26 Oct 2016 - Posted By Maeve Nolan / Get Your Visa, Japan / No Comments


Planning a trip to Japan? First off, you’ll need to understand how to get a Japan visa to enter the Land of the Rising Sun.

The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose of your stay in Japan, your nationality and various other factors, so read on!

Get your Japan visa to seeTorii gates at Fushimi Inari in Kyoto Japan.

Types and issuance of Japan visa

Temporary Visitor’s Visa

“Temporary Visitor” visas allow single-entry stays of up to 90 days for a wide range of purposes, including tourism, visiting friends and family, conducting business, conducting short-term academic research, attending lectures and more.

However, Japan shares visa exemption reciprocity with 67 countries, including nationals of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore, France and Spain, just to name a few. Here’s a full list of these “visa exempt” nations.

If you see your country on this list, then good news!—you don’t have to apply for a visa to enter Japan. Instead, just bring your valid passport and you’ll be stamped into the country as a “temporary visitor,” allowing you up to 90 days  stay in the country.

Transit Visa

If you’re simply spending less than 15 days in Japan on your way to another country, you can apply for a “Transit Visa.”

The documentation you’ll need to acquire a transit visa include a visa application, a recent passport photo, your flight details, accommodation details, and a bank statement showing that you have $100 for every day that you plan to stay in Japan, and a visa for the country you are entering after Japan.

Japan Visa on Arrival

In Japan, there is no “visa on arrival”; you’re either exempt from having to apply for a visa or not. If you are exempt, you’ll be granted entry into the country for up to 90 days as a “Temporary Visitor.” (See above.)

Related article: Best Time to Visit Japan

Long-term Visas

Planning on staying in Japan for longer than 90 days?

Then you’ll definitely need to apply for a visa to do so, and it’s a more involved process.

Japan will grant long-term visas for people coming to Japan for work, study or to be with a family member as a spouse or dependent.

Japan offers work visas in 12 categories depending on the type of work you do, such as journalism, teaching, research, business management and the arts. A work visa can allow you to reside in Japan for up to 5 years.

You can also apply for a student visa for long-term studies in Japan, which will allow you a stay of up to 4 years and 3 months. While a student, however, you won’t be able to work in Japan.

Tourist visa application

How to apply for a Japan visa from the USA

If you are a US national and are planning to stay in Japan for tourism, work-related travel or other purposes for less than 90 days, you’re in luck! You won’t need to apply for a visa.

You are “visa exempt” and your passport will be stamped for a single 90-day “temporary visitor” entry at your port of arrival in Japan. But if you’re a national who is not visa exempt and you’re applying for a visa in the US, read on.

Requirements

You can apply for all visas in person at your closest Japanese Embassy or Consulate, or through the mail. If applying through mail, make sure you read your local embassy’s stipulations.

Some, like the embassy in New York, will process Japan visa from residents outside their jurisdiction, but they will only mail passports back within their jurisdiction.

Most applications will take 4 to 7 business days to process, but during busy times this could increase to several weeks, so be sure to submit your application with plenty of time.

Documents

Bring your passport (valid for at least 6 more months), a photocopy of the identity page of your passport, one passport photo, a copy of your flight information in and out of the country, your Green Card or I-94 and valid US visa to re-enter the US (if necessary), and proof of your ability to fund your stay in Japan, including a letter from your employer detailing your position, salary and length of employment, your latest bank statement and a day-by-day itinerary of your travels.

Also, be prepared to pay the visa processing fee. For a thorough explanation of each document, visit the website of the Consulate-General of Japan in New York.

Fees

Visa processing fees depend on your nationality. See what your fee is here.

Validity

Your visa must be used within 3 months of the issue date.

Period of stay

The visa allows stays of up to 90 days.

Extension of stay

Currently, extensions of stay are not possible, but if you’re a US national and have a savings of at least 30 million yen, you and your spouse are eligible to stay in Japan for up to a year for tourism purposes.

This will, however, require the proper Japan visa to be acquired before entry.

Embassies and consulates of Japan in the US

  • Chicago: 737 N Michigan Ave #1100, Chicago, IL 60611
  • Houston: 909 Fannin St #3000, Houston, TX 77010
  • New York: Consulate General of Japan, 299 Park Ave, New York, NY 10171
  • Washington, DC: Embassy of Japan, 2520 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
  • San Francisco: 275 Battery St #2100, San Francisco, CA 94111

(There are many more consulates in the U.S. Just Google it for one near you!)

How to get your visa for Japan from Australia

Australian nationals who plan to stay in Japan for less than 90 days don’t need to apply for a Japan visa. Australia is one of Japan’s “visa exempt” countries.

At your port of arrival in Japan, your passport will be stamped for a single-entry stay as a “temporary visitor” for up to 90 days.

However, if you’re a national of a country that is not visa exempt but you’re applying for a visa in Australia, read on.

Requirements

You can apply for all visas in person at your closest Japanese Embassy or Consulate. The minimum processing time is 1 week, but it may take longer if more documentation is necessary.

Also, be aware that some consulates require you to apply during certain periods of time depending on the date on which you depart Australia. Visit the website of your local consulate for information.

Documents

You’ll need to submit your passport that is valid for at least 6 months, evidence that you hold a valid Australian visa, an application form, one recent passport photo, your flight and accommodation details in English or Japanese only, a bank statement saying you have at least $100 for every day of your stay in Japan, your student ID (if applicable), and a visa for the next country you’ll enter after Japan (if applicable).

