JAPAN VISA FOR VISITING FRIENDS OR RELATIVES: Requirements 2018

This guide is for applying for a VISIT VISA. If you’re traveling to Japan as a tourist, we have a separate visa guide for that. Read: Japan Visa Requirements for Tourists

When my sister moved to Japan as an OFW, I found another reason to return to Japan over and over again. Before that, I had only traveled to Japan as a tourist. But now that I have a close relative living there, I no longer have to worry about the accommodations and spend any dough on hotels. (Hotels in Japan are expensive!)

However, the documents needed for visiting a friend or relative is different from those required of tourists. Most travel agencies also charge a slightly higher price for it because it’s a little bit more complicated. But no worries, this visa guide will help you go through the entire visa application process.

Japan Visit Visa Requirements

Below is a list of the documents you need to gather for your visa application. Note that documents that need to be printed out (e.g. application form, itinerary) must be done on an A4-size paper.

  1. Philippine passport. Must have a signature and at least 2 blank pages. Broken passports are not accepted. Must have at least 6-month validity.
  2. A duly accomplished visa application form. Don’t leave any blank. Just put N/A if not applicable. You may download it from here.
  3. ID picture. 4.5cm x 4.5 cm. Write your name and birthdate on the back side. Paste it on the application form.
  4. Birth certificate from PSA. Must be issued within the past one year from PSA Main Office or Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide). If the birth certificate is marked LATE REGISTRATION, you must also submit Baptismal certificate, School Record (Form 137), and School Yearbook (if applicable). The address of the church or school must be indicated in the documents.
  5. Marriage certificate from NSO. Only if you’re married. If not, ignore this one. Must be issued within the past one year from PSA Main Office or Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide).
  6. Daily schedule. Your itinerary in Japan. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Download the format here. Here’s what mine looked like: Sample Japan Itinerary

The list above are just the basic requirements. But there are additional documents needed depending on your relationship to the person you will visit in Japan.

There are two types of visit visas. The first type is for visiting a Close Relative. The other is for visiting a friend or distant relative. The requirements are different.

If Visiting a Close Relative

Emphasis on CLOSE. This applies to close relatives — parent, child, brother, sister, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle. Everything else falls under the distant relative category.

  1. Birth certificates to prove your relationship. Must be issued within the past one year from PSA Main Office or Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide).
    Parent-child – BC of both applicant and relative in Japan
    Siblings – BC of both applicant and relative in Japan
    Aunt/Uncle -> Niece/Nephew – BC of applicant + relative in Japan + parent of relative in Japan.
    Niece/Nephew -> Aunt/Uncle – BC of applicant + parent of applicant + relative in Japan.
  2. Invitation letter from your guarantor. Must be issued within the past 3 months. This must explain why you will be visiting and must have a signature. A template is available right here.
  3. Family Registration Certificate(Koseki Tohon). Only if relative in Japan has a Japanese Spouse or relative. Must be issued within three months. Ignore if not applicable to you.
  4. Residence certificate (Juminhyo) if your guarantor is Japanese OR Foreign Registration Certificate from City Hall if guarantor is not Japanese. Must be issued within the past 3 months.
  5. Copy of Residence Card or Special Permanent Resident certificate of relative in Japan. Copy of both sides must be submitted.

Without Guarantor

If you will shoulder part or all of your trip expenses:

  1. Income tax return (ITR Form 2316). They need a clear photocopy of it.
  2. Bank certificate. Must be issued within the past 3 months. I’m not sure if they require a receipt, but I submitted the receipt too. To be safe, when you get your bank certificate, ask for a receipt too. 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 didn’t encounter any problem.

With Guarantor

If your friend/relative in Japan will sponsor your trip:

  1. Guarantee letter. Must be issued within the past 3 months.
  2. Income Certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho) from City Hall, Tax return certificate (Nouzeishomeisho: Form 2) from Tax office (Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae), OR Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shomeisho). Best if you have all three.

If Visiting a Friend or Distant Relative

Emphasis on distant. If you have friends or relatives in Japan, you may work with one of them. Here’s what they need to give you:

  1. Proof of Relationship. A letter from the person to be visited explaining their relationship to you plus other documents such as pictures, passport copies, etc.
  2. Invitation letter from the person you will visit. This must explain why you will be visiting and must have a signature. Must be issued within the past 3 months.
  3. Residence certificate (Juminhyo) if your guarantor is Japanese OR Foreign Registration Certificate from City Hall if guarantor is not Japanese. Must be issued within the past 3 months.

