Getting Japan Tourist Visa in the Philippines without Income Tax Return

After my Hong Kong trip last October 2014, I found a cheap flight to Japan and booked a flight right away. I wasn’t even sure if I could get a visa but I was really hopeful. This was part of my Plan B if Plan A was a failure. No, I don’t want to tell what Plan A was.

Japan Tourist Visa

I booked a flight for May 2015 trip in Tokyo, Japan and told myself I still have the chance to save money. I did some research on where to go and what requirements do I need to prepare.

March 2015 came and I was really nervous. A lot of people telling me that the Embassy of Japan is not really that strict anymore as they are inviting a lot of tourists for the upcoming Olympics in 2020. I still need to gather documents just to get the visa.

Related Article: South Korea Visa Refusal – It’s Heartbreaking But Time to Move On

Requirements for Japan Tourist Visa

I applied for a Tourist Visa and these are the documents that I submitted:

  1. Philippine passport
  2. Visa application form
  3. Photo 4.5×4.5 cm or 2×2 inch with white background
  4. Original NSO Birth Certificate
  5. Original Local Birth Certificate
  6. Daily Schedule in Japan
  7. Original bank certificate(s)
  8. Credit card bank statement
  9. Confirmed plane ticket
  10. Certifications of being involved in Non-Profit Organizations
  11. Letter of Explanation

I don’t have any Income Tax Return to show but I submitted certifications of being involved in non-profit organizations and a letter of explanation. The letter of explanation, I explained my interests of going to Japan of being so fond with anime, fashion and its culture. I also explained why I don’t have ITR to show and I told them how active I am as a volunteer, which is traveling with a purpose.

Related Article: How I Wrote my Letter of Explanation for Japan Tourist Visa

I went to Friendship Tours here in Cebu and the handling fee is P1,200. It will take 5-7 business days for the visa. The next week after my application, I got a SMS notification from the accredited agency that my passport was ready for pick-up. This will be my first solo backpacking in a visa-required country.

Helpful links:

Requirements for Japan Tourist Visa:

Friendship Manila (accredited agency):

I also wrote for Two Monkeys Travel Blog about my experience in Tokyo, Japan

7 Days in Tokyo, Japan

List of Accredited Agencies

  • UHI – Universal Holidays Inc.
  • Discovery Tour Inc.
  • Rajah Travel Corporation
  • Reli Tours & Travel Agency
  • Attic Tours Phils., Inc.
  • Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation
  • Pan Pacific Travel Corporation

Source: Embassy of Japan in the Philippines

Frequent Asked Questions

How many days the visa gets approved?

It’s usually 5-7 business days. A reader named JB applied for a tourist visa at Reli Tours on January 12, 2016 and got a text from the travel agency on January 15 that his passport was available for pick-up.

What are the rules when it comes to bank certificate?

Bank certificates usually show the total balance + average daily balance of your account for the past 6 months. If you want your bank history to look credible, I suggest to establish first your account and maintain a sufficient amount for a long time. – mrsbisinyo

How much money should I have inside my bank?

During my first application I showed PhP 90,000 (savings account and time deposits). During my second application I showed PhP 60,000 (savings account and certificate of stock investment). At least you have to show PhP 50,000  in your bank account and it depends of the activities you can do in Japan.

What are the Guidelines of Writing a Letter of Explanation?

I created a separate blog post on How I Wrote my Letter of Explanation for Japan Tourist Visa.

What if a friend, a family or a boyfriend will shoulder my expenses in Japan?

The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines provided a link for the – Visa Section Information so please check the link.

I am a student, what requirements should I submit?

If you are a student and your parents will shoulder your trip, you need to show bank certificates, Income of Tax Return of your parents and letter of explanation about your purpose of the trip, a copy of study load and school ID as a proof that you are a student.

How to Prepare for your First Solo Trip in Japan?

I created a separate blog about this and you can read this at – Preparation for your First Solo Trip in Japan.

What is your budget for Japan trip?

