Hello! From now on, I will start writing about visa applications (whenever I apply for one, hehe). I just applied for a Japan Visa (tourist) and this is how I did it. Hope this helps!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
“Effective 30th of July, 2007, visa applications at the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines must be made through agencies accredited by the Embassy. All applications through these accredited agencies will be accepted at the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.”
Yes, getting the visa itself is gratis (free), but the 6 accredited Travel Agencies are free to charge their service fee. The agency we went to charged us PHP 1,500 per person. It seems Universal Holidays, Inc. offers the lowest at about PHP 1,200. If you go through other agencies like ours, we will just charge you extra since we will only get from the accredited ones, so it’s best to go straight to them to lessen your cost.
YOU ARE EXEMPTED FROM GOING THROUGH AN AGENCY FOR THE FF CASES:
(1) Diplomatic or Official visas
(2) Visas for invitees by the Japanese government organization/ institution, independent administrative agencies of Japan
(3) Visas for invitees of Japan local governments or national/municipal educational institutions of Japan to participate in educational/cultural exchange programs and youth exchange programs
(4) Visas for scholarship awardees sponsored by the government of Japan
(5) Visas for commercial purpose of employees of a joint venture company or a branch office of a Japanese enterprise listed in the Japanese Stocks Exchange or a member of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines
(6) For cases requiring humanitarian consideration such as serious illness of relative in Japan
(7) For cases wherein applicant has custody of biological child of Japanese national and the purpose is to raise that child in Japan by himself/ herself (This type of application may only be filed at the Embassy of Japan in Manila)
(note) The existing registered agencies of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines for entertainer visas and Nikkeijin applications will retain their accreditation. For Nikkeijin (Japanese descendants born before the end of World War II) who have a Certificate of Eligibility, the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, Consular Offices in Cebu and Davao will continue to accept applications filed directly by these applicants.
In our case, we went with Rajah Travel Corporation, and these are the requirements they asked from us:
1) Valid Passport
2) Passport with used Japan Visa (for those who have already visited Japan)
3) Completed Visa Application Form (you can download it HERE)
4) 2 pcs. of recent 2×2 photo in white background (preferably in dark top with collar and sleeves)
5) Original authenticated Birth Certificate issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) within 1 year from the time of filing (only for applicants without previous and/or used Japan visa)
6) Original authenticated Marriage Contract issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) within 1 year from the time of filing (only for applicants without previous and/or used Japan visa)
7) Daily schedule/ itinerary in Japan (The agency can take care of this, but if you have one, feel free to submit.)
8) Certificate of Employment stating position, tenure of service and gross annual income. For self-employed, submit DTI Business Name Registration and SEC Registration. Certificate
9) Original Bank Certificate
10) Copy of the Latest Income Tax Return (ITR) – Though in their list, they did not ask us to submit this anymore.
* For NSO birth certificate (born from 1940 to present) under “late registration”, applicants are required to submit their original Baptismal Certificate and School Record Form 1-37.
* For NSO birth certificate with “unreadable details”, and or if “no record found”, applicants are required to submit a certified true copy of the birth certificate issued by Local Civil Registry or certification issued by the National Archives.
* For government employee, approved leave of absence is required.
Minimum of 5 working days is required to process the visa. It’s best to apply around a month or two prior your scheduled trip.
Upon learning about Japan’s multiple entry visa, I wanted to apply for it since we have two scheduled Japan trips this year, but I was told that there were extra requirements like a letter to Japanese Embassy. Also, I was told that it’s only applicable for people who traveled to Japan in the last 2 or 3 years. The last time I went to Japan was in 2000, so I just let it go and was set to re-apply before our second trip. To my surprise, I got a MULTIPLE entry visa! We applied as a family and are 13 in the group; only those who previously visited Japan got a multiple visa, and it’s valid for 3 years! Yey!:) Sweet surprise, indeed!
NEWEST: From what I heard, they give multiple visa entries up to 5 years already for those who have gone to Japan before. For first timers, you can try to ask for a multiply entry visa and depending on the documents they submit, the embassy just might approve it!:)
SPECIAL SHOUTOUT: The surprise was sweet and nice, BUT, I was also surprised to see that one name in my visa was misspelled. Instead of ELENA, the print says ELENE. My dad-in-law was given another birthday, hehe! So we have to bring them back to the agency to have them fixed. I am mentioning this so you’ll be reminded to ALWAYS double check the details when you get your visa, and to apply early enough for errors like these. The last thing you want to happen is for you to be denied entry to your chosen country to visit!
That said, good luck in getting your Japan visa! Happy trip!:)
PS: Everything I know, I already put here. If you have concerns that this post has not answered, it’s best to just call the aforementioned agencies in this post cause they really know better. Thanks in advance.