A Journey to Japan – VISA APPROVED!

After three excruciating nights of pondering and worrying whether I’ll be approved or not, I finally got my Japan Visa. Yehey!

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I’ve submitted my visa application at Friendship Tours on a Saturday morning. The queue was short at that time so I was able to process my application for 15-20 mins only including waiting time. After submitting all requirements, I was informed that I should wait  5-7 business days  for the results to come out and I should wait for a text or call to let me know that my passport is ready for picked up.

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Visa Application Checklist

I’ve read on some blogs that results may come in earlier so with a chance of luck, I did check after 3 days and yes, its available and approved. Woohoo! I was dancing in delight after learning the news ‘coz I have prepared and prayed for this trip for such a long time. It was an answered prayer so yes, there was really a reason to celebrate. With that good news in my hands, I dropped by their office the following day to come and pick up my passport. I looked at my visa for the very first time and it was all pure happiness that I’ve felt. I made sure that all entries are correct since there are horror stories I’ve read from the Internet about incorrect data.

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Since we are going to travel on different cities, we’ve decided to get a Japan Rail Pass which would help us in saving money. If you’re purpose of travel is to stay and explore one city only, choose the local pass instead since this will be cheaper and wiser to get. For more details about the Japan Rail Pass, please go here.

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Inside Cover of the Japan Rail Pass

Here are the different rates of the pass as of this writing:

Type:
Green
Ordinary
Duration
Adult
Child
Adult
Child
7-day
38,880 YEN
19,440 YEN
29,110 YEN
14,550 YEN
14-day
62,950 YEN
31,470 YEN
46,390 YEN
23,190 YEN
21-day
81,870 YEN
40,930 YEN
59,350 YEN
29,670 YEN

I’ve opted for the 7 day ordinary pass since this is the cheapest that I can get which my pocket can accommodate. I got this from the same agency where I have applied so its like hitting two birds with one stone. Application and processing for the JRP  took me less than 20 mins  only so this saved me some time going to and from the agency. It was a really a great experience for me. In two weeks time, I’ll be able to reap the fruits of my labor in planning for this trip. Yehey, I can’t wait to step my foot on that place.For the time being,  I’ll end this one for now while I prepare for the next step. Stay tuned for my next adventures. See yah!

A Journey to Japan – VISA APPLICATION

Hello! How are you? Its been awhile since I have last visited and written my last blog (1.5 years to be exact.. i know right ..lol). Now that I’m back, I want to share with everyone about my new adventure this year. In a few weeks time, I will be embarking on a new journey and if everything goes well, I’ll finally have the chance to visit the land of the rising sun -“JAPAN”.

Mt. Fuji with fall colors in japan.

credits to the owner

A little history here, Japan is called the “land of the rising sun” because from China it appears that the sun rises from the direction of Japan.

First thing first, before you can go to Japan, you must remember that certain requirements need to be furnished. Prior the trip, one must apply for visa. There are different types of Visa that are available for Filipinos but for the sake of sharing my story from my perspective, I will not be talking about them one by one. Rather, I’ll be focusing on the requirements that are more applicable to me which is as a tourist with no guarantor. Lo and behold, here are the requirements that I have submitted to the agency:

Philippine Passport

  • Note that broken lamination of the photo is not accepted.
  • There should be a signature on the passport and at least two (2) blank pages left
  • Tip: It is better to bring you’re old passport (and visa) too if you have one!

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Visa Application Form

  • Forms are also available at the entrance of embassy or through accredited agencies. To get a copy from the embassy’s website, go here.
  • All contact numbers should be indicated with a country code (ex. +632 1234567 or +63917 1234567)
  • Don’t know or confused on how to furnish the visa application form, click here.
  • Do not leave blank spaces. Instead, put “not applicable” or “n/a” on entries that do not apply to you.
  • Make sure to print the form in an A4 Paper Size.

Photo

  • Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background
  • Photo must be pasted on the application form
  • To know more about the acceptable Visa application photo specifications, click here.
  • Tip: I had my photo taken at Great Image ‘coz they have a specific package for Visa application. I couldn’t remember the exact cost but I think its around Php 250. I know there may be cheaper options but since I wanted to be sure, I opted for this because I trust them and I like the quality of their photos too. Before the photo shoot, they have asked me what country I’ll be going to. The reason is because Japan has a very strict rule on the photo that you will be submitting. Better be safe than sorry!photo

    Birth Certificate

  • PSA (formerly NSO) issued within one year from date of travel
  • Tip: I got mine from PSAHelpline.ph which costs Php 350. The item will be delivered within 3-5 working days upon successful processing of payment.

