I did it!!! I finally got my Japan Visa with Multiple Entry!!!
After visiting the land of the rising sun twice, I felt hopeless that I am not meant for a multiple visa (huhu). I thought that I just have to settle on getting one every single time I visit. Usually people are granted multiple visa during their second time in Japan, but that did not happened to me. Maybe it's because I applied with a GUARANTOR (or sponsor aka my sister) all the time? I've always been a freelancer (blogger) so I was afraid my papers were not enough.
For my upcoming autumn trip, I tried applying with my own papers. I haven't received my ITR yet (I just applied for one last month), so what I did was I wrote a letter of explanation as suggested by other travel bloggers. I was praying for the past days hoping they grant my request, and earlier I just received the best news! The kuya in my agency's pick-up counter took my passport, searched its pages, and then monotonously read out loud: "Five years multiple entry visa."
I was holding my breath the the whole time, so when I heard that napa OH MY GOSH! talaga ako ng bongga! Thank you Jesus!! ❤❤❤
Anyway, so I am sharing my tips right away just so I can maybe, in any way, assist others who will read this during their road to Japan visa application. Take note that we might have different circumstances, but just as long as you did your part, then we can always hope for the best!
Japan Visa Requirements:
I am not an expert with visa applications, but I think I've lost count how many friends and readers I've helped with theirs (especially with Korean visa). Now I feel that it's one of my purpose in blogging: to share my visa application stories and maybe help someone get theirs too. Mission ko na sya ngayon! Haha! Just to lay the cards, I already have a multiple US Visa and now a multiple Japan visa.
Here's what I usually send to them first, a checklist of Japan visa requirements:
1) Passport - Make sure it is valid for 6 months prior your intended travel date.
2) Japan Visa Application Form - I get this paper and fill it up in my travel agency, but if you want to do this in advance, you can download the form here and print it on A4 size.
- For freelancers like me, I usually put my own details on the Employer section. Then I add "(self-employed)" right after my name.
- They will also ask for your hotel and duration of stay. Take note though that these are not required. I have a friend who applied for her visa first before booking for her plane ticket and accommodation. Just place in the form where you intended to stay, and your intended travel dates.
- Do not leave any blanks. Just put N/A in everything not applicable to you, especially the back part.
3) Photo - Should be 4.5cm x 4.5xm with white background. I usually just go to Photoline and ask for a photo for Japan visa, and they know na the requirement. They will even edit out your clothes to blazer and polo to make you look formal, haha!
This will be pasted on your Japan Visa Application Form, but I just let my agency do it to be sure.
Tip: Write down your name and birthday at the back of your photo.
4) Birth Certificate from NSO - I was exempted to this because it was my third time applying for a Japan visa. Make sure your NSO is original and issued within one year from application date. You can order your form in advance through NSO's website for Php 315.
Waiting time is around 3-5 working days after payment within Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao, and 4-9 working days for other cities/provinces within the Philippines.
5) NSO Marriage Certificate - Only if applicable.
6) Tour Itinerary - This is your daily schedule in Japan. It doesn't necessarily have to be detailed or fixed already. I usually just submit what I come up with in my excel file - with the date, time, activities, and other details like how to commute there, entrance fees, etc.
You can download this format here, or just get this form in your travel agency and fill it up there:
7) Bank Balance Certificate - Must be original and issued within the past 3 months before your application. You can easily get this through your main bank. I requested for one and got it also on same day. Just paid Php 100. Keep the receipt coz they might also look for it.
Also, I honestly have no idea how much is the ideal amount on your bank certificate to get approved visa. Although some say that the consul base it on your itinerary (if your money and your travel plans fit, afford mo ba yung stay, etc). To be sure, Php 100,000 is the safest amount, but again the more the better.
8) Income Tax Return - Okay so the last on the list is your ITR, which is always my problem. What I did was I wrote a letter of explanation on why I can't provide one as of the moment. Sharing here my letter so you can use it as format and just change my details:
The Office of the Consul General
The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
2627 Roxas Boulevard
Pasay City, Metro Manila 1300
October 1, 2017
I am Ana Regina M. Gonzales, bearer of Philippine Passport # _______, and resident of _______________________________. I am writing because I would like to apply for a multiple-entry Japan Tourist Visa to cover my intention of exploring more of your country (for purposes of tourism only).
I have already been to Japan last March 25 to April 1, 2015 and June 21 to 29, 2016, and I assure you that I did not have any issues with immigration and law enforcement during my stays. I have visited during spring “sakura” season and rainy season, and ever since then, I’ve been wanting to see more of Japan and visit it during its other seasons.
That being said, I now intend to travel this November 7 to November 17, 2017 to see Japan during autumn (and then hopefully visit early in 2018 to experience the “snow season”). I am currently employed as a Travel and Lifestyle Blogger, and earn from brand partnerships and collaborations. My estimate annual salary is PHP_____________.
I am writing to your office to let you know that I am lacking the required Income Tax Return BIR Form 2316. I just got my TIN this year and my accountant cannot provide the ITR for 2017 because it will be released early next year. For supporting documents, I am submitting along with this application some of my payslips for 2017 and my bank certificate. Overall, I trust that you will find that everything is in order and I hope that my previous travel experiences and my personal details would be helpful in your consideration to grant me a multiple-entry tourist visa.
Thanking you in advance for a favorable reply to my application.
Ana Regina M. Gonzales
Where I go for my Japan Visa Application?
There are many agencies that process Japan visas, just make sure that you're going to an accredited agency. I ALWAYS got to Friendship Tours and Resorts, which is located in Dusit Hotel in Makati (just across SM Makati). I first found out about this agency through blogger Tricia Gosingtian and my Ate so I know that that Friendship Tours is really trusted.
Upon entry, get your number and wait for your turn. You can fill up your forms and double (triple!) check your requirements while waiting.
They have this list of hotels in Japan that you may put on your application form:
When it's your turn, your agent will check all your requirements:
The rate for Tourist Visa application is Php 1200, but I paid a little extra (Php 2000) for their Multiple Visa. You can check Friendship's Japan Visa price list on their website.
If, like me, you also aim for Japan Multiple Visa, you can fill up this form of request and also pay Php 2000. Again, this is not a guarantee that you will get multiple visa but for me it's a good push.
I received an automated text yesterday afternoon that my passport is already back with the agency. They will not tell you if you passed or denied, so it's really nerve wracking! I had no plans of going out today, but I don't think I can wait till Saturday to find out if I made it!
All worth it!
Some final notes:
Make sure to apply no earlier than 60 days before your intended travel date to Japan. Latest should be at least 15 working days, although the agency's commitment is 2-5 working days, it's best to have more allowance and not go buzzer beater on this!
I applied last Friday afternoon, and the agency had it processed last Monday. I received the automated text yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), and finally picked it up today (Thursday)!
Friendship Tours and Resorts is open from Mondays to Fridays from 8:30am to 6pm, and Saturdays from 8:30am to 1pm. Bring your receipt to claim your passport. That's it!
Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!!!
Read more on my past Japan stories, tips, budget, etc.
Note: If you want me to write about Korean Visa Application, or how to apply for Japan visa with guarantor, please hit me a message on the comment box below! ❤😊