Japan Tourist Visa Application Guide

How I managed to secure a Japan tourist visa despite the lacking requirements

Applying for Japan tourist visa should not be that difficult for first-timers. For as long as you can produce the required documents, there is nothing that you should worry about. You are good to go. But it’s another story when you lack one or some of the primary requirements; it means additional legwork for you.

In my case, for example, my birth certificate was labeled “late registration” by the Civil Registrar (PSA). With that, based on Japan’s visa application policy, I needed to produce additional documents, which included a baptismal certificate, school records (form 137), and my yearbook. These supplemental requirements presented more issues for me.

While I was able to produce a copy of my yearbook, I could not present a baptismal certificate as I am not yet baptized. Getting a copy of my Form 137 was a pain in the ass either; the high school and the college from where I graduated had been pointing at each other on who should give a copy of that document (see? I am really amazed by the fact that some institutions in the Philippines could not work in harmony, seamlessly, despite belonging to the same industry). The former claimed that they already forwarded the document (to my college); the latter insisted that they could not give me what I requested as that’s their permanent record – the sole copy they have – and suggested that I go back to my high school to make a request again, or I try to submit my TOR (which they were willing to provide) to the embassy instead as an alternative.

Well, to cut the story short, I just stopped transacting with those schools to obtain the document.

So, how I managed to secure a Japan tourist visa despite lacking some documents?

For the lacking papers, I went another way: Writing the embassy a letter to explain my case.

Below is the exact transcript of the explanation letter I sent to the Embassy of Japan:

August 10, 2018
2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, 1300

Dear Sir / Madam:


I am writing to explain why I cannot provide a baptismal certificate as a supplementary document needed for my tourist visa application.

Though my parents are a devout Catholic, I never had a chance to be baptized as a child. And, right now, I am still in the process of searching for a religious organization where my perception about life – and its spiritual meaning – can best fit in.

With regards to my school records (Form 137), the secondary school where I attended told me that the document was already forwarded to my college – it was one of the requirements for college admission. The college registrar, however, told me that they could not give me the lone copy of my Form 137 as they need it for their permanent records. They suggested that I present to your good office my Transcript of Records (TOR) instead – my college scholastic records – which they could generously provide.

So, along with the primary requirements, attached in my tourist visa application are my TOR and a copy of my high school yearbook.

I also have included other pertinent documents that you might find useful as you judge the value of my application.

Sincerely yours,

Tourist Visa Applicant

(Check out the PDF version: Japan Tourist Visa Application Letter)

After a week from the submission, the agency I worked with for visa application informed me that my passport was ready for pickup (on their indicated schedule). I went there early in the morning on the specified date of release to get it.

Visa approved.

See? For as long as you are sincere and truthful with your application, the chances of getting approved are quite high.

And, one more thing, my unsolicited advice would be: Do not make any misrepresentations with your application and the documents you submit just to fulfill your desire of going to the land of the rising sun. Remember, at the end of the day, you and you alone will suffer the consequences once you are caught.

Just stand on your truth and you should be okay. If denied, accept it and try your luck next time. 🙂


    1. Hi, I submitted all the required documents listed in the primary requirements (please visit the link in the post for the list), plus I submitted a photocopy of my photo/bio from my yearbook, and the letter of explanation for the lacking documents, which were the form 137 and baptismal certificate (because my birth certificate was late registered).

      Hope that helps.
      – Roy

  1. Thanks for this! I will be applying for a visa today but my daughter’s F137 will not be released soon since the principal is out of town for a seminar. We will be leaving in about two weeks from today and I am planning to write a letter explaining about the lacking of document. I will be submitting certificate of enrolment instead.
    Keep posting helpful information😊

    1. Hello! Your blog is very informative. Thank you.

      I’ll be applying a tourist visa very soon but kept on hold due to this situation of late registration. I have a baptismal certificate but i only have xerox form 137 from HS. I cant get an original one as my school has already been closed.

