Unlike the application process for a US Visa, a Japan Visa doesn’t require personal interview; therefore, the Consul Office will make their decision purely based on the documents that you submit.
Based on my experience, travel history, evidence of return, and good financial status are the most important criteria that the Consul considers.
So, what are the documents to submit to increase the chances of your Japan Visa approval?
A regular Filipino Japan Tourist Visa allows you to stay in Japan for maximum of 15 days on a single entry.
7 Tips to Increase the Chances of Your Japan Visa Approval
“Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.” ― Stephen Richards.
The monthly average balance of your account is shown in your bank certificate, so putting an immediate large amount of money in just one day is a bad idea. Additionally, having a fat bank account does not guarantee your approval.
Be realistic when submitting your bank certificate and be aware of the cost of goods in Japan. For example, if you are planning to stay for 2 weeks, having Php 500,000 to 900,000 in your bank account may look suspicious if you are single and a regular employee. Japan Consul would think that you are planning on extending there and look for a job.
So here’s the recommended show money for a Japan Tourist Visa application per applicant:
- 5 to 7 days – Php 35,000 to 50,000
- 8 to 10 days – Php 50,000 to 60,000
- 11 to 15 days – Php 60,000 to 75,000
And here’s the recommended show money for applicants applying as a family (2-3 members):
- 5 to 7 days – Php 80,000 to 100,000
- 8 to 10 days – Php 100,000 to 120,000
- 11 to 15 days – Php 120,000 to 150,000
If you want to be on the “safer” side, it’d be better to add Php 10,000 – 20,000, especially if your itinerary shows that you will be traveling across Japan (E.g. Tokyo – Osaka – Kyoto – Hiroshima).
I would also recommend that if you are applying as a family, process your visa through an accredited travel agency on package tour.
Having a considerable number of passport stamps is very helpful; this serves as evidence that shows you have returned back to your country after your travels. If you had just renewed your passport, you can attach your old passport with stamps to the new one with a rubber band.
If you don’t have any passport stamps, don’t be discouraged – you just have to try your luck! My mother and brother didn’t have any passport stamps when they first applied for tourist visa yet they were approved.
Show the Consul something that makes you return to your “home” in the Philippines. Having a stable job bore the heaviest weight as evidence of return. Applicants who have traveled Japan shared that Certificate of Employment or CoE and Income Tax Return or ITR are compelling evidences that prove their bond to the Philippines.
What if you don’t have ITR? Your parents, loved one, or any family member should shoulder your expenses. Present an Affidavit of Support, notarized and original, to accept financial responsibility for you. (Download the Affidavit of Support template here).
Then follow this advice if you fall on the following profile:
- For students. It is recommended that you also submit your Certificate of Enrollment from your school’s office registrar.
- For freelancers. Do not mention anywhere on your application that you are a freelancer if you have no ITR to present. I repeat. Do not mention! The Consul would immediately suspect you as a tax evader. Freelancers are considered self-employed and you have to file your taxes the right way.
- For business owners. Submit your Business Registration or DTI Permit and Mayor’s permit.
- For OFWs. Get a tax exemption form from BIR.
If you have a relative, family member, a very close friend, boyfriend or girlfriend who lives in Japan, ask them if they are willing to be your Guarantor for the trip. Don’t be embarrassed to aask for financial documents, letter of invitation, and guarantee letter. In return, when you get approved, bring them pasalubong from the Philippines and spend time with each other. YAY!
Having a guarantor is actually very beneficial for visa applicant. It’s like having an insurance against the risks of applicant’s non-compliance with Japanese laws. This is the reason why Consuls are always very happy to receive visa applications with guarantor.
If printing the Visa Application form is not an option for you, you can get the form from the accredited agency and I recommend that you write neatly and in all block letters when filling out.
While I was waiting to be called by the staff in the agency to submit the requirements, a lady waiting in line tapped my shoulder and noticed the erasures on my application form. She suggested that I fill out the form again and avoid erasures.
I asked why, and she only said it will be nice if my application form is neat as well. I don’t know if this would actually be a factor, but I guess it doesn’t hurt.
A reader told me that even though he completed all the requirements, his Visa still got denied. After a bit of back and forth with him, he said he requested to stay for 36 days.
The Consul-General of Japan only grants 15 days, 30 days, and 90 days of stay. If you really have to stay for more than 30 days in Japan, request for 90 days of stay instead. Then provide supporting documents such as medical certificate, etc.
If your documents are complete and in order, it would only take 2 to 3 business days to find out the result of your visa application.
Don’t be dismayed if you received a call from the travel agency asking you to provide additional documents. All you have to do is obtain that document as soon as you can. If what they’re requesting for doesn’t need to be an original copy, ask if you could scan and email the documents to them instead of going physically to their site. It would save you a lot of time!
Related Read: Denied Japan Visa Applications
There are times that travel agencies are busy processing other applications that they might have overlooked the status of other applicants. So it is very important that you initiate a call and inquire about the status of your application in case you haven’t heard anything back from them after 3 business days.
My mom experienced a case like this with Discovery Tours. It was already 4 days after she submitted her application and haven’t heard anything back. I gave her the number of the travel agency to call. After which, she was told that her passport was already ready for pickup. She was approved and was very happy!
So hope and pray. Keep Calm and Cross your Fingers!