Sponsoring your Relatives to Visit Japan

Good news!

My aunt and my sister’s visas have been approved, and I’d like to give you some tips on how to be a sponsor and guarantor of your relatives who would like to travel to Japan.

A lot of articles online say that it is now quite easy for Filipinos to get a visa to Japan.  They claim that a Philippine passport holder can secure a temporary visit visa by just submitting the necessary documents and by showing a bank certificate that has at least 60,000 PHP, which I guess is lower than before.

However, I did not want my family to risk it by applying as a tourist. I wanted to make sure that they would be able to attend my wedding; it’s my big day anyway, and I really need their presence on that once-in-a-lifetime event. Hence, I decided to sponsor and guarantee their stay in Japan.

What are the requirements?

Based on the Embassy of Japan’s website, the visitor should provide the following:

(1) Visa application form

(2) Pictures

(3) Passport

(4) Documents to prove kinship (for visit to relatives)

・Birth certificate

・Marriage certificate

(5) Bank certificate (optional)

On the other hand, the guarantor in Japan should provide the following:

(1) Letter of reason for invitation

(2) Schedule of stay

(3) Letter of guarantee

(4) Documents on the guarantor B

(a) copy of residence card

(b) residence certificate. There is a specific format for this, and it was not clear to me even after reading the list given by the embassy. Just show this note to the city hall or your town hall staff officer when you request one, so you won’t have to come back and forth.

(c) certificate of income/taxation,

(d) certificate of tax payment, or copy of the final tax return with the seal or PROOF OF TAX EXEMPTION

(e) bank certificate

(6) documents to prove kinship (for visit to relatives)

Note that even if you have the same last name, such as the case with me and my sister, I still needed to submit a birth certificate. Likewise, my aunt had to include my father’s birth certificate to prove that we are really related by blood.

Now, you might wanna ask how much money should a sponsor have in her bank account. Well, based on my friends and my own experience, you should have at least 1,000,000¥ in your bank account for the guest to be approved. Also, I asked my aunt and my sister to submit a bank statement although it was optional. We kinda over killed it because I badly want their company on my wedding day.

Actually, I really wish that I included my birth certificate and knew the right format of the residence certificate early on. Had I known that my birth certificate was necessary despite that our family names were the same, and that there is a very specific format of residence certificate for sponsoring a relative, we would have gotten their visa approved earlier and booked plane tickets way cheaper that what they had paid for.

Lesson learned, (1) submit your birth certificate and (2) show the note on the picture above, so you’d get the correct format of the residence certificate.

For complete details on the requirements, please visit this link:
https://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/files/000236579.pdf

To download the forms necessary, kindly go to this page:
https://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/00_000035.html

A Surprise Bridal Shower

Last Sunday, April 14, my friends threw me a surprise bridal shower. I thought we were just going take pictures for my wedding video. That’s why I went shopping for clothes the day before the party.

Come Sunday, I was scheduled to meet up with two friends at the Shokusai Market nearby. It is an establishment that serves lots of seafood, and it’s a great place for lunch. Anyway, when we got there, the first thing that we did was go to the toilet, change clothes and put on makeup. Since it was 1:00 pm, and we were already hungry, we agreed to eat at the Fish and Chips restaurant on the second floor before the “photo shoot”. And so we went up, and I when I opened the door, I saw 30 people, including my fiance inside the restaurant.

Of course, I was overwhelmed; I felt so many positive emotions, and I did not know what to say. I couldn’t believe it at first because most of them drove approximately one and a half hour to be there. It’s just amazing, how they went out of their way to make me feel special.

So what did we do during the party?

We played four games.

The first one is… PIN THE VEIL ON THE BRIDE

They printed pictures of me, glued them on a cardboard and three people with their eyes closed tried to pin the veil that they are holding on to the picture assigned to them.

Next, we played… THE TOILET PAPER BRIDE GAME

Third, we did… THE DATING GAME

We divided 30 people into four groups, and they were given 20 minutes to plan and dress up one of their teammates. They had to come up with a wedding gown that they want me to wear on my wedding day.

My task was to interview four people without knowing who they really are. So I was facing the audience and they were all seated behind me. I asked the same questions for all them. For example, (a) imagine that you were a car, sell yourself to me, (b) if you were an underwear, what would you be, (c) what would be our couples Halloween costume? All of them tried hard to change their voice, and they were very successful. I even thought some women were boys.

Lastly, there was a PIÑATA. It was a huge red heart, and it was a bit hard to break so I had to ask for my fiance’s help to smash it.

Overall, it was a pretty laid-back and fun party. I had so much fun, and I can’t thank everyone enough for the overflowing love that they showed me.

2 become 1

Welcome to The Ashinas!

I’m Heidi, from Manila, Philippines. I used to teach English at a college in my home country, but my itchy foot brought me to Bali, Indonesia where I worked as a primary school teacher at an international school for four years. After this stint, I was sent by the Japan Embassy in Manila (JET Programme) to where I live now, Ishikawa, to serve as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) to two public high schools located at the Noto Peninsula.

These days, I’m making plans for my upcoming wedding, which is on May 12. Some of my family members and friends are flying all the way from Manila and Bangkok for it. Although we are just gonna have a small and simple ceremony and celebration, I’m really looking forward to it. Aside from preparing for the big day, I am also trying to eat healthy because my fiancé, a Japanese national, and I have a baby on the way. You could just imagine how excited we are about our new life together with our little one. My partner is 38, and I’m turning 33 in a few months, and we both think that now is the best time for us to start our own family.

So what inspired me to start blogging?

Of course, the Japanese culture and our simple life in the countryside. I just really think that there’s more to Japan than just Tokyo, Osaka and Hokkaido, and life in rural Japan is a story worth telling too.

I hope that reading articles here will be useful for you!