UPDATE June 2019:
Reli Tours Japan Visa Application is now located at the ground floor of Building A, along Julia Vargas. It’s in the same area as Kenny Rogers and EO Optical. Note that it is located outside of the mall. All Japan visa appplications are accepted and processed here.
In 2016, Mark and I were so sure we will be granted a visa—we both had work, had pretty job titles, had a good amount in the bank. As far as requirements go, we aced it. But our application was DENIED. We were both disappointed. Mark, especially because he was apparently planning to propose in Tokyo plus the fact that we really researched tips on how to apply for Japan visa! 😅
Fast forward to 2018, at the start of the year, one of the things Mark and I committed to GOD and prayed for was our trip to Japan for our honeymoon. This time only Mark had work, which made the application weaker than the previous one. GOD still answered our prayer and finally got our 15-day-single entry Japan Visa valid for three months!
How to apply for Japan visa via Reli Tours?
1. Have your documents assessed.
We submitted our requirements on February 14, Wednesday at Reli Tours Megamall (located on the 5th floor of SM Megamall Bldg B). Upon arrival, we immediately secured a number for the documents assessment step. We waited roughly 20 minutes before our number was called. The assessment was very thorough but quick–roughly 10 minutes and the assessment is done!
We highly recommend you arrive earlier because they have a 4PM cut-off every day. Applications submitted after 4PM will be considered a transaction for the next day.
2. Submit your documents.
Mark and I finally submitted ours at 3:30 PM (whew!) because we were asked to submit print-outs of our photos to prove our relationship since Mark was my “guarantor” for this trip. Note that I resigned from work so only Mark has income documents to submit and that he will be covering for my expenses on the trip. This is very important based on our research since you have to prove that 1. you have the money to spend for the trip and that 2. you will go back to the Philippines!
3. Pay the agency processing fee!
Now, after submitting the photos, we were then cleared to submit our documents and pay the processing fee of PhP 1,900 (PhP 950 each application). We were told that the processing usually takes seven (7) days and that we will receive an SMS if the passport is ready for pick-up.
4. Wait. Wait. and Wait.
We were expecting to get the results after the wedding (February 21) but I already received an SMS on February 19, Monday that we can already pick-up our passports. That was fast considering that February 16 was a non-working holiday. It took only two working days before they notified us. Some applications can take days, others weeks. It really depends on the documents you submit sometimes!
5. Keep calm and claim your passport.
Finally, we’re back to Reli Megamall on February 23, Friday and we were exhilarated when the lady handed us our passports with our visas: Single Entry for 15 days, valid for three months! Tadaaaah! 🎉
What are the requirements?
These are the requirements we submitted with Mark being the sole income earner at the time of application. In this unique situation, we opted for him to be my guarantor and submitted additional documents such as the guarantee letter and photos proving our relationship.
We submitted three (3) documents as proof of our financial capacity: 1. Bank Statement in Peso (JA) 2. Tax Assessment from IRAS Singapore (in lieu of ITR) 3. Mark’s personalized Company Letter addressed to the Japan Embassy in Manila (a better version of a COE).
* Not applicable if the applicant is employed.
Read more tips below on how to apply for Japan visa and download the exact documents we submitted as well as the editable templates!
|What we Submitted||Who Submitted?||Where to get?||Notes|
|1. Philippine Passport||Mark + Cha||DFA|
|2. Accomplished Visa Application Form||Mark + Cha||Japan Embassy Website or from Reli Tours|
|3. Photo (4.5cm x 4.5cm)||Mark + Cha||Tronix||Tronix already has a template for the Japan Visa Application|
|4. PSA Certified Birth Certificate||Mark + Cha||Fastest NSO Philippines Branch (PSA) or Online|
|5. Daily Schedule in Japan||-one copy for both of us-||Get the template: Japan Schedule of Stay Template||View the document we submitted: Japan Schedule of Stay – Mark and Cha|
|6. Bank Certificate||-one copy for both of us-||BDO||We submitted the bank statement for our Joint Account|
|7. Guarantee Letter||Mark||Get the template: Japan Letter of Guarantee Template||View the document we submitted: Japan Letter of Guarantee – Mark and Cha|
|8. Couple Photos (at least three (3) pieces)*||Mark||Print the color photos on an A4 bond paper|
|9. Tax Assessment (from Singapore)*||Mark||Company||Mark works in SG, this works as a replacement for his ITR|
|10. Personalized Letter of Company addressed to the Embassy of Japan in Manila / COE||Mark||Company||Mark’s company provided a personal letter addressed to the embassy instead of the usual COE. 😁|
|Note that we didn’t submit a Marriage Certificate yet because we were still a week away from our wedding then. You’ll need to submit a PSA copy of your Marriage Certificate if you are married!|
Can we Submit Additional Supporting Documents?
The lady who assessed us shared an interesting tip on how to apply for Japan visa: that the embassy doesn’t like too many paper attachments on the application. This tip came after I asked to include the Transfer of Certificate Title for our house (as additional proof of spending power).
Although to answer the question– YES, you can submit additional documents as you fit and let the assessment ladies/gents deem it necessary.
Here are some of the additional supporting documents we submitted both for our 2016 and 2018 applications. Please note that they are not required!
1. Hotel Booking Confirmation from Agoda
We didn’t pay for this. There are a couple of hotels in Agoda that has “Pay at the Hotel” option, which you can book and reserve. You can use this for the purpose of presenting a booking confirmation on which hotel you intend to stay. Besides, you are also required to include a hotel and their contact number in the Schedule of Stay.
2. Flight Itinerary
You can also include a copy of your itinerary if you have already booked a flight. Again, this is not required and will have no weight whatsoever in the approval of your visa. This only strengthens your application because you have a ticket back to Manila. We did submit one in 2016 but we didn’t submit one for our 2018 application.
So what did you put in the Schedule of Stay? You may wonder. I merely included a flight schedule from Cebu Pacific that matches our intended date. Please include the flight number/callsign when you write your Schedule of Stay. 🙂
To summarize, here are the tips on how to apply for Japan Visa at any Japan Embassy accredited agency such as Reli Tours.
1. Complete your Requirements. I cannot stress this enough.
2. Find a Japan Embassy Accredited Agency near you.
3. Triple check your requirements before you head out.
4. Go early at the accredited agency of your choice.
5. Fall in line or get a number (however they process it) to have your documents assessed.
6. Once cleared, pay for the Agency Application Processing fee.
7. Hold on to your claim stub and wait for the agency’s notification on when you can pick-up your passport.
And that’s it! We hope this article on how to apply for Japan visa can help you even a tiny bit on your preparation/application for your Japan Tourist Visa!
Have questions? Ask away in the comments below! Did this tips help? Share with us your success story. 😁