JAPAN TRAVEL TIPS

APPLYING FOR A JAPAN VISA WHILE ON A GAP YEAR

March 20, 2017

This post marks the start of my Japan travel series because *drum roll please* I’m going to Japan this April! It’s such a dream come true for me because I’ve always wanted to visit. It’s so timely because when my mom went there last year, she said that she was going to visit again the following year because she was too early for the Sakura season when she went. I told her that I want to go with her, and surprisingly, she agreed. She’s not one to always say yes to my plans without me having to earn it so her approval came as quite a shock to me. Lol. So the first step for me to be able to see a cherry blossom tree is to get a Japan visa.

I was scared to death to apply for one because of the following reasons: 1) I’m not quite sure about what I should really submit, 2) my bank account’s balance is practically non-existent, and 3) I’m unemployed and although I’m going to med school, 4) I’m not going to be in school until August at the latest. Can you feel my struggle? I was basically unemployed but my mom told me to just go ahead and fill out an application form because I still have a pretty good chance of being approved for a single-entry visa at the very least.

What I submitted:

1. An accomplished Visa application form (downloadable here). My mom made me write “Student” as my occupation. I asked her if I should write a cover letter explaining why I won’t be able to submit a proof of enrollment just yet and she told me that I didn’t have to (so I didn’t). And since my mom already has her multiple entry visa, she made me put her up as my guarantor.

2. Original birth certificate. Let me just air out my frustration regarding why our birth certificates apparently has an expiration date now? I mean, just why?

3. Visa pictures. 4.5 x 4.5 with a white background. You don’t have to wear a collared shirt but I still did anyway.

4. Bank statement showing your bank activity for three months. I used my dad’s account to further my cause that I’m still a dependent. Lol. The embassy requested for my dad to submit a cover letter allowing my mom to be my guardian in Japan.

That’s it! I still can’t quite believe that those are all it took for my visa to be approved. I was thinking it would be quite difficult because I’m not a minor anymore and I’m currently unemployed. I guess a contributing factor was that they granted my mom a multiple-entry visa, and that my dad has a good bank account standing. More than anything, you really just have to prove to them that you have a reason to go back to the Philippines and won’t become an illegal immigrant.

My cousin’s traveling with me and my mom and she’s already working so she had to submit her latest Income Tax Return statement. She only had the one for 2015, so she wrote a cover letter explaining why she won’t be able to provide the one for 2016. She also submitted a Certificate of Employment that included the months/years she’s been with the company and her compensation details.

For the full list of requirements on applying for a Japan visa (and the list of types of Japan visa you can apply for), here’s the link to their embassy: Visa/Consular Services: Embassy of Japan in the Philippines | Note: You can only submit your application through their accredited agencies [Full list of accredited agencies]. The Japan Embassy does not collect visa fees, however, travel agencies charge a visa processing fee. Here’s a link to all the information that you need to know before applying for a visa: General Information.

I can’t wait to visit the Land of the Rising Sun! I’m so excited to see the cherry blossoms (I hope they would still be in full bloom by the time we get there!), go to Tokyo Disney Sea, visit Universal Studios in Osaka, see different shrines, temples, and castles, eat authentic Japanese food, see Mt. Fuji, and experience spring! Also excited for the new content it would bring for my blog. Lol.

Are you planning on visiting Japan, too? 🙂

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4 Comments

  • Reply Angelica March 20, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Happy for you Pia! I want to visit Japan too but I don’t have some company yet. 😐 Moreover, no money yet huhu. Excited for your japan blog posts yay!:D

    • Reply Pia March 20, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Thanks, Angelica! Hope you get to visit Japan too, just keep your eyes peeled for promo fares. 🙂

  • Reply Rejoyce Canaynay March 23, 2017 at 4:36 am

    I’m excited for you to see the Land of the rising Sun. I went there last summer and I did enjoy it super. Hahaha! Hope I could go back tapos cherry blossom season din. But never the less, any season is always good. You can check my blog if you want to see the places I’ve visited there. Hehehe!

    love,
    rej | rejcanaynay.com

    • Reply Pia March 23, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      I’m super stoked! I hope the cherry blossoms would still be in full bloom by the time we get there, huhu! Thank you, Rej. Will check out your blog to help with our itinerary. 😀

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