Without Guarantor

If you will shoulder your trip expenses:

  1. Income tax return (ITR Form 2316). They need a clear photocopy of it.
  2. Bank certificate. Must be issued within the past 3 months. I’m not sure if they require a receipt, but I submitted the receipt too. To be safe, when you get your bank certificate, ask for a receipt too. 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 didn’t encounter any problem.

With Guarantor

If your friend/relative in Japan will sponsor your trip, you may not be required to prove you could afford the trip. The burden shifts to your friend or relative.

  1. Guarantee letter. Must be issued within the past 3 months.
  2. Income Certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho) from City Hall, Tax return certificate (Nouzeishomeisho: Form 2) from Tax office (Kakuteishinkokusho Hikae), OR Bank Certificate (Yokin Zandaka Shomeisho). Best if you have all three.

Again, documents to be printed out must be done on an A4-size paper. Other sizes will not be accepted.

All birth certificates must be issued within the past year by PSA Main Office or Serbilis Center.

How to Apply for a Japan Visit Visa

  1. Complete the requirements.
  2. Submit the documents to an accredited travel agency. Unless summoned by the Japanese Embassy, you can’t apply directly at the embassy. You MUST course it though an agency. My go-to agency is Reli Tours for the only reason that it is the one closest to my home. Check out the list of accredited agencies here.
  3. Pay the processing fee. The actual visa is FREE, but you will need to pay the agency that will process your application. The cost of processing a visit visa is much higher than a tourist visa. Every agency charges a different amount, but it’s usually somewhere around P2000.

That’s about it. After the agency accepts your application, the only thing you can do is wait. It takes 3-5 days, sometimes shorter, sometimes much longer. My most recent application took only 2 days. Some of our readers had to wait 7 days. You can’t really tell. Just wait for a message from your agency.

When the embassy returns your passport to the agency, you should receive a message from the agency telling you to pick it up or that they’re sending it to you, depending on your prior arrangement with them.

If it has a visa affixed to it, congratulations! If there is no visa, then your application is denied.

Frequently Asked Questions (with Answers)

How to renew a Japan visa?

The process is still the same. The only difference is you don’t need to submit a birth certificate and marriage certificate. But you will need to submit the passport with your old visas.

2. How to apply for a multiple-entry visa?

We also have a dedicated post for that. You’ll find that here: Multiple-Entry Japan Visa

Do I really need a travel agency to apply? Can’t I apply on my own?

Yes, you need a travel agency. Unless it’s a special case, all visa applications must be coursed through any of their accredited travel agencies.

Are flight and hotel bookings required to apply?

No. It’s not a requirement. And it’s not advisable. However, on the application form, you will have to write down the specific FLIGHT NUMBER and HOTEL ADDRESS you wish to take.

How long does it take to process the application?

It varies. My first time, 5 working days. Second time, 2 days. Then on my third and fourth times, 7 days and 2 days respectively.

I know people who have waited weeks for theirs. Pretty hard to tell.

How long is the validity of the visa?

Single entry visas are usually valid for a stay no longer than 15 days, and the visa is valid for 90 days (3 months) upon issue. So for example, your visa is issued in January 1, you can enter Japan any time between January 1 and March 31, but once you enter, you can stay for only 15 days maximum.

Multiple-entry visas will allow you to stay for 15 or 30 days, depending on what is given to you. But it’s usually valid for 5 years.

How much money should I have in the bank to get approved?

We answered that and more frequently asked questions here:

More Japan FAQs


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Yoshke Dimen

Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi! Ask ko lang if saan kayo nag apply? Then sure ba yon na 2 days lang processing? Thank you!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Reli Tours kami nag-aapply. And nope, like I said in the post, you can’t tell kung 2 days or 3 days or 5 days. Depende yan sa case mo.

    • Laura Marijana Donato says:

      Hi i sm holding Indondian passport , married to filipino , have permanent residence in the philippine , do i need visa going to japan ? Thank you

  2. Kangyou says:

    Hi Yoshke

    I’m living in Japan and will be the guarantor when my friend visit me. I wonder about those documents I provide, like proof of relationship, should be written in English or Japanese?

    Thanks.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Kangyou, the embassy provides both Japanese and English copies of the documents, so I guess either is accepted. 🙂 My sister usually submits the English version, though.

