneyland
    3. Day 3 – Travel From Narita to Manila
  3. NSO Birth Certificate. It has to be valid within the year and they are validating it through the attached receipt, so yes, do not detach the receipt from your Birth Certificate.
  4. ITR. This is an exception to the required original documents. Since they know that employees only have  1 copy of ITR per year, they will only get a photocopy of the document. But of course, they still have to compare it with the original one.
  5. Payslip. I presented to them a copy of my 1 month payslip.
  6. Certificate of Employment. My COE shows my annual income and allowance and also my employment period in the Company. I also requested to indicate in the lower portion of the COE that I was allowed by my superior to enjoy my  Vacation Leave during my travel dates.
  7. Passport. I submitted to them the original passport and photocopy of it.
  8. Bank Certificate. I requested for this document at the banks where I have an account.
  9. Valid IDs. I gave them a copy of my Company ID and SSS ID.
  10. Recent 2×2 ID picture, white background. It has to be attached to your application form.

It only took me about 20 minutes to submit my application, including my waiting time. 7 days after, I went back to their office to retrieve my passport. You may call their office to check if you can already have your passport back, but you cannot ask them, over the phone, if you are granted with a visa or not. I was a bit nervous when they gave me back my passport because they also did not tell me if visa was granted. I only checked it when I was already on my way home, and luckily, I saw my visa attached to my passport, so then I realized that yeah, it is not that hard to apply for Visa to Japan, but of course, you still need to prove, through your documents, that you have enough savings for your trip and that you do not have any other purpose aside from what you have indicated in your application.

japan visa

Going back to agencies, you may choose to just send your requirements to accredited agencies, but of course you have to shoulder the logistic fees. If you are ok to spend more, you may opt to ask other agency to process your tourist visa to Japan, but expect a huge difference from the fees. My friend applied for a visa through an agency that is not accredited by the Embassy and she was charged Php 4,500.00. I also learned from another friend that she was asked to pay Php 7,000.00. Imagine the difference from the Php 800.00 I paid when I applied directly at the accredited agency.

For additional reference, I have listed below my visa application expenses and Agency’s contact details:

Breakdown of Expenses:

Visa Fee: Php 800.00

Bank Certificate: Php 400.00. It depends on your bank. I spent this much because I decided to submit two certificates. I paid Php 300.00 for my UCPB Bank Certificate, and Php 100.00 for my BDO Bank Certificate.

Total: Php 1,200.00

List of Accredited Agencieshttp://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/

Discovery Tours, Inc. Address: G/F Unit 301 Sagittarius Building, H.V. Dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City

Discovery Tour Websitehttp://www.discoverytour.ph/japanvisa/single-or-multiple-207.html

Discovery Tour Contact Number: +6328922849 / +639153200780

Discovery Tour Email Address: japanvisamnl3@discoverytour.ph

 

 

 

Dear Mama Lola

I will never forget what you told me the last time we talk, and that is to “Never say anything bad about other people and never let the hate take root in my heart”. I felt more proud to be your granddaughter when I heard these words from you. You may have lost your memory, but the goodness in you remained. It’s sad to know that we will no longer enjoy our vacation the same way that we did before, but it’s ok because I know that you are now in a happier place, with Papa. We will all miss you, Mama! Thank you for taking good care of us and I thank God for letting you enjoy your life for 98 yrs. You will always have a special place in our hearts, Mama! We all love you!

Australian Tourist Visa Application for Filipinos

Last March 2016, my sister and I decided to book a flight to Australia, since there was a ticket sale. It will be my first out of the country tour outside Asia, if ever my visa will be granted. I was honestly in doubt if I could get one, but because I already had my ticket booked, I still decided to comply with the requirements and try my luck. So here are the documents that I prepared for the Visa Application.

