I have a Vietnamese passport and currently reside in Singapore. I'm planning a trip to Japan on the 28th of October and currently applying for tourist visa through the Japan e-Visa system.
However the e-Visa system cannot read my passport. It always gives this error "An error occurred in the upload process".
The problem seems to be with my passport's machine-readable zone (MRZ) section. Usually MRZ sections should start with:
But in my case it starts with:
P>VNM<SURNAME (note the wrong arrow on the second character!).
I came to that conclusion after trying out many things (including uploading my wife's passport, reading the ICAO passport specificiations lol, and using photoshop to "modify" the passport and test uploading it again). Funny thing is, I have been using this passport to travel to many countries and have been wondering why I could never use automated clearance gates!
So I called the e-Visa hotline; they advised that I tried to apply in person at the Japan Embassy in Singapore. I checked the embassy's appointment system and there is no slot either for this month or next month (my flight is end of next month). Called the embassy and they said that they will only release more slots at the end of this month and I should keep checking the system.
It seems I'm down to 2 options now:
Wait and check everyday for new slots at the embassy. If I'm lucky, I'll get a slot at the beginning of next month. I'll also need to count on my luck to be able to get the visa in 2-3 weeks; otherwise will need to cancel my flight tickets.
Photoshop the damn arrow on my passport and proceed to upload it through the e-Visa system. Neither the e-Visa staff or the embassy staff could advise me on whether this is allowed. The risk is that when I enter Japan, immigration will flag it out because it doesn't entirely match my passport image. I feel the chance of this happening is very low because in my experience so far, all immigration officers would try to scan my passports, then shrug and give up and key in the details manually.
What do you think is my best option?