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):
- 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.
- 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 :
- Day 1 – Travel From Manila to Narita.
- Day 2 – Disneyland
- Day 3 – Travel From Narita to Manila
- 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.
- 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.
- Payslip. I presented to them a copy of my 1 month payslip.
- 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.
- Passport. I submitted to them the original passport and photocopy of it.
- Bank Certificate. I requested for this document at the banks where I have an account.
- Valid IDs. I gave them a copy of my Company ID and SSS ID.
- 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.
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 Agencies: http://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 Website: http://www.discoverytour.ph/japanvisa/single-or-multiple-207.html
Discovery Tour Contact Number: +6328922849 / +639153200780
Discovery Tour Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org