Visa to the State of Japan

I’ve gone to East Asia. I’ve already been to South Korea and one other country popular in East Asia is, of course, the land of the rising sun, Japan. I have dreamt of visiting Japan when I was a kid. Thus, I made sure to go and visit the capital of Anime. I am currently holding a Philippine passport. For a Filipino citizen to enter the nation of Japan, he/she should have a visa.

Visa is a form of documentation issued by the nation’s government allowing the bearer to enter or leave that country.

Japan’s Transit Visa

Japan or officially called as Nippon-koku or literally the ‘State of Japan’ is an island country in East Asia. It is located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the sea of Okhotsk in the north of the East China Sea and China in the southwest. The symbol that make up the nation’s name which mean, ‘sun origin’, that’s why it is called the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire consisting of more than 6,000 islands. The largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku.

I have a layover in Japan for about 8 hours and I would rather go out of the airport and explore the city than staying inside the boarding gates for the whole duration of the layover. So, I have decided to get a transit visa to see Japan. Since I live in Ohio, I have to check online where I can lodge my application. I found out that I have to send my requirements and paper application to Consulate  General of Japan in Detroit, Michigan. Here are the following documents that I needed to mail:

  1. Valid Passport
  2. Visa Application Form
  3. One Passport-sized Photo to be attached to the Application Form
  4. Proof of Current Address in the States of Michigan or Ohio
  5. Proof of Legal Residency Status in the US
  6. Documentation Necessary to Enter the country after Japan
  7. Flight Itinerary
  8. Release of Liability
  9. Self-addressed envelop with tracking system

Since the Philippines and Japan have a travel agreement, thus, Filipinos don’t have to pay for visa fees if they stay in Japan less than 30 days. Another additional requirements are if your stay exceeds one night, you have to provide itinerary in Japan and bank statement.

I mailed my application on the 18th of September and the consulate called me on the 21st, telling me that I got the transit visa to visit the country. I received my passport with the visa pasted on one of the pages on the 25th of the same month. The whole application was fast. Now, my bags are packed to travel and I’m ready to have a transit trip to Tokyo.


Visa to the Republic of China (Taiwan)

Visa is a form of documentation issued by the nation’s government allowing the bearer to enter or leave that country.Photo Aug 09, 2 35 41 PM copy

Travel Authorization Certificate is issued to citizens of  India, the Philippines, VietNam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos to enter the country of Taiwan or Republic of China. Travel Authorization Certificate serves as visa to gain entry to the said country.

The residents of the Philippines have been given the freedom to apply for travel authorization certificate thru online or eVisa. It has been amended a lot of times. Before it used to be single entry visa but nationals of the countries mentioned on the certificate seen above can have multiple entry.

The basic requirements for a traveler to be eligible are:
1. the applicant’s passport must have at least 6 remaining months validity starting from the date of the arrival in Taiwan;
2. the applicant must possess an onward/return air ticket; and
3. the applicant has never been employed as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan.

Additional requirements are applicants must possess at least one of the following documents issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States such as valid resident or permanent resident card or status, valid entry visa, or resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years prior to the arrival date in Taiwan, and the applicant possesses an entry visa or resident card issued by Taiwan at any point in the past 10 years and has no record of immigration irregularities or law violations in Taiwan.

The travel authorization certification is valid for 90 days making multiple entries allowed within those number of days. The holder of the certificate can stay in the country for 30 days starting from the arrival day. For online application of ROC travel authorization certificate, click this site here.

I got my travel authorization certificate in a jiffy. It took me about few minutes with my information at hand. I made sure to have my passport and permanent resident card ready. After I filled out the form and submitted it online, I automatically got the visa right at that moment. It was convenient and easy breezy. Now, it’s time for me to fly and discover Taiwan.

Visa to the United States of America

Visa is a form of documentation issued by the nation’s government allowing the bearer to enter or leave that country.US Visa

United States of America is considered the ‘Land of the Free’ while others say it is the ‘Land of  Milk and Honey’. Making it one of the top countries in the world to visit, work, and migrate. The United States has two visa classifications and these are immigrant and non-immigrant visas.

** Immigrant Visa **

In Immigrant visa classification, it has categories under;

– Employment Based –

I got mine thru this. It was a long wait for my priority date to be current but that long wait is well worth. I have gone through a lot of trials and tribulations just to get this. I needed to be a skilled worker to be eligible and an employer should have offered me a job to process all the paperwork and visa application. Under employment based category are divided into different prefence group; E1(priority workers), E2(professionals holding advanced degrees), E3(professional,skilled or unskilled workers), E4(special immigrants such as religion ministers) and E5(investors). In addition to these information, an applicant needs to follow and check the Visa Bulletin that will show the priority date that the embassy is currently processing.

