Apply Japan Visa for Free

Apply Japan Visa for free

After reading our latest blog posts on Japan, are you already planning to visit the country sometime soon? If you are, there’s one thing to take note of – you will need to apply for visa unless you are from any of the following countries:

  1. United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Mexico (for 180-day stay or less)
  2. Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia**, Taiwan, Macau, Canada, US, Australia, NZ,…  (for 90-day stay or less)
  3. Brunei (for 14-day stay or less)
  4. Thailand** (for 15-day stay or less)
  5. Indonesia***

** Only for ordinary IC passport holders. For Malaysians, the passport has to meet the ICAO standards (i.e with ICAO’s IC passport symbol on the front cover)

*** Only for e-passport holders. Registration at the embassy of Japan in Indonesia to get a “Visa Waiver” sticker is still required. Visit this page (Bahasa Indonesia) for more details.

[Please refer to this document for the complete country list!]

So, are you eligible for visa exemption? If not, get ready to pay for the application processing fee – S$39 for a Single entry visa // S$78 for a Double or Multiple Entry Visa // S$9 for a Transit Visa – as of March 2015.

[Fees listed above are for applications made in Singapore. Fees may vary according to where you make your application from!]

However, here are two ways to get your visa for free:

1. Apply for Visa to Japan for FREE if you are going to Okinawa

Foreigners (regardless of your nationality) applying for a single-entry short term (15-day / 90-day) tourist visa with Okinawa listed as a destination in the travel itinerary will not be required to pay for their visa application fee.

You just need to inform the counter staff and submit either a flight itinerary OR ferry booking slip indicating Okinawa as a travel destination when applying for your visa. Do submit your hotel booking confirmation too wherever applicable 🙂

2. Apply for Visa to Japan for FREE if you are ASEAN undergraduates of NUS, NTU or SMU

Are you from any of the ASEAN countries? Currently an undergraduate at NUS, NTU or SMU? Then you can apply for Visa for free as well 😀

Students from the following countries can apply for a single entry visa for free:

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Basically any NUS, NTU, SMU ASEAN undergraduate students 🙂

Show proof to the visa counter staff that you are an undergraduate student from one of the three local universities and your visa processing fee will be waived.

For NUS undergraduates, just go to Student Service Centre (SSC) at Yusof Ishak House (YIH) and ask for a Student Status Letter. Please bring your NUS matriculation card when applying for this letter! If you don’t have time to get the letter, ask your kind friend to get it for you. Just make sure to pass your NUS card to him / her! 😀

Before Applying

Now that you know how to get a visa for free, it’s time to actually apply! Before you do, make sure to prepare the following items and order it according to the list (DO NOT staple the documents) :

  1. A valid passport – with at least 2 blank (visa) pages remaining
  2. Visa application form – download the form here. Not sure how to fill the form? Check out this page
  3. 1 recent passport-sized photo of a white or light-coloured background (taken within 6 months; size 35 x 45 mm)
  4. Certification of Employment (NOT employment contract) OR Student Registration. Click here to see a sample of the doc.
  5. Flight itinerary (photocopy) showing a round-trip departing and terminating in Singapore OR e-ticket if you purchased your ticket online!
  6. Updated bank passbook or bank statements (photocopy)
    • Submit your personal savings accounts showing the latest 1-month’s banking transactions
    • Internet bank statement may be accepted on the condition that the account’s holder name and account number are reflected on the same page. Otherwise, an official bank document carrying the account’s holder name and account number must be submitted as a proof of ownership.
  7. Identity card (photocopy–  Singapore IC, E-Pass, Work Permit, Dependent Pass, Student Pass OR Long-term Social Visit Pass
  8. Additional documents, wherever applicable (photocopy)
    • Letter of sponsorship from the official sponsor (original). Click here to download the template.
    • Proof of relationship (photocopy) – document such as certificate of marriage or birth are required to be submitted if sponsor is an immediate family
    • Other requirements of sponsor – sponsor’s personal bank statement or passbook and sponsor’s photocopied identity card
  9. Letter of Authorization, wherever applicable (original)
    • If application is made on behalf by a proxy (i.e travel agent), a formal authorization letter is required to be submitted by the applicant. Click here to download the template.

For more details, please refer to this page.

Tips for Visa Application

  • Apply for your visa about 3 months before your planned departure date! This is to give you ample time in case your documents are not complete the first time you submit the application.
  • Ensure that you have at least S$3,000 in your bank account.
    • One of my friends had to re-submit his bank statement as he only had around S$1,000 the first time he applied. According to him, if the staff asked you to re-submit your bank statement due to insufficient balance, just ask a friend to transfer some money to you, go to the nearest ATM, print your account balance, take a screenshot of it and just email it to the staff. Apparently it worked for him last year!
    • HOWEVER, this may vary depending on the staff you encounter in the embassy so please check with the staff if he / she asks you to re-submit the bank statement 🙂

That’s all from me!!

Hope you learned a thing or two from this post! 🙂

Feel free to drop us an email ([email protected]) or leave a comment if you have any questions! Don’t forget to like this post and follow us on Instagram (@coffeeteatravels).

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