  3. Liz says:

    Hello po..ask lang if with guarantor ano need na docs pagdating sa immigration..i’m traveling with my daughter and full time mom ako. Thank you

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Liz, nasa post yung requirements kapag may guarantor. Pabasa na lang po.

  4. Liz says:

    What type of visa po kinuha nyo? With guarantor po ba kayo? Im planning to visit japan soon.. wala akong itr kasi unemployed nako pero may bank account ako. My fiance is in japan as a trainee plan namin na magstay sa apartment nya para makasave. Any suggestion po what reqts need ko and sa baby namin.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      If may guarantor, you don’t need to submit your ITR. But you need to submit yung docs needed from your guarantor, as listed in the post.

  5. Madhavan says:

    Hi i am planning to bring my mother to Japan, i will be guarantor. My passport reads mothers name as “Santhi”(applied long back), whereas my mothers passport reads “Santhalakshmi”. will this be a issue. Please advise.

  6. Abs says:

    Good day!
    Ask ko lang po, my sister is on a student visa in Japan, and im applying for tourist visa and i will be paying for all expenses. Should i declare her as sponsor without her bank details and provide only her residence info? Thank you very much for your response! 🙂

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Abs, if you’re applying for a tourist visa, it would be best to just indicate a hotel and hotel address. If you’re applying for a VISIT VISA, provide her residence info.

  7. Kate says:

    Hi, ano po ang mas ok i-apply, tourist or relative visa? malaki po ba ang difference nila 2?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      If you’re staying in a friend’s or relative’s house, best to apply as someone visiting someone in Japan.

      If you’re staying in a hotel, best to apply as a tourist to avoid complicating your application.

  8. Tin Reyes says:

    Hello, just want to ask possible ba to apply for visiting a relative kung wala pang one year relative sa Japan? Wala pa kasing tax return certificate yun, right? Thanks.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Tin! Possible. The first time I visited my sister in Tokyo, wala pa rin siyang 1 year. Naka- OR naman ‘yun. Just provide the other docs instead.

  9. Nina says:

    Hi! Do you have any ideas on why is the processing taking too long? My sister and I applied for a “Visit Relative Visa” for 90 days as we are invited by our Japanese stepfather (guarantor) and our mother who’s a permanent resident there, and it’s been a total of 45 working days since our application which was way back in April 2. It’s my first time to travel in Japan and it will be the third time for my sister.

    Sorry for the long message, and thank you!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Nina, sorry, we have no idea. 🙁 Have you tried asking the agency that processed your application? What did they say?

      • Nina says:

        Well, we just called the embassy last Friday and they said that it’s still processing. It’s giving me the benefit of the doubt that maybe there’s a problem with our papers? (but they’re not calling or emailing us about it) or is it because we applied for 90 days? I’ve known a lot of people that applied for a 90-day visa, but got theirs just in 15 days or less. Also, we didn’t applied for a multiple-entry visa. I don’t know why is it taking too long.

        Do you think that our applications will get denied? BTW, thank you so much for replying!

        • Yoshke Dimen says:

          Hi Nina, I really have no idea. I guess you’re just gonna have to wait.

          • Nina says:

            I just got the result today-

            and it’s denied. Wow. Total of 51 days waiting for nothing. I wonder why it took too long if the verdict would be denied anyway where in fact they could have just sent it back to us like days or a week after applying. It’s very torturing and unproductive, tbh.

  10. Shiela says:

    Hi po.. Tanong lang kung kailangan po bang original/pwedeng scanned copy ung requirements ng relative sa japan (ex. Guarantee letter, invitation letter, etc.)? I don’t need her as guarantor but I intended to stay in her apartment in the course of my travel. Better ba kung mag book na lang ako ng hotel and apply for tourist visa then cancel the booking later on if approved/ should I really apply for visa as Visit a Relative (medyo hassel kasi ung additional requirements)? Thank you 🙂

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Shiela, not sure if pwede ang scanned copy. Di ko pa natry na scanned. Parating original ang sinusubmit ko (except ung residence card).

      If ikaw sasagot, you don’t need a guarantee letter. You just need an invitation letter and the others listed above na nag-aapply sa contact mo dun.

      If you apply as a tourist naman, you don’t need to book or reserve a hotel. You just need the name, address and contact number of the hotel you intend to stay in. Di kailangan ng actual booking. If you’re employed and have the means naman, mas madali talaga mag-apply as a tourist.

