Visa Applications

How To Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa

In 2011, the Embassy of Japan did not grant my visa application to visit their marvelous country. For someone with wanderlust in their DNA and a third-world passport, not being able to travel was naturally heartbreaking. But looking back, I consider that moment a blessing in disguise. If my application never got rejected, I wouldn’t be made aware of the discrepancies in my birth certificate. I wouldn’t be able to visit Europe either. Sometimes, I’m amazed at how life works in such grandeur scheme.

This year, while processing the correction of my birth certificate, I’ve decided to apply for Japan again. And guess what? I’m finally going to Japan!

So what’s the key takeaway here? Submit original and authentic documents when applying for a visa. If there’s any discrepancy, have it legally corrected. If you need a lawyer, let me know.


How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa Without a Guarantor

Japan’s list of requirements is meticulous and conditional, which means you need to submit supporting documents if you meet a certain criterion or you’re applying for a different visa type. These supporting documents are stated on the Embassy’s official website.

  • Application Form
  • Current Valid Passport
    — For Japan, old passports are not needed
  • Application ID Photo
    — 45mm x 45mm, do not staple on application form
  • Birth Certificate
    — Must be issued by NSO within one (1) year.
    — If it’s a “Late Registration”, you need to must submit a Baptismal Certificate and Form 137, and the address and contact details of your church and school.
  • Bank Certificate
  • Income Tax Return
    — If this is not available, a Certificate of Employment will do. It should state your current position, annual income, the length of service and approved leaves.
    — If CoE or ITR is neither available, a letter of explanation is okay.
  • Sample Itinerary
    Click here to download our sample itinerary. If you want to know how to apply for a UK Visa, read this.

Where to apply?

In the Philippines, you can only apply through Japan Embassy’s accredited agencies. Visa fee is gratis (free) but these accredited agencies will charge a visa handling fee depending on your application type. Here’s a list of some of the accredited agencies and their fees for tourist visas:

Rajah Travel Corporation – PHP1500
Friendship Tours and Resorts – PHP1,200
Reli Tours & Travel Agency – PHP9,00
Discovery Tour, Inc. – PHP800


Requirements for Japan Tourist Visa

Print Guide
Processing Fee: PHP800+ Processing Time: 5 days

Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Current Valid Passport
  • Application ID Photo
  • Birth Certificate (must be issued by NSO within one (1) year)
  • * Late Registration: Baptismal Certificate
  • * Late Registration: Form 137
  • Bank Certificate
  • Income Tax Return
  • Sample Itinerary

Instructions

1

Visit the Japan's official website for visa application - http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/visiting/index.htm

2

Gather required documents for visa application.

3

Fill the application form provided on the website.

4

Go to accredited travel agencies to submit your documents and pay necessary fees

5

Wait for 3-5 working days for visa decision.

Notes

Let's Go Wander's blog post for visa applications only serves as a guide and does not guarantee automatic visa approval. Always visit the official website for more information.

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60 Comments

  • Reply
    Grace
    May 5, 2015 at 6:08 PM

    Hi Kisty,

    Me and my boyfriend are planning to go to Japan next year. Regarding bank certificates, is it true that it should be atleast 6 months and what is the minimum amount for the bank statement? We have a joint bank account , possible kaya na we can both use the same bank certificate or should I open a new bank account under my name?

    Thank you,
    Grace

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      May 5, 2015 at 6:47 PM

      Hi Grace!

      Regarding bank certificates, I don’t think that’s true but it is highly recommended (not only for Japan but for other visa application as well).
      I didn’t submit any bank statement, I wasn’t required to submit one.
      For the joint account, I think it’s okay but you can double check with the travel agency. :)

  • Reply
    lea
    May 7, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    Hi I just want to clarify.. U.S.A. does not require to get tourist visa?

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      May 7, 2015 at 6:24 PM

      Hello Lea! If you’re a U.S. passport holder, you’re not required to get a Japan tourist visa as long your visit is 90 days or less. :)

  • Reply
    May
    May 8, 2015 at 6:56 PM

    Hi Kisty,

    Awesome blog btw! I’m just wondering because I am currently working from home. I have an ITR but I don’t have a COE because as per my employer, I am only a contractual employee even though I have been regularly working for them for 3 years now. Would this be a problem? I heard show money should at least be 100k php? Also, is it a requirement that my passport should be stamped a few times prior to applying for a Japan tourist visa? Meaning, I should have traveled to a few countries prior to this? Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      May 8, 2015 at 7:11 PM

      Hello May!
      I don’t think that will be a problem because you already have an ITR. If you don’t have an ITR, that’s the only time you submit a COE. Since I don’t have both, so I submitted an explanation letter, photocopy of my DTI certificate and a history of my travel for the past two years.

