I can’t believe I am actually making this blog on how to get a visa to Japan. For Filipinos, it’s sad to say that it is sometimes difficult to travel abroad especially when there are documents needed for a desired trip such as ITR, Bank Certificate and Certificate of Employment. Here, I am going to talk about my experience in hoping to help others who wish to go outside of the country.
I traveled in Thailand in 2013 and just this year, April 2015, in Singapore. I had no problem at the immigration with the two trips.
During my first trip, I was nervous just like everybody else. I was asked these.
1. How many days are you going to stay in Thailand?
2. With whom are you travelling?
3. Round trip ticket and hotel reservation
4. What is your job? (then asked for the company ID)
On my second trip which was Singapore, I was asked these:
1. With whom are you travelling?
2. How many days are you planning to stay in Singapore
3. What is your job? (No company ID was asked, just any ID. I showed my PRC ID)
4. With whom did you travel in Thailand 2 years ago and how long did you stay there?
I had searched everywhere however it was hard to find the exact answers I was looking for. This blog is for Filipinos who plan to visit Japan with a guarantor but are UNEMPLOYED, FREELANCER or do NOT have an ITR or Bank Certificate to provide. I do not work for any agency nor the embassy. This is merely from my experience.
My fiance and I had to meet his parents in Japan. Despite the overwhelming requirements, we were very determined to get everything that we needed. We began searching. I read blogs made by Filipinos and so did he but only those that were posted by Japanese. Because of some horror stories people posted online, such as getting offloaded or getting their visa denied, I got major anxiety. The problem was, I couldn’t provide ITR, COE and Bank Certificate right away. So we opt to have a guarantor. Fortunately, my fiance’s father agreed to be my guarantor. It means that he was the one who would “support” my travel expenses and provide the documents we needed from Japan to have a visa.
———-MY GUARANTOR’S PART———-
- (A.1) INVITATION LETTER AND GUARANTEE LETTER (MIMOTO HOSHOSHO)
There is a form you can download (here) OR you may also get it from the accredited agencies (here). It is important that it has the handwritten signature of the guarantor. So no faxing, photocopying or sending through email. In japan they also put a RED STAMP aside from the signature.
- (A.2) AUTHENTICATED AND NOTARIZED AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT OR INVITATION LETTER
This was the document that we missed at first. You won’t be needing this for visa application but at the immigration. They may asked for this. We actually did not know that we would need this. When I got my visa granted, I checked online about the possible immigration requirements. Although it was not my first time to travel abroad, I had anxiety when I thought of the immigration. It is not the primary requirement at the immigration since they will only asked for the passport, visa and ticket. However, since I did not have any documents that proved my financial capability for the trip, I needed an authenticated affidavit of support. We couldn’t find any clear explanation on the internet regarding this. I made a blog on how to prepare an authenticated and notarized guarantee letter from Japan. This how I did it. (Click here to read the blog)
- RESIDENCE CERTIFICATE (JUMINHYO)
NOTE that this is only needed if your guarantor is Japanese BUT if your guarantor is NOT Japanese you he/she will need FOREIGN REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE FROM CITY HALL
- Income Certificate from City Hall (SHOTOKU SHOMEISHO), Tax return certificate (NOUZEISHOMEISHO: form2) from Tax office, KAKUTEISHINKOKUSHO HIKAE
- OR Bank Certificate (YOKIN ZANDAKA SHOMEISHO)
After my guarantor completed the documents I needed, they were sent to us Saturday and received the documents Thursday via EMS (4 DAYS). I tracked the document with the tracking number that was provided to us on the EMS website (click here). I needed to pay 100 pesos but I did not know the reason, I just paid anyway to the postman.
No broken lamination of the picture and MUST have a signature and at least 2 blank pages.
- 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm PHOTO WITH WHITE BACKGROUND
- NSO Birth Certificate. (ORIGINAL CLEAR COPY)
My mom requested it for me and it was released right away. She paid 145 pesos. If there is no problem with anything you can get it the same day. You may also request online with a higher price (here). PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE RECEIPT IS IMPORTANT.
- PICTURES, EMAILS OR CHATS
I needed to prove the relationship I have with my fiance through pictures, chats or emails. The dates here are also important.
TIPS : use photos with obvious background not just a blank white boring ones.Choose different types of photos with different locations and clothes. Do not submit solo pictures. For couples, It is not necessary to include pictures of you french kissing or something that is not decent just to prove that your relationship is authentic.
- SCHEDULE (TAIZAI NITTEIHYO)
You may opt to make one in English but my fiance made it in Japanese so I did not have to worry about anything. This schedule was just a plan and NOT mandatory to follow exactly what was in it. It is also NOT required to buy a ticket before applying for a visa. Others do, but I do not recommend.You may download the form from here
- APPLICATION FORM
It was in PDF file but I was able to type my information. You may also print it and just write your information.I downloaded it from here.
- CENOMAR WITH RECEIPT (OPTIONAL NOT REQUIRED)
I was required to submit a Cenomar (Certificate of Non Marriage) since in the letter if invitation we mentioned that we were planning to get married. This was to make sure that I wasn’t lying about planning to get married and I was really single. My mom also got this for me but you may also request online and download the application form here.
You could also visit the website of embassy of Japan for further details. (click here)
———–FOR VISA APPLICATION———-
- FIND AN ACCREDITED AGENCY
We chose Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation because they were the ones who responded to our email the quickest. They asked for a bit higher processing fee compared to the other agencies. They have Filipino and Japanese staff. They seemed nice and accommodating. A Filipino staff collected our documents and handed them over to a Japanese staff to have it checked. Everything was smooth and easy. Our documents were complete and we’re told that they would call us when the passport was ready to pick up. They asked us whether we wanted it delivered via LBC or picked up from their office. We decided to just have the passport delivered via LBC. (It was not a door to door delivery) We paid a total of ₱2200 (2000 for the processing fee, 200 LBC) I read many blogs saying that most of the time agencies wouldn’t mention anything about the result of the application whether it was denied or approved over the phone. However, when I received the call that I had been waiting for like, forever, they congratulate me for having my visa granted. ^^ (click here to visit Friendship tours website)
- Friday – Submission of the requirements to the agency
- Monday – Documents sent to the Embassy
- Wednesday – Granted
- Thursday – Received via LBC
It was not a good feeling waiting for a visa to be granted. No one wants to waste time, money and effort. The suspense was killing me. I literally couldn’t get a good sleep. So when I finally got a call from them 5 days after I handed my requirements to them. I felt like I heard angels singing from my back. YAY! visa granted!
There are some cases when Filipinos are in fact get offloaded due to different reasons. Usually, Philippine passport holders traveling to Japan are just asked to present the following: passport, visa, round trip ticket. A letter of invitation authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consul is going to be asked by the IO if a Filipino traveler is qualified for a secondary inspection. Please read the blog about authenticated letter of invitation to know the details. The link is above.
I hope this has been helpful.
Have fun in Japan!
UPDATE: We are married!^^