The Japanese Embassy made it easy for Filipino travelers to apply for visa and the good news is that they become more generous in issuing a multiple entry visa that could be valid for up to five years.
This is a relief for many frequent travelers to avoid gathering documents each time they wish to visit Japan.
I got my five year multiple entry visa with maximum 30 days of stay for each visit. Here’s what I did.
According to the embassy’s website, for multiple entry visa, the following documents must be submitted:
1. Visa application form with photo
The application form may be downloaded from the embassy website and size of the photo must be 4.5cm x 4.5cm. Tell specifically to the studio that you will be needing it for Japanese visa.
2. Machine-Readable Passport
The passport our DFA issues is already machine-readable since 2007 or 2008 so this is a non-issue. You can apply as long as your passport is valid for at least six months.
3. Proof of previous travel to Japan (existing or old passport with Japan visa, landing permit and entry stamps)
I have visited Japan in 2012 so I was able to provide this requirement. Unfortunately, I am not sure if applicants without previous travel to Japan would be able to secure a multiple entry visa.
4. Bank certificate of applicant
Yes you read it right. Bank certificate must be under the name of the applicant and not under the name of your parents, siblings, or friends even if you are applying at the same time. The consul makes a decision based on the individual’s circumstance and not as a group.
If you applied in a group and all requested for a multiple entry visa, it is possible that one may be granted while the others are either only given single entry or not granted at all. The point is, get a bank certificate under your own name.
As to the amount indicated in the certificate, a higher amount does not guarantee a visa while a lower amount does not guarantee rejection too. The rule of thumb is to prove that your money will be enough for the proposed duration of the trip. Personally, I allot PHP 20,000 per day as living expenses in Japan.
5. Employment certificate of applicant
Securing employment certifcate should be easy if you are employed. Just make sure the certificate indicates the duration of your employment in the company, contact number, and contact person.
I did not pass employment certificate because I’m not employed. In absence of it, I wrote a letter stating that I am a freelance writer working online and therefore I don’t have certificate of employment. The letter is concise and direct to the point. I can imagine consuls evaluate tons of applications every day and writing a long explanation would not help at all.
6. Letter of explanation for requesting Multiple-entry visa
Again, make this letter concise and direct to the point. Please click to download: Request letter for multiple entry visa Japan.
There is no required format for an itinerary but be sure to indicate the duration of the trip, the name of hotel for each day of stay, its address, and contact number. Also, indicate the places you intend to visit. There is a sample format that you can download from the embassy website so that will make it easy for you. You don’t need to be very specific like you have to indicate everything.
8. Income Tax Return (Optional)
I submitted mine but the staff at the agency gave it back to me. It’s always better to come prepared.
Once you gather all the requirements, go through them again and make sure four times that your documents are complete and in order to save your precious time. The embassy only accepts applications filed through its seven accredited agencies.
The Embassy itself does not charge application fee but since you are required to go through an agency, the best option is to find the one that charge the smallest fee. As of this writing, Reli Tours charge the cheapest at PHP 950. They have three brances: SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, and SM southmall.
Waiting time for the visa is about three to five working days.
Good luck and God bless on your application!