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Japan Tourist Visa Denied? Here's how to reapply in less than a month!

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Update as of Sept 2019: So far, Ms. Jessica was recently approved through appeal. You can see her story in this link.

Kindly see this website long ago shared by one of my readers who was denied a Japan visa in Riyadh but approved in Manila.

You may sort the comments by Newest to see if anyone was approved recently.

Update as of 2018: I only heard one who was approved in 2018  through appeal. Unlike in December 2017 and previous years where many can be approved through appeal, this year 2018, Japanese Embassy is very strict and there's a chance that you will be denied again or banned if you were still denied on your appeal unless, maybe, if you are really sure that you were wrongly denied, there's a special reason to be accepted, you were denied because of ridiculous reasons, or you are very confident that you will be approved.

Appeal at your own risk. Please do your research based on your case and I have no connection to the Japanese Embassy to answer everything about Japan visa. I can only answer what I experienced regarding submitting requirements.

The blog post below was posted last year. I still want to share my application experiences in those two travel agencies. This serves as my review about Reli Tours and Friendship Tours. 

Choose your travel agency wisely.

Japan visa denied? 
Need to leave for Japan in less than six months? 

Your agency did not help you with your application?

You have come to the right place!

When you are denied a Japan tourist visa, you would usually wait for 6 months to reapply for a new tourist visa. However in my case, when I was rejected with my application, I was able to reapply in less than 1 month. All thanks to the effort of my new travel agency.

Before I tell my Japan visa approval and my success story behind it, I will tell what went wrong to my rejection first.

Last January 16, I applied for Japanese tourist visa through Reli Tours. Since it was my first time applying for a Japan tourist visa, I had to take note of the challenging application procedure. I was required to submit the most necessary requirements. (As of writing)

- Passport with the minimum of 6 months validity

- Visa application form (which I got from the agency or the Japan Embassy website)

-  4.5 x 4.5 cm photo with a white background which I got from Picture City

- Latest NSO birth certificate. When we applied, we submitted the 2017 copy because they might not accept the old version.)

- Latest PSA marriage contract (if applicable)

- Guarantee letter and a valid ID of the guarantor if another person, not the applicant will bear or shoulder the expenses.

- Bank Certificate

- Philippine Income Tax Return (ITR) 2316

- Tour itinerary

We should not blame travel agencies when our visas denied. Except that, when I went alone at Reli Tours in SM Megamall, the guy did not require my hotel reservation and flight itinerary despite having them on hand. His reason was these were irrelevant on the Japanese Embassy's decision. Although the embassy does not prohibit submitting those documents, and it will not hurt if the agency will include these in the application, Reli Tours still did not accept my documents. Other agencies actually encourage their applicants to provide documents supporting their application. The hotel reservation and flight itinerary were supposedly served as the assurance that we will just visit Japan and return to the Philippines.

One event that I dislike was when I claimed my passport and my sister’s to know if we were approved or denied of the visa was when the guy I had talked to made me wait for a long time. After a while, I realized that he did not look for our passports, and I had to ask someone to look for it again.

While claiming the passports, I had a bad feeling about this situation because I think our documents were insufficient to convince that we will just have a vacation in Japan, and I should not pay for the processing and should not pursue with the application on that agency. 

After a few seconds of having thoughts, I was assisted by a nice looking lady. She immediately looked for our passports and handed these to me. After leaving the agency premise and the mall, I opened the passports while riding a P2P bus. Those have no stamps meaning we were denied.

Sadly, Japan embassy will not tell you the reason for the Japan visa denial and this is really how it works. 

My sister and I thought that we cannot go with our family anymore for our much-awaited vacation. We thought that we were just going to stay in our house while they were enjoying the trip. They could have missed us :D

Back to the visa refusal topic, I was pretty sure that the denial is not because of insufficient funds or never been to other countries, etc. Instead of being sad, I felt angry because I knew to myself that the agency did not make an effort to have our application approved with the fact that during our application, I have with me all the documents to prove our intent to have a vacation in Japan.

Time, energy and costs for the fare and the documents just went to the drain. It is not a joke to obtain another bank certificate and the latest birth certificate again since Japan embassy doesn't accept old birth certificates. As of the time I applied for a visa which was on January 2017, the embassy only accepts 2017 (not sure on the 2016) NSO issued birth certificates. 

