My midterms are over, which means I’m halfway through the semester! The circles under my eyes are darker, I rarely get more than four to five hours of sleep a night, and I’ve lost weight (not good, because my weight loss is from not having the time to eat rather than actively dieting and exercising), but I haven’t collapsed of sheer exhaustion yet, so I’ll count that as a win! Anyway, like I said, my midterms are over, so I’m taking the few days or so of relatively free time I have to get back on the horse, so to speak, about this blog.
If anyone has any inspirational tips on time-management and/or balancing work and school, or even just makeup hacks for looking less like the walking dead, leave them or link me in the comments. Ya girl is tired, fam. Ya girl is so tired.
I’m looking forward to the upcoming Halloween long weekend because my family and I are headed to Japan! We’ll be spending a week touring Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara. I’m so excited! I’ve been to Japan twice before, but both times my friends and I only explored Osaka and Tokyo, so I’m really eager to see more. (And I’m also really excited to document our vacation on social media, lol. Keep an eye on this blog, my Instagram, and my Twitter.)
A couple of weeks ago, I posted on my Twitter and Instagram stories that my Japanese visa had recently been approved. I also mentioned on Twitter that I had gotten approved Japanese visas twice before. I ended up getting quite a few DMs asking me how to go about getting a Japanese visa. In response, I wrote this!
Disclaimer! This guide is only for applicable to the following:
- Tourists entering Japan without a guarantor
- Tourists entering Japan with a non-Japanese guarantor living outside Japan
It is not for:
- People who wish to work in Japan
- Tourists with a Japanese guarantor
- Tourists with non-Japanese guarantors living in Japan
- Tourists with family/relatives living in Japan
Please visit the Japanese Embassy’s website here, or the websites of the relevant agencies or government instrumentalities. Thank you!
Step 1: Gather important documents.
You will need the following documents. Ensure that these documents are authentic, original, and complete.
1. A Philippine passport valid for at least six more months.
2. A duly-accomplished application form. You can download it from here. Fill out every field; write “N/A” on those which are not applicable to you. Print the form out on A4 paper. No other size will be accepted.
- Tip: The form will ask you for the hotel you’ll be staying at and the airline you’ll be flying with. You don’t actually have to book plane tickets and a hotel before you apply for your visa; you can just fill these fields out with any hotel or airline as long as they’re reasonably within the range of the money you have in your bank account and the amount on your income tax return (see bank/tax return requirements below).
3. 4.5cmx4.5cm ID photo with white background. As with all visa application photos, ensure that your ears can be seen and that you are not wearing eyeglasses. This ID photo should be pasted onto your application form.
4. Original NSO birth certificate issued within one year. You may order your birth certificate from here.
- For those without NSO birth certificate, submit a Certificate of Non-Record from NSO along with your birth certificate from the local registrar.
- For those whose NSO birth certificates are marked “Late Registration”, you must also submit a Baptismal Certificate (which shows the name and address of the church) and Form 137 from your school (which shows the name and address of the school).
5. For those who are married, original NSO marriage certificate issued within one year. You may order your marriage certificate from here.
6. Daily schedule of your stay in Japan. You may download the form here. This doesn’t have to be too detailed. Just give a rough outline of where you’ll be, and when.
7. Bank certificate issued within three months.
- Tip: The Japanese Embassy doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement, but do make sure that the money in your account is sufficient to cover your stay. The first time I went to Japan, I was less than two years out of college, had only one year work experience, and had only Php 45,000 in my bank account. My visa was still granted.
- Tip: Avoid suddenly depositing a large amount of money at a single time. The Embassy might consider this a red flag for attempted illegal immigration.
8. Proof of income.
- For employed applicants:
- Certificate of Employment
- Income Tax Return
- For self-employed applicants / freelancers:
- Personal Income Tax Return
- Income Tax Return of the business
- Business Registration from SEC and/or DTI
- If you don’t have any these things, write a letter to the Embassy explaining why
- For OFWs:
- Certificate or Contract of Employment
- Certificate of Tax Exemption from the BIR
If you are unemployed, a minor/student, or will otherwise need a guarantor such as a spouse, parent, or friend for your stay in Japan, you need to provide the following requirements. (This is also applicable to those whose stay in Japan will be sponsored by your company or agency. Additionally, freelancers or self-employed applicants who don’t feel confident about their applications can ask someone to serve as their guarantor.)
1. Documents # 1-7 listed above.
2. Proof of income of guarantor. See the list of accepted proof of income above.
3. Letter of guarantee. You can download the template here.
4. List of people whose stay in Japan will be guaranteed. You can download the template here.
5. If your guarantor will not be coming with you to Japan, a photocopy of your guarantor’s passport.
Step 2: Choose an accredited travel agency to process your documents.
The Japanese Embassy does not accept direct visa applications. Instead, you have to go to an accredited travel agency who will process your documents for you. The list of agencies below are the only agencies accredited by the Japanese Embassy.
Although a Japanese visa is free, these agencies charge fees for their processing services. The fees included below are for processing tourist visas. For other kinds of visas, check these agencies’ websites.
|Universal Holidays||Php 1,200|
|Discovery Tour||Php 800|
|Rajah Travel||Php 800|
|Reli Tours (This is the one I always use!)||Php 950|
|Attic Tours||Php 1,500|
|Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation||Php 1,200|
|Pan Pacific Travel||Php 1,000|
Step 3: Wait for the results of your application!
Usually, it takes about five to seven business days for the agency to get back to you, but this varies. All three times I’ve applied for a Japanese visa, I heard back from the agency in three to four business days. Either way, you’ll receive a call to let you know that a) your passport with the attached visa is ready for pickup; b) you’ll need to submit additional documents to the Japanese Embassy; or c) your application was denied. Of course, you don’t want to hear that last one, but regarding things like this, I really do believe in the power of positive thinking!
Shit’s been getting real at work, lately.
I love my job. I really, truly feel passionate about the work that I do. But even the most dedicated employee can burn out when they can’t work with the people around them.
I’ve resolved to try and make it work, for the sake of this job. I know I can do good with this organization, and with the unit I’m in. I know I can learn a lot from this position. So I’ve decided to stick it out I’ve made my peace with the fact that I’ll probably have to work with
Satan incarnate someone I don’t get along with, on both a personal and a professional level, but man, it’s really hard.
Universe, give me one big fat-ass shot of inner peace, please.
Last, but not the least…
…I got a haircut. Heh.