Thursday, June 27, 2013

Is Japan visa-free for Filipinos, Thais and Malaysians?

Back in the day, it's ridiculously difficult for the average Filipino to secure a multiple entry visa to Japan. And if he did, the application process was tedious.

photo courtesy: Kokoro No Sashin Creative Commons

Multiple entry Japan visas were only issued to a select few:  businessmen, specialists, doctors, lawyers, prominent artists and athletes. That leaves the ordinary Pinoy backpacker sort of out in the cold. 

Today, doing the rounds in social media is the news that the Government of Japan has relaxed the issuance of visas to citizens in ASEAN-member countries. Among the ASEAN member countries, it used to be only Singapore and Brunei passport-holders can enter Japan without visas. Beginning July 1, The Embassy of Japan will include in its list Thailand and Malaysia (ordinary IC) passport-holders as visa-free.

How about the visa for a Philippine passport-holder? The answer: not really or not yet (for the eternal optimists). There is no truth that Japan visa has been waived for the Pinoys.

For Filipino citizens, the Embassy of Japan has relaxed visa rules beginning July 1st. The average Pinoy will now be issued multiply entry visas for short-term stay subject to "certain conditions." What exactly are these "certain conditions?" Here lies the answers from the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

The multiple entry visa will allow Filipinos to stay in Japan for a period of 15 days and the visa will be valid for 3 years.

photo courtesy:  Kokoro No Sashin Creative Commons

The next question would be: How easy is it to get a Japan visa? Filipino backpacker Benj Espina who went to Japan a couple of weeks back says that it is very easy to get a Japan visa:
  • Book a ticket. 
  • Fill out the form. 
  • Finalize an itinerary. 
  • Get a bank certificate and birth certificate. 
  • Pay Php1,200 (agency fee)
  • Wait for 3 days. 
  • Done.
Easy does it, indeed. Now, let me brush up on my Nihonggo. Time to visit the country of the most admired race in the world (for me)! I can't hold long enough this undying curiosity about Japanese art, fashion, architecture and all else in between (including porn. Food or otherwise). 

photo courtesy: Kokoro No Sashin Creative Commons

*Visa applications are only carried out through accredited travel agents. Here is the list of accredited travel agencies.

1 comment:

  1. Under the Thai regulation, almost any foreigner who want to execute a business or maybe almost any activity that generates money requires the right visa and a good work make it possible for. The business visa is the most suitable requested before visiting Thailand considering that the primary course of action will involve a credit card applicatoin to get a 90-day visa which has to be employed outside Thailand, since mentioned before.carte visa


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