To be fair, since Reli Tours' Japan tourist visa is cheaper by 300 pesos compared to other Japan accredited travel agencies, it might be a good idea to apply through them if you have already visited Japan. Also, before submitting the final documents on Reli Tours, I went to that agency 2 times (2 different days) for the Japan visa requirements inquiry and confirmation. The guy (not the one to whom I submitted my final documents) assisted me well.

In the next paragraph, I will discuss what we did to obtain a Japan tourist visa even after our first application got rejected. Just a note: This entry will also serve as my Reli Tours review and Friendship Tours review.

Denied Japan visa passport
This is what will the back of the passports look like when denied. The stickers will be marked by a red pen.

Agencies said no but I called the Japan embassy

I called Friendship Tours And Resorts Corp. (a travel agency) and asked if we can reapply for a Japan visa through their agency. They said no and we have to wait for six months. I called the Japan embassy and told me no but when I told her about why we were rejected, she suggested that we can apply again to the agency of our choice but it is not guaranteed that we will be approved. Also, we have to submit an appeal letter stating why we should be approved and allowed entry to Japan.

Road to visa approval

After the call, I contacted Friendship Tours immediately and told them that I can apply there and submit the documents. After a few days, I went to Friendship Tours Dusit Thani branch and the guy who assisted me was nice and gave advice on what I can do to be approved such as having a right amount (not excessive amount) in the bank certificate for the travel and so on.. Just a few tips.

Few days after, I completed the documents and submitted those at the travel agency to the same guy I inquired to.

For a sample letter that might be used in different situations, please see the letter below as a guide. Just modify the letter depending on your situation. It is up to you on how you will write it and check for grammatical errors and stuff.

This is our appeal letter that we submitted to the Japan Embassy by including this letter on our reapplication via Friendship Tours.

To whom it may concern:

Good day!

We are _________________ and __________________, born on ____________, and ________, respectively, in Manila, Philippines, with Philippine Passport Numbers __________ and ___________, correspondingly. We both live at ____________________________________________.

We are writing this letter as reconsideration of our visa application. When we applied for visa at Reli Tours SM Megamall, two of our proofs that were supposed to be submitted were our flight itinerary with a return date on _____________, and our Hotel Confirmation for our booking at ______________. However, upon submission, the Reli Tours refused to accept these said documents, which were actually strong proofs of our tourist travel intention in Japan. On the other hand, my parents decided, later on, to instead apply at Friendship Tours Makati and were asked and able to submit a copy of our flight itinerary and hotel confirmation.

As a matter of fact, my sister, __________________, already has her multiple visa and will be traveling in Japan on her 4th time already. Also, my parents were both granted tourist visa for the said trip. As a family, we have already travelled for multiple times, like Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Macau, Malaysia, including Australia and the United States. As proof, attached herein are copies of our old passports with immigration stamps from different countries, as well as the Japan visas granted to my sister and parents.

Lastly, this trip is intended for our father, who will be celebrating his 76th birthday this March. My sister from Australia will even travel all the way from Sydney to Manila just to be on this trip. This will be a great gift for my father, to have a family get-together out of the country trip in Tokyo. Our family has NO RECORD of overstaying visas, illegal immigration or any of that sort.

We have also attached in this appeal our proofs of income, our certificates of employment with compensation, bank certificates, travel authority and guaranty letter.

Our whole family is flying together on ________________ to Tokyo and assured to be back in Manila on ________________. We hope you could consider our appeal as everyone and everything has already been settled before hand.

Thank you very much!


A week later after the submission of documents, my mom received a call from Friendship Tours and told us about the Visa. After I got our passports (mine and my sister's), I felt happy that Japan allowed us to visit their country. 

Japan visa approved passport looks like
You can see here the Frienship Tours' contact details. Note: I am not paid by them :)

Approved Japan tourist visa stamp
Love the black and white pic here. I like the design :)

I would like to say a big thank you to Aaron Tan (the guy at Friendship Tours) and the Japan consul who approved our Japan visa. Because of them, my family and I had a vacation together in Japan.

After 2 weeks, we went to Japan and stayed in Tokyo for 5 days. What I brought home are mostly Japanese desserts including Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory and Royce. 

I hope I can visit Japan again! 

Edit: I visited Japan again February 2020. Also please see my previous blog post if you want to learn even the basic Japanese words: