Last year, I booked some almost piso fare Cebu Pacific tickets going to Japan (Well, I missed the piso fare but considering the price, it was still cheap by Philippine-Japan fare standards).
It’s been a long dream of mine but considering that at the time Japan was one of the hardest visas to get and we were not financially capable, I scrapped the idea. It was only last year, as my real graduation gift, did I have the courage to book the tickets. By the way, it was only the base fare so no luggage, meals and etc.
This would be my first time applying for a country with a Visa.
I’m scheduled to leave next month but my requirements were still not complete so it took me until this February to prepare everything (plus I was pretty uncertain whether this trip would push thru).
I applied for the Tourist 1-B without guarantor. The requirements requested by the agency/embassy were:
1) Philippine Passport
(Broken Lamination of the Photo part is not accepted)
(Must have Signature and have at least 2 blank pages)
Probably the easiest requirement to fulfill. I just had my Passport renewed last December 2015 so my passport is pretty new. I went to Hong Kong and Thailand last year so I have some stamps in my passport.
2) Visa Application Form
I actually downloaded the form the agency’s website but was asked to re-do my application because my printer didn’t print out some information. So, the agency has a lot of Visa Application Form and you can just fill up when you get there.
3) Photo 2×2
I had my picture taken when I had to get my mother’s and brother’s picture from the studio, it was 85php for 6 pieces of Japanese VISA accepted photograph.
4) NSO Birth Certificate
The first one I got was the NSO birth certificate, the convenience of ordering online. The actual cost of the birth certificate was only 140php but the actual cost of everything was 350php. Considering that the courier was Air 21, the real cost should be way lower but it’s not like there are other convenient ways to order the birth certificate online. After paying online, it took me 2-3 days before I got it.
I got a new one since I read somewhere the birth certificate needs to be issued within one year of application.
5) Marriage Contract (if Married)
Not married so I will not be going through this section.
6) Daily Schedule in Japan
I went to look for the template at the agency’s site but I just copied how it looked like and replicated it in a word file since the spacing is small. My schedule is pretty incoherent so I will not be posting it here.
7) BANK Certificate (must be issued within 3 months)
I went to my main BDO branch where I have an account. I requested for a bank certificate copy and I specifically remembered asking that it should be an official document with their logo. I’m not sure if the one I’ve submitted is correct since there was no format stated. I paid 200php for this because I requested for 2 of my savings account. I got it on the same day.
I’m also a bit worried about this since the bank accounts I’ve showed were newly opened (November 2016) and it’s just February 2017. Anyway, the money inside was moving and it was the accounts with actual money so no choice but to take a risk.
***Additionally, I submitted me and mom’s COL Financial Stock Certificate. It cost me 100php and was opting to get the official delivered one. The delivery charge was 200php and I can’t imagine spending an amount that high for a paper I can print (or for something I’m not sure would help my application). I submitted this just because I have one and if it would help the visa application then all the best.
I was a worried that the money I submitted wasn’t enough so I included the stock certificate.
8) Income Tax Return Copy (Form 2316 in BIR)
The most stressful requirement out of all.
The Income Tax Return, I really wished I had one to have a better chance of getting a 15 day tourist visa but I really didn’t have one. It was the most limiting factor for me. I still took the chance and read that an letter of explanation would be accepted.
I wrote an Explanation letter (I limited it to one page and handwritten the letter) and wrote the reason why I wasn’t able to produce a ITR.
9) Guarantee Letter – Embassy Format (If Applicable)
Additional documents submitted
I also submitted a copy of my e-ticket and my booking confirmation since there wasn’t a note that didn’t allow it.
I chose to submit the requirement to Reli Tours at Lucky Chinatown because it was the nearest Japanese accredited agency from my house. I arrived with no line waiting for me.
There was really not much to talk about since I practically submitted “complete” documents. I just had to rewrite my visa application form because my printer didn’t print out the embassy’s address space and some important notice.
I paid 950php for the visa processing fee and was reminded of some important details. The whole process probably took me 15 minutes.
Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best result.
Why did I choose to risk it?
Simply because the total cost I’ve spent is small compared to buying a regular priced ticket to Japan.
I wasn’t even sure if I could go in the first place because what if I’m employed at that time? Being unemployed is quite disheartening but I’m just accepting it as a okay to go to Japan and take time off. My unemployment really did never give me a peace of mind like how some other people cope with it.
Roundtrip ticket- 3905.79php
NSO Birth Certificate- 350php
BDO Bank Certificate- 200php (100php only but I requested for certificates for 2 bank accounts)
COL Stock Certificate- 100php
A4 paper- 20.75php I went out to buy the A4 early morning. Little did I know that I would have to rewrite my application and they had tons of visa application paper.
Visa Application fee- 950php
TOTAL DAMAGE : 5611.54php
Why was I worried?
I’m a single, unemployed, and a solo female traveler. Big x’s in their realm. I just took the risk. In fact, I wasn’t confident that I can take this trip. On the assumption that I was employed by this time, this time would be only the time when I would be finishing the 6 month probation from the company. But unfortunately or fortunately I was still not employed so I’m able to take this trip. In fact, I have 2 un-matching feelings within me. I do admit that I need to rest and relax and I hope this trip would enable me to.
Big credits to itravelrox for her tremendous help in the Japanese Visa application. Her posts were mainly my guide for the requirements in my application process. I have to thank other bloggers as well who wrote a guide since I probably took some pointers from your posts.