– Spouse and Fiancé/e –

From what it is called, it is a visa issued to spouse, fiancé/e and their children to enter the United States but they should meet certain requirements. It doesn’t give or grant citizenship or residence to the spouse or fiancé/e by just marrying a US citizen. They should undergo petition by their US citizen spouse and apply for this visa.

– Immediate Relative –

A spouse, parent, step-parent, child or step-child underage (below 21) of a US citizen and the spouse a deceased US citizen are eligible to apply under this category.

– Family Based –

Anyone who is part of the immediate family but not eligible on the Immediate Relative category is eligible under this category such as unmarried/married children of a US citizen who is over the age of 21. This category is also divided into different groups; F1(unmarried children of a US citizen), F2 is divided into two with F2A(spouse and minor children of permanent residents) and F2B(unmarried children of permanent residents), F3(married children of a US citizen), and F4(siblings of a US citizen).

– Adoption –

There is also this category. Since I haven’t heard of it that well, you can check it thru this website for Philippine applicants, click here.

– Returning Residents –

Lastly, this category ‘Returning Residents’. Residents who were unable to go back to the United States more than a year without permission from USCIS/ US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

** Nonimmigrant Visa **

In Nonimmigrant visa classification, it has different types as well. Under this classification are;

– Foreign government representatives –
– Visitor visa such as personal, business, tourism, medical and emergency situations –
– Transit visa –
– Seafarer visa –
– Investors –
– Student visa –
– Temporary workers –
– Journalists and media crew –
– Exchange visitors –
– Fiancé/e or spouse of a US citizen –
– Athletes and entertainers –
– Cultural exchange visitors –
– Religious workers –

If you want to know more about it, visit this site by clicking here for Philippine applicants.

As what I have mentioned earlier, you can’t just barge into the US embassy to file for your application. You need to follow some rules. Filing for a visa application doesn’t need you to go to the US embassy. You need to do it online by filling out specific forms for each category. If you are under the Immigrant Visa class with employment based and family based type, once you have confirmation, you still need to wait for your priority date to be current. Checking the Visa Bulletin every month is a must. Access it thru here. If you are under Nonimmigrant Visa class, you need to schedule your interview and have a confirmation or invitation before you can proceed to the US embassy.

For more information such  as requirements, procedures, visa fees, forms and questions that need more answers, you can access your country’s US embassy website.

I only based the information I posted here through the US embassy site, the experience I had when I filed my visa application, and the experiences my friends went through when they had their visa application, too. Hope these information help even though those weren’t broad enough. Just take time to read and be patient in applying for a US visa. That’s what I’ve learned and it paid off 200% more.

Visa to Republic of Armenia

Just right after I posted my article on my Escape from the City’s Hustle and Bustle last Friday, I received a great news. As I mentioned, I was waiting for something big to happen and this is what I am talking about. I’ve applied for this Armenian visa and I got it.

Visa is a form of documentation issued by the nation’s government allowing the bearer to enter or leave that country.

Republic of Armenia if you all know was once part of the USSR/ Union Soviet of Socialist Republic which is now Russian Federation. If you still don’t know where this country is, then a map would suffice and end your confusion. Here is Republic of Armenia:


cr: google maps

It is located in the Caucasus region along with Georgia, Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation. It has been part of what-so-called Eurasia since it lies between Europe and Asia.

Applying for a visa to Republic of Armenia is easy. You can even do it online by visiting their site, click here. You just need to make sure that you have a credit card to pay for the visa. The passport that you are currently holding must be eligible for the electronic visa application since there are few nationals of other countries wherein the embassy needs more requirements. Those citizens of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Syria, Viet Nam, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Pakistan, Nepal and all African countries except South Africa need to have an invitation to get an entry visa and thus need to apply in the consulates or embassies abroad before traveling. The rest who were not mentioned can get their visa online or on arrival at borders/ airports.

There are a lot of options for your e-Visa type and you can choose that during your application process and it will also indicate how much the visa fee will cost you. I tried applying for a tourist visa and it is valid for 21 days length of stay in the country. Within just 2 business days, I already got my e-Visa and printed it out. Now, I can go to Armenia and see the beauty of a very rich historic country. I can finally see the view of Mount Ararat where Noah’s ark rest after the Biblical flood and a lot of UNESCO world heritage sites.

