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.