Applying for a Japan Visa in the Philippines is pretty straightforward. Just prepare all the requirements, submit it to any accredited visa processing agency nearest you, and then wait for your passport to be returned — hopefully with the desired Japan Visa in it. Now this may seem simple, but it can get quite complicated as you go along. It’s always best to familiarize yourself with the process before diving in, so here’s a step-by-step guide with some tips, based on our personal experience:
CHOOSE AN ACCREDITED VISA PROCESSING AGENCY
You may access the complete list of accredited agencies on the Embassy of Japan’s website, but here are some of the popular ones within Metro Manila:
- Reli Tours & Travel Agency (Dusit Thani Hotel, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM Southmall, Lucky Chinatown Mall)
- Attic Tours Phils., Inc. (Roxas Blvd., Hotel Hen, SM City North Edsa)
- Universal Holidays, Inc. (Dusit Thani Hotel)
- Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation (Dusit Thani Hotel)
- Rajah Travel Corporation (Makati and Manila)
Prices vary among agencies, which range from P800 to more than a thousand, so choose wisely. Personally, we went with Reli Tours because its SM Megamall Branch was nearest to my office.
We tagged this as the first step because once you’ve chosen your agency, we advise you to give them a quick visit to get an application form*, double check the list of items that they require and also confirm the visa fee that they will charge you. This is a crucial step if you don’t want to waste time and money on multiple visits just because you missed a requirement.
*We had to redo our forms on the day of our application because according to Reli Tours, the embassy requires a specific output size of the photo box and text, even if it was printed on A4. Per their personnel, my print out was too small and the embassy’s machine might not be able to read it properly. To avoid this, they asked me to use their form instead.
COMPLETE ALL VISA REQUIREMENTS
Important Note: This guide is for a ‘Visa for Tourism’ type (no guarantor) of Japan Visa. If you’re applying for a different type (visiting friends/relatives, commercial purpose, etc.), please refer directly to the Embassy of Japan’s website, or ask for guidance from an accredited visa processing agency nearest you.
- Accomplished visa application form in A4 size. Access the visa form thru this link or if possible, get a print out from your chosen agency.
- PH passport with at least 6 months validity
- 1pc. 4.5cm x 4.5cm size photo with white background, taken within the last 6 months, with the applicant’s name and birthdate written at the back of the photo. Don’t put this on the form yet, because the Reli Tours personnel are very particular on how this is pasted. Just bring this and let them paste it for you.
- Birth certificate issued by NSO within a year before application
- If birth certificate is “late registration,” you will also need to submit a Baptismal Certificate or Form 137 from Elementary/High School
- Marriage certificate issued by NSO within a year before application (if applicable)
- Tour itinerary in this format
- Bank Certificate issued within three months
- ITR Form 2316 if employed
- Certificate of Business Registration or DTI Permit if self-employed
- Certificate of employment
- Additional documents: round trip airline tickets, hotel/airbnb reservations
Submit all original copies of items listed above and note that these won’t we be returned by the embassy.
Need a checklist on the go? Download our mobile-friendly Japan Tourist Visa Requirements list for Philippine passport holders HERE.
SUBMIT APPLICATION FORM AND DOCUMENTS
Bring all your requirements with you and submit them to your chosen accredited visa processing agency. In our case, we went to Reli Tours SM Megamall.
It is located at the 5F Bridgeway, SM Megamall. Quickly get your number and wait for it to be called. Except a long queue during lunch time, as most of the personnel will be on lunch break. It’s best to go early in the morning or early afternoon.
Once your number is called, you will be assigned to someone who will be reviewing your documents. Once cleared, you will be directed to the cashier to pay the appropriate fee. For a tourist visa, we paid P950.00 per person.
Important Note: DO NOT lose the receipt as this is the only document you will need to present when claiming your passport.
Quick Tip: If you’re also applying on behalf of a travel companion, make sure to bring an authorization letter with you, else they will not process their application.
According to Reli Tours, processing takes 5-7 days. In our case though, our passports were ready for pick up just two working days after our application. Below are some important notes when claiming your passport at Reli Tours:
- Don’t forget to bring the receipt
- If you’re picking up someone else’s passport, bring an authorization letter and photocopy of your valid ID (authorized representative)
- Pickup time is Monday to Sunday, 10AM – 6PM