Fees

Visa processing fees depend on your nationality. See what your fee is here.

Validity

Your visa must be used within 3 months of the issue date.

Period of stay

The visa allows stays of up to 90 days.

Extension of stay

Currently, extensions of stay are not possible, but if you’re an Australian national and have a savings of at least 30 million yen, you and your spouse are eligible to stay in Japan for up to a year for tourism purposes.

This will, however, require the proper visa to be acquired before entry.

Embassies and consulates of Japan in Australia

  • Brisbane: Consulate-General of Japan, 17th Floor, Comalco Place, 12 Creek Street, Brisbane QLD 4000, Tel: (07) 3221 5188
  • Cairns: Consular Office of Japan in Cairns, Consulate-General of Japan at Brisbane, Level 15, Cairns Corporate Tower, 15 Lake Street, Cairns QLD 4870, Tel: (07) 4051 5177
  • Melbourne: Consulate-General of Japan, Level 25, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Tel: (03) 9679 4510
  • Perth: Consulate-General of Japan, U22/ Level 2, 111 Colin Street, West Perth WA 6005, Tel: (08) 9480 1800
  • Sydney: Consulate-General of Japan, Level 12, 1 O’Connell Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Tel: (02) 9250 1000
  • Yarralumla: Embassy of Japan, 112 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla ACT 2600, Tel: (02) 6273 3244

How to get a Japan visa from the UK

UK nationals planning to stay in Japan for tourism, work-related travel or other purposes for less than 90 days will not need to apply for a visa. The UK is included on the list of Japan’s “visa exempt” countries.

Just bring your valid passport and you’ll be stamped into the country with a single-entry, 90-day stay as a “temporary visitor.”

But if you’re from a country that is not visa exempt and you’re applying for a visa in UK, read on.

Requirements

You may only apply for a visa in person at a Japanese consulate, and you must submit your application at least 1 week before your departure date.

The London embassy cannot accept applications from non-residents of the UK, and residents of Scotland and North England should apply at the embassy in Edinburgh.

Documents

You’ll need to submit your passport that is valid for at least 6 months, a Japan visa application form, one recent passport photo, your flight, accommodation and itinerary details in English or Japanese only, a bank statement saying you have at least $100 for every day of your stay in Japan, a letter written in the last 3 months from your employer or academic institution, your student ID (if applicable), a visa for the next country you’ll enter after Japan (if applicable), a letter of invitation from Japan (if applicable).

Fees

Visa processing fees depend on your nationality. See what your fee is here.

Validity

Your visa must be used within 3 months of the issue date.

Period of stay

The visa allows stays of up to 90 days.

Extension of stay

Currently, extensions of stay are not possible, but if you’re a UK national and have a savings of at least 30 million yen, you and your spouse are eligible to stay in Japan for up to a year for tourism purposes.

This will, however, require the proper visa to be acquired before entry.

Embassies and consulates of Japan in UK

  • London: Consular Section, Embassy of Japan in the UK, 101-104 Piccadilly London W1J 7JT, Tel: 020 7465 6565
  • Edinburgh: Consulate-General of Japan in Edinburgh, 2 Melville Cres, Edinburgh EH3 7HW, Tel: +44 131 225 4777

How to get a Japan visa from Canada

Canadian nationals planning to stay in Japan for tourism, work-related travel or other purposes for less than 90 days will not need to apply for a visa. Canada is one of Japan’s “visa exempt” countries.

Just bring your valid passport and you’ll be stamped into the country with a single-entry, 90-day stay as a “temporary visitor.”

But if you’re from a country that is not visa exempt and you’re applying for a visa in Canada, read on.

Requirements

Check with your local consulate-general or embassy, as requirements for visas vary from place to place. For example, the Consulate-General of Calgary requires an appointment for all Japan visa applications.

Documents

Be sure to bring your valid passport, visa application form, one passport photo, the original AND a copy of your Canadian Immigration document, your flight, accommodation and itinerary details in English or Japanese, a bank statement proving your financial stability, a self-addressed stamped envelope, and a money order for your visa fee.

If you are not living in Canada as a permanent resident, you’ll also need to bring an original, signed Certificate of Employment/Enrollment from your employer or school.

Fees

Visa processing fees depend on your nationality. See what your fee is here.

Validity

Your visa must be used within 3 months of the issue date.

Period of stay

The visa allows stays of up to 90 days.

Extension of stay

Currently, extensions of stay are not possible, but if you’re a Canadian national and have a savings of at least 30 million yen, you and your spouse are eligible to stay in Japan for up to a year for tourism purposes.

This will, however, require the proper Japan visa to be acquired before entry. See the Japan Guide for more information.

Embassies and consulates of Japan in Canada

  • Calgary: 517 10 Ave SW #950, Calgary, AB T2R 0A7, Phone: +1 403-294-0782
  • Ottawa: 255 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 9E6, Phone: +1 613-241-8541
  • Toronto: 77 King St W #3300, Toronto, ON M5K 1A1, Phone: +1 416-363-7038
  • Vancouver: 1177 W Hastings St #900, Vancouver, BC V6E 2K9, Phone:+1 604-684-5868

The good news is that nationals of more than 60 countries don’t need to apply for a visa to visit Japan for short stays. But for those of us who are not visa exempt, we know visa application processes can be confusing.

If you’ve had any issues applying for a Japan visa in the past, please share your experience with us in the comments below.


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