So I’ll be moving to Japan in about a week. Still haven’t packed or even bought winter clothes, so that’s great. OTL;;

I am a little worried about the baggage weight because since I’ll be living in Hokkaido, which is the northernmost part of Japan (I think you can even see Russia from over there hehe), I’m gonna need a ton of warm/thermal clothes.

You can just imagine how cold it’s gonna be there. I mean, it’ll be cold all through-out the year. So I can’t really shed the winter clothes from my baggage and opt for a more summer-y wardrobe, which incidentally, all my clothes are because of helloblazingheatandgodawfulhumidity that is the Philippines. Definitely a 180 for me.

I’ll be spending a week at my cousin’s, who lives in Yokohama, and hopefully my body can adjust to the climate before I head over to Ice Mountain. XDDD I can’t wait to see my cute nieces and nephews! I’m a godparent to one of them so I’ll probably have to make up for all of the non-existent presents I have given him ;A; (PS. It’s ridiculous but those kids have more money than me. I mean, my 10 year old niece uses an iphone5– I can’t even afford that! >3< I mean what 10 year old kid needs that kind of an expensive phone?! I guess it comes with the territory.)

I’m also looking forward to meeting up with friends in Tokyo who I haven’t seen in 7 years. It’s funny though, because my close friend (who’s half-Japanese) is also planning to return to Japan to work there, which blows my mind seeing as how she used to say that Japan is only a good place to visit– not to live in.  Seems like all of us are coming together in one place (although they will all be in Tokyo and I’ll be foreveralone up in Hokkaido haha) but really, amazing timing!


Exit Permit: Not the nightmare I thought it would be

POEA – Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)

Overseas Employment Certificate

Overseas Employment Certificate

Now this is where it gets tricky my fellow Filipinos, you have to go to POEA to submit all of your documents and hopefully get the OEC in just a couple of days.

I’m only going to talk about the procedures for DIRECT HIRES/NAME HIRES so please do not ask me about others because I don’t have first-hand information regarding those and it will be irresponsible for me to answer them if I myself have not gone through them.

Here are the requirements you will need:

1.) Employment Contract (For Skilled and Professional Workers) **PLEASE READ NOTE BELOW REQUIREMENTS

For low-level workers, your contract must be verified by POLO or authenticated by the Philippine embassy/consulate.

2.) Valid Visa/entry/work permit/no objection certificate (NOC) or equivalent document

3.)Valid Passport

4.) Valid Medical Certificate from DOH-accredited medical clinic (There is an updated list at POEA so just take a look.)

5.) One 2×2 picture for the medical certificate

6.) Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) certificate from POEA


For Canada bound workers: Labor Market Opinion Confirmation

For USA bound workers: Labor Condition Application


US $100.00 (Php equivalent) – POEA Processing Fee
US $ 25.00  (Php equivalent) – OWWA Membership contribution (valid for 2 years)
Php  1200.00 – Philhealth-Medicate (1 year)
Php   100.00 – Pag-ibig membership (I didn’t have one when I applied so I paid for this, I’m not sure if you still have to pay if you already have Pag-ibig memberhsip.)

Okay. So, before you even head over to POEA, make sure you have everything.

**If it is not specified in your contract that your employer will repatriate your remains when you die, POEA will require you to have your employer sign an employer compliance form (though you can submit a scanned one) so I suggest you ask them to include that beforehand so you don’t have to go back and forth.

As for the medical exam, there are several clinics near POEA so I suggest going there after submitting your documents for evaluation.

ALSO one more important thing. MAKE SURE you have the company profile of your employer. They don’t include this in the official requirements but they do ask for it and you won’t be able to complete your application without it. I had to email my employer an hour before POEA closed, asking to send my the company profile asap…which is not really good for your nerves haha! It was a good thing my employer was able read my email immediately and was able to send me the company profile.

Anyway I was able to catch up before they closed and got my OEC. The whole process took me 2 business days. You can probably finish everything in 1 day if you have all the requirements and if you were able to attend the PDOS seminar in the afternoon. For Europe/North America I think the seminar usually starts at 8am and for Asia, 1pm.

When you arrive at the airport, make sure you head over to the OFW counter and get your OEC validated. You are now exempted from travel tax and terminal fees at the airport. 8D

Getting your Japanese work visa

Getting a Japanese work visa is easy but time consuming (not to mention expensive!), so make sure you have enough time to process all your documents and everything will be easy peasy.

