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Visa requirements for Japan: do I need a visa to enter Japan?

You need one to enter Japan Passport and a visa (unless you come from one of the visa-free countries). There is a Range of different types of visas for Japanwhich are approved by the Japanese government for various purposes and time periods.

There are 68 countrieswhose citizens do not require a visa for tourist or business purposes are allowed to enter. Citizens of other countries currently need to contact a Japanese embassy or consulate to apply for a visa. Japan plans in 2020 an eVisa to introduce, which simplifies the application process for the acquisition of the Japan visa.

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Visa types Japan

At the moment there is numerous different visa types and more types are planned, including the eVisa.

Visas are obtained directly from the Japanese embassies and consulates, with the application process for the eVisa being carried out entirely online.

Japanese visas can be accepted in 3 main categories to be grouped:

  • Work visa
  • Non-work visa
  • Family-related visas

Work visa

Work visas count as Long-term residence visas and cover the type of work that requires high level specialist knowledge or skills. They do not involve simple work tasks. Waiters, construction workers, salespeople, etc. cannot obtain a work visa. Typical work visas:

  • Engineer, Humanities Specialist, International Services Engineer. Engineers and humanities scholars must have a university degree in the relevant subject area or 10 years of professional experience. International service engineers must have 3 years of professional experience in their field.
  • Intra-company transfers. This status applies to expats of foreign companies or the subsidiaries of Japanese companies abroad who have worked in their home office for more than a year.
  • Qualified workers. Professions such as foreign chefs, architecture or civil engineers with a focus on foreign architecture, animal trainers, sports trainers, sommeliers, and precious stone processors fall under this status. It is imperative to have at least 3 years of professional experience in this area.
  • managing Director. Those who are about to start a business or invest in a business in Japan. Also applies to those who conduct business on behalf of investors.
  • Highly qualified specialists. This visa is designed to attract workers who are likely to contribute to the Japanese economy.

Individuals with a certain status, knowledge or skills can get the following work visas:

  • Diplomats or officials, embassy and consulate staff, diplomatic missionaries, government personnel and their families.
  • Researchers and teachers at universities or equivalent educational institutions.
  • Foreign language teachers or other trainers at elementary schools, high schools, etc. Those who want to work at private language schools must apply for the Specialist in Humanities / International Services visa.
  • Persons whose artistic activities provide enough income to support their life in Japan.
  • Religious activities: Missionaries sent to Japan by foreign religious organizations.
  • Journalistswho have concluded contracts with foreign media companies. This also includes freelance journalists.
  • Legal and accounting service provider.
  • Medical professionals. Specialists with Japanese qualifications.
  • Individuals who work under a contract with public or private organizations in Japan.
  • Those that are in Show business and professional sports work.

Non-work visa

Anyone with a non-work visa can work as long as immigration permits them to do so. This type of visa is considered a visa for short term stays and some restrictions apply. Individuals working under a non-work visa cannot exceed the number of hours approved per week.

Who is eligible for a non-work visa:

The visa application is submitted through the school.

The training serves to acquire technologies, skills or knowledge. This status is only granted if the candidate returns to their home country and works in a position that requires that technology, skills or knowledge.

Technical interns. This applies to internships after training with an internship visa.

Spouses or children of personswho are in Japan with the work visa and the non-work visa (except for temporary visitors and interns).

Cultural activities. Cultural or artistic activities without income.

Students or researchers Japanese cultural or artistic activities.

University studentswho take part in a free internship.

Temporary visitors (also known as Tourist visa). This status includes vacationers, athletes, family visitors, participants in seminars and conferences, business meetings, market research, and those who travel to Japan to participate in public relations activities.

There is also another variant of non-work visas that are available on a case-by-case basis certain activities is granted. Students doing an internship, on work vacation or diplomatic housekeepers are just some of the people who can apply for this visa.

Family-related visas

Family-related visas are considered short term visas and have no restrictions when it comes to employment so that you can do more than one job or change jobs. Persons who can apply for these visas are:

  • Spouses and children of Japanese nationals
  • Long-term residents
  • Permanent residents
  • Spouses and children of permanent residents

Japan tourist visa

Basically every tourist who wants to visit Japan must must apply for a tourist visa before entering the country. However, Japan excludes several nationalities from having to meet this requirement. For example, citizens from most European countries, the United States, Australia, and Argentina do not need a Japan tourist visa to travel to visa-free countries be valid. Citizens from any of these regions can apply for a maximum of 90 days Visa-free for tourism in Japan stop and get temporary visitor status.

The Japan tourist visa is a Short-stay visa for sightseeing purposes, the Visiting friends or attending conferences or courses. According to the entry regulations, tourists can stay in Japan for up to 30 days, but this tourist visa is valid for a period of up to 90 days. Tourists can also apply for a double visa for 2 short trips within 6 months. It is important to note that the Japanese tourist visa does not allow travelers to to take up paid work during their stay in the country.

