How to: Apply for Tourist Visa to Japan for Philippine Passport Holders

Filipinos are fond of saying: “Japan ang sagot sa kahirapan!” (Japan is the answer to poverty!) It's silly but it goes to show how the Filipinos think highly of Japan as THE destination. To the many, Japan is the DREAM travel destination.
So why don’t you make the dream happen and head to Japan? Philippine passport holders may be required with a visa to enter Japan, but you can easily get it for as long as you carefully submit all the requirements and follow the instructions. Besides, Japan has also relaxed the visa approval to Filipinos to boost their tourism. Your chances are high, so don't be afraid to get one!
I went around Japan in October 2016 with 3 other members of the family. Here's the step-by-step guide on how I got a Japanese tourist visa for our group. This may be a lengthy post with a lot of links but I made sure to be as detailed as possible.

Note: No need to pay extra cash to travel agencies to do the visa application for you! I did the visa application myself and I'm sure anyone can do it on their own too. Let's begin!

WHEN TO APPLY FOR A TOURIST VISA TO JAPAN?

Philippine passport holders may be granted with at least 59 days of stay in Japan as a tourist, either single or multiple entry. This tourist visa is valid for 90 days.

Asked when is the best time to apply for the tourist visa, I suggest that you apply as early as you can. I'd say 1-2 months before the trip. Why? In that way, you'll have a lot of time planning the trip (because there's so many places and things to do in Japan that it can get overwhelming) and saving money (because Japan is expensive, I tell you). On the other hand, you may apply as late as 15 days prior to your travel date.

HOW MUCH IS A TOURIST VISA TO JAPAN?

Actually, the visa itself is FREE, but you have to go to a accredited travel agency (view the list here) that charges the processing fee. This fee varies per agency.

With the agency I went to, they charge a non-refundable PHP 800 processing fee per person, so I paid a total of PHP 2,400 for 4 applicants.

WHERE TO GET A  TOURIST VISA TO JAPAN? 

No need to go directly to the Japanese embassy. In fact, they won't process your tourist visa there. Instead, as mentioned, go to an accredited travel agency.

Tips:
- Choose the agency nearest you. In that way, it will be easier to submit additional requirements, if requested. In my case, I worked with Discovery Tour Inc. that has an office in Makati where I live. Luckily, it's also the agency that charges the cheapest processing fee. I recommend them for the good customer service as they meticulously checked our requirements. They particularly noticed an unclear part of my mom's birth certificate, and so I was able to give the additional items on time.
- If applying as a group, no need for everyone to be physically in the travel agency. At least one traveling participant is fine. For visa claiming, the same ruling applies. 

Address: 301 G/F Floor Sagittarius Building H.V. Dela Costa Street Salcedo Village Makati City Philippines 1227
Telephone: (632) 843 5083
Operating Hours:

   Visa Application
   Monday-Friday
   09:00AM – 11:30AM and 01:00PM – 04:30PM
   Saturday
   09:00AM – 11:00AM

   Visa Claiming
   Monday-Friday
   09:00AM – 11:30AM and 01:00PM – 06:00PM
   Saturday
   09:00AM – 11:30AM

Processing fee: PHP 800 per person (for single and multiple entry visa)
Processing time: 5-7 business days
For more information, visit their website.

WHAT TO SUBMIT TO THE TRAVEL AGENCY?

General requirements can be found here.

For more specific requirements, here are 4 profiles of my family:

PROFILE 1 
Sex: Female
Age during the application: 20s
Civil status: Single
Employment status: Employed
Travel history:
- Frequent traveler
- Granted with tourist visa to Taiwan, South Korea, and India

PROFILE 2
Sex: Female
Age during the application: 60s
Civil status: Widowed
Employment status: Retired
Travel history:
- Frequent traveler
- Granted with US visa

PROFILE 3
Sex: Female
Age during the application: 30s
Civil status: Married
Employment status: Employed
Travel history:
- Traveled in the last five years but no stamps in renewed passport

PROFILE 4
Sex: Male
Age during the application: 30s
Civil status: Single
Employment status:
Self-employed
Travel history:
- Traveled in the last 5 years but no stamps in renewed passport

WHAT TO DO AFTER SUBMITTING THE REQUIREMENTS?

The travel agency will be the one to submit your requirements to the Japanese embassy. Depending on the agency, it's usually within 5-7 business days. In my case, I received a call from the agency on the 5th business day, telling that I have to get the passports from their office. Note that they'll never tell on the phone if your visa is approved or not (which was nerve-racking!). You'll only know it once you get there.

Fingers crossed on that much-awaited Japanese visa in your passport! Before leaving the travel agency, make sure that the details are correct in the visa. In case there's any, tell them right away.

Good luck!

Read my Japan blog entries here:

View my Japan vlogs here:



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