How to Apply for a Japanese Visa

A trip to Japan can be daunting as the percentage rate of getting approved seems to be difficult in the past. However, for the past few years  more and more Filipinos are able to secure a visa approval from the Land of the Rising Sun. So, for the first time hopefuls,  here are the steps that you’d need to take in order to apply for a Japanese visa for the first time.

Visit the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines website. Go to the Visa/Consular Services tab. This page will show you general information regarding visa application, accredited agencies, types of visas, and other helpful information for different type of applicants.

Step 1:

As a first time visitor you will need to select Visa for tourism (under types of Visa). This link opens /downloads to a  PDF form so, you have an option to print it. Here are the information listed down on this PDF link.



  • Applicant himself/herself made the arrangements for the travel/tour in Japan.
  • If applicant request a multiple-entry visa for short-term stay, please refer to the requirement at the
    home page.


  • All documents must be original unless otherwise stated.
  • Check and fulfill all the needed requirements. This information is from the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines. I copied it and included my comments on the side.

1. Philippine Passport

Broken passport is not accepted. Passports must be signed and must have at least two (2)blank visa pages.

Note: Make sure that the “In case of emergency” section is filled out. If you have the new passport, make sure that you have your signature on page 3.

2. Visa Application Form

Available at the Embassy website, at the entrance of the Embassy or at any of the accredited travel agencies.

Note: You can also print out the form which you can download from the Embassy’s website. Make sure that you print it on a A4 paper. If not, the agency will not accept your visa form.

Application form should be filled out all items correctly, If item is not applicable, please fill in[N/A]. Embassy may not accept application with blank item, no signature or no date in the form; may deny the application that is filled out incorrectly or wrong information.

3. Photo

• Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm, with white background.
• Photo must be taken within 6 months.
• Please write applicant’s name and birth date on back side of the photo.
• Photo must be pasted on the application form.

Note: Just visit any photo studio and inform them that the picture that you need is for a Japanese visa. They know what to do.

4. Birth Certificate

• It must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide).
• If the birth certificate from Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) is unreadable, or has incomplete
information, please submit the birth certificate issued by PSA together with a birth certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar.

• If the birth certificate is “late registration”, please submit in addition, a baptismal certificate and school record (Form 137) from high school or elementary and School Yearbook (if possible).
• If there is no record in PSA, please submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA together
with a birth certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.

Note: If you are unsure if your birth certificate was issued within one year, you can check the bar code on the bottom left corner of your PSA birth certificate which tells you when the birth certificate was requested. Also, original document must be submitted. No need to photocopy the certificate, the travel agency will only require for the the original document.

* For second time visitors, you don’t have to secure a PSA birth certificate, just bring your passport with the old Japanese visa.

5. Marriage Certificate (if the applicant is married)

• It must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide).
• In case there is no record in PSA, please submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA
together with the Marriage Certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.

6. Daily Schedule in Japan (TAIZAI YOTEIHYO )

[If applicant will shoulder part or all of his/her travel expenses]

Note: Make a feasible itinerary. Your total itinerary cost should not exceed the amount of your show money. Example: the total expense of your itinerary will cost 70,000 php and your show money or bank certificate reflects that you have 55,000 php.  This could be a red mark on your visa application.

7. Bank Certificate

Validity of Bank Certificate is three (3) month from the date of issue

Note: Original document must be submitted. No need to photocopy the certificate, the travel agency will only require for the the original document.

8.Applicant’s Income Tax Return (Form 2316) clear Photocopy (latest)

Note: If you are employed, you have this form.

If Guarantor who lives in the Philippines will shoulder part or all of the applicant’s travel

9.Guarantee Letter

Note: No need to make your own guarantee letter. Just download a copy from the  Embassy’s website( click on the Visa/Consular Services tab, then scroll down to sample forms, select Letter of Guarantee). If you don’t want to go through all of that, simply click here.

10. Proof of relationship between applicant and guarantor (e.g. Birth Certificates etc.)

Note: Birth certificate of the guarantor, if you are being sponsored by a parent or guardian.

11.Bank Certificate (original) and Income Tax Return (ITR Form 2316) (clear Photocopy) of Guarantor

Note: Original document must be submitted. No need to photocopy the certificate (bank certificate), the travel agency will only require for the the original document and clear copy of the ITR. In our case, the agency only took the first page of the ITR. But to be safe submit the entire form.

If Applicant is not Philippines nationality

12. Foreign residents with long-term or permanent status in the Philippines

Applying for a visa must submit, in addition to the above requirements (except birth and marriage certificates), a copy of their Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) issued by the Philippine government.

  • Visa application of foreigners who are on short-term (temporary) visa in the Philippines cannot be accepted. Please apply at the Japanese Embassy /Consulate General with jurisdiction over the area in which the applicant resides or over the country of which the applicant’s passport was issued.



  • Size of document for application should be A4 size only. If document is other size, please
    submit copy that is already adjusted in A4 size from its original and without staples or pasting
  • Applicants are exempted from submitting (4) and (5) Indicated above if they can submit
    old/valid passports with used Japan visa.
  • It is applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he/she meet the requirements for the grant of
    a visa. Submission of any supporting documents not listed above is encouraged (e.g. applicant’s
    economic or social ties with the Philippines, urgent reasons for visit: medical certificate, wedding

For the PDF copy of the Visa for Tourism form, click Here.

Step 2:

When you have completed all the requirements, you can select from the accredited travel agencies. They will handle the submission of  your requirements to the Japanese embassy. But before they do that, they will help you double check your requirements.

To view accredited travel agencies, click here. There is no fee for the visa. However, you will need to pay for the processing fee of the travel agency.

Step 3:

Now, the wait. It usually takes 5- 7 days processing upon receipt of the requirements by the embassy. There are no tips or tricks that will guarantee a visa approval. It is all up to the consulate.  Positive thinking and a little prayer can help.

The visa that will be provided is good for 90 days so it is best to apply for a visa a month before your travel date to maximize the 90 day entry to Japan. Also, This will   give you time to prepare your documents and make reservations for your flight and hotel.  I hope this post helps you with this “hurdle” in preparing for your Japan trip.  Safe Travels!



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