As Japan flings opens its borders to tourists, this article covers everything you need to know about getting a visa for travel to Japan. This includes information on visa requirements, vaccinations, e-Passports, and how to extend your stay.
Visitors from 68 countries can enter Japan for up to 90 days with a free visa upon arrival. These include the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and most European nations.
Getting a Visa
You must have a valid passport to enter Japan, and depending on your country of origin, you may need to obtain a visa before arriving. The visa waiver system was reactivated for short-term visitors with British citizen passports in October. A new e-Visa system will be launched for travelers from Canada and the United States later this year.
Whether planning to travel for business, tourism, or family reasons, applying for your Japan Entry Visa as soon as possible is essential to ensure your application is processed quickly and successfully. You can apply online, which saves you time and money by handling all the legwork for you, or submit your application at the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate.
The standard processing period is five business days if you apply for a tourist visa. Still, it can take longer if the embassy requests additional documents or requests an interview with you. Additionally, you may be required to present a COVID-19 certificate or negative PCR test before your trip.
If you’re planning to work while in Japan, you’ll need a work visa. This can be obtained through a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) granted by your employer, a family member, or an immigration lawyer. The process can take 1-3 months, but it’s worth it for your peace of mind.
Japan has significantly relaxed its COVID-19 travel restrictions and visa requirements for tourists, but you should know a few things before traveling. First, you should have a valid passport and get vaccinations in time for your trip.
The cap on daily arrivals has been removed, and visa-free travel will resume for independent travelers from eligible countries. However, entrants must show evidence of at least three COVID-19 vaccinations and submit a negative test within 72 hours before departure for Japan.
Vaccination certificates must include name, date of birth, vaccine manufacturer, vaccination date, and the number of doses received. They must be signed by the doctor who administered each dose. Certificates issued by AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna, or Novavax are acceptable.
If you are traveling with infants under six months of age, they should receive a single measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. This does not count towards the routine childhood vaccination series, and you should discuss it with your pediatrician before booking a trip.
You will also need to register with Visit Japan Web to upload your vaccination certificate and pre-departure PCR test result, answer a health survey, and complete immigration and customs questionnaires before you travel to Japan. Once your information is verified, you will receive a QR code to show on arrival to expedite entry.
Requirements for e-Passports
When planning your holiday to Japan, it is essential to consider the various requirements for getting a visa. This is especially true for those wishing to visit the country as tourists.
The vast majority of nationalities require a valid passport for entry to Japan. However, there are certain exceptions, such as citizens of 68 nations who are free from the requirement to apply for a visa for up to 90 days.
You will need a valid passport for the entire duration of your intended stay in Japan. This includes any flights you plan to take and onward or return tickets to Japan.
Alternatively, you can choose to get a Japan e-passport. This process is much faster than going to the embassy and will allow you to submit your application online.
When submitting your e-passport, you must provide the required information and documents, including your full name, date of birth, gender, passport number, issuing date and expiry date, address in Japan, phone number, and email. The embassy officials will check this, and you can expect your Japan e-visa to be processed within a few business days.
If you travel with prescription medications or medical devices, you must obtain a certificate before your trip. This certificate should state that the drug can be brought into Japan and has been approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MLHW). You must also get a copy of your doctor’s prescription and certificate.
Getting a Temporary Visitor Visa
If you are traveling as a tourist to Japan, you should first secure a temporary visitor visa. This can be obtained online from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
The application process is simple and relatively straightforward, but there may be some additional requirements depending on your situation. You should also be aware that it can take between 5 and 7 business days to get a temporary visitor visa.
A valid passport is essential. You should make sure that it is still good for at least six months from the date you apply for the visa, and you should also keep an extra copy of your passport with you during your stay in Japan.
Upon arrival in Japan, you must show your COE/entry visa at the airport immigration desk. This will allow you to queue up separately from everyone else.
Once you have queued, your fingerprints and photograph will be taken for security. Afterward, it would help if you waited until your laminated residence card was made up for you.
Knowing how to apply for a resident visa is essential for ex-pats with a longer-term plan to live in Japan. While this requires significant paperwork, it can help you qualify for permanent residency within one to five years.