Applying Tourist Visa Japan The Philippines Visa Requirements

12 Lessons Learned from Denied Japan Tourist Visa Cases (Updated February 2024)

Denied Japan Visa on Philippine PAssport
Japan Tourist Visa sticker in a Philippine Passport
Don't let visa denial ruin your exciting travel plans to Japan.
Learn and increase your chances of approval.

Japan has reopened!

Japan Tourist Visa application, policies, and requirements are subject to change. If you wish to apply for a visa, you should always do more research about your current case or situation.

I’ve heard many horror stories about visa refusal in Japan, especially when applying for a tourist visa. Some of them have already booked their hotels and tours, perfectly planned the itinerary, or are excited to meet their family and friends in Japan.

If your application is denied, the Japanese Embassy in Manila won’t disclose the reason for refusal, they will instead stick a barcode of your application with a red highlight if your visa application is rejected. But we’ve heard cases from people and identified possible reasons why their application was unsuccessful.

Stop reading from here if you intend to find ways to illegally stay in Japan.

Recommended: Japan Tourist Visa complete requirements for Filipinos May 2022

Rejected Tourist Visa Cases from Filipinos

Denied Japan Visa Sticker
Red highlight on denied visas.

Requirements for a tourist visa are available on the Japanese Embassy website. Preparing your documents in the wrong way might lead you to permit denial. Here are some lessons that might help your visa be approved.

  1. You cannot trick them with your bank balance.

    The embassy will look at your ADB/YTD (Average Daily Balance / Year-to-date) from the bank certificate you submitted.

    Risky: ADB/YTD – PHP 4,450.00 and your current balance is PHP 124,450.00.
    Halata na humiram ka ng 100,000+ somewhere.

    Good enough: ADB/YTD – PHP 44,650.00 and your current balance is PHP 61,354.00. This shows na nag-ipon ka talaga.

    Lesson learned: the embassy will know that you deposited large funds in a single transaction just to show them that you have a huge balance. Be gentle on your deposits. Some banks will give you a certificate without those details but that does not stop the embassy to do more record verification.

  2. Follow their instruction, not what you think is right.

    Check the embassy’s website where you are planning to apply. If it says bank certificate do not submit a bank statement.

    I know it doesn’t make sense to get denied by providing a bank statement, but that’s the embassy’s requirement. Agencies will also ask you to give them a certificate instead of a statement. Isn’t it easier to get?

  3. The Embassy is worried about your safety.

    I noticed a high denial rate for ladies traveling alone without a travel history. I guess the embassy is just worried that you might be a victim of human trafficking or maybe they think that you’re not ready to travel this time. If you think they’re wrong, then you have to prove it to them.

    All you need is to have a travel history. You can have stamps in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore first before entering Japan. I heard multiple cases of applicants getting rejected and all of them have no travel history.

    Related: How I got my Japan Tourist Visa the very next day 

  4. They know if your purpose in Japan is to find a job and work.

    For OFWs, any embassy will deny your visa application right away if they discover that you are working at your job site using a tourist visa. When applying for a visa, especially to OECD countries like Japan, never declare any employment using a tourist visa.

  5. They know if you can afford to travel or not

    The reason why you need to submit proof of income is to make sure you can sustain your travel in Japan. The embassy is smart enough to know if you can afford to go to Japan or not. So be careful about making an itinerary by writing down affordable places to visit such as Shibuya Crossing or Shinjuku Garden.

    After you get your visa, you can do whatever you want naman diba?

  6. Did you meet your strange boyfriend/girlfriend online? visiting your significant other?

    You applied for a visa and wrote this as your purpose of visit.

    There is a high chance of visa denial if you do not provide any legit proof of your relationship with that person in Japan.

    The strongest evidence you can submit is passport stamps and a picture of you together. Say, two of you traveled to France with the same flight number, and date stamp and had a photo together in front of the Eiffel Tower.

    Submit two or more original photos and a copy of your partner’s passport stamp. Make sure that you send a clear and original photo.

