How to Apply for a Japanese Visa: A Guide for Filipino OFWs

Over the years I have been writing visa guides for Filipinos who wish to visit Japan, I always get questions from Filipino OFWs. I usually decline giving advice to them because it is outside of the realm of my experience.

Japan Mulls Visa-Free Entry for Filipinos

However, since moving to Singapore, I had the chance to personally apply for the renewal of my multiple entry visa here, and I am now confident I can write a good working guide for fellow Filipino expats.

Here we go!

CHECK THE JAPAN EMBASSY WEBSITE FOR THE COUNTRY YOU ARE LIVING IN

Before you start, please always check the website of the local Japan Embassy in the country you are living in. The documents needed to apply for a multiple-entry tourist visa may differ from country to country!

Let’s say you are like me, and you are applying for a visa at the Embassy of Japan in Singapore. If you hold a Filipino passport, as long as you are applying in Singapore, you need to follow Singapore’s requirements and not the Philippines’ requirements (same goes for Pinoy OFWs living in other countries).

Here’s a quick example of the slight differences in requirements: in the Philippines a BIR Form 2316 is required but not an airline eticket, however in Singapore an income tax return is not required but an airline return eticket is.

Again, I reiterate: THE DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO APPLY FOR A MULTIPLE ENTRY TOURIST VISA TO JAPAN MAY DIFFER FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY. Please keep this in mind and do not complain to the Japan Embassy staff when you have the wrong set of documents.

ASSEMBLE YOUR DOCUMENTS

As stated above, the requirements differ from country to country, but usually they are made up of the following items, with one or two slight modifications:

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 balance should ensure that you are able to support your stay in Japan)
– A Certificate of Employment from your company (you must indicate position, tenure, and compensation)
– A clear photocopy of your national ID card or work visa
– A Philippine Passport with a validity for at least another twelve months

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, so make sure you have your documents sorted out before submitting.

The Embassy may allow you to append other requirements after submission of the initial application (for example, your airline eticket or your daily itinerary), however do note that this may affect your chances of securing a visa.

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

As mentioned above, you are not required to appear for an interview to obtain a Japanese visa — all you need to do is submit the requested documents to the local Japan Embassy, in the order it was listed on the Embassy website.

One small tip: do not staple your documents together! The Embassy personnel still need to double check your papers, so a clear file or a paper clip is preferred.

RESULTS AND RELEASING

Results and releasing can happen in about three to five business days or even longer, depending on the releasing times of your local Japan Embassy. We generally recommend submitting your application two weeks before your trip at the latest, to give you and the Embassy enough time for processing.

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 Apply for a Japan Multiple Entry Visa: A Guide for Filipinos, 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.

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