  11. Shiela says:

    Thanks for the reply. 🙂

    I’m scared to be denied if I apply for a tourist visa since this is my first international travel and it would look as if I’m travelling alone (I’ve heard that some people are denied because of that, is that true?). In addition, if ever I’ll be denied for a tourist visa can I then apply for
    a visa for visiting a relative immediately or the 6 months waiting period still applies?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Shiela, as far as i know, the 6 months rule will still apply.

      Regarding traveling alone: I have friends who applied before and they traveled alone. Wala namang problem. I think as long as okay naman and pasado sa kanila yung mga requirements, okay lang. Although, mas malaki talaga ang chance if may travel history ka na.

  12. Rayven says:

    Hello po, Me & my mom are planning to travel in japan, my mom has friend there that going to sponsored our trip. I will ask lang po kung possible po ba yun na dalawa kami ng mom ko sa isang sponsor? Magkahiwalay po ba kami ng application since I’m a student? Need po ba ng ITR & Bank Certificate of my mom for me? My mom been there already but still di pa rin niya po kasi kabisado yung patakaran. Thank you & God bless, sorry for a lot of questions.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      I will ask lang po kung possible po ba yun na dalawa kami ng mom ko sa isang sponsor?
      —— Yes, pwedeng isang sponsor lang.

      Need po ba ng ITR & Bank Certificate of my mom for me?
      —– If may guarantor, di na provided na masubmit yung requirements na kailangan from guarantor. Pabasa na lang sa taas.

  13. NEDDE P SEO says:

    Hi po may anak po akong 2 sa x japanese husband they are both japanese.. we are planning to go back in japan soon ano po ang kailangan na requiremnts for me? Coz my daughters they have japanese passport… for me as a mother what is d requiremnts?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi! Naku, hindi po namin alam kapag ganyan. Best to just contact an accredited agency directly.

  14. gajer muksan says:

    hi po tanong lang sa travale agency po ba kpag nag aply ka ng visit visa sa japan ikaw po ba mag decide kung ilang month or days ang stay mu sa japan

    thank you po

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Yep, ikaw ang magsasabi kung ilang days ang plano mo. But depende sa embassy kung iaaapprove nila based sa documents (funds/employment/etc) na isusubmit mo.

  15. Anne bee says:

    Hello po galing po akong japan last may 24 at umuwi ako nong june 4 nabigyan po ako ng 15 days visa . May nag guarantor po sa aken yong fiancee ko. Plano po namin ulit mag apply ulit ng 90 days next month July po. Sa tingin nyo po okay lang po ba mag apply ulit after 1 month? 90 days. Di po ba ma de denied yon? Salamat pi sa sasagot 🙂

  16. Dana Lee says:

    Hi, I want to apply for single entry visa to Japan. I have a guarantee who pay for my trip but how much should I deposit in to my bank account? Thank you

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      If you have a guarantor, you don’t need to submit your own bank account. Just submit the docs needed from your guarantor as listed above.

  17. OJ says:

    Hi,

    I have been reading this thread over and over and it is really helpful. I have a question, though. I am currently applying for the 90-day visa (visiting relatives) as my sister got birth last March and they asked for help; pareho kasing nag-wowork siya and her husband. The reason behind why they need me there is to take care of their kid/ child care purposes. What are the normal questions pag nag-aaply ka nang 90-day visa? Thanks,

  18. RM says:

    Hi Yoshke,
    My friend (Filipino) plans to go to Japan with a sponsor visa from a Japanese friend. Would you know if it’s possible and allowed to look for a job there (if lucky) at the same time? Do you know someone who had experienced such case? Thank you.

  19. Marevil says:

    Hello po…sa proof of relationship po what type of docs is needed? Thank you

  20. Danica M Eugenio says:

    Hi sir,

    Ask ko lang po kasi pareho tayo ng situation. I have also a sister who is residing in Japan. My trip will not be sponsored by her. Ask ko lang po sa application form may nakalagay na guarantor and invinter.

    Ilalagay ko po ba sa guarantor N/A

    Tapos sa inviter siya?

    Thanks po.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Danica, di ko na matandaan yung ginawa ko. Haha. Sorry. 😛

      Since madali lang naman ifill out, i-blank mo na lang muna tapos i-ask mo na lang sa agency kung saan ka mag-aapply to be sure.

  21. hyacinth says:

    hi,
    ask ko lng is there any possibilities na ma denie ung application mo kung mlmn nilang naging tnt ka before… but it almost 7 yrs ago when they sent us home.
    Thank you

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