For the past 2 years, I have applied and have been granted 5 Japanese Visas. From the shortest, (15 days) to the longest (90 days), you name it I got it stamped in my passport. Hopefully my experience will help you get that visa to the mystifying land of Pokémon that is Japan.
You may be asking why I don’t just apply for a multiple visa entry permit?
Well, the reason is because I always plan on staying for a long period of time. With multiple entry visas, applicants will only be granted 15 days of stay for 5 years. It would mean that I have to exit Japan every 15 days which kind of defeats the purpose since my goal is to stay longer.
You may then be asking again why do you want to stay in Japan for so long anyways?
Well besides Japan being such a beautiful and culturally enriching experience that you will cherish forever, my husband is based there so the longer I can stay the better.
Do you really need 90 days for a Japan trip?
Well no, but it depends on what you plan on doing. Being limited to 15 days won’t really give you enough time to climb mountains (Mt. Fuji), visit shrines (Inari), see castles (the imperial palace) and plus all that shopping for make up in Tokyo! We actually met a fellow Filipino Couple on Mt. Fuji on their south to north Japan trip, 15 days is not enough for something like that.
Will I need an invitation letter from someone in Japan for 90 days visa?
Yes! You will need an invitation letter but if you are just trying to get a short term visa the details below are pretty much the same minus the invitation letter.
So with the details below can still get a short entry visa?
Yes! The length of the visa really depends on what the Japanese embassy will grant you, if you have an invitation letter chances are they’ll let you stay longer. That itinerary you pass in will also be a defining factor of the length of stay.
Isn’t getting a Japanese visa easier now?
Nowadays people say that Japan is more lax and open to tourists from all over the world to help prepare for the upcoming Olympics in 2020, but that doesn’t mean you should be lax with the requirements too it still helps to submit complete paper work and be ready for any curve balls the Japanese visa application throws at you.
With all those questions out of the way I present the reason why you are here, the details on that Japanese visa!
The Details: Applying for a visa with a Sponsor.
(minus the invitation letter)
If you are like me, who wishes to stay in Japan longer (90 days) these are the required documents:
1. Philippine Passport
2. Visa Application Form
3. Photo: 4.5cm x 4.5cm, white background
4. NSO Birth Certificate
5. Marriage Contract (if applicable)
6. Schedule in Japan (sample below)
7. Invitation Letter (only if you want to stay longer)
8. Original Bank Certificate
9. Income Tax Return (photocopy)
*If the sponsor will shoulder part of the expenses in Japan:
Income Tax Return
Original Bank Certificate of sponsor.
Others: Just in case, I have also submitted the following:
Apartment Lease of my Sponsor as a proof of accommodation.
Old passport (which has my old visas)
Applications should be filed in an accredited agency, not directly to Japanese embassy. I used Attic Tours Philippines Manila (located along Roxas Boulevard) for my visa process and paid Php1680. The visa itself is free but unfortunately you still have to pay for the processing fee.
Here is the sample itinerary that I have submitted. My itinerary revolves around Okinawa, where we will be staying. You can base your own itinerary off the one I have here.
How long should I expect the visa to be done?
Upon submission of complete documents, you can expect your visa to be released after 1 week. Your agency will give you a call when you can pick up your passport containing your Japan visa. Personally I have submitted my complete requirements within only a week before my planned date of leaving but I would not recommend it, the sooner the better.
When should I apply?
According to the travel agency, it is usually safe to apply at least 1 month before your planned trip just in case the Japan embassy asked you to submit additional documents.
Do I need a plane ticket before my visa?
Surprisingly no, you can purchase your ticket after getting your Japanese Visa.
Do I need to book a hotel if I don’t have a sponsor?
No, it is not a requirement but having one will certainly boost your chances plus it will make you itinerary look even more legit.
Hopefully I covered as much as needed for your application of a Japanese visa. Remember these are based on my experiences and they can totally differ from yours so don’t storm into the Japanese embassy all angry that your application did not go the same way according to this blog. I will add a helpful link in the bottom though. If you have any questions, comments, concerns let us know I will get back to you!
Good Luck and Happy Trip Japan it is totally worth it!
Helpful link: http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/visiting/index.htm