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Daily Schedule in Japan (TAIZAI NITTEIHYO)

  • Tip: This is your general description of your daily itinerary. You can download the form here  Schedule of Stay (English) (Word) (64KB).
  • Make sure to print it in an A4 Paper Size.

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Bank Certificate

  • This is different from the Bank’s Statement of Account. Take note that you can only get this on the branch where you have opened your account. I’ve paid Php 100 for one copy and received the letter a day after. My copy stated only the ending balance that I have saved on my account. Make sure that the letter is addressed to the embassy since this is a formal letter.
  • RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! I can’t really reiterate how important it is to do your research. Japan is considered to be one of the expensive countries out there so its better to start tightening your belt and save some hefty money. There’s no specific amount stated on the embassy’s website on how much show money you should present so its better to start jotting down the places you want to visit and the cost associated on that trip so that there will be no surprises in the end. Don’t forget to include as well the expenses that you will need to pay while processing and preparing your visas and trip along the way. Since I will be travelling for 7 days & 6 nights and will cover 3 major cities (Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka) plus Disney Sea, I have saved Php 1xx,xxx.xx just to be safe. You may refer on the following websites for some help in identifying your daily and total budget plan:

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Income Tax Return (Form 2316) original and photocopy

  • Tip: Since I’m currently employed, I needed to ask this from my company. Please contact your local HR for this.20161107_222529

On top of the listed requirements above, I have also submitted additional documents as proof of reference. Please do note that you are not limited on what is listed here but based on what I’ve read from other blogs, this should help prove that you are a returning citizen and hopefully, just hopefully, increase the chances of approving your visa application:

  • Certificate of Employee
  • Retirement Plan
  • 3 months of payslip
  • Hotel and Flight Bookings (some reference do say that this is not required)
  • Some helpful tips here:
  • If Birth Certificate from PSA (formely NSO) is unreadable, or if there is no record in PSA, (in addition to “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA Headquarter), you must submit your birth certificate from Local Civil Registrar.
  • If Birth Certificate (NSO) is “Late Registration”, you must submit the following:
    • Baptismal Certificate
    • School Record (Form 137)
    • School Yearbook (if applicable)
    • Please indicate complete address and landline number (if applicable) of the church in the baptismal certificate, and of the school in school record.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: All visa applications must be made through accredited agencies of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

  • As of this writing, here are the list of accredited agencies recognized by the embassy.
  • For the result, it will take 5-7 working days after submission of documents.
  • Applicants are given three (3) months to submit additional requirements. Otherwise application will be terminated.
  • Documents submitted for application will not be returned.
  • Applicants can get information from accredited agencies when his/her application is pending.
  • When visa is granted, VISA FEE is gratis for this category. (Philippine passport holder)
  • When visa is not granted, the reasons of denial will not be disclosed. Applicants may apply again after six (6) month with the same purpose, unless there are emergency / humanitarian reasons, or application for different purpose.

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For my part, I went to Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation since I have been reading good feedback on this place from other bloggers. Their Manila branch is located at the third floor of Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati. I’ve paid a total amount of Php 1200 for the handling fee of a single entry visa. Please do note that the cost to be paid varies per agency.

As for the requirements, it took me a month to prepare all of these with the exception of the show money for the bank certificate as I it took me quite some time to save and reach that kind of amount. Since I have everything prepared ahead of time, it only took me 10-15 minutes for the visa application to be processed.

And now we WAIT! This is the most scariest part of all since you’ll never know what will be the turnout after those documents reach the hands of anyone from the embassy. I am fervently hoping to receive a favorable response since this will be my first time to visit this country. For the time being, I’ll work on with my budget and will share the details to you the soonest. Til next time!

Mario Collectibles

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University of Sto. Tomas (UST) – España, Manila Philippines

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El Nido, Palawan Philippines

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Regina Rica – Tanay, Rizal Philippines

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