How to apply for a Japan Tourist Visa (2018)

How to really apply for Japan Tourist Visa( 2018)

 

This article will be about applying for a visa with a Japanese guarantor.

Japan has always been on my list ever since I was young, like who would not wish to visit Japan, especially for anime lovers.

In my life, I never thought I’d be writing this article because I’ve only been to two visa-free countries and it’s too risky for me to apply for a visa because I am only a freelancer and I’ve got no ITR. Though I’ve read some articles about getting approved even with no ITR, I still feel fear because I know that if I get denied, it will forever break my heart..

Thanks to my cousin who married a Japanese, my dream of visiting Japan was made possible.  My cousin was actually my half 2nd cousin so the agency I chose suggested preparing the requirements for visiting friends/ distant relatives.

Yay! I won’t waste your time, below is the list of requirements you need to prepare for your visiting a friend/relative visa application:

Again, this is for those who have a guarantor from Japan, could either be your friend or relative. So, be reminded that all documents must be original otherwise stated.

  1. Philippine Passport
  • Broken passport is not accepted. Passports must be signed and must have at least two (2) blank visa pages.
  1. Visa Application Form

This form is available at the Embassy website, or to any of the accredited travel agencies. (Will give you a list of accredited agencies later)

You can also download it here:   application1

Your application form should be filled out all items correctly, If the item is not applicable, please write in [N/A]. Embassy may not accept the application with a blank item, no signature or no date in the form; may deny the application that is filled out incorrectly or wrong information. (My tip would be, If there are parts of the form that you are not sure of, just leave it blank and ask assistance when going to the agency)

  1. Photo

Be reminded of the specs of the photo: 4.5cm x 4.5cm, with white background and it, must be taken within the last 6 months. Remember to write your name and birthday at the back of your photo just in case.

  1. Birth Certificate

Your birth certificate must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide).

If the birth certificate from Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) is unreadable or has incomplete information, please submit the birth certificate issued by PSA together with a birth certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar.

or if the birth certificate is “late registration”, please submit in addition, a baptismal certificate and school record (Form 137) from high school or elementary and School Yearbook (if possible).

If there is no record in PSA, please submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA together with a birth certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.

(I suggest you order it online (takes 3-7 days, depends on your location) I remember waking up at 4 am for the priority number n PSA- Cebu just to get my NSO..)

Got there around 5:10 and my priority number is 223. I was so shocked upon my arrival cause I can see the very long line already and it’s only 5 AM. So if you don’t want to wake up early and struggle for the priority number, then better order online ahead of time. In my case, I had to process it personally because I need to get my NSO that exact day.

 

 

 

  1. Marriage Certificate (if the applicant is marrie

And in case there is no record in PSA, please submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA together with the Marriage Certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.

  1. Daily Schedule in Japan (TAIZAI YOTEIHYO )

The format for the daily schedule usually varies by the agency. In there, sites are provided samples that you can fill in or use.

  1. Proof of Relationship

Documents such as pictures, phone calls detail, receipts, passport copies and explanation letter about the relationship with the visa applicant… As for mine, I printed some screenshots of me and my cousin’s conversations and video calls. For my explanation letter, I actually had it notarized by a lawyer. My family tree looked like this and if you want to see my explanation letter, just do comment below with your email add so I can send it to you.

You just have to create a family tree, make sure to highlight your relationship with the guarantor.  ( Remember the size, it must be A4)

  1. Invitation Letter from Guarantor in Japan 
  2. Residence Certificate (Juminhyo) of the friend/acquaintance and the guarantor in Japan

If friend/acquaintance in Japan is a foreign resident, please submit a copy of friend’s Residence Card or Special Permanent Resident certificate (both sides)

Juminhyo must be issued within (3) months and described all family members without omission.

[If the applicant will shoulder part or all of his/her travel expenses]

  1. Bank Certificate

The validity of Bank Certificate is three (3) month from the date of issue

  1. Income Tax Return (Form 2316) clear Photocopy ( latest)

[If Guarantor in Japan will shoulder part or all of the applicant’s travel expenses]

  1. Guarantee Letter
  2. Income Certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho) from City Hall, Tax Return Certificates with Gross

Income (Nouzeishomeisho: form2) from the tax office, KAKUTEISHINKOKUSHO HIKAE or Bank Certificate (YOKIN ZANDAKA SHOMEISHO).

The Income Certificate must be issued within three months. Submission of Withholding Slip (GENSEN-CHOSHUHYO) in lieu of (13) is unacceptable. Please note that tax certificates to be submitted must indicate gross income amount.

Guarantor’s Income Certificates etc. is important in measuring the guarantor’s capability to support the applicant therefore, submission of more than one document (e.g. Income Certificate and Bank Certificate) is allowed.

 

Additional documents that the agency asked: was the marriage certificate of my 2nd cousin.

Also, take note of these reminders:

-Size of the document for application should be A4 size only. If a document is another size, please submit copy that is already adjusted in A4 size from its original and without staples or pasting pages.

– Applicants are exempted from submitting (4) and (5) Indicated above if they can submit old/valid passports with used Japan visa.

– It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he/she meets the requirements for the grant of a visa. Submission of any supporting documents not listed above is encouraged (e.g.applicant’s economic or social ties with the Philippines, urgent reasons for the visit: medical certificate, wedding invitation

 

Preparing for the documents would really take some time especially that the embassy requires the originals. My cousin sent the papers from Japan and it took almost two weeks before I got it thru Philpost. (If you are in a hurry, DHL is faster but pricey)

 

Apply for your visa 1 month before your planned departure. In my case, I booked my flight first before applying for the visa. I am not sure what went in my mind for paying for an expensive ticket without the assurance of my visa. My ticket was expensive because I made sure I’d see the full bloom of the cherry blossoms. I am speaking about the peak season rates.

 

 

 

Waiting for my visa application result was crazy, I kept reading blogs and forums to check if I made a mistake or what. It was really nerve-wracking because it was my first time and I have already purchased a ticket and if ever I get denied, I’d have to kiss goodbye to my pricey ticket.

It took me some time to decide which agency I’m going to choose, but then after reading many reviews and blogs, I decided to go with friendship tours.  Here’s the link to their website by the way –>> http://www.visa.friendshipmanila.com/

I personally went to their Cebu branch to submit my application; they were very nice and accommodating. They do really help increase your chances of getting approved and they give you bits of advice on which and what to submit. When I got there, I had all the requirements listed on their site; after they thoroughly checked them they suggested adding more screenshots of me and my cousin’s messages. They also asked if I have a visa from other countries and told me to include them too. (Maybe it will help with the approval)

I went to Friendship tours on March 2, 2018, around 5 PM and paid 2,000 pesos.  They said I’ll have to wait for 5-7 working days for the result and advised to start counting on the 5th because they will still have to send my documents to Manila. (Tip: before submitting the documents, make sure to have a photocopy of every document for emergency purposes)

Again, waiting for the result was so stressful, I got pimples popping out everywhere and my heart just beats faster every time I think about it…

So, finally, on March 13, 2018, I received a message that my VISA is ready for pick up.

 

 

Here it is!!! OMG! Got it. I can’t believe it! Can’t help staring at it for hours. Lol!

 

 

 

My port of entry is Kansai International Airport since my cousin lives in Osaka.

And indeed, when I landed in Japan via Jeju Air, I said: “Everything was worth it, the ticket and the stress and efforts in applying for the visa..”

By the way, the Embassy granted me 30 days.

Anyway, if you have questions, make sure to comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.

 

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