I'm planning to get a Japanese tourist visa. Before applying, is it recommended to get an invitation letter from a citizen of the country?

Would they think something like "Oh, he knows someone here, he might want to stay and live here." So, is it better to have one or not?

If I get an invitation letter I will have to stay only on their house? Can I visit other places and pay my own way?

I'm from Colombia. I have a female relative in Japan who is married to a Japanese citizen.

  • Whew, requirements for a family visit visa are pretty involved. You'll have to prove the relationship. If the relative is an aunt or cousin, you'll need to provide birth certificates for you, your parent, and the host at least to prove the relationship.
    – mkennedy
    Feb 10 '18 at 21:08
  • Then would it be better to say that its a friend? because they are cousins of my father not mine directly Feb 12 '18 at 14:12
  • If you have a stable job and good savings, and won't stay there for very long, I'd skip all that hassle and just say you're there for tourism. After all, you are not lying as you ARE going to travel.
    – xuq01
    Dec 30 '18 at 4:33

It is recommended to follow the official procedures and give only the requested documentation. Giving more than is required would seem odd. If it does appear suspicious, it will most likely be discarded. A person evaluating a visa application works to see if you qualify or pose a risk. The same would be true of other spurious information such as sending bank statements when none is required.

There are rules for qualifying for a visa and usually an application to fill out with a list of the required supporting documentation. Some countries ask for a letter of invitation but those actually a minority, usually countries who do generally do not welcome tourism. For those that do encourage tourism, then you are more likely to be asked about onward travel and proof of accommodation and those you must provide when required by the application.

  • does all the documentation listed on the embassy web means they are all mandatory?,something not listed there will be take as plus or suspicious Feb 9 '18 at 19:57
  • @FelipeCardona - Yes, unless stated as optional. It did happen to me that I was missing one and in that case added a latter explaining it which led them to give me the visa.
    – Itai
    Feb 9 '18 at 20:03

As originally asked, you were asking a very general question, which made it hard to answer.

  • When your itinerary and especially the financing of your visit depend on your host, that should be documented. Example: You have been invited to stay at the summer home owned by the parents of a friend from university. You are paying for the flight tickets, you are not expected to pay for room and board. Then they should put that in writing.
  • It is unnecessary and even suspicious if people who do not contribute to your trip give assurances that you will behave properly as a tourist. They cannot know what you will do, so they can't make promises. Example: You want to go to Paris and also meet a friend in Nice for dinner. An invitation from that friend proves nothing.
  • If you provide documents that are not required, you show that you do not understand the process. That's bad, because you might also misunderstand your rights and duties as a tourist (i.e. leave on time, do not work).
  • So the invitation card would be required if I would stay completely at the house of the writer?,Can I for example go and stay at their house for some days and then go to another destination paying my own hotel and stuff? Feb 9 '18 at 19:42
  • @FelipeCardona, You still haven't said where you are going and where you are from. That matters.
    – o.m.
    Feb 9 '18 at 19:43
  • Sorry Im from colombia,Im planning going to japan,I have a relative living there that is married with a japanese man,on the embassy page I see that one document I need is an Invitation letter,But I dont know if its obligatory Feb 9 '18 at 19:44
  • @FelipeCardona, I cannot possibly comment on Japanese visa practice. You should edit your question and the tags to include this information.
    – o.m.
    Feb 9 '18 at 19:47
  • Ok thank you,but in general if one of the documents for the apply is an invitation letter that means its obligatory? Feb 9 '18 at 19:48

If the Japanese embassy website lists invitation letter in visa requirements then it's mandatory to provide it. Where invitation letter is required the usual practice is that it can either be a real person (friend, relative) or a tourist company you engage if your purpose is tourism (and buy a package). Yes, some countries put restrictions like buying a prepaid holiday package from registered tour agency in order to grant a tourist visa. Perhaps this applies to Colombian citizens intending to visit Japan for tourism. Do confirm with the embassy.

  • Well I haven't seen anything related to buing a package,but then If I get the letter from a real person my schedule form(that Japanese embassy requires with activities) should be only filled with activities saying that I will go to X place and then only come back to stay on their house? or will I be able to also list some tourist activities independently Feb 15 '18 at 16:18

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