Monday, February 9, 2015

How to Sponsor a Japanese Tourist Visa

sample of a Japanese tourist visa
For foreign residents in Japan who want to invite their families and friends, here's how to help them obtain a tourist or short-stay visa. 

NOTE: Check first the List of Countries with Visa Exemption. If you're family or friend is not exempted, then read the rest of this post. 

1. Send the following documents to your family or friend who plans to visit Japan: 

Note: The visa applicant should be the one to submit these documents to the Japanese embassy. 

a. Residence Certificate 
This is a certificate stating that you're living in Japan. You can get it from the City Office where your residency is filed. Last year, it costs about 500 Yen. You can get it in less than 10 minutes. 

In Hamamatsu, there's a machine that prints this certificate. It's located inside the Entetsu supermarket at the Hamamatsu Station.

b. Tax Certificate or Bank Certificate
These certificates are proofs that you can financially support your visitor. The tax certificate can be obtained from the city office just like the residence certificate. Request the bank certificate from your own bank. This also costs 500 Yen and takes a few minutes to get.

c. Letter of Reason of Invitation or  Letter of Guarantee
This a form that the sponsor should fill out. You just have to state some information about you, about the person you're inviting and why you're inviting that person. Explain your reasons as detailed as possible. The letter of guarantee is an additional document for those who plan to financially sponsor their guests. 

Download these letters here: 

d. Schedule of Stay
This is a general outline of your guests' activities in Japan. Make sure that the activities match your finances if you're the guarantor. 

You can download the document here: Schedule of Stay

e. Photocopy of Residence Cards and Passport 
Give copies of the front and back portion of your residence card. Photocopy the information page of your passport and the page with your Japanese visa stamps. 

2. Ask your visiting family or friend to prepare the following documents: 

a. Employment Certificate/ Letter of Self-Employment or Unemployment/ School Registration Certificate
If your guest is an employee, he should submit an employment certificate. 
If your guest is self-employed or unemployed, he should write a letter addressed to the Ambassador or Consul General of Japan explaining why he can't submit a certificate of employment. 
If your guest is a student, he should submit a school registration certificate. If it's vacation, the previous school year's registration may be accepted.

b. Bank Certificate/ ITR
If you will not act as a guarantor of your guest, your guest should provide proofs that he can support his stay in Japan. 

c. Visa Application Form 
Your guest should fill out the visa application form and paste a 2x2 photo. 

Download the visa application form:  Japanese Visa Application 

d. Other documents: Passport, Birth Certificate and Pictures
If you're inviting a family member, he should prepare a birth certificate that would certify that you are related. If you're inviting a friend, prints a few pictures that would show you knew each other. 
Submit your passport together with all the documents. 

3. Submit the application and all the documents to the Japanese Embassy

After completing all the documents, the visa applicant should submit all the documents in the Japanese Embassy in the country of your residence or country of birth. 

Check here for the list of Japanese consulate all over the world: Japanese Consulate List

It takes about 5 working days to process a visa application. However, allot at 7 to 10 days just in case the Embassy might request an additional requirements. 

A processing fee of 3,000 Yen  and 6,000 should also be paid for a single entry visa and  a multiple entry visa respectively. 

NOTE!!! The Japanese Embassy in the Philippines does not accept visa applications from individuals. People should submit their applications to an accredited agency. Here's a list of Philippine agencies accredited by the Japanese embassy. List of Accredited Agencies

4. Wait for the approval (or rejection)

At this point, there's really nothing to do anymore except to wait for the result of  the visa application.
If the application is approved, your guest should go to Japan within 3 months of the visa issuance. 
If the application is rejected, your guest should wait for 6 months before reapplying with updated documents. 

Good luck in the application!

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