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I’m trying to book an emergency flight for the weekend of May 11th-12th from San Jose Costa Rica to Manila Philippines. I’m unable to obtain an in transit visa through Canada on such short notice. Canada is the cheapest route by far, less than $1,000 1-way.

The alternative, next cheapest flight is SJO to Mexico City to Narita to Manila for $2,300 for a 1-way. The layover at Narita is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Can a Filipino passport holder pass through Narita Japan Airport in transit from SJO, Mexico, Narita, to Manila? Or do you also have to file for an in transit visa just like Canada? If I have to wait any longer I will not be able to see my friend before they pass away.

marked as duplicate by jpatokal, Ali Awan, David Richerby, bytebuster, RedBaron May 3 at 16:23

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  • Thank you. The flight is out of SJO. San Jose, Costa Rica. – SDavid May 3 at 2:27
  • Oops, I missed the Costa Rica bit. Have you got any other visas? USA, Schengen, etc? – Michael Hampton May 3 at 2:50
  • I have no other visas. No USA. No Schengen. Now I’m looking at booking 3 separate flights. San Jose Costa Rica to Panama then San Paola Brazil. Then Brazil to Dubai non-stop. Then non-stop Dubai to Manila. I did this once before. It took 66 hours. I will have to do it again. Filipinos ok to travel through all of those countries. This I already know. Thank you. – SDavid May 3 at 3:34
  • If you have time later, I recommend you obtain a US transit visa for any future journeys you may take. While the cost is the same as a tourist visa, it is easier to get than a tourist visa. It also makes international travel in the Western Hemisphere much easier and cheaper. A Canada transit visa would also be helpful, and it is free. Either one takes a few weeks, so it does require some time for planning ahead. – Michael Hampton May 3 at 3:43
  • Thank you. I will do that! – SDavid May 3 at 16:38
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Filipino citizens don't need a visa to transit at Mexico City (MEX) airport, provided you stay in the international transit area and your layover is less than 24 hours. You wouldn't be able to transit without a visa at TIJ or any other Mexican airport, though.

Neither do you need a transit visa for Japan.

Timatic, the database which airlines to use to verify passenger travel documents, states:

Mexico (MX)

TWOV (Transit Without Visa):
Visa required, except for Passengers transiting through Mexico City (MEX) with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 24 hours. They must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination.

Japan (JP)

TWOV (Transit Without Visa):
Visa required, except for Passengers with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country on the same calendar day. They must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination.

Passengers with a passport and a confirmed onward ticket to a third country within 72 hours can obtain a Shore Pass on arrival if there are no connecting flights on the same calendar day. They must:

  • have documents required for the next destination; and
  • have proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay; and
  • arrive at and depart from an airport or seaport located within the same group below.
  • Group A:
    Airports: Narita (NRT), Haneda (HND), Nagoya (NGO), Niigata (KIJ), Komatsu (KMQ) and Yokota (OKO).
    Seaports: Tokyo, Yokohama, Niigata and Nagoya.
  • Group B:
    Airports: Osaka (KIX), Nagoya (NGO) and Komatsu (KMQ).
    Seaports: Osaka, Kobe and Nagoya.
  • Group C:
    Airports: Fukuoka (FUK), Nagasaki (NGS), Kumamoto (KMJ),
    Kagoshima (KOJ), Naha (OKA) and Kadena (DNA).
    Seaports : Hakata (Fukuoka), Shimonoseki and Naha (Okinawa).
  • Group D:
    Airport: Chitose (CTS).
    Seaports: Tomakomai, Otaru, Hakodate and Muroran.
  • It is always a bit hilarious to me that they include OKO and DNA, which are military air bases, in this list. Sure the USAF runs some "passenger" services but I doubt those who utilize these services would benefit from TWOV at all... – xuq01 May 3 at 6:06

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