Visa Entry Requirements for Visiting Japan

newsonjapan.com -- Jul 13
Japan is a country where ancient traditions meet modern life. Now, witnessing this fusion of centuries-old cultures and cutting-edge technology is easier than ever thanks to an accessible visa policy.

Who needs a visa to enter Japan?

Citizens of 68 countries including the USA, UK, Australia, and all EU Member States don’t require a visa when traveling roundtrip and with a valid passport. Upon arrival at the airport, they are simply granted permission for a short-term stay.

To help travelers determine whether or not they need a visa to visit the country, websites have compiled information on the ins and outs of entry requirements. This page offers a comprehensive look at what travel authorisation is required to visit Japan, including information on visa-free countries and the possibility of applying for the new eVisa once it launches.

What is the Japan eVisa?

When launched, this document will allow eligible nationals to apply for their single-entry permit entirely online.

Other types of Japan visas

Visitors from countries that do require a visa have a variety to choose from depending on the purpose of their visit and length of stay. Here are some of the most common:

  • Tourist visa– for travelers visiting for sightseeing or to attend a meeting or conference.
  • Working visa– a long-term document reserved for highly skilled professionals in select fields.
  • Non-working visa– this can cover university students on non-paid internships as well as the spouses and children of professionals staying under a work visa.
  • Family-related visa– Spouses and children of Japanese nationals and permanent residents.

What are the Japan visa requirements?

The exact documents depend on the type of entry permit required. However, in general, applicants need the following:

  • A valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and 2 blank pages.
  • A completed application form.
  • A recent, color passport photo.
  • A certified copy of their birth certificate.
  • A marriage certificate (if issued within the last year).
  • Proof of their intention to leave the country at the end of their stay.
  • Proof of financial means (this can be a certificate stating their financial situation over the past 6 months issued by the bank).
  • An income tax return.
  • If applying without a sponsor, a copy of a COE (Certificate of Employment).
  • An itinerary for the trip.

How do I apply for a visa to Japan?

All applicants must make an appointment at the embassy or consulate in their country of residence. After submitting the documents mentioned above, the processing period is about 5 business days.

If approved, applicants will pay a fee of 3,000 Yen (26 USD) for a Single-entry permit and 6,000 (53 USD) for a Double or Multiple-entry pass. All fees are collected in the local currency and no payment is required if the visa is not issued.*

*Please note that fees may change depending on the visitor’s nationality and the purpose of the visit.

How do I apply for a work visa for Japan?

Work permission must be requested in conjunction with an inviting person or company in Japan. This individual or company must apply for a Certificate of Eligibility at their corresponding Regional Immigration Bureau. Once approved, this will be sent to the applicant outside Japan who must compile the following:

  • A valid passport.
  • The completed application form.
  • A color, passport-size photograph
  • Other necessary documents, as indicated by the embassy.

The traveler will then apply at their nearest Japanese embassy or consulate where their case will be examined.

Can I get a working holiday visa to Japan?

Visitors interested in spending more time exploring the country may apply for a working holiday visa. This scheme is based on bilateral agreements between the partner country and Japan, making it possible for the youth of both nations to enjoy wider cultural opportunities.

On a working holiday, visitors may undertake limited work to supplement their travel funds. Travelers can apply for an initial 6-month stay with the possibility of requesting 2 additional 6-month extensions. Participants must be between 18 and 30 years old to participate and should be a national of one of the following countries:

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Canada
Chile
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
France
Germany
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Lithuania
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Portugal
The Republic of Korea
Slovakia
Spain
Sweden
Taiwan
The UK

What do US citizens need to travel here?

US passport holders may visit the Land of the Rising Sun for up to 90 days visa-free. To do so, visitors must hold a passport valid for their entire period of stay and with 1 blank page.

There is no need to fill any forms beforehand; simply showing proof of an onward ticket and sufficient financial means will be enough to request the entry permit.

How long can I stay in Japan?

For nationals of the 68 visa-exempt countries, length of stay is broken down into 3 categories as follows:

Stays of up to 15 days: Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand

Stays of up to 30 days: United Arab Emirates

Stays of up to 90 days: other countries and regions

For travelers applying through an embassy, Single-entry passes are valid for up to 90 days and Multiple-entry permits between 1-5 years, depending on the nationality.

Can I extend my stay in Japan?

Citizens of Austria, Germany, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Mexico, Switzerland, and the UK who enter under the visa-free scheme may extend their stay for up to 90 days. This can be done at the nearest Japan Immigration Bureau for a small fee. All other visitors should speak to their nearest embassy for long-term visit options.

What else should I know before traveling to this country?

Japanese law requires that all short-term foreign visitors show proof of onward travel. This can be either a return ticket or a flight and entry permit to a third country. All travelers are photographed and fingerprinted upon arrival before being granted ‘landing permission’ – a seal of verification affixed in their passports.

This ‘landing permission’ immediately becomes the legal basis for staying in Japan and visitors must carry their passports with them at all times when in the country.