I would like to share on how to get Japan Tourist Visa in the US. This was from my personal experience. Even though I’m a Green Card holder, I am still a Filipino Citizen and therefore required to enter Japan with a Visa.
The following application process is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Step 1: Find out where your Japanese Consulate-General is.
Visa applications SHOULD BE MADE at the Japanese embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residency.
For example, if you are currently living in Maryland, then your Japanese Consulate-General is in New York. Therefore, you should apply for Japan Visa in Consulate-General of Japan in New York. In my case, I lived in Maine so my Consulate-General is in Boston.
Click here to find out your place of residency’s Japanese Consulate-General.
Step 2: Prepare and complete the required documents
Requirements per Japanese Consulate-General varies. So make sure you are looking at the right website for the right information. If you have question regarding the documents, you can call their office during their business hours.
Watch out if fees applies. Some nationalities require Visa fees. For us Filipinos, we are exempted, we can apply for Japan Visa at no charge. But still ALWAYS check their website for fee. Again, it varies per State.
Step 3: Apply in person or submit requirements via mail
If you are mailing the documents, READ, READ, and REVIEW the required documents and package contents before sending it. You want to avoid delays. They can decline your application.
You’re lucky if you live close to the state where the Japanese Consulate-General is. In my case, I had to mail all the documents to Consulate-General of Japan in Boston. There’s a risk that your documents package might get lost along the way. So when mailing your documents, choose a reputable or secured courier. Per Consulate-General courier of choice varies.
Please Refer to the last section of this blog for templates like Schedule of Stay or Detailed Itinerary, Invitation Letter, etc.
3.1: If mailing documents, don’t forget the return envelope
This was actually my mistake when I submitted my documents to Consulate-General in Boston, I forgot to include the return envelope so that they can send my documents back!
Tip: Use a plastic bubble wrap mailer (similar to this) as a return envelope. This is to make sure that when they return your documents, esp. your passport, it will not get wet, tampered, or anything in case something happens.
Step 4: Wait for the call
It usually takes 3 business days to a week to process the application, if the documentation is in order and complete. If you a receive a call from them, it’s either you’re lacking a documentation or your application has already been processed. You just need to pick it up or wait for the mail to arrive containing your passport.
For some reason, they do not disclose information over the phone whether you were granted a visa or declined.
In my case, I received a call from them requesting for additional documentation, since it’s just a two-page document, they agreed that I send it via email. I received my passport with Visa 8 business days after I sent my documents.
Downloadable templates for your Japan Visa Application
- Schedule of Stay (Itinerary)
- Letter of Guarantee
- Letter of reason for invitation
- List of visa applicants
- Overview of company / organization
My personal experience
My overall experience with Consulate-General of Japan in Boston was a breeze. I can’t remember how many times I’ve called them to follow up my application or to make sure that they had received my additional documents. They are all kind and always ready to help.