Getting a Japan Tourist Visa: An FAQ for Filipinos

Japan Philippines Tourist Visa

I had gotten a lot of questions in the comments section of my first Japan Visa post, so I thought I’d do a follow-up summarizing some of the most frequently asked questions in the previous blog entry.

Do I need a Visa to visit Japan?

Yes, you need a Visa to enter Japan.

Is there an interview for Japan Visa applicants?

No, there is no interview for Japan Visa applications; all you need to do is submit the required documents.

Do I really need to submit a Letter of Invitation?

If you are not on a package tour, or if you are not shouldering all your expenses for the trip, then yes — a Letter of Invitation is required from your Guarantor in Japan.

What is a Letter of Guarantee?

A Guarantee Letter, also known as a Mimoto Hoshousho, is required from your Japanese Guarantor to assure the Consuls Office that some or all of your expenses while in Japan will be handled by him or her.

Alongside the Guarantee Letter, a Certificate of Income or Shotoku Shoumeisho, an Income Tax Return or Nouzei Shomeisho, and a Certificate of Bank Deposit or Yokin Zandaka Shoumeisho is also required from your Japanese Guarantor.

Do I really need to submit an ITR?

If you are employed or run a business in the Philippines, you are required to submit your Income Tax Return. Your ITR will be proof that you are earning enough to cover all your expenses while in Japan, as well as assure the Consuls Office that you will be returning to the Philippines once your fifteen days are up.

What is a Bank Certificate/Certificate of Deposit?

A Certificate of Deposit is a document you can request from your bank to indicate the amount deposited in your savings account. The suggested minimum amount of “show-money” is PhP 100,000 per single visa application.

The Japan Consuls Office uses the Bank Certificate in place of the Letter of Guarantee if you intend to shoulder all your expenses during your trip to Japan.

What other supporting documents can I submit to improve my chances of getting a Visa?

If you are a student, a Certificate of Enrollment from your school will help immensely. If you are already working, an Employment Certificate stating your position, your annual income, and your length of service to the company will also be very useful.

My boyfriend/fiance is Japanese/American/European/Australian and has assured me that he will handle all my expenses — do I still need to apply for a visa?

Yes — because you are not yet married to your Japanese boyfriend and are not included in his Family Registry or Koseiki Touhon, you will still have to apply for a regular Tourist Visa following all the required steps by the Japanese Embassy.

As for ladies with European, American, and Australian boyfriends (who are allowed visa-free entry to Japan for up to ninety days) — because you carry a Philippine passport you are still required to apply for a Tourist Visa, likewise following all the necessary steps indicated.

I am a Filipino working abroad and I plan to visit Japan– do I still need to apply for a visa?

Regardless of your Permanent Resident status or your valid Work Permit for a foreign country other than Japan, as long as you are carrying a Philippine passport you still need to apply for a Tourist Visa.

You can, however, apply for a Visa at the Japanese Embassy of your present location, and do not need to apply from the Japanese Embassy in Manila.

I plan to look for work in Japan — can I get a Work Visa even if I am not yet employed by a Japan-based company?

The Consuls Office does not issue Work Visas if you are not yet employed by a Japan-based company; many of the requirements and steps necessary to get a Work Visa are initiated by your employer and not you.

If you apply for a Tourist Visa and then enter the country with intention to find work, you are essentially an illegal alien and if caught, will be prosecuted to the full extent of Japanese law and deported back to the Philippines posthaste.

How much and how long will it take to process my application?

Direct application to the Embassy is strictly not allowed; you must apply via an accredited travel agent. Your visa, if granted, is free; however, you have to pay your travel agent a processing fee of about PhP 2500 depending on their rates.

It takes three to five business days to process applications; take note that the Consul does not accept applications during Wednesdays. To know the status of your application, get in touch with the travel agent who applied on your behalf, three to five business days after you have submitted all your requirements to them.

Why was my application denied?

The Consulate of Japan never discloses the reason for denying your visa application. If your application has been denied for any reason whatsoever, you need to wait another six months before you can apply again.

So this is everything I know about applying for a Tourist Visa to Japan, based on personal experience and a bit of research. Please take note that there may be mistakes and inaccuracies, as I am neither a travel agent nor an an employee of the Consulate of Japan.

