Last April 2017, I was able to book a one way plane ticket heading to Tokyo, Japan for February 2018. I just risked booking it, though I don’t have a visa yet. Three months later, I was able to book a return ticket Osaka, Japan to Manila to complete that trip. And because I looked forward to going to Japan, I made sure I will be able to travel to some Asian countries first such as Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia, Hongkong, Macau, Malaysia, Brunei and South Korea in 2017. I believe that travel history can help an applicants secure their visa with ease. So to make a long story short, I was able to get my Japan Visa last January 18, 2018, only two days after submitting it.
So here’s how I did it.
1. I researched as to where and how I should apply for the visa.
I have learned that unlike getting my visa from the Republic of Korea where I directly applied to the embassy at McKinley, Japan embassy doesn’t entertain visa application unless it is through an accredited agency. I have searched for the most credible agencies around Makati which is near my office to process my visa. I found three agencies namely Discovery Tours (Php 800.00), Relli Tours (Php 950.00), Friendship Tours (Php 1,200.00). Which do you think I choose among the three? Well, I inquired on all these three, and I found Friendship Tours having the most pleasant agent to talk to that’s why I applied my visa through them. That was based on my own personal experience. But of course you can always choose whichever suits your budget. By the way, Discovery Tours is located along HV Dela Costa, Salcedo Village while the two others are in the third floor of Dusit Thani, Makati.
2. I gathered all the requirements listed on Friendships Tours’s website.
Here are the requirements:
- Passport (at least six months valid from the date of travel). It must also be signed and should have at least two (2) blank visa pages. Travel history and some other visa stamped on your passports are plus points too.
- VISA Application form (should be printed in A4 size paper only). You can also just fill-out this form at the agency if you don’t want to print it on your own. Please note that you don’t have to book a flight or hotels to be able to fill – out information needed in the form. Just put airlines and hotel that you might consider to stay at, once your visa is approve.
- Photo. Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm, with white background, must be taken within 6 months. Just go to the studio and tell them you need a pic for your Japan visa application. Don’t forget to write your name and birth date at the back of the photo before pasting it to the application form.
- Birth Certificate. It must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide). For this, I used a birth certificate I ordered last February 9, 2017. If the birth certificate from Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) is unreadable, or has incomplete information, please submit the birth certificate issued by PSA together with a birth certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar. If the birth certificate is “late registration”, please submit in addition, a baptismal certificate and school record (Form 137) from high school or elementary and School Yearbook (if possible). If there is no record in PSA, please submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA together with a birth certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.
- Marriage Certificate (if the applicant is married). It must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide). Just the same with my birth certificate, I submitted the one I ordered last February 9, 2017. In case there is no record in PSA, please submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA together with the Marriage Certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.
- Daily Schedule in Japan (if applicant will shoulder part/all of his/her travel expenses). Format is Date – Activity Plan- Contact – Accommodation. Just create a possible activity you will do there.
- Philippine Income Tax Return (latest 2316). You only need to submit a clear photocopy of this but you still have to bring the original copy to show it to the agency personal. I applied my visa using my ITR for 2016 since I still don’t have the copy of the ITR for 2017 yet.
- Bank Certificate. Request this to your bank, always remember that what important is the Average Daily Balance (ADB) reflected in the account and not just the current balance on it. It determines how outstanding your account is despite of the movement in it.
3. I submitted and paid my visa application documents to Friendship Tours at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati. Note that Php 1,200.00 is for single entry visa application only, Friendship Tours charged Php 2,000.00 for multiple entry visa application. If you intend to apply for a multiple entry visa, you have to sign a separate form for it indicating your reason of requesting for a multiple entry visa. Though in some cases, I have learned that Japan embassy gives a multiple entry visa to those people who have previous travel to Japan even when they only applied for a single entry visa. I was advised to wait for three to five days for my passport pick-up.
4. I prayed for the approval of my application. This never fails me.
And there you go, that’s how I got my single entry Japan Visa. Aiming for multiple entry on my next application as I plan to go back to Japan before the end of this year and on the next few years. Japan is a beautiful country and going back to it will be so much fun and fulfilling for me and my family.
Have a safe trip to you all!