As a budget traveler, my cash on hand was US$500 or PhP20,000. Find out more how I did it at – Budget Travel: 14 Days Japan with US$500 Cash on Hand.

How to Request Stock Certificate from COL Financial Philippines for Visa Application?

Please check out my blog about – How to Request Stock Certificate from COL Financial Philippines for Visa Application?

Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad. A virtual assistant since October 2009. She is a hobbyist blogger, photographer and travels a lot.

500 thoughts on “Getting Japan Tourist Visa in the Philippines without Income Tax Return

  • Hi Ms. Roxi,

    I’m a freelancer too, so I don’t have ITR, I’m starting to process my first visit sa Tokyo with my sister who is public teacher. I just want to ask about the application form, name of employer can be my client’s name or nalang?


      • Hi maam. If you send documentation about your online work and your earnings, will it require still for us to have an itr since we are earning?

  • Thanks for this informative piece, truly a great help! Am a freelancer myself so I’m kinda anxious as to why I wont be able to submit my ITR. Your explanation letter somehow gave me the confidence to be straightforward and honest with my intentions *lol* Anyway, I am really hoping for the best 🙂

  • Hi, i applied for my Japan Visa last Feb 1 but up to now its still on process. I submitted all documents except that I failed to attached my old passport with stamps. I’m worried since its already 10th working day. do you know anyone who applied and took that long to get their visa but still got approved? thanks.

  • I applied for Japan tourist visa application and it is on 10th working days now. Reli tours told me that the application is still on process. I dont know if that will mean to say that my visa is denied due to long time it takes for them to decide. Is there anyone here who experienced the long wait of their visa application and still approved?

  • Hi does anyone here took more than 10 days for their visa to be processed/granted? Thank you. Will the long wait entails denial?

  • Hi po mam,may incentive trip po kami sa company for 4 days sa japan..all expense paid po (im excited coz this will be my first intl trip 😀)..i have completed all the requirements except for the ITR which I only submitted my jan to dec 2016 certificate of tax creditable at souce or 2307 since commissioned based po yong status ko sa company..and my second worry is that the amount left in my account is below 20k coz i recently bought a property..pero meron naman po kami 20k pocket money for the trip from the you think i have the chance that my visa will be granted?thanks po 😀

    • Hello po just mentioned that it is an all expense paid trip on the letter of explanation Tapos submit the requirements and your other documents. 😊

  • Regarding po sa cover letter ms rox, last time kasi wheb my visa was approved ang cover letter ko po is in my fiance’s perspective, sya po as a guarantor ang nag explain sa letter our reasons why we want to go to japan. can we do the same this time with hin stating that he will be the one to look after me and my sister? thanks po.

  • Hi.. I am planning to go for japan for 4 days (first time to travel abroad).. and here are my few questions on getting my visa approved:)
    * is it okay if the ITR was from my previous employer but i’m employed on a new one?
    * if I have submitted plane ticket and hotel voucher can the amount of my bank cert be in quite small amount (since a have booked on a hotel naman ahead) let’s say 20-30k?
    * My purpose is to visit my boyfriend who is working there.. Should I wrote it down or just put for leisure purpose..
    Thanks in advance!! 🙂

    • Hi Anne,

      The 20-30k bank certificate doesn’t sound convincing. The travel agency encouraged me to have at least 50k. Thanks.

  • Hi Rox
    Planning to Go to Japan. May business naman ako kaso nga lang hindi ako naghuhulog sa BIT at wala akong ITR. Sa baryo lang kase ang business ko kaya hindi nako pinagbabayad sa BIR pero meron akong Mayors Permit atska nagbabayad naman ako sa munisipyo namin. Pwede kaya akonh magpa power of attorney about sa explanation ko na wala akong ITR?

  • Hi Roxanne thanks for this very informative article…My husband, my baby and I are also planning to go to Japan with my sisters and parents. I’m just wondering if it’s okay that my sister will purchase all the airline tickets and hotel accommodations for all of us?