  1. Filled-up Application Form for a Visitor Visa – Tourism Stream (Form 1419). Make sure to double check all details in your application. Well, I actually overlooked item #28 (Friends and Contacts in Australia) and it became another reason why I doubted my application to be approved. Good thing was that there was another item where I was able to fill up details of our contact in Australia.
  2. Letter of Invitation. We were able to submit a letter of invitation from my sister’s friend who is permanently residing in Australia. She stated in the letter the complete list of those she invited, passport details, date of visit in Australia, her current home and work address. She also attached statement of account of her apartment rental, and photocopy of her passport, because we will be staying in her place.
  3. Photocopy of Passport. I applied for Australian Visa at VFS Global and they only require applicants to submit photocopy of passport.
  4. ITR and Payslip. It is important that your documents would be able to prove that you are earning enough to sustain your travel needs so I presented to them a copy of my ITR and 1 month payslip.
  5. Certificate of Employment. This is to show where my source of income is coming from.
  6. Approved Leave. Covered dates of my approved Leave Application and reason for filing my leave were  indicated.
  7. Bank Statement. This was another document that made me doubt the approval of my application. I only  had a little time left to process my visa, and I also don’t have enough time to wait for Bank Statement/Certificate to be issued by bank, so I decided to just print online copy of my 3 month bank statement. Only until I have submitted my application when I realized that my name wasn’t in the document and it was only the account number that was there, and since it was just a printed copy, there was also no signature from any of the bank’s officer.
  8. Travel Visa. I provided them copy of my visa to Japan and my travel stamp when I visited Hong Kong. I also attached photocopy of my previous passport.
  9. Recent 2×2 Picture, white background. Make sure to attach it in your application form.
  10. Manager’s Check. They do not accept Cash Payment for Visa Application, so I requested for Manager’s Check, payable to AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY. Amount I paid was Php 4,800.00. But aside from the Manager’s check (I was charged Php 50.00 for the Manager’s Check request), you will also be needing to pay them, in cash, the Logistic Fee of Php 625.00. I also preferred to be notified through SMS so I added Php 110.00 for the SMS Fee.
  11. NSO Birth Certificate. They say it has to be issued within the year but they did not ask for a copy of the receipt (Well I still don’t understand why NSO Birth Certificates have expiration).
  12. ID’s. I submitted photocopies of my TWO (2) valid ID’s. One was my Company ID and the other was SSS ID.

Not all of the requirements I mentioned above are actually listed in their checklist (you will notice it when they ask you to fill-up checklist form). However, I still decided to submit those documents to further justify my intention (and that is to just spend a short vacation). If you have other companions, make sure to know their names as you will be asked to write it.

Since I am currently residing in Makati, I decided to personally process my visa at VFS Global in Makati (address stated below). I came there at around 2:00 PM and was able to lodge my application after an hour (Thanks to their friendly representative who accommodated me). They do not allow applicants to bring other stuffs, aside from documents and wallet, so you have to deposit those at their locker room rental area, and it costs Php 75.00. You can bring your cellphone with you but you have to turn it off while inside the processing area.

After I lodged my application, they handed me the payment receipts with attached barcode at the back. The purpose of it was for me to be able to check the status of my application online, through VFS website.

I was advised that processing of application takes 1 month and 10 days. That was actually the reason why my sister kept asking me to submit it already because our scheduled flight is August 13, 2016. I submitted my application June 28, 2016. It was forwarded to Australian Embassy last June 29, 2016, and to my surprise, I got my Visa Grant Notice last July 15, 2016 (sent through Email). I was granted with a Single Entry Tourist Visa, with maximum stay of 3 months. Under the conditions, it was stated that I am not allowed to work but I can study for 3 months.

visa grant_edited
(Screenshot of Visa Grant Notice)

Even though I got my Visa Grant Notice earlier than expected, I suggest that you still follow the 1 month and 10 days lead time. This is just to be sure that you will have enough time in case some unexpected concerns or issues arise.

After getting my Visa Grant Notice, I sent an email to VFS helpline to inquire if there is still a need for me to go to their office or printed copy would be enough. I was informed that I just need to carry with me the said document during travels, and it will be in the discretion of the case officer if I will be required for an interview.

Below are additional details that may help you, should you wish to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa:

VFS Global Address: Mezzanine Floor, Ecoplaza Bldg.,, Don Chino Roces Ave Ext, Makati, Metro Manila.

Helpline Email Address: info.auph@vfshelpline.com (I sent them an email for my inquiry because I was having a hard time reaching their mobile and landline. I got a reply from them within 24 hrs).

Website: www.vfsglobal.com

Visa Application (Manager’s Check) – Php 4,800.00

Manager’s Check Fee (Paid at the Bank) – Php 50.00

Logistic Fee: Php 625.00

SMS Fee: Php 110.00

Locker Room Rental: Php 75.00

Total Expenses: Php 5,660.00