In July of 2013, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced that Philippine passport holders traveling on short-term visits of up to fifteen days were now qualified to apply for Japanese multiple entry visas with three years validity.
This is great news since Filipino travelers can go to Japan just as easily and simply as they do Singapore or Thailand — for weekend trips and short stays.
But how does one go about applying for a multiple entry visa? It’s surprisingly easy — much easier than even we expected! Just follow our step by step quide soon you too can be jetting off to the land of the Rising Sun 😀
First, you need to assemble all your documents. The documents needed to apply for a multiple-entry tourist visa are generally the same as applying for a single-entry tourist visa — with a few key differences.
— An accomplished visa application form (handwritten or printed)
– At least two recent ID photos sized to Japan visa standards
– A daily itinerary
– A Certificate of Deposit from your bank (the daily balance should be at least PhP 100,000)
– A Certificate of Employment from your company (indicate tenure and compensation)
– A clear photocopy of your BIR Form 2316 (or its equivalent)
– A clear photocopy of your SSS, GSIS or Unified Multipurpose ID
— A letter addressed to the Japan Embassy requesting for a multiple entry visa
– A Philippine Passport bearing a used Japan visa issued in the past three years (the passport must also be valid for at least another six months)
You may be asking, “Why do I need a used Japan visa?”. Like it or not, it is one of the requirements for granting multiple-entry visas as stipulated by the Embassy of Japan. If this is your first trip to Japan, you may only be granted a single-entry tourist visa, if at all.
Unlike other embassies, you are not required to appear for an interview to obtain a Japanese visa. Your application’s results rely solely on the documents you are able to provide.
As mentioned above, you are not required to appear for an interview to obtain a Japanese visa — all you need to do is find an accredited travel agent and submit the requirements.
The list of accredited agencies can be found on the Japan Embassy website. Other than location, the agencies can vary in pricing and level of service. From personal experience (as we have tried most of them already!), here are a few thoughts:
Universal Holidays (UHI)
– costs about PhP 2500 to lodge an application
– processors will check your documents throughly and will request that you send additional docs if they find it lacking
– recommended for first time applications due to high “pass” rate
– costs about PhP 1500 to lodge an application
– recommended for business trips as they are affiliated with large international travel companies such as Carson Wagonlit
– costs about PhP 1200 to lodge an application
– recommended for large groups as they specialize in bulk applications
Attic Tours *
– costs about PhP 1700 to lodge an application
– SPEEDY SPEEDY SPEEDY processing in as little as 24 hours, as long as your submitted documents are of good quality and are complete
– recommended for single travelers who prefer to DIY rather than join a group tour, as they also offer Japan Rail Passes and money-saving packages for solo backpackers
* Attic Tours is our current personal favorite among all the agencies — and no, we were not paid to say that!
After the receiving agent inspects and accepts your documents, you just need to pay the fee, and wait for them to contact you on the claiming of your passport. In principle, all the agencies will not tell you outright (via phone or SMS) if your visa was granted or not.
Results and Releasing
Results and releasing can happen in as little as one to three days, depending on the agent you used. We generally recommend submitting your documents on a Monday or a Tuesday, as the Embassy of Japan is closed on Wednesdays to process visa applications.
If granted, your multiple entry visa is valid for three years (woohoo!). If not, you are required to wait six months before you can lodge another application — unless it is for a medical emergency or for humanitarian reasons such as a death in the family.
Good luck, everyone — see you in Japan very soon!
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.