Unlike US Visa, Japan Visa doesn’t require personal interview; therefore, Consul Office will purely base on the documents that you will surrender. Based from my experience, travel history, evidence of return, and good financial status are the most important criteria that Consul considers when entering Japan.
How much money in your bank certificate or “show money” should you submit?
Japan Tourist Visa allows you to stay in Japan for maximum of 15 days only and single entry. Having a fat bank account does not guarantee your application be instantly approved. Be realistic when submitting your bank certificate, if you plan to stay there for 2 weeks, having a Php 500,000 to 900,000 in your bank account is quite not valid if you are single and a regular employee. A reasonable bank account of Php 100,000 to 120,000 is convincing enough for a 2-week stay in Japan.
Meanwhile, I have read (one of the travel forums) that some applicants with Php 50,000 to 90,000 bank account were approved given their plan of stay is 1 week with 1-week itinerary.
The monthly average balance of your account is also shown in the bank certificate, so putting an immediate large amount of money in just one day is a bad idea.
Having sufficient passport stamps is very helpful. It will serve as your decent evidence showing that you were returning back to your country in every travels. Remember, convince the Consul that you will return to the Philippines.
In my case, I have traveled to: Singapore (2x), Macau (2x), and HK. It is important to have everything ready so that you can successfully look at Hong Kong hotels, book a few nights and not have to worry about canceling or pay extra fees due to a passport not having enough stamps. Remember, convince the Consul that you will return to the Philippines after your trip.
Evidence of return
From my experience, I felt that a Certificate of Employment and passport stamps were my heaviest evidence of return. Gathering tips from other people who have traveled Japan, some of them said that CoE is a great evidence of your bond in the Philippines; I find that very exaggerated though.
Moving forward, having booked flight tickets will not guarantee your visa approval. So, do not book flight tickets prior to your visa application. Obviously, it’s a pain when you found out that your application was not approved.
Handwriting in the Visa Application Form
While waiting to be called by the staff in the agency to submit the requirements, a lady waiting in line tapped my shoulder and noticed my erasures in the application form. She informed me to repeat filling out the form and avoid erasures. I asked why, and she only said it will be nice if my application form is neat as well.
So if you weren’t able to download and print the Visa Application form and decided to just get one through the accredited agency, I recommend that you write neatly and in all block letters when filling out.
Complete all requirements and submit originals.
Just submit complete requirements. Good luck on your application! You can also read this link for baby steps on how get Japan Tourist Visa.
This post was inspired from magnetic-rose, I have been reading her blog a lot about tips on getting Japan Visa, and mine got approved after 2 business days!
Updated as of August 01, 2012