I have just obtained my first visa: a Japan Tourist Visa. :)
Applying for a Japan Visa (specifically 1-B Tourist Visa with no guarantor) isn't difficult, as long as you secure all the necessary documents.
All Japan tourist visa applications must go through accredited tour agencies. See the list of accredited agencies here. I applied through Reli Tours & Travel Agency in SM Megamall while my friends applied through Discovery Tour Inc in Makati.
Here are the documents I submitted:
1. Philippine Passport
This at least 2 blank pages and should be in good condition (no damage on the lamination, pages, etc).
2. Visa Application Form
You may fill out this form and print this out once accomplished. Put NA on blanks not applicable to you.
2" x 2" (4.5cm x 4.5cm), white background. Paste this on your Visa Application Form.
4. NSO Birth Certificate
I got a copy of my birth certificate from SM Business Services for Php 160. It takes 5-7 business days before you can claim it.
5. NSO Marriage Contract
Not applicable to me, but required for married applicants.
6. Daily Schedule in Japan.
You may download the form here. Also known as TAIZAI YOTEIHYO. It's a detailed itinerary of the activities you plan on doing in Japan. Make sure the dates indicated in your Daily Schedule is as same as the dates in your Visa Application Form.
7. Bank Certificate (original)
I requested a Bank Certificate from BPI for Php 100 (debited from my account). My bank certificate was printed as I wait, but I'm not sure about the process time in other banks.
8. Income Tax Return (Form 2316), original and photocopy
I requested for a copy from my company's HR Department for this. However, Reli just got the photocopy and returned the original copy to me.
9. Additional Document: Certificate of Employment (COE)
It wasn't in the list of requirements but Reli accepted it when I presented my COE to them.
10. Visa Fee
I paid Reli Php 1200 for the visa processing while my friends paid Discovery Tour Php 800.
The expected processing time is 7 to 10 business days but I got my Japan visa approved in 4 business days.
I got approved for a single-entry tourist visa, which is valid for 3 months from the date of issue. I spent a total of Php 1520 for all the documents (excluding the passport).
So where am I heading next? Find out soon. :)