  • hi Roxanne, in addition to my concern, we will apply separately since my family is in the US and we are in Saudi. but we will be travelling together since we’re all going home for a vacation. Ok lg po ba yun?

  • hi Roxanne, Thank you… in addition to my concern, we will apply separately since my family is in the US and we are in Saudi. but we will be travelling together since we’re all going home for a vacation. Ok lg po ba yun?

  • hi roxanne..gusto ko mag tourist sa japan na gaurantor nang aunt ko may bank acct. sya na sa mga 500k plus piro wala sayang itr… yong aunt ko ay pilipina na di naka tira sa japan o nakaponta mang lang.. puwedi po yon?

    • Just bring her documents to prove that she can finance your trip. Ask tips from the travel agency, they know better. 😊

  • Hello, Rox. How do you know when your NSO is issued? Since apparently it should be issued within a year pero no date nman nkalagay on the NSO itself? I’m not exactly sure when I got mine kasi (I totally forgot). Thanks po in advance for the reply!

  • Hi Ms. Roxanne, my question is regarding my employment status. I am working as part-time employee (occupational therapist) in a hospital for 1 year and 5 months now and when I got my Certificate of Employment, it states there at I am a part-time employee and the year and month that I started. I have ITR but it is under the self-employed category so it’s 1701 and not 2316. My question is, are those enough proof of my financial capacity and my ties with our country or do I need to submit a letter of explanation for this? Thank you.

  • Hi.., ang salary ko per month ay almost 14,000 meron akong ITR andsavings sabank na almost 100k… do you think na pwede na ito at may chance maapprove?? ang inaalala ko kasi ay mababa ang sahod ko at therefore mababa din ang lalabas sa ITR..

  • Hi.. question lang po years na po walang ITR yun friend ko tho may savings naman po siya, (freelance po kasi siya) mataas po ba chance na ma-deny siya?

  • Hi miss rox, may question lang po.. were planning to go to jpan this oct with my bfs family, . Bale ung mom po ni bf ang ggastos ng flight tix and accomdations ko pde po kaya yun, paano po kaya ang process?

    Meron din nman po akong reg work dito and savings acct w/ almost 100k balance . Possible po kaya na maapprove ung visa application ko ? Btw , were planning a 5day trip s japan .


    • Yes show your bank certificate and certificate of employment. If you want, just write a letter of explanation that your boyfriend’s mom will pay everything. By the way, how much Japan ticket nabili Nyo and which airline? I’m looking for Japan tickets din Kasi. Hehe

  • As self employed i submit my complete docs dti,mayors permit,registration cert, newly opened bank nung april20 pa kasi d ko alam needed siya *gosh. Biglaan kasi plan with friends. If i know pwede join account pinasa ko sana sabi ng nag assist sakin ok lang daw bank cert ko pinasa. But still worried and anxious coz its my 1st time to travel outside. 5days lang nman and tourist lang tlga plan ko. I have business here hope its enough.

  • have a questions, how many days po ba dapat ilagay sa applications if you are going to japan, and i applied a visa – relatives.. 3 times n po kasi ako n denied, and my guarantor was my mother who lives in japan.

    and, i dont have ITR, dahil freelancer lang po ako since natapos ko yung college

    • The first time I went there 14 days, the second time I went there for 9 days. Kaya Siguro ka na denied coz Wala Kang ITR and they think Di ka na uuwi since nandun mommy mo. Need mo proof na babalik ka sa PH.

      • Since wala po tlga akong ITR, gawa na lang ako ng letter explanations for being a freelancer and then, mag submit din po ako ng letter reason or proof na babalik pa ako ng PH

      • Hi Roxanne Tamayo, do i need to tell my mom na need pa ng schedule for visiting there? And, what if.. kung kukunin na ako at doon na po ako titira kasi since naghiwalay sila ng step father ko, dalawa na lang sila na andun,bale po my mom and younger sister… ano po ggawin ko?