Well, let me tell you how it started. It happened when one day, I was sitting on our living room while thinking what to do. Then suddenly a travel bug bit me so, I went to scan and surf the net on where my Philippine passport can go without too much restrictions and requirements from embassies. That time, I really wanted to go to another country where it has rich culture and has a lot of heritage sites and those were the reasons I found Republic of Armenia since it topped on the list, it fit on my checklist and it ranked third on the countries I would love to visit.

My 2015 Countries That I Would Love to Visit List

My 2015 Countries That I Would Love to Visit List

It was fast and easy for Filipino citizens to grab an Armenian visa. But even though I am eligible to go to Armenia, it still ain’t easy to get there. Since I have the visa, I was looking for a plane ticket going there but the destination is not that famous and only few airline carriers has flights heading there. Zvartnots International Airport (EVN) has limited flights to and from other countries. It is either I need to go to Tbilisi, Georgia and cross countries or I can fly direct to Yerevan but it will cost me more. Thus, I decided to set it aside for now because I also have to follow what I have in my planner and cancelling those month of May itineraries is out of the question. So, I pushed through my backpacking trip.

Visa to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Visa is a form of documentation issued by the nation’s government allowing the bearer to enter or leave that country.lone

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has different types of visa and every visa classification has different requirements. For you to enter the Kingdom, you need to choose which type of visa you’ll be applying. The Kingdom has these visa types:

– Employment Visa –

Mostly Filipinos came to Saudi Arabia and entered the Kingdom through Employment Visa since getting a Saudi Arabian visa is one of the hardest. Employers and recruiting agencies duly accredited by Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) are the ones who will be doing the work to get the visa. I got my Saudi Arabian visa through my agency’s help along with my employer after signing the contract with them. They processed my visa application, so, I don’t know how much they paid for it. The visa document is valid for 90 days from the day it was issued. For other nationalities, I’m sorry but I don’t have any clue. =(

– Family Visit Visa –

Other types of visa is the Family Visit Visa wherein a member of the family is already working in the Kingdom and wants to have the rest of the family to come and visit the country.

– Student Visa –

Next is Student Visa. There are a lot of international schools in Saudi Arabia. In fact, there is also a Filipino school in Al Khobar when I saw the school bus imprinted with the name of the school.

Transit Visa –

I may not heard of it if the Kingdom is issuing Transit visa but geographically looking at Saudi Arabia, it has occupied 3/4 of the Arab Peninsula and I checked in one of the bus companies that they sent tourists, travelers and foreign workers from other Arab countries crossing Saudi Arabia to other designating country, e.g. Bahrain to Kuwait passing thru Saudi Arabia but this is only for GCC passport holders who don’t need a visa in crossing international borders. Yet, for other nationalities, it is a daunting task since Saudis don’t allow foreign nationals to travel in their country. That’s why people have been venting out their frustrations on how Saudi nationals keep their country out of the travel eye.

– Temporary Work Visa-

 There is also a Temporary Work Visa. I met Engineers; Filipinos, Indians, South Koreans, and they have Temporary Work Visa for 3 months for the entire duration of the project that they are doing in the Kingdom. After the project is accomplished, they need to leave the country.

Hajj Visa and Umrah Visa-

 For Muslims whether you’re a GCC national or not, you can visit the country during the Umrah or Hajj. It is accustomed to the Islam religion on doing the Hajj and Umrah, thus, allowing Muslim people around the world to come and pray in the centre of the Islam religion, Saudi Arabia. Muslim people can do this by applying for an Umrah or Hajj visa but they need to do this with an affiliated travel agency in their home country and once they have one, the agency can do the paperwork for them.

-Exit/ Re-Entry Visa-

exit re-entry If you will go for an annual leave after a year or years of work and has planned to come back to the Kingdom, the company that you are currently working will issue an exit/re-entry visa. It will take only 30 minutes to an hour to process this since it can be done online by your respective company’s Personnel Department Head.

Hope these information help even though I am not familiar with the visa regulation in the Kingdom. These information I gathered from different resources such as bus companies, Saudi nationals, the net, travel agencies, airport and border securities. If  there are corrections, just leave a comment and I’ll check on that for verification. But if you need further information like visa requirements and etc, you can visit your nearest Saudi Arabian Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Marhaba! As-salam alaikom!

مرحبا بكم في المملكة العربية السعودية