Just the other day, I received my fourth Japan visa, my second multiple-entry visa. This time, valid for the next five years. I didn’t even ask for it.
The truth is, the Japanese Embassy has been lenient when it comes to letting Filipino tourists over the last few years. It’s not as difficult as before. Processes have been streamlined, rules relaxed, and requirements reduced in an effort to boost tourism.
In fact, they have been handing returning tourists MULTIPLE-ENTRY visas even when they’re not asking for it. That’s what happened to me twice.
So does that mean that you should expect a multiple-entry visa if it’s not your first time? NOPE, not necessarily.
My third Japan visa was singe-entry! My fourth, the one I just got a few days ago, was multiple-entry. It’s erratic like that. Clearly, they base it on many factors, which is why, if you’re gunning for a multiple-entry visa and you can’t leave anything to chance, you have to do the application right. I asked the agency that processed my visa for the requirements and procedure and here they are.
In case it’s not clear yet: This post is for tourists holding a Philippine passport, applying in Manila. Rules may be different in other cities and for other nationalities.
1. Determine if you are eligible.
Below is a form provided by the Japanese Embassy, enumerating the types of multiple-entry visas and corresponding eligibility requirements. If you meet any of the following criteria, you may request for one.schengen-visa-france-itinerary
Most people will fall under the first category, so let me highlight that for you:
Multiple visa for tourist.
- A person who has travelled to Japan as temporary visitor within the last three years and has financial capability to support his/her trip.
- A person who has travelled to Japan as temporary visitor within the last three years and has travelled as temporary visitor to G7 countries (excluding Japan) several times within the last three years.
- A person who has highly sufficient financial capacity.
- Immediate family members (Spouse/Child) of the person who has highly sufficient financial capacity.
2. Complete the requirements.
The documents required for a multiple-entry visa are basically the same as for single-entry. There’s only one addition: the form above! So here’s a checklist for those visiting as TOURIST, (which means you won’t be visiting a friend or a relative, and you’re staying at a hotel):
- Philippine passport. Must have a signature and at least 2 blank pages.
- A duly accomplished visa application form. Don’t leave any blank. Just put N/A if not applicable. You may download it from here. Use A4 paper when you print it out.
- ID picture. 4.5cm x 4.5 cm. Paste it on the application form.
- Birth certificate from NSO. Must be issued within the past one year.
- Marriage certificate from NSO. Only if you’re married.
- Daily schedule. Your itinerary in Japan. Download the format here.
- Income tax return (ITR) Form 2316 . If you don’t have a current ITR because you’re new at your job or you’re working abroad or whatever, you can provide copies of invoice or payslip or other tax forms along with a letter explaining why you can’t provide this.
- Bank certificate. Must be issued within the past 3 months. There’s no telling how big a fund is “enough” to get approved, but (in case you’re wondering) my account had only a bit north of P100,000. I planned on staying for a week. I also have a friend who applied for a 5-day stay with only P50,000 in the bank. Hers got approved, too.
If you’re applying to visit family or friends, you can find the list of requirements here: Japan Visa Requirements.
3. Accomplish the Multiple Entry Form.
You can download a copy here.
At the bottom of the form, you’ll find a box where you will be asked to explain why you need a multiple-entry visa. If you feel like it’s not enough space for your explanation, you can use an extra sheet. Better yet, just provide an explanation letter.
4. Submit via an Accredited Travel Agency.
Currently, there are seven (7) accredited travel agencies. They all charge different rates for the processing of the visa, but it’s somewhere between P800 and P1800. Some are stricter than others, too.
You can find the list of agencies and their office addresses here: Japan Visa Agencies
5. Wait for your visa.
Travel agencies say it usually takes 5-7 working days, but it is often shorter than that. I got my first and second muliple-entry visas after only 2 days. One of our readers said she got hers after 3 weeks. I guess you can never really tell.
Just to manage expectations: Just because you applied for a multiple-entry visa doesn’t mean you will be given exactly that. There’s still a chance that you will be granted a single-entry or a double-entry visa or your application will be denied. It is still at the sole discretion of the Embassy.
That’s about it! Good luck!
For more info, read this: Japan Visa Frequently Asked Questions (with Answers)