Early this year, we were able to visit Japan for the second time together. Fortunately, we were also granted Multiple Entry (ME) which is good for five years. This came as a surprise since we originally intended to apply for single entry when we visited our preferred travel agency.
Apparently, they are now offering an option for ME applications, especially for those that may satisfy the prescribed conditions and qualifications, the details of which will be discussed here, to actually fill-out an ME application form. So we did, and the rest were sweet stories from Japan!
We also learned from the Japan Embassy website that since 2013, they already started issuing multiple-entry visa to eligible Philippine nationals residing in the Philippines with the following:
1) Holder of a Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) or ordinary IC passport that meets ICAO standards;
2) Applicants who intend to engage in activities corresponding to those permitted for “Temporary Visitors”;
3) Applicants who wish to apply for a multiple entry visa for short-term stay.
There are however conditions for the ME visa to be issued. The applicant should satisfy any of the following conditions:
(1) Applicant with history of travel as temporary visitor to Japan in the last three (3) years ; has no known violation of domestic laws of Japan nor had problem with immigration regarding entry and status during the period of stay ; and has sufficient financial capacity to support expenses for travel and stay;
- We cannot really determine what contributed much to our successful application for ME visa. It is however worth noting that, as mentioned, this is our second time together (Ive’s third) to visit Japan, not to mention, we have had several trips to Korea and ASEAN countries in the last five years. As for financial capacity, we made it sure to increase our bank funds from our last application. If you can make it to six digits then the better, but from experience, a little over Php 50,000 in your bank account should be fine provided a brief itinerary.
(2) Applicant with history of travel as temporary visitor to Japan in the last three (3) years; has no known violation of domestic laws of Japan nor had problem with immigration regarding entry and status during the period of stay; and, has several history of travel as temporary visitor to G7 countries (excluding Japan) in the last (3) years;
- This is also another good indicator in calculating your chances of getting and ME visa. Aside from previous visit to Japan, having history or even valid visas to G7 countries (US, UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy & Japan) the more chances of getting approved. Unfortunately, South Korea and Taiwan are not G7 countries and it also excludes Japan, so there’s no way that we are under this item. So better keep your old passports and used visa as proof.
(3) Applicant with abundant financial capacity;
(4) Spouse or Child of (3) above.
What does having Multiple-Entry Visa means?
Aside from having access to any ports of entry in Japan multiple times a year within the prescribed period (5 years or 10 years at maximum 30 days per visit), having this basically saves you the hassle of visa application, compiling required documents, pooling funds in the bank, filing Income Tax Returns (ITR) and spending for visa handing fees. This is particularly advantageous if you have families or friends based in Japan, since this means you can visit them anytime of the year. On top of that, having valid ME Japan Visa may help/facilitate your other visa applications to visa-required countries like South Korea, Australia, Schengen Countries and even the US given that it is an OECD and a G7 country.
What should I reflect in the reasons for applying ME visa?
There are no single or definite reasons to answer this, however, from experience, we can share some generic reasons or purpose for applying for ME visa. The general rule however is to keep it simple/concise and honest as possible. In our case, we were not really planning to apply for ME during application but since we have been to Japan at least once before and also considering the amount of bank accounts at the time of application, we were offered to apply, after all, no harm in trying and it has no effect on your standard application.
The Embassy through the agencies provide a prescribed form where you can indicate in a small box your reasons for applying. Make sure to indicate the best intentions in the most concise way possible. To share, one of our reasons goes like this:
“I was truly fascinated the first time I visited Japan two years ago where I encountered my first winter and snow experience. This enticed me to further experience Japan on all its seasons in various cities and prefectures. Also, I would like to experience watching my first Olympic Games in 2020. I will forever treasure my brief Japan visit and would love to explore it further, if given the opportunity.”
This may sound so cliche or generic but make sure that at least it is something close to you or something that relates to a personal experience or impression. You can also refer to or make mention of upcoming events or attractions that you want to visit in the future or relating to your interests like if your a manga/anime or J-Pop fan or has legitimate fascination for architecture, religion or scaling Mt Fuji, and the like.
So there, you may now complete your requirements and proceed to your preferred travel agency. In our case, we’ve been availing the services of Reli Tours at SM Megamall at relatively affordable rates, which is lower than most of the accredited agencies.
Finally, to refresh us again on the process of getting a tourist visa, you may check our earlier guide on How to Apply for Japan Tourist Visa in the Philippines | A Comprehensive Guide.
All the best and enjoy Japan!