      Should the money be 100K? I don’t know because the amount was never indicated when I applied for a visa. But I strongly suggest that you maintain a bank account, that’s at least six months old and has an amount that can sustain your whole trip.

      Lastly, traveling to other countries prior to your application will definitely help increase your chances of getting approved but it’s not required. My boyfriend’s new passport has zero stamps but was approved.

      • Reply
        May
        May 9, 2015 at 1:27 AM

        Hi,

        Thank you for the response! I love your blog! I am following you on Facebook! :)

  • Reply
    Elle
    May 8, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    Hi! I’m planning to apply this June, however I’m still in college what are the requirements that I need to submit since both of my parents are already retired also I don’t have ITR.

    Thank you :)

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      May 8, 2015 at 9:55 PM

      If you’re still in college, a certificate of enrollment should suffice. But I recommend calling the agency to check if there are other documents you need to submit. :)

  • Reply
    Mayel
    May 10, 2015 at 7:57 PM

    Thank you so much for this! I’m not yet working (I might get a job this coming June, hopefully), one reason why I’m afraid how can I get an ITR (knowing it’s an annual document… something like that). the options CoE and/or letter of explanation is such a relief! Thank you again! :)

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      May 10, 2015 at 8:12 PM

      If you’re going to submit a letter of explanation, try to include a detailed travel history.

      Oh, and you’re welcome! Good luck!

      • Reply
        gambit
        February 24, 2016 at 11:08 AM

        hi kisty! Can you show me the sample of your letter of explanation with detailed travel history? I also don’t have COE and ITR because I am helping at our family business but I have some travel history like Dubai, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong kong..

  • Reply
    Mayel
    May 10, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    Anyway, where/which agency did you apply for your visa? :) Thank you!

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      May 10, 2015 at 9:13 PM

      Discovery Travel and Tours in Makati! :)

  • Reply
    Kristel
    May 23, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Thanks for this very informational post! Will bookmark this since I plan to go to Japan. :)

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      May 25, 2015 at 11:46 PM

      You’re very much welcome, Kristel! JAPAN IS GREAT!

  • Reply
    Gummy
    June 3, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Thank you for this it’s very helpful! :D

  • Reply
    lenlensuarez
    June 3, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    Thank you so much for this :) planning to visit Japan next year!

  • Reply
    Yee Laniton
    June 25, 2015 at 3:07 AM

    Hello! I am dreaming to go to Japan since I was a kid. This post is very helpful and very easy to understand.

    I have a question, do they still require interviews? How much is the minimum show money? I’m still a bit nervous since this will be the first time for me to go out of the country.

    Thanks! More power to you!

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      June 25, 2015 at 7:42 AM

      No interviews. What do you mean by show money though? This is such a common question among visa applications yet I don’t know what it means. Haha!

      • Reply
        Yee Laniton
        June 25, 2015 at 5:09 PM

        Show money is the amount of money in your bank account that you could present to the embassy. Normally, that amount must be on the bank for more than 6 months. I think it’s to prove to the embassy that you could afford staying in Japan for days.. to avoid Tnts :)

        • Reply
          Kisty Mea
          June 25, 2015 at 6:34 PM

          I don’t know what the minimum amount should be… but I think PHP50,000 to PHP150,000 should be the standard to any visa applications and should also be dependent on your length of stay. I never had a problem with the ‘show money’ because my account was created several years ago.

  • Reply
    Jacquelynne joy calimbahin
    October 15, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    Hi kisty :)

    Ask ko lang if ever ba na may visa na , then gusto mag apply for new do you think maapprove , since my whole family have their own visa in japan too :) gusto ko lang kc na malipat ung visa ko under sa family visa namin … Any suggestion will help :) thank you :)

  • Reply
    Joana
    December 27, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    How do you get a bank certificate? And how much was in your account when you applied? Just to have an idea lang. Haha. Thank you! Nice blog, very helpful. :)

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      December 27, 2015 at 10:32 PM

      You visit your bank.

