Sunday, November 6, 2016

Applying For Japan Visa




Makati, Philippines. It was a sunny afternoon during that day. I'm sweating all over as I rode the MRT going to Ayala. My stomach was full of butterflies. I arrived at Dusit Thani and went upstairs to claim my passport. My heart was pounding as the receptionist took my receipt. He handed out my passport and I turned my back, too nervous to check the results. I opened it, and my heart was filled with joy when I saw cherry blossoms on print.

This was my first time applying for a visa. I know, I know, yes it was really nerve-wracking. I made this post because a lot e-mailed me. So let me keep your hopes high. I am a free-lancer, I have no guarantor (I was invited to teach Japanese students, but I don't want to undergo the hassle of submitting extra documents so I applied with No Guarantor) and yes, my visa was approved.


So let's make sure the steps will be easy to understand. Here are the steps as follows:

1.) Know your TYPE of Visa to know your requirements.

Yes sweetheart. Aside from knowing if you can apply for a SINGLE-ENTRY (meaning you can enter Japan once, with a maximum length of 15 days of stay) or MULTIPLE-ENTRY visa, Applicant with no guarantor VS. Applicant with guarantor has different documents to submit. Check them below:


A.) Visa Application with NO GUARANTOR 

  1. Philippine Passport. - Make sure it is up to 6 months valid, and has blank pages (to be sure, at least 3.)
  2. Visa Application Form. (Download the form here and read the Sample Visa Application Form).
    Make sure that your hand writing is legible! If it's possible for you to have your answers printed (you can use a PDF Annotator), that's much better.
  3. Photo 2 x 2 white background
  4. NSO Birth Certificate issued within one year. (You can't fool them. Our NSO copies have serial numbers at the bottom part which states the date it was published.)
    For late registration or unreadable NSO, submit the following:
    a) Certificate of baptism.
    b) School report cards/school record form 137.
    c) Graduation albums/school yearbook.
  5. Marriage Certificate, if applicable. Issued within one year.
  6. Daily Schedule in Japan. (Download the form)
  7. Proof of income
    a) ITR Form 2316 from previous year or the year before the previous if it has not been issued yet.
    b) If you have your own business, submit your Business Registration issued by DTI or also known as DTI Permit.
  8. Certificate of Employment if you have one 
  9. Bank Certificate (please remember that a bank certificate is different from a bank statement)

B.) Visa Application with Japanese Guarantor

You have to submit documents 1-9, plus:
  1. If visiting a friend, documents or photos etc. *** This is not required if visiting a family member. Text/Chat conversations are okay, and provide at least 2 photos.
  2. Invitation Letter completed and signed by the Japanese Guarantor. (Download the form)
  3. Guarantee Letter completed and signed by Japanese Guarantor. (Download the form)
  4. Residence Certificate (Juminhyo) issued within 3 months.
  5. Family Registration (Koseki Tohon) issued within 3 months.
  6. Proof of Income:
  •  Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae or Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shomeisho)
  •  Income certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho) from City Hall
  •  Tax return certificate (Nouzeishomeisho: Form2) from Tax office






C.) Visa Application with Non-Japanese Guarantor

You have to submit documents 1-9, plus:
  1. If visiting a friend, documents or photos etc.*** This is not required if visiting a family member. Text/Chat conversations are okay, and provide at least 2 photos.
  2. Invitation Letter accomplished and signed by the non-Japanese Guarantor. (Download the form)
  3. Guarantee Letter accomplished and signed by the non-Japanese Guarantor. (Download the form)
  4. Photo copy of  the valid Residence card (both sides)
  5. Photocopy of his/her passport (including  pages of status items,  records of entry/departure, and of residence permit.)
  6. Certificate of residence with full details except for Individual Number (“My Number”) and Resident Record Code (please censor)
  7. Proof of Income:
  •  Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae or Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shomeisho)
  •  Income certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho) from City Hall
  •  Tax return certificate (Nouzeishomeisho: Form2) from Tax office

 NOTE: Just in case you lack any of the documents, you can submit a letter of explanation addressed to Japan's Embassy. I won't attach a template because I believe it has to be PERSONAL. Just be honest why you lack one. In my case, I haven't filed my taxes yet (I shifted from a consultant position to an ESL coach/blogger post) and I was not able to submit an ITR and COE (because, well, I'm a freelancer, technically!)

2.) Submit requirements to an accredited agency.

Yes, they have accredited agencies. The prices for visa application differ! I chose Friendship Travel and Tours located at 3rd floor, Dusit Thani. To check the rest of the agencies, click this link.


3.)  Chill and wait.

You have no choice but wait. Usually it takes 2-3 business days. The agency will call you when to claim your passport back.



FAQS:
Q: Does my bank amount matter? Do they require a specific amount before they approve my visa application?
A: Yes, it does! They are just concerned- they can't let a friend visit their country without sufficient money to support him/herself. But they don't require a specific amount. I've got friends who have  hundreds of thousands in their bank accounts yet got declined, and I've got friends who have around P50,000 yet got approved. My tip? Write an itinerary that matches your budget. If you have P50,000 in your bank, don't expect that you can have Tokyo Disneyland, then climb Mt. Fuji, then go to Hokkaido after. Be realistic.


Q: Will I know why I was declined?
 A: Sadly, no. So please, take your requirements seriously.


Q: If I get declined, how long will it take before I can submit an application again?
 A: 6 months.


Q: Should I include my plane ticket, hotel reservation, etc. in my application?
A: You may. I included my plane ticket and booking (you can use Booking.com, free cancellation hehe) school ID, registrar form,  and even the certificate of the house I bought to show that I have strong ties or reasons of coming back to the Philippines. (Specially that my clients are Japanese)


Basically, these are all the steps. But if you want to know more about it, visit Embassy of  Japan in the Philippines' website (click to view). If you're not a Filipino, you may have different documents to submit so please check the Japan Embassy's website of your country. Might as well check if your country is qualified to visit Japan visa-free. :)


I hope this blog post helps. If you've got any questions, please feel free to comment, or shoot me a message through e-mail. You can subscribe to my newsletter by entering your e-mail at the right panel of this site. Hoping to hear from you soon! ***







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