If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to leave them in the comments box, and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my knowledge πŸ™‚

Please note that this is a summary of our experience in applying for a Japanese visa. Mileage may vary with each individual. For more tips, you can also read How to Get A Japanese Tourist Visa in 24 Hours, How to Get a Japan Visa in Three Days, Getting a Japan Tourist Visa: An FAQ for Filipinos, and Tips on Obtaining a Japan Tourist Visa.


  1. JEL says:

    My husband, kids (who are all Canadian citizens) and I plan to visit Japan this summer. I am the only Filipino and is a housewife with no income and bank statements. Can I use my husband’s bank statements and ITR to submit ? What are the other documents that i need or can to submit to the embassy?Thanks


  2. siopao says:

    hi there… thank you for posting this FAQ page… i find it very helpful to hear stories from those people who have gone through what i’m about to go through… don’t want to rely solely on the embassies’ websites :)… some questions though:

    – If I plan to go to Japan on August this year. When should I apply for a visa? Can I submit my application a few months before, say, April?

    – I’ve read about this document called “Schedule of Stay”, do you have to have hotel reservations already? I mean, I am willing to risk buying a plane ticket without the assurance of getting my visa application approve, but booking hotels, too, beforehand would be a bit too much.

    – Should my answers on the documents(application form, schedule of stay) be written by hand or can I just type them directly on the forms and print them out? Sorry, I know it sounds silly, but when I applied for an AUS tourist visa, they require for your answers to be hand-written.

    Thanks in advance! πŸ™‚


  3. miya says:

    hi i got my visa na po from my japanese husband.. now i have to bring this to japanese embassy here in Philippines.Is there an interview to me? what was there question? help please..
    Thank you


  4. jhen says:

    hi ms rose, im a sofa status dito s japan at plano kong iinvite ang mother at kapatid it ok n ang husband ko which is nsa military ang magsilbing guarantor?kase asawa ko lng ang may trbaho and im just a plain housewife. pwdeng ako ung gagawa ng invitation letter under my name?ung guarantee letter ay ang aswa ko?mrming slamat!


  5. pretty says:

    hello po..kaka apply ko lang po ng tourist visa, at dumating na po yung passport ko,galing sa embassy ng japan. paano ko po malaman kung approved o deny po ako? kung deny po ako, puwede pa po ba akong mag apply ulit para tourist visa din po.. maraming salamat po..


  6. audi says:

    Hi there! I’m Audi.. I’ve read some of the posts here and i would like to know about my situation. My wife is a nikkeijin and she is staying in japan right now. I want to visit her even for a short period of time and planning to live there permanently. My question is what type of visa should i apply, for me to go there the soonest time possible? will visiting relatives visa possible? Right now I’m in the process of completing required visa documents. Another question, do i need to provide bank certificate even if she will shoulder all the expenses?
    I hope you could help me..
    Thanks a lot.
    Regards and more power..


  7. nessy penaflor says:

    good ev,ask ko lang kung ilang araw marerelease ang family visa after application…gusto ko sana malaman para magkaroon ako ng idea.bata pa kasi ako turning 20 this year of nov mother ko sana ang papuntahin ng ate ko sa japan sa panganganak nya kaso ill ung mum ko at hindi pa sya allow to fly so ako ang pinadala ng mum ko to help my sister to para katuwang sa pag alalaga ng baby nya for the meantime.busy kasi husband nya lage sa work.kaya pinadala nila ako para tulungan ko ate ko sa pag alalaga ng baby nila,ok naman po backround ng husband nya at malaki po ang salary maaprobahan po ba ako pag nag apply ako ng family visa kasi bata pa ako.pakiresponse po asap thanks.


  8. rhona adel says:

    manganganak po kc sis q mlaki po b chance q n approved visa q my anak dn p kc sya n andon and mag isa lng sya nghahanapbuhay..
    thnx po


  9. janjan says:

    good afternoon magnetic rose…. i’m from davao city…. i also have a situation here… my japanese boyfriend is married in Japan… they are not divorce but they are living separately… we have a son who is a japanese passport holder…recently, my boyfriend and I are not in good terms. i want to go back to Japan because I want my son to study there but he disagrees…. Is it possible to get there without his documents? I want my son to study there but he disagrees. please help.


    1. hi janjan — didn’t i already advise you in september of last year that you need to talk to a lawyer or an immigration expert regarding your concerns?

      because that is exactly what i will be telling you again: please talk to a lawyer. i can only give advise on tourist and temporary visas; i do not have the expertise for family issues and migration matters. thanks.

      the most recent visa-related post can be found here: How to Get a Japan Visa in Three Days.


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