      Did you submit xerox copies of your school records?

      Thank you.

      1. Yes, photocopy only – for the school records (i submitted only a photocopy of the page of my yearbook – the one with my photograph only)…but for NSO (PSA) birth certificate, they require the original and should be issued within one year. 🙂

      2. Sir. Thank you for this. Truly informative. May I ask how long were you in Japan and a rough estimate of the budget you presented? What other additional documents did you also add? Thanks in advance.

        1. Hi, it was a 9-day tour…so they just gave me a visa valid for 15 days.. they didn’t ask for a budget estimate, but I submitted a bank certificate with 80k amount…as for the other documents, aside from the primary requirements, I submitted a yearbook (I mean, the page of my yearbook bearing my photographs and name), tor, and this one (letter of explanation)

  2. Hi,
    I would like to ask about the school yearbook. You mentioned that you attached a ‘copy’ of your yearbook. Is it the copy of the whole yearbook or only the parts where your picture/name were displayed?


  3. Hi sir,

    Same case with my friend. Meron na po ba kayo previous travels? Sa friend ko po kasi wala pa sya tatak sa passport. Thanks

  4. hi sir pwede po ba yung form 137 e?may certificate of baptism naman po ako,iaaccept po ba nila ang form137 e?nung elementary papo ako nito,late registered din ako thanks.

    1. Hi,

      This is what is stated in the visa requirements for Tourism:

      B – #4: “If the birth certificate is “late registration”, please submit in addition, a baptismal certificate
      and school record (Form 137) from high school or elementary and School Yearbook (if possible)”

      So, I guess it’s yes since “from high school or elementary”… if any of the above-mentioned isn’t available, just write and attach and explanation.

      Here’s a link for the requirements:

      Hope that helps. 🙂

  5. Hi! thank you for giving me idea. my birth certificate is also late registration and my problem is I have a conflict in my name. I was a illigitimate child, so my school records already changed from my current surname but the problem is my baptismal, since my surname there is my father’s surname (currently I’m using now my mother’s surname) and its in the province. can you give me suggestion? can I just write also an explanation letter? or pa Baptize na ko nang new surname ko? nakaka stress! need your advice sir! Thank you!

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by…I believe your case is a bit complex…but know worries…what advice I would give is that just submit all the necessary documents you currently have to your travel agency..they will surely give you advice about what you should do with the lacking documents. Accredited agencies are really helpful when it comes to producing the requirements. Hope this help.

  6. Hi Sir, thank you this informative blog. Few questions lang po, I’ll be applying Japan visa soon po and my BC is also late registered. Ask ko lang po, is it okay if yung Form137 ko is walang address and telephone number? and for my bapstismal certificate is walang telephone number? may nabasa po kasi ako na dapat may address and phone number? Hope you could advise. thank you so much po

    1. Hi, maybe you can try to submit those documents..I am not really sure…however, hindi naman naka-specify kung kelangan tagala may address and phone number…ang mahalaga, authentic yung document…anyway, just go to the tour agency of your choice and submit the requirements…they will give advice and they will tell you if the document is lacking or not…hindi naman nila isa-submit ang documents mo sa embassy if they think kulang or alanganin.

  7. This is very helpful! Just a question about the explanation letters. Did you make it handwritten or did you type in a computer and had it printed? I’m trying to write my own and I’m just wondering which is better.
    And also, did you handwrite the application form or do we have to electronically fill it up? I read other blogs and iba2x po kasi yung mga sinasabi nila.

    Thank you!

  8. Hi. Would you know why the Japan Embassy only listed school record (Form 137) from high school or elementary and did not include school records (TOR) from college or post-graduate as a supporting document for “late registration” birth certificate? Thank you.

    1. I was not able to ask about that…but I actually submitted my TOR because I was not able to get my form 137..and I just attached my letter of explanation (as mentioned above) and I was approved.

      Hope that helps. 🙂

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