However if you are still looking for a job and want to get one before you land in Japan, I don’t think that’s possible unless you hold a passport to any of the countries allowed to have a working holiday visa in Japan.

In that case, don’t  come to me for answers as I have no experience with that. I am only sharing what happened to me and my application for the work visa.


So, first things first. Get the Certificate of Eligibility. Your employer in Japan will be the one to take care of this so just submit all of the requirements to them.

Certificate of Eligibility

Certificate of Eligibility (Courtesy of

Here are the requirements they asked from me:

1.) Certificate of Eligibility Application form that has been filled out

2.) Two ID pictures (4cm vertical 3 cm horizontal)

3.) A photocopy of my passport

4.) The signed contract

5.) An original copy of my diploma

They might ask you for several other documents that will prove to the Ministry of Justice that you are qualified for the work that you are applying for. Usually it takes 3 weeks to a few months for them to process everything.

While mine only took 2 weeks to process, I did read on the internet about several people waiting 3 months to 6 months for their CoE. So make sure that all of your documents are in order and that you are qualified for the job you are applying for. Just hope that they don’t ask for any additional documents as this will mean an even longer wait.

Now the CoE doesn’t guarantee you entrance to Japan. You have to get an entry visa at a Japanese Embassy or Consulate near you.  As well as any other document required by your country to have.

BE SURE to have your CoE stapled to your passport (after getting your visa) because you will still need that when you land.


The requirements for the visa are:

1.) Passport (Broken Lamination of the Photo part is not accepted)
(Must have signature and have at least 2 blank pages)

2.) Visa Application Form

3.) Photo (2×2 white background and must be pasted on the application form)

*EXEMPTION of birth certificate and marriage contract if the applicant has his/her passport (old or valid) with a used Japanese Visa*

4.) Birth Certificate
(Must be from NSO and issued within 1 year. If you don’t have one you can submit a birth certificate from the local civil registrar, baptismal certificate, school record (form 137) and school yearbook (if applicable)

5.) Marriage Contract (If married)
(Must be from NSO and issued within 1 year. In case of non-record, you must submit a certificate of non-record together with the one from Local Civil Registrar.)

6. Certificate of Eligibility (Must be issued within 3 months)

7. Copy of Certificate of Eligibility

(Note: For Non-Filipinos, you might not need the birth/marriage certificate. But they may ask for other requirements so better be safe and call your local Japanese embassy.)

Now, as far as I know, the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines does not accept walk-in applicants so I applied through a travel agent. The embassy has a list of accredited agencies so I suggest you check them on their website.

The entire process only took me 3 business days. I went to the travel agency on a Tuesday, after lunch, and spent less than 15 minutes there. They called me on Thursday afternoon to tell me that I can pick up my passport and that the visa has already been approved. Very easy and very fast.

According to, the Japanese Consul office is closed on Wednesdays to process visa applications so if you submit your documents on a Tuesday so you won’t have to wait too long for the results.


Okay, so you’ve taken your first step on Japanese soil. What are the things you need to do?

Because of Japan’s New Residency Management System which took effect on July 9th, 2012, you have to follow the procedures below:
**Copied from the note my employer sent me**

Landing Permission
(At Narita, Haneda, Chubu and Kansai Airports)

An immigration inspector stamps your passport with a seal of landing permission and, in case you are permitted to stay in Japan for a mid-to-long period of time, the inspector will issue a Residence Card.

At Narita and the other three airports, there are special lanes dedicated only to those waiting for their Residence Cards to be issued.

(At the other ports of entry or departure)
An immigration inspector stamps your passport with a seal of landing permission and, in case you are permitted to stay in Japan for a mid-to-long period of time, the inspector will stamp “Residence Card will be issued at a later date” beside the landing permission seal.
In this case, after you receive this permission, submit a notification of your residence to the municipality office of your residence. Then, the Residence Card Section of Tokyo Immigration Bureau will send your Residence Card directly to the residence you reported.

Contact information:
Immigration Information Center
(Weekdays between 8:30 to 17:15)
Phone: 0570-013904
(IP phone, PHS, International call: 03-57967112)

Hopefully these information will help you get your Japanese work visa.

I’m going to make a post about getting the OEC tomorrow so stay tuned :)