I finally got my Japan visa today! It’s been a stressful two weeks. Whew!
I totally crammed! Ok, let me explain. I told myself that I will start with the visa process in January since I have most of the requirements with me and all I needed was a 2×2 photo, birth certificate and bank certificate. I targeted to get a bank certificate from BPI after my salary on January 13th, and planned to apply for my visa on January 15th. I had everything planned, everything was going smoothly, until I found out that I needed school records as a supporting document for birth certificate due to it being late registered. Que horror. I thought I only needed a baptismal certificate like when I applied for a passport but I was dead wrong.
Anyway, let’s start from the very beginning. Here’s the list of requirements I needed:
2) application form
3) 4.5 x 4.5 photo with white background
4) birth certificate
5) daily schedule in japan
6) bank certificate
7) ITR form 2316
8) additional requirements if birth cert is late registered: baptismal certificate
school records (form 137)
school yearbook (if applicable)
I had my photo taken on January 7th, at Market Market that took just around 30 minutes. This was fast, just tell them you need a photo for Japan visa and they’d know what to do. I went to SM Aura to request for a birth certificate from SM Business Center, but I gathered from the lady guard that since it’s located at the Office Tower, it follows the Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm business hours. Since it was a Saturday, I went back on Tuesday morning – January 10th. I initially wanted to request for it online but oh my goodness, it’s too pricey. It costs PHP350 online, but if you do it thru the business center, it’s just PHP150 per copy. The process is also quite fast, you fill out the form with your details, you pay, then the lady gives you your receipt, with a number that you can call to verify if your birth certificate is already available. The pickup area is at the business center at the supermarket. The processing time is 3-4 business days, so I decided to just get it the following Monday.
When I found out that I needed school records, I totally freaked out. This was on January 11th. I asked my friend she said that it usually takes a week before you can get one. Oh no. So I did my best to contact UPIS (my high school). I emailed them – failed cause my email bounced. Ok, they really need to delete emails. LOL. I decided to call them the next morning (cause I was too sleepy to do so that time) but thankfully, I was able to get a decent reply from my message on their official Facebook page! I was given a contact person and a number to call. The records officer is Ms Gladys and I think she was already working at UPIS when I was a student there. I called her the next day and told me that I can get my form 137 3 business days after my request. Each copy costs only PHP20. She said I can pay it first at the cashier’s office at the PNB Building and then once I have the OR, I can go to UPIS to fill out the request form. I went there on January 13th, Friday since it was my rest day. Since I was quite tired, I took the bus and I got to the PNB Building at around 9am. Lo and behold, it was enrollment period so the payments were moved to UP Theater. I took another jeepney to the UP Theater. I was worried that there would be a really long queue but there weren’t any. I didn’t have any form with me so I had to explain several times to different people what I’m paying for. Thankfully, the cashier just asked how much it was, I paid and I was issued a receipt. I then walked to the UPIS building. It’s my first time to visit the new site, ever since they tore it down and turned my old high school building into UP Town Center. LOL. Now, it’s right next to the UPIS 3-6 Building inside the UP Campus. It was quite fast, I finished the entire process in about an hour. The bus ride back to Makati was tedious though. It was super traffic until Camp Crame. I am so glad I moved to Makati. Whew! I think I got home at around 2:00 PM that day. I just need to go back for my Form 137 the following Wednesday.
Getting my bank certificate is the last step. I went to BPI on January 17th. I am very satisfied with the service. I requested for it at the counter and I was told to wait. I didn’t even have to pay any cash because it’s auto debited from my account. I think I waited for only 10 minutes and voila, I got it right then and there! It was super awesome! The least troublesome visa requirement right here! LOL
So now I just need my school records and I’m all done. Thinking that everyone would be very efficient, I went straight to UPIS after my 10pm-7am shift on Wednesday morning. I texted the records officer if it’s already available at around 8am, I was told that it’s still on the Vice Principal’s table. I got to Philcoa at around 8:30am. I had breakfast and decided to wait for some good news. At around 9:30am, I had a feeling that this wasn’t going to be done today and I feel like I would waste my day if I decide to wait. Partly my fault for not waiting for the confirmation before going north but I trusted them that when they said I’ll get it after 3 business days, I will get it after 3 business days. I was dead wrong. I took the MRT home this time around and it was so much faster. I was home at around 11am. The next day – Thursday morning, I decided to just stay at the office, texted Ms Gladys at 8am again and waited for her verification if it’s already available for pickup. It was bad news in the beginning. That’s when I decided what I needed it for. I told her that I need it for my visa application and it’s the last thing I need before I can proceed to the travel agency to submit the documents. I think that did it, she told me that I should just come to the office and wait. She has also texted the Vice Principal again to remind her to sign the documents. So I took the MRT going to Quezon Ave this time around, and took a UP Campus jeep from Centris. I was there before 10am and when I got there, the Vice Principal has already signed it. We just needed to wait for the Principal, Sir San Jose – who’s my Math professor in high school. He arrived not long after and signed the documents immediately. Yaaaaay! I was finally issued my school records and I thank Ms Gladys for being such a great help. I was surprised to see my grades during my final year though. I think it’s my first time seeing those. LOL.
So I headed back to the south and went straight to Reli Tours, I took the MRT to Ayala Station and just walked to Dusit Thani Hotel where it’s located. I arrived at 11:30AM and finished submitting the documents a few minutes before noon. Finally! At this point, I’ve done everything I can to submit the proper documents and just pray. It’s been a really stressful and tiring 2 weeks and all that’s left now is to keep my fingers crossed that I will be granted a visa.
I got the text message from Reli Tours 5 days later that my passport is available for pickup. I really thought I wouldn’t be able to get there before 5pm due to the sucky traffic but I arrived just in time. Seriously, I felt like I was in The Amazing Race, running in Ayala Station. LOL. Boy, was I super relieved when I signed on the logbook with a check on “with visa” beside it.
I will be in Japan in less than 2 weeks! Can’t wait!!! I will write everything about it on here for sure!
Here’s my list of expenses:
2×2 photo (6pcs) – PHP85
birth certificate – PHP160
print out / photocopy – PHP35
bank certificate – PHP100
school record (3 copies) – PHP60
travel agency fee – PHP950