      I’m not comfortable disclosing the amount of my bank account. You may, however, refer to the comments for information. :)

  • Reply
    Alma isanan
    January 8, 2016 at 6:57 AM

    Hi kristy, can you ellaborate further on the discrepancy on your birth certificate? Maybe i can compare it to my situation. I have 2 passports already, one is expired but was used to travel to HK and singapore. One is newly issued with the same name. The name i have been using is the same one that’s on all my documents. But apparently, when i requested for a new copy of my birth certificate, i found out i actually have 2 names. And the one I’ve been using was not valid. So we filed a petition for change in first name. Now, the certificate of finality will be issued on January 14. I have all the certification (from local civil registry) to prove that it’s already being processed. But my flight is scheduled on January 22. I’m a bit scared I dont have enough time. So i called all the accredited agencies— they were surprised to find out I had it corrected as an AFFIDAVIT OF DISCREPANCY IN NAME is already enough to have my visa approved. I’m confused. Do we have the same scenario? I’m well aware we can’t really find out the real reason why a visa is denied but do you think it was denied because of the discrepancy? What documents did you pass? If you are not comfortable answering this here, you may email me :) thank you!

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      January 8, 2016 at 2:19 PM

      Hi Alma,

      Yes, I do believe the NSO birth certificate discrepancy in my first Japan visa application was the cause of the denial. How did I know? I did not submit a birth certificate when I applied for a U.K. visa the following year, and I got approved.

      Our scenarios are somewhat similar: I have a different surname (and other minor details) in my NSO birth certificate.

      And yes, if the petition is already being processed, the affidavit should be enough. You may, if you like, also submit a photocopy of your petition. :)

      Good luck!

      • Reply
        Alma isanan
        January 8, 2016 at 10:50 PM

        Sorry for asking so many questions but thanks for being so accomodating :)

        When your visa was approved, did you also pass a copy of your petition or just an affidavit? What documents did you pass during the first time? (Correct me if im wrong, the second time you passed your application– your petition was still on the process?) I guess what i really want to know is the difference between the first time you applied (got denied) and the second time you applied and got your visa?

        Thanks in advance!!!! Youre so helpful!!

  • Reply
    Alma isanan
    January 8, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    Ohhhh you replied!!! :) last question— when you applied for japan visa, the petition is still in the process? Or is it done already? Did you also submit affidavit?

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      January 9, 2016 at 5:50 PM

      When I applied, I was waiting for the finality na rin. :) So I submitted an affidavit, letting them know that the petition is in process na.

      I applied sometime around May, got the decision around July.

      • Reply
        Alms
        January 11, 2016 at 4:53 PM

        Hi Kisty, Just got home from Dusit. I passed my visa application and was told that it will be lodged tomorrow. Hoping to get positive results by tomorrow or wednesday! **fingers crossed**

        • Reply
          Alms
          January 14, 2016 at 8:28 PM

          Visa approved :)

  • Reply
    jay
    January 14, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    hi, im going to apply for a visa to japan for my family, my problem is im a pre owned car dealer so i dont have an ITR, can you email me at ihatesounds88@yahoo.com a sample explanation letter? thanks

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      January 14, 2016 at 11:51 PM

      Hi Jay,

      Please don’t be lazy. Write your own letter of explanation yourself.

  • Reply
    Vanesa
    January 17, 2016 at 7:20 PM

    Hi how much show money ang need for 15days of stay?

  • Reply
    joan
    January 21, 2016 at 4:40 PM

    Hi Kisty,

    I just started working last June 2015 after I graduated in college (20 yrs old) so I don’t have any ITR at all. Is it possible that I will submit an Affidavit of Support from my Father indicating my name & my mom (housewife) since he will fund our family trip even though I’am already employed.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      January 21, 2016 at 7:26 PM

      Hi Joan, Yes, an Affidavit of Support should be fine. But I recommend calling the accredited agencies just to be sure. :)

  • Reply
    Raymar
    January 29, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Hi Kisty!

    Ask ko lang if indicated ba yung average amount in your account in a certain period of time dun sa BDO bank certificate? or kung magkano lang yung total amount at the time of application? Advance thank you! :)

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      January 29, 2016 at 7:24 PM

      Hi Raymar,

      I don’ thave a BDO bank account, so I don’t know. With BPI, however, naka-indicate yung the current amount, ADB/YTD (I assume year to date?), and date opened.

  • Reply
    5 Easy Steps to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa For Filipinos
    February 3, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    […] How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa by Kisty […]

  • Reply
    francis
    February 18, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Hi Kristy!

    If you don’t mind
    Just wanted to know how many times have you been out of the country?

    We’re planning to go to Japan but we just wanted to know a ballpark figure of how many times you’ve travelled, just to check if what we have is enough.

    thanks

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      February 18, 2016 at 9:48 AM

      Hi Francis,

      Not sure how my travel history affects the ballpark figure for your travels, but I think I go out of the country at least 1-2 a year. :)

  • Reply
    Gwen
    February 20, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    Hi. Okay lang po ba kahit newly opened bank account then huhulugan para sa minimum required amount for the bank certificate?

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      February 21, 2016 at 2:07 AM

      Yung general rule po ay dapat at least 6 months na po yung bank account.

  • Reply
    Ruzel ty
    February 26, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Hi

    Can u sent me pls pls a sample of letter of explanation for no itr ty

  • Reply
    DL Seo
    February 26, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    hi kisty,
    my family and is planning to spend a 5day vacation in Japan this coming summer…first time traveler ako and even my 2 younger brothers…problema lng tlga sa akin wala akong ITR.. coz, im into volunteering activities and a freelance ESL teacher…its been 3 years na un ang sidejob ko…i asked the agency kung ok lng na walang ITR,pero sbi sa akin kelangan tlga ng letter of explanation…pero in your blog pwede ang employment certificate…un lng ang meron sa akin sis… so do u rili think enuf na ung employment certificate?

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      February 27, 2016 at 9:27 AM

      Hi there!

      Kung wala, write lang a letter explaining why wala kang ITR, then provide additional documents lang to prove you’re coming back to the PH.

  • Reply
    aisa
    March 5, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Hello poh, ask ko lang po kung mag mag jojoin account ako sa asawa ko tapos lagyan nmin ng pera ung account nia ,actually po wala po sya laman ang balak nmin lagyan nmn ng laman ung account nia pra sana makakuha ako ng certificate bank account,pde po ba un.

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      March 5, 2016 at 1:45 PM

      Pwede po, pero minimum requirement po ay dapat 6-months old yung bank account at may pera since then.

      • Reply
        aisa
        March 6, 2016 at 4:34 PM

        2 years na po kc d na dedeposit ung atm card nia bka kc ma close na po 😞

  • Reply
    Shakil
    March 6, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Hi ,
    I want to visit japan . I live in sokcho , south korea . I am a bangladeshi passport holder . Studying at an university of korea . So what should I do ? Tell me something about bank balance . As a student I dont have income tax certificate . So please give me a direction .

    Thank You
    Shakil Mahmud

  • Reply
    Janine Louric
    April 30, 2016 at 5:01 PM

    Hi!

    I just want to ask if buying plane tickets before applying for Japan visa can help in getting approved and also do we have to book a hotel already before applying? :) Thank you!

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      April 30, 2016 at 8:45 PM

      It can help, but does not guarantee a visa approval. I recommend not booking anything before applying for a visa.

  • Reply
    kc
    July 2, 2016 at 4:40 PM

    hello po…nag oonline booking po kayo? ty example i want to book in japan…san po ako pwedeng makahanap ng mas affordable online booking website?

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      July 6, 2016 at 2:09 PM

      I usually compare different websites before making a booking :) or take advantage of promo fares!

  • Reply
    JM
    October 21, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    Hello.. Next week po kasi I will be applying Japan Visa. I’ve been in Japan many times pero dahil sa work ko.
    This time kasi gusto ko na plain travel lang talaga. Hindi rin maalis na kinakabahan talaga ako kasi first time ko mag apply ng Visa on my own.
    Ang worry ko po is yung sa bank certificate. Joint account kasi kami ng husband ko. Okay lang kaya yun? Ako lang kasi yung mag ta-travel.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      October 26, 2016 at 12:45 AM

      Hi! Sorry if late reply, but yes, ok lang yung joint account. :)

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    November 9, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Hi Kisty!

    Just a question. I have a 1 year old bank account and its average daily balance is 10,000. I placed an amount close to 100k in it and this will be used for my trip to Japan. I am worried coz my average daily balance on my bank certificate is too small. Do you think it will matter? Thank you very much Kisty!:)

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      November 9, 2016 at 9:45 PM

      Hi Chelsea!

      May I know the name of your bank? Because with BPI, I don’t remember seeing any daily average on the bank certificate. Just the total amount and when it was opened. Did the certificate also state that you already have 100K in the account? If no, I recommend you request a new bank statement.

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    November 9, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Hi Kisty thank you very much for your response! My account is with Metrobank. The certificate shows both the average daily balance (ADB) and the current balance. The ADB with the amount of 10,000 and current balance of 100k. According to the bank the 100k that I deposited will be reflected in my ADB on Dec 1 pa. My planned trip is on January 3 to 8 and I’m anxious that airfare price going to Japan will increase if I am going to wait until Dec 1 (my average daily balance will rise to 30k by Dec 1). So my main concern is will the ADB a factor in my visa application? Really appreciate your response Kisty! :)

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