How I got my Japanese Visa for the first time
Here we go again applying for a visa. This time for a Japanese visa. But I got a feeling though that the Japanese visa requirements would be similar to a South Korean one except for the updated NSO-certified birth certificate which is also asked. Also, I was thinking if I showed at least the same bank balance as I had in my previous South Korean application, I had a chance. And my intuition was certain.
So, I had all the documents ready: the NSO, Certificate of employment and balance certificate were all requested a week before. Prepared my tour itinerary. I also made sure to take a photo with the specific Japanese required size.You may check the Japan embassy website for any update though.
Here are the requirements that should be submitted to the agency and some tips on how or where to obtain some of them:
- Photograph (4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background)
- Passport (must be valid for at least six months, and with at least two blank pages left)
- Visa Application Form (I signed and filled it out at the agency already)
- NSO-certified birth certificate with receipt (I suggest getting it at SM business centers to avoid long queue. I got it after a week)
- Tour Itinerary (includes the date,activity plan, accommodation and contact)
- Bank Balance Certificate (my BPI bank easily issues this with a fee of 100Php. Just make sure that your account has been active for at least 6 months)
- Original Income Tax Return and a photocopy (I believe this is an important document file that you need to get and keep if you’re always applying for a visa like me😊)
- Certificate of Employment
- Accommodation reservation (When it comes to acommodation, I always do this through Agoda.com since they have pay later option which I cancel at the indicated date at no additional cost)
- Flight reservation ( For this one, I reserved a roundtrip flight through Cebu Pacific which I can modify or cancel after 2 days)
All set. Then, I went at the agency that I chose. I read that there are more than 5 accredited agencies which can assist you with the Japan visa application. Among them, I picked the Reli Tours & Travel Agency SM Megamall branch since this is the most convenient and nearest agency from my work in Ortigas. Just ensure that you have the complete requirements above to save time, not including the Visa form since it will be provided to you already at the said agency. Their processing fee also is one of the most reasonable for just 950Php.
In just 2 business days, the Reli agency already texted me to advise for the passport pickup. For a first time Japan applicant like me, the visa was approved for 15 days single entry.
Some are very concerned over the bank balance that you need to have. I would say that it all depends on the number of days of your trip, your type of activities while in Japan, and if it can cover the expenses for your entire stay in the country. My bank certificate indicated the same balance that I had before when I applied for a South Korean visa which I think will be enough for my 5-day only Tokyo trip considering the form of activities and accommodation I preferred. I’ll tell you (only here) how much money was stated in my bank certificate. It was only 50KPhp for a 5-day trip in Japan.
There you go the process on how I submitted and got successfully my Japanese visa. Bear in mind that those requirements above (except the unique NSO document) are actually the basic ones that other embassies will also ask for when you lodge a visa request (E.G. Schengen Visa, Mexico Visa, etc). Therefore, you would expect to prepare these same documents over again every time you apply for one.
Overall, I could say the it was not that difficult to get a Japanese visa. No face to face interview. Almost similar basic requirements. Fast processing time. It was easy somehow. Simple, isn’t?