Other short-term visas

  • Business visa: There is a temporary business visa for stays of up to 90 days, which may include a single or double entry visa (if both trips take place within a period of 6 months). Business purposes include conferences, meetings, contracting and market research.
  • Transit visa: Certain nationals need a transit visa for transit in Japan. Most travelers do not need a transit visa while they are in the assigned zone stop and do not leave the airport.

Citizens of which countries need a tourist visa?

All nationalities that are not exempt from the visa requirement need a visa to enter Japan. Citizens of certain countries can be granted the status of a Temporary visitor for a limited period of time (15 to 90 consecutive days) enter for tourist or business purposes.

Visitors get one Stamp in her passportwho for the Japan Rail Pass is required. The rules are very strict and it is not possible to get the passport without a stamp (tourists with a other type of visa are not eligibleto get the pass).

The following nationalities are entitled to temporary visitor status (everyone else needs a visa to enter):

JAPAN VISA FREE COUNTRIES AND REGIONS
EUROPE
AndorraFinlandLatviaPoland
AustriaMacedoniaLiechtensteinSerbia
BelgiumFranceLithuaniaSlovakia
CroatiaGermanyLuxembourgSlovenia
CyprusGreeceMaltaSpain
Czech RepublicHungaryMonacoSweden
DenmarkIrelandNetherlandsSwitzerland
EstoniaItalyNorwayGreat Britain
NORTH AMERICA
CanadaUnited States
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
ArgentinaChileEl SalvadorMexico
BahamasCosta RicaGuatemalaSuriname
BarbadosDominican RepublicHondurasUruguay
ASIA
Brunei (15 days)Republic of KoreaThailand (15 days)Macau
IndonesiaSingaporeHong KongTaiwan
Malaysia
OCEANIA
AustraliaNew Zealand
MIDDLE EAST
IsraelUnited Arab Emirates (30 days)Turkey
AFRICA
LesothoTunisiaMauritius

Citizens of the above countries can apply for Tourism purposes, to visit relatives and for business purposes. Visitors under the Temporary visitor status enter, but cannot be paid for work. In these cases it is necessary to apply for a work visa.
Citizens of the following countries need a tourist visa to enter Japan:

  • China
  • Russia
  • Philippines
  • Vietnam
  • CIS countries and Georgia

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Japan tourist visa requirements

To successfully apply for a tourist visa to Japan, applicants who are not nationals of the above countries must meet the following visa requirements:

  • A valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and 2 blank pages.
  • A completed Visa application form.
  • An actual colored passport photo and a certified copy of your birth certificate.
  • If married, submit a marriage certificate (if issued within the last year).
  • You must intend to leave Japan at the end of your authorized stay.
  • Proof of financial ability to support yourself financially during your stay in Japan.
  • Have your bank issue you a certificate stating your financial situation for the past 6 months.
  • A tax return from the applicant.
  • A copy of your certificate of employment must be submitted for an application without a sponsor.
  • Providing a schedule and travel plans for the trip.

Tourists from visa-free countries all you need to do is show a valid passport for the intended length of stay in order to receive your Japan eVisa.

If you have any further questions about thisTo find out what you need to get the Japan Tourist Visa, have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions about Japan Entry Requirements.

Japan tourist visa validity

Easy entry visas are valid for 3 months after issue and generally allow a stay in the country of up to 15 days. It is not possible to extend this validity.

Double visas are valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

Multiple visas are usually valid for a period of 1 to 5 years, depending on the nationality of the visitor, the purpose of the visit and the type of passport they hold. Multiple entry visas allow you to visit Japan multiple times within this 1 to 5 year period from the date of issue, but each stay may not exceed the 15 or 30 day period.

Japan tourist visa fees

Before you can get your Japan tourist visa, you need to pay a fee. The fees vary depending on whether you are applying for a single entry visa, a double or a multiple visa, as well as the nationality of the tourist.

It is advisable to yourself before submitting your application with their Japanese embassy or consulate as the fees can change at any time. Please also note that the fees are charged in the local currency in which the embassy or consulate is located and are payable at the time of application. Once you have paid the fee, you will receive proof of payment.

Japan tourist eVisa

The new Japan Tourist eVisa will be available to nationals of eligible nationalities starting April 2020 - just in time for the 2010 Tokyo Olympics. The electronic visa is part of the government's broader plan, through 2030 annually 60 million foreign visitors to attract.

The online application form is straightforward and meansthat tourists do not have to go to an embassy or consulate to fill out the application. It was designed to simplify visa application.

After Submit and approve his application the applicant receives the eVisa by email. Travelers can present the eVisa at the border to gain access.

The eVisas are for single entry and you will be asked to make a payment by credit or debit card to submit the application. In the months before the introduction of the visa further information on this will be published.

You can find more information about the Japanese Tourist eVisa at: https://www.visasjapan.com/tourist-evisa/.

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