This is the simple guide for travelers particularly from Malaysia to apply a short stay travel visa to Japan. For travelers from other countries, check out the Ministry Of Foreign Affair of Japan to look for your local Embassy of Japan for respective requirement and procedures. Some countries do not need a visa to enter Japan as travelers, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, The United States of America, UK and most European countries, Australia and some South America and Africa countries. However, Malaysian citizens have to apply visa to enter Japan even for tourism purposes, thanks to those our old friends who abused the visa exemption privilege we used to have to over-stay and work illegally in Japan. 🙁
Having said that, as long as you are genuinely applying a travel visa to holiday in Japan for a period of less than 15 days, getting it approved by the local consul is a rather swift process, as long as you comply to their requirement.
Thanks Herry Lawford for the above image of Mount Fuji in Japan. I shall upload my travel photos to Japan after my Japan trip in April though. 🙂
Here are some guides for you to apply for a travel visa to Japan from Malaysia (Procedures are varied in other countries):
- Book your return flight to Japan. Plan for a maximum 15 days trip to Japan at one time;
- Plan your itinerary in Japan;
- Book your hotels in Japan in advance through online booking website such as Hotelscombined;
- Apply your travel visa as early as possible within 3 months from your return flight date (Item 1 above);
- Make sure your banking account has a minimum balance of RM5 thousands though it’s not mandatory but preferably;
- If you are traveling in a group of three, make sure at least one of you have RM15 thousand saving in bank, so on and so forth;
- Log on to the Embassy of Japan in Malaysia official website;
- Check on those requirement needed for a successful application;
- Download the Application Form from the website and fill it up. Here you will need to fill up flight No (Item 1 as above) and local hotel contact (Item 3 above);
- All documents have to be original or Certified True Copy (such as passport, banking statement) except those specifically stated as copy, such as the Marriage Certificate and Birth Certificate (Item 8 above);
- Take a photo of yourself with big head and white background, measuring 4.5 x 4.5cm in size;
- Type out a table of your planned itinerary during your stay in Japan (Item 2 above);
- Type of a cover letter explaining your trip to Japan and who is accompanying you as a group and your relationship and how your expenses are borne (Item 5 & 6 above);
- Paste your photo (Item 11 above) on the application form and sign the form;
- Request your employer to write a simple letter in their letterhead certifying you as their employee, position in company and length of service;
- The documents required for a normal person should include your passport, application form, itinerary, employment certificate from your employer, banking statement, marriage certificate if traveling with your partner, birth certificate if traveling with your parents;
- Prepare those documents needed as per the list shown on the website and arrange them in required sequence (Item 8 above);
- Take all the above documents with your passport to the Embassy of Japan or consulates in Malaysia;
- The consulate open from 8:30AM to 12PM and 2PM to 4PM Monday to Friday;
- Register yourself at the security checkpoint, leave all your mobile phones and cameras at the scanning gateway, take your passes and walk to the consulate office in front;
- Press a queuing number and wait for your turn to come;
- When the officer calls your number, hand in all your documents, one applicant after another. (Yes. You can apply for all other applicants of your travel group without needing a proxy letter);
- The officer will check through all your submitted documents one by one for each passport and will inform you to provide more documents if necessary (in a friendly manner of course 🙂 )
- If no major required documents are missing, the officer will stamp on each application form and issue you a receipt;
- The receipt will show when you can come back to collect your passport with a valid visa. Normally it would be the day after tomorrow from your application date (on the 3rd working day).
- You can always call the Embassy to check on the status at 03-2177 2600 by mentioning the application reference numbers;
- If the Embassy of Japan don’t call you in between (shouldn’t be if you follow the above steps), go back to the consulate office, go through the same security checkpoint, enter the same consulate office where you submitted your visa application, go straight to counter 5 (with a sign stating for passport collection only) and hand in your receipt.
- Your passport with a valid visa pasted on one of the empty page will be back to your possession in less than 5 minutes;
- The best part of all, the application of visa to Japan is absolutely FREE!
Travel Tips 1: Visa application procedure to Japan is not meant to stop tourists from entering Japan. If you are a genuine traveler who wishes to visit Japan for holidays, your visa application will be approved swiftly. So why should you hiding if you have planned and booked anything for your Japan travel? Explain it in your cover letter including what you have booked in advance so on and so forth.
Travel Tips 2: There is not specific minimum requirement for your banking statement provided. Being a rule of thumb, the average expenses needed including accommodation, transportation and foods for 5 days would be RM5,000.00 and this is how much normally you need to prove in your banking statement balance.
That’s it. You are now ready to enter and stay in Japan as a temporary visitor for 15 days within 3 months from your visa date. If you are planning to travel long distances by train in Japan, you are now also eligible to purchase the Japan Rail Pass with a status of Temporary Visitor to Japan. I’ve just got mine and am ready to fly to Japan next month! Happy holiday to Japan! 🙂 – Travel Feeder, your ultimate travel photo guide to Japan