  7. They know if you fake your purpose of travel.

    Your visa application will be refused if your Filipino friend in Japan is blacklisted, breached the visa condition, has a criminal background in both countries or illegally working in Japan. Lack of evidence proving your relationship with your friend might also lead to visa denial especially if your friend is Japanese. You can submit supporting documents such as:

    • School Year Book – proving that you graduated in the same school
    • Company IDs – present both IDs proving that your friend is your coworker before
    • Photos – to show that you met him before you arrived in Japan
    • Membership cards – to prove that two of you belong to a particular group such as golf clubs
    • Passport Stamps and Boarding Passes – to show that you had traveled together
  8. They can see small details in your application

    Some people got denied because of their certificates. Here are some contents on your COE or Bank Certificate that will make your visa rejected:

    • The purpose of travel or certification was mistakenly written: “for bank purposes”. Talk to your bank and tell them that you need a bank certificate to get a tourist visa to Japan.
    • Your job details do not match your ITR or Application Form
    • No company detailed information in the header such as an address, email address, and contact number

    Note: As of January 1, 2024, COE or Employment Letter is no longer required. Source:

    Make sure all documents are accurate and match the application form you will submit such as:

    • Business licenses and permits should be under your name
    • The employer must be the one written in your ITR
    • Avoid mistakes in passport details
    • Absence of supporting documents
    • Unexplained documents
  9. They can list you as persona non grata

    It’s time for you to review your online statements about the Japanese Government of to Japanese People. Make sure you demote them online. This case can happen in every country you are applying to. Facebook is the very first thing you would want to review.

  10. Unregistered/ expired business license

    For people in business applying for a Japan visa, there is a chance of denial if your papers were outdated. Outdated documents are invalid documents.

  11. Don’t waste your time, masasaktan ka lang

    You know you’re ineligible, just don’t apply and wait till your case has a significant change. You’re ineligible if you:

    • cannot establish eligibility for the tourist visa category being applied
    • were convicted of a crime or has a police record ex. drug violation
    • can not demonstrate proof of adequate financial support to travel to Japan
    • misrepresented a material fact or committed fraud (don’t you ever do this)
    • breached visa conditions in one of OECD countries
    • your documents do not match – I strongly recommend updating your documents before applying
  12. Failure to provide sufficient information

    Avoid discrepancies by providing supporting dossiers such as explanation letters. Without these, they’ll see it as gaps or reject your visa application due to discrepancies. The agency will require you to submit an explanation letter if they can see problems that might lead to visa rejection.

I’m sure there are other lessons to tell. We’ll keep the information coming and update this post immediately. Feel free to share your experience with us and help our fellow Filipinos get their tourist visa to Japan.

Bonus Tip:
If there is a problem with the spelling of names or birth dates in the Birth Certificate and Passport, submit an Affidavit of Discrepancy to avoid problems in your visa applications.

Next: What to do if your Japan Tourist Visa application is denied?

It is still highly recommended to visit one of the accredited travel agencies as they are specialized in visa applications to Japan. I am sharing other people’s denied visa cases, I have no connection with the Japanese Embassy to tell you if your visa will be approved or denied. Note that we will not answer your questions if you intend to illegally stay in Japan.

About the author

Mark Adelan


1 2 3 61
      • hi!

        My visa application got denied twice. The embassy put stickers with red highlight on the back of my passport. I want to ask if I can remove those stickers? hehe

        Since the embassy nor the agency don’t disclose the reason why I got denied, I don’t know how to correct my errors if ever I want to re-apply for japan visa. I submitted all the requirements, I’ve been to Singapore before which where I got my first stamp on my passport. Also, in my itinerary, I only indicate that I’m just going to tour around Tokyo, but I still got denied. I’m thinking that it’s because of my NSO birth certificate, where my full name is on the side of the certificate due to the binding of parents. Do you also think that it’s because of my NSO that I got denied by the agency for the second time? I hope you can enlighten me on this issue.


  • Hi, when is the best time to apply for Japan Visa if the travel date is on March 9-15, 2016. I am travelling with my husband and 4 year old son.

  • hi…that was informative, i applied a visa last august and was actually denied, haist.. im a small biz owner kc smart padala center to be exact, so my money is like ikot ng ikot.. so what i did was transferred a couple of it a month before i applied.. the trip was actually a gift from my aunt.. condition is if i can get a visa, do you think i can reapply this feb in time for sakura?

    • If there is a significant change in your situation, you can be able to get one. I guess what you will need is to prove them that you are going back and has a sufficient bank balance to support your travel.

    • Hi Jelline,

      I think if you go there for only 2 nights, a 25k if sufficient. You also need to be careful with your itinerary. There is still a chance of denial if you’re travelling alone with no travel history in your passport.

  • This article is too airy for comfort. Author doesn’t even have the time to proofread, daming grammatical errors. -_-

Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.