  • Hi roxanne
    How are u?
    i just registered my business rent a car this april 2017
    I dont have itr
    Can i write a letter of explanation handwritten?
    Happy to read your blog💋
    Hope u response🙏

    • Hi, just inform the embassy that you registered a business already. please show any proof i guess that’s DTI. Thank you.

  • Hi po. Kailangan po ba ng Authenticated Affidavit of Support sa immigration? Hindi po kasi naipadala ng uncle ko na magsusupport sa pagpunta ko sa Japan. Thank you po!

  • Hi! Ms. Rox
    Thank you so much sa Blog mo, 😊 sobrang Helpful & Detailed po nito and hopping na maka pasa rin kami at makakuwa ng Japan visa, ang laking tulong nito for our next international adventure, thanks & God bless ☺

  • Hi!
    Paano po kung ang mag shoulder po ng expense ko sa japan is my father and he is working abroad? and Kailangan po ba talaga ng affidavit of support if so, how can i get one?

  • Hi rox, ok lang ba if ang COE has only electronic signature? I work as an online teacher. Will electronic signatures on COE be an issue for the Japanese embassy? 🙂

  • hi,

    my husband and I are planning to go to japan this coming nov 2017, however I don’t have any ITR to show since I worked in Singapore for 3 years and just came back to the Philippines last year and work as a freelancer or retainer in my husband’s company. I also don’t have a bank account since I don’t deposit my earnings to my account recently. My husband will shoulder all the expenses as this will be our honeymoon trip. Appreciate your advise on what to submit to Japan embassy? do I need to give them a letter of explanation?

  • Hi ms rox, ask ko lang if yung credit card bank statement is ok na yung e statement then ipprint ko nalang? Or mas ok yung hard copy? Kaya lang 2 cards ko puro naka e statement na. Wala kasi ako itr, and yun iadd ko sana supporting docs. Ok lang kaya kht print out lang from email?

  • Hi, your blog is really helpful. I’m really worried about getting a tourist visa to japan just for 8 days. My boyfriend is from another country and we would like to meet halfway and visit japan this coming January 2017. We’ve already traveled together last 2 years sa USA since I was working there. pero ngayun I’m currently unemployed and He will the one shouldering my Trip to Japan, do you think its possible to get a tourist visa just for 8 days? What do you think should I primarily do?

  • Thank you! 🙂 I have another question po hihih I got denied by a UK tourist visa last 2015, Do you think this will affect my application? and Kailangan ko po ba e sulat ko din sa Cover letter ko why I got denied and Attached the Reason?

  • Hi rox

    Just want to ask lang po. Mag travel po kasi kami ni hubby ko sa Japan sa january. I’m currently a housewife and my husband is chinese citizen but working here in philippine. Si husband yung mag shoulder ng mga expenses ko but also i have my own bank accout P300+ inside . But my problem is.. my husband can’t provide income tax return . Di sya mabigyan ni company at kelangan ko na din mag process agad. Pwede po kaya ang explanation letter? Nakapag travel na din po ako before macau, thailand and 2x a year in hongkong umuuwi kami ni husband sa kanila. Natatakot ako baka di ako makakuha ng visa meron na ko hotel and ticket.. bali po ang alis namin is mnl-hk hk-tokyo tokyo-hk tapos hk-mnl..


  • I just submitted the documents last Friday with UHI, but I forgot to ask the bank to show the average daily fund in my bank account within 6 months :(. The bank certificate shows only the total balance (180k). I hope they wont refuse my visa 🙁

  • Hello Roxanne,

    Nagbook ako ng ticket for me and my cousin going to Japan, OFW yung cousin ko sa France, pero wala syang bank account dito sa Pilipinas, yung cash naman for her ay hindi naman problema, meron din syang Schengen Visa at nakapag travel na across Europe, meron ba kaming pwedeng gawin to compensate para dun sa no bank cert? Or pwede ba namin gamitin nalang bank account ko for her application?

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