I’ll be straightforward here and let you know what I did to get that Japan Visa approved 🙂 I am a Philippine Passport Holder.
As with the title, this only applies to those who are currently living in Hong Kong who needs to have a visa before visiting Japan.
Early heads up, technically, you can go directly to the below website in order to know the specific steps:
However, I still want to share with you the things I did and presented for visa processing in order to get my visa approved. Note that it was my first time to apply for a Japan Visa. Hope my guide and tips will be helpful! I’ll also answer in advance some Frequently Asked Questions at the end of this blog.
Step 1: Complete all your documents
Here’s the list of documents that I’ve passed, I’m dividing them into 2 sections:
SECTION 1: the REQUIRED
1. Japan Visa Application Form with pasted 2×2 coloured photograph
direct download: http://www.hk.emb-japan.go.jp/eng/docs/2012_en_visaform.pdf
2. Original and photocopy of Passport (front and back)
3. Original and photocopy of HK ID card (front and back)
4. Printed bank statement transactions in the past 3 months
SECTION 2: the SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS that may or may not be required but presenting them gives you a higher chance of visa issuance
1. Letter of employment from my company. Here’s the format I asked our HR officer to follow:
2. Printed roundtrip airfare ticket
3. Printed confirmed hotel of stay
Step 2: Book an online appointment
DO NOT go directly to the Japan Consulate (unless it is for diplomatic or humanitarian matters), chances are, you will not be entertained.
It is now part of their process to book online for an appointment.
This is the official direct link: https://online.vfsglobal.com/Global-Appointment/Account/RegisteredLogin?q=shSA0YnE4pLF9Xzwon/x/GeE86kVPpXUbBoQmFxbFZydaN+4Dp4AFJH+Sqm+0bNkPFESbzLn9xqqzsr0aE7SAA==
Here’s what to do
- Register with your email + password you will not forget
- Once in the home page, click on “Schedule Appointment”
- Choose a date and time
- Check you email inbox 🙂
Successful appointment means that you should be able to receive an email confirmation from them. So check your email to ensure they have confirmed.
Step 3: Show up to your scheduled appointment and pass all the documents.
As the title implies, just show up to the embassy at least 15 minutes before your appointment. You don’t really need to do anything except to pass all the requirement. They will provide you a claim ticket and all you need to do afterwards is to wait for their email if your passport is good to claim.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I’m trying to preempt possible questions you may ask so here it is. Leave me a comment if you have further questions and I’ll try to answer them and, likely update my blog.
How long do I need to wait for the processed visa? (and can it be shortened?)
Answer is approximately 3-5 working days as long as you have the completed document. The earliest is 3 days, I think. Shorter than that, I am not sure if they have special cases to consider.
How do I know if I can claim my passport?
They will send you an email. SO better check your inbox after 3-5 days. You can also check the status in the below link, once you log in:
What if the passport is going to be expired at the same year?
Ok, This is tricky BUT make sure your passport is not going to be expired in the next 3 months. Try at least 6-8 months validity before expiration.
Do you need to present other documents?
Yes, you could present other documents as below, if you have them:
1. itinerary plan. You can use the below format:
2. Letter of Guarantee (if you know any Japanese Citizen friend or relative)
3. Letter of Guarantee (for Domestic helpers)
Do you need to print their confirmation email voucher?
Not necessary. I didn’t print mine BUT I made sure that I saved it in my phone by screen capturing the code. When I got to the visa center, they just looked for my name in the list since I have prebooked online.
Do you need to have a confirmed air ticket and accommodation already?
Frankly, i wasn’t sure if they will issue me a visa but I already booked my flight and hotel in advance :). I guess, presenting these documents also shows them a guarantee that I will be back in HK and will just really go there for a tour.
Is it necessary to provide bank statement in the past 3 months?
Yes, it is. You’ll have a higher chance to have your visa approved.
How much should be in you bank account (aka “show money)?
This one I can’t really specify the exact amount because I don’t know either (honestly) BUT as long as you have enough to cover for your expenses, that should be fine. Try to calculate the potential expenses that you may have (hotel, food, airfare expense, allowance, etc).
How much did you pay?
I paid 275 HKD for the visa processing fee (single entry).
What time do you need to be there?
Be there AT LEAST 15 minutes before your appointment time. My appointment back then was 8:30AM. I got there 8:15 and I got the 1st ticket. YES, they issue a ticket upon arrival so if you are booked 8:30AM, you are not the only one who has booked that time. They have many counters though, but it still is a first come first serve basis within the timeframe batch you have chosen.
Did they ask you questions?
The only question they asked me was if the bank statements I printed is the original version from the bank. I responded that I just printed from online banking. They said it’s ok, they don’t need the original. IMPORTANT NOTE: Print all the pages of your bank statement. This means that if online, it says there are 5 pages, print all 5 pages. Don’t ask any further, just print all 🙂
Can you apply for multiple entry?
I asked this and the officer said that they usually issue multiple entry for business travelers BUT no harm in trying. You would need to provide a letter addressed to the consulate general and state your reasons why you are applying for multiple entry 🙂 As for the fee, better ask the officer if there is extra payment.
There you go! Leave your comments below and let’s help each other . If you have other tips, still submit it as a comment. It’ll be a valuable contribution for everyone!