UPDATE: I applied for a Japan tourist visa for the second time, I got approved finally! See the story HERE.
December 2014, I was very elated to get a promo flight ticket to Tokyo. I told Nao-chan about it and we were both very excited to meet in Japan. (I’ve almost forgotten that I need to apply for a visa~) I was very excited to go abroad for the very first time! To be honest, I was so optimistic that I can get approved easily because I heard in the news that the Japan Visa Application process is currently relaxed.
After reading some blogs about Japan Visa application and their success stories, I have become much more positive that I can get approved too. I decided to apply for a Single Entry Tourist Visa without a Guarantor. Nao-chan was anxious to be my guarantor due some reasons that the embassy might think he is not eligible for it.
So three weeks prior to my “flight” I went to a travel agency to submit my requirements, ate a bowl of Ramen and went home with a smile from ear to ear. After a few days, I received a text from the agency asking me to get my passport. I went there then WHOA. my application got denied!
It was really horrible. It was like I was struck by lightning then ran over by a car. I tried to be calm and asked the travel agent why I got denied, but he said that the embassy doesn’t disclose any reasons regarding visa rejections. All I want is to meet Nao-chan, go to lots of museums with him and see Ukiyo-e paintings, observe the latest Japanese fashion trends in Omotesando and Harajuku! I was making daft assumptions in my head, maybe I wasn’t smiling on the picture– or maybe my name was put in the blacklist (Wait, are they thinking I’m going to work there as a Japayuki-san? My goodness -__-) etc. etc. that’s why they rejected me. I left the agency, called Nao-chan right away via Skype then broke down with tears.
After this incident, I felt discouraged to attempt once again. I’m anxious that I will get denied if ever I apply for the second time. Rejection history kept on haunting me~~ I started to search some blogs about Japan visa about rejections, chances of reapplying for japan visa about being denied and the possible factors why I got rejected. Actually there are only very few information about it. But as I re-read the previous blogs about getting a Japan visa, I realized some factors why I got denied:
1. One document as a proof return isn’t enough
I had only submitted the flight itinerary receipt as a proof. Few days ago, I have just read in a blog that booking a return ticket is not really a strong evidence of return. I should have added my certificate of enrollment from my university and my certificate of employment as they are the strongest evidences that you will have to go back to my country.
2. I didn’t include that I will visit someone in Japan
I just didn’t want Nao-chan to get bothered by giving some supporting documents. and it was a stupid excuse. I remembered the travel agent told me that one of the possible reasons I got denied is that “I’m going to travel by myself.” I wondered if that was a strong reason enough. Until I found a comment in a forum saying:
“Women especially travelling alone, have a smaller chance to get approved since the embassies are assuming they might find someone there and get impregnated. OR usually women are used as a drug mule etc. etc.”
I hope this misogynist-ic statement isn’t true.
Another thing i realized is that I was 19 years old during that time, and I’m going to travel ‘alone’. Maybe they are thinking I’m too young to travel alone?
3. I have never been to any foreign countries
Though it doesn’t really mean that it’s impossible for me to go to Japan if I haven’t traveled to any other countries, having passport stamps is a strong proof that I’m a responsible tourist who goes back to my home country. I should’ve considered travelling to a visa-free country first.
4. My Schedule of Stay seem unrealistic
So as I have said, I wasn’t able to include that I will be visiting my boyfriend in Japan. He supposed to bring me to lots of museums (and Disneyland, too) He actually booked a hotel for me already, and that hotel is not really a cheap one. So to sum this up, my schedule of stay was seemingly too ‘idealistic’ considering the amount in my bank account during that time. I should’ve considered and researched more about planning my Japan trip.
5. Anxiety and Carelessness
I should have researched more about getting a Visa to Japan, and considered about telling the truth that I will be visiting someone there. Though it might bother Nao-chan to prepare some required documents to prove our relationship, I should’ve realized that he won’t feel very burdened as he really wanted me to come to Japan.
It’s been almost a year since this unfortunate thing happened to me, and I wanted to give it a try again. But I’m afraid to get denied again. Thankfully, I found Cinnamon-chan’s blog (https://binibiningcinnamon.wordpress.com/
) she was very helpful and eager to respond to my questions. She told me not to worry, just make sure that I will submit the documents I missed before, and I shouldn’t be hesitant to include that I will be visiting someone in Japan. (For Filipino readers who are planning to apply a Japan visa WITH a guarantor, please check her blog post here
To know more information about tips of increasing your chances to get your Japan visa application approved, check this blog post
It’s a very nice and helpful blog too! Actually, if only I found her blog post soon before I applied for a visa, I might be able to prevent to get denied~
I consider this experience as the worst failure I’ve done so far. But through this, I learned a lesson. This year, if time permits, I will really try to apply once again, and I will not forget the mistakes I did before, and I’ll never EVER do them again!