I have been to Japan three times, but always given a single entry because the span of the dates of entries stretches beyond three years. I really wanted a multiple entry because it is tiring to apply every time I want to visit Japan. So I made sure to travel once again within three years since my last entry, hoping to get one.
Under present rules of Japan, among others, an applicant for a multiple entry tourist visa is only available for the following:
- A person who has travelled to Japan as temporary visitor within the last three years and has financial capability to support his/her trip.
- A person who has travelled to Japan as temporary visitor within the last three years and has travelled as temporary visitor to G7countries (excluding Japan) several times within the last three years.
- A person who has highly sufficient financial capacity.
- Immediate family members (Spouse/Child) of the person who has highly sufficient financial capacity.
As I examined the criteria above, I decided to apply pursuant to item number 2 above or someone who has traveled to Japan as temporary visitor within the last three years and has traveled as temporary visitor to G7 countries (excluding Japan) several times within the last three years. I deemed it was easier in this category because items 1 and 3 involving persons having highly financial capacity are subjective because the rules do not define what is considered highly sufficient. Number 2 above does not give discretion to the consul because I just have to show I have been a temporary visitor to G7 countries several times in the last three years. What are the G7 countries? They are Canada, Japan, France, Germany, United States of America, Italy and United Kingdom.
In the last three years, I had entries to Canada, USA (twice) and the UK. I have entries in France and Italy but both were beyond the three year requirement. I had previous travels to other countries in Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa. When I applied, I had valid multiple entry visas to the USA, United Kingdom and South Korea.
When you want a multiple entry visa, you have to accomplish another document provided by the embassy, requiring you to explain why you want it. So I just said, it would be convenient for me to have a ready Japan Visa on hand. I only submitted my current and old passports (4 in total) and also a bank certificate (just in case I won’t qualify under item No. 2). I no longer submitted other documents such as birth certificate, employment certificate, etc. because I had a previous used Japan visa. So, practically, what accompanied my application were only the passports (reflecting the entries) and the bank certificate.
It only took two days for the embassy to grant my multiple entry visa, but what surprised me was that instead of the usual five year validity, I had a ten year multiple entry visa, way before the Japanese embassy in the Philippines announced that they will be extending ten year multiple entry visas for certain applicants (instead of the usual five year validity).
For any concerns on the Japan visa, you can visit here.