This is the 2nd of a series of Visa-related articles brought to you by Ellry. For Philippine passport holders, visa requirements are a necessary evil to enter most countries. We aim to help you get the most of your visas through this guide.
Japan seems to be the new must-see destination for Filipinos, especially during the summer. Since the Japanese government relaxed the visa requirements for the Philippines, more Filipinos have been able to realize their dream of seeing the Land of the Rising Sun. Your Facebook feed is proof enough – doesn’t it seem like everyone’s in Japan?
But the beauty of having a Japanese visa goes beyond being able to enter and see Japan. Due to its clout, there are special provisions that allow you to enter 2 other countries, using just your valid Japan Visa, namely Taiwan and South Korea.
Here’s how to skip the hassle and cost of visa requirements to Taiwan and South Korea, using your valid Japan Visa:
ENTERING SOUTH KOREA
UPDATE: According to an update made by the Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Cebu, entry to South Korea from Japan with the eligibility stated below will no longer be allowed starting 1 May 2016. After the said date, this will only apply to Chinese tour groups with valid Japanese visas.
- Eligibility – Philippine passport holder must be in possession of (1) a valid visa or entry permit to Japan, and (2) a confirmed onward ticket or a ticket leaving Korea for Japan within 30 days.
This basically means that you can enter South Korea visa-free for 30 days before you go to Japan. If you intend to do a multi-country trip, you should go to South Korea first before Japan to use this visa provision. For reference, please see this link.
If you do not have a Japan Visa, you can still enter South Korea visa-free if you have a more than 2-hour layover at Incheon International Airport:
Philippine passport holder must be in possession of an airline ticket for transit to another country within 72 hours, and sign up for a Transit Tour. To see the list of tours and to sign up, please see this link.
- How to use your Japan Visa – When you get to the immigration, simply present your passport with a valid Japan visa and your onward ticket to Japan. Be prepared to answer how many days you’ll be staying in South Korea, and what you plan to do, just in case.
- Best way from South Korea to Japan – There are direct flights from Seoul, South Korea to up to 19 cities in Japan including Tokyo and Osaka. You can also fly direct from Busan, South Korea to Osaka, Okinawa, Fukuoka and Tokyo.
A ferry also travels from Busan to Osaka and Fukuoka: http://byferryfrom2japan.com/en/japan-korea
UPDATE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of China (Taiwan) has announced last October 7, 2016 that Philippine passport holders who wish to travel to Taiwan are now eligible to apply for an E-visa (online visa) for a required non-refundable fee. The E-visa policy will be put on a trial basis for 1 year. Furthermore, they have eased visa requirements ‘Filipinos who possess one of the following documents issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States: (1) a valid resident or permanent resident card; (2) a valid entry visa (electronic visa included); or (3) a resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan. Successful applicants are qualified to apply for the ROC (Taiwan) Travel Authorization Certificate which allows multiple entries to Taiwan valid for 3 months with every stay up to 30 days.’ Read here for more information.
- Eligibility – Philippine passport holder must be in possession of (1) a valid visa or entry permit to Japan that has expired less than 10 years prior to date of arrival to Taiwan, and (2) a Travel Authorization Certificate, applied for online. To apply, visit this link.
Your Travel Authorization Certificate authorizes you to enter Taiwan (multiple entries) for a maximum stay of 30 days and the TAC is valid for 3 months upon issuance.
- How to use your Japan Visa – When you get to the immigration, present your passport with a valid Japan visa and a printout of your Travel Authorization Certificate. Be prepared to answer how many days you’ll be staying in Taiwan, and what you plan to do, just in case.
- Best way between Taiwan and Japan – There are direct flights from Japan to up to 3 cities in Taiwan, including Taipei. From Taipei, you can fly direct to 6 cities in Japan, including Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa.
All this means is that with your Philippine passport, you can now enter as many 3 countries in one trip, using just 1 visa! Several Filipinos have been able to do this – check out the stories of Bla Aguinaldo or TheTravelGuyShops.
This spares you from spending time in preparing multiple visa requirements, and money on visa fees, flights and travel taxes. Ultimately, this shows that with some research and planning, your Philippine passport can go the distance, after all!
*Applies only to Japanese Tourist visas. Please check the validity of your Tourist visa, fulfill all the requirements above, and call the respective embassy before your departure.