Guidelines for Japanese Visa

How to apply for Japanese visa? - Everything you need to know!

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Japan has always been a fascinating country in terms of culture, natural beauties, and architecture. A lot of people are wondering how to visit Japan and if they need legal paperwork than just buying the flight tickets.

Today, we will help you discover the beauties of Japan without the hassle which you would go through if you did not know much about the japan visa requirements.

Nevertheless, your country may or may not be required to have a visa to travel to Japan for its citizens. It is up to the citizenship of the nationality and the power of your passport. Let’s talk about who needs a Japanese visa.

Who needs a visa for Japan and why is it necessary to obtain one?

Just like any other country, Japan is also implying a border protection program to prevent illegal immigration to Japan. However, the citizens of the countries who are allowed to travel to Japan without a visa may change in time. Currently, Japan visas are based on the purpose of your visit and the duration of your stay. If you are planning to travel to Japan for a period of shorter than 90 days, you can apply for a number of visa types which will require less paperwork to provide.

The Japanese government has published a list of countries that have the privilege of visa exemption. These countries are most of the European countries, Canada and the United States in North America, and countries like Mexico and Argentina in Latin America.

However, if you are planning to extend your stay in Japan or you would like to apply for a longer period of visa in the first place, then you will need to get a visa that covers your stay.

Do you need a visa to go to Japan?

Other than touristic purposes, you can have a number of different reasons to travel to Japan. You may be considering moving into Japan for work, to get your college education, or even to get married to a Japanese citizen.

There’s a certain type of visa for your need and you need to assess the purpose of your travel before you apply for one. Don’t worry! We’ll help you decide which one you will most likely need to have!

Here’s a list of visas for Japan:

Short-term / Temporary Visas for Japan:

This type of visa is intended for non-japanese people who would like to enter Japanese land for a short period of time. There are 3 types of short-term visas you can apply for:

  • Japan Tourist Visa
  • Japan Business Visa
  • Japan Transit Visa

The most common one of these short-term visas above is the tourist visa. It’s given for the purpose of visiting friends and family or to discover what Japan has to offer.

A business visa is provided if you have a business meeting or a conference to attend in Japan.

Lastly, Japan Transit Visa is given only if you have a flight ticket to a third country but for that, you have to enter the Japanese land. It’s a good idea to get a transit visa from Japan if you’re interested in traveling to another Asian country and if you found a very cheap flight ticket in Japan.

Long-term / Extended Stay Visas for Japan:

Long-term visas for Japan are issued when you need your visa to last more than 90 days. There could be several reasons for this. Here’s a list of long-term / extended stay visas for Japan:

  • Japan Work Visa
  • Japan Student Visa
  • Japan Family Union / Marriage Visa
  • Japan Highly Skilled Professional Visa
  • Japan Working Holiday Visa

Japan work visa is the visa you are going to apply for if you are planning to move into Japan to get a full-time or part-time job.

Japan student visa is the visa for international students who would like to complete or continue their education in Japan.

A family union/marriage visa is for non-japanese citizens who are about to get married to a Japanese citizen.

Japan working holiday visa is the type of visa which you are going to need if the country that you are a citizen of has a type of mutual agreement with the Japanese government as a holiday scheme. This type of visa allows you to go to Japan and be able to work in Japan for up to a year! 

Lastly, if you are a highly-skilled professional with expertise in your field, you have the chance to obtain Japan highly skilled professional visa. This type of visa is like the regular work visa with some perks such as extended stay and comprehensive legal rights.

How can you apply for a visa for Japan?

Great! So far, you know what type of visa you are going to need to apply for a visa for Japan, but how? The only way you can apply for a visa for Japan is via a Japanese consulate or embassy. What you need to do is to find the nearest Japanese consulate and ask them what they are requiring. Collect the paperwork that is needed and submit your application with your passport. Shortly, you’ll receive your passport with your Japanese visa in it.

However, if you are going to stay longer than the short-term period of 90 days in Japan, firstly you need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from an Immigration Office in Japan. An authorized officer should be providing you this document.

How can you get in contact with the Japanese consulate?

There are two ways to contact the Japanese consulate in your country. If you are living in a country where there is no Japanese consulate, search for an agency office that is responsible for the application of a Japanese visa. Bear in mind that there are many private agencies that are not legally authorized to give you a legal service. Though they may be cheaper in terms of service cost, we suggest you get help from an agency that is legally authorized by the Japanese embassy.

How to obtain the required documents for a Japan Visa?

Now that you know where to apply and how to apply, let’s take a look at what types of documents you are going to need. For the Japan Visa application, the necessary documents may differ according to the visa type. However, in almost every case, you are going to need to provide the following documents below:

  1. A valid passport that has at least 2 pages left with a minimum of 6 months validity left starting from the entry date of your Japanese visa application.
  2. A biometric passport photograph that is recently taken (not longer than 6 months)
  3. A visa application form for the intended Japanese visa
  4. Flights tickets to Japan (booked or reserved)
  5. Bank proof of financial stability (preferably a formal letter from your bank that is showing the amount of money you have and your recent transactions)

Nevertheless, if you have a person you know of in Japan who is sponsoring you, you may not need to provide a bank statement. You should advise the Japanese consulate or the legal representative of Japan to get a confirmation in this matter.

How to collect your visa for Japan?

After you submit your application for the Japanese visa, you have to wait for a week or two to get it confirmed by the Japanese officials. Once it's confirmed, you have the option to retrieve your passport.

You can go to the Japanese consulate / the authorized Japanese embassy agency yourself and get your passport or simply you can agree with a delivery service company like UPS to get your passport to your house.

Does my visa mean that I have the right to enter Japanese lands without an issue?

Unfortunately, no! Your documents and your visa proves that you are worthy to enter the land of Japan. However, it is on the border police’s initiative to give you permission and landing permit to enter Japanese territory. You should bear in mind that if your visa states that your visa has a feature of a single-entry, then you cannot re-enter the country once you leave it. However, if your Japanese visa states that you have the right to enter Japanese territory multiple times, then leaving the country and re-entering will not be a problem for you!

What is the Japanese Certificate of Eligibility (COE)?

If you wish to enter Japan with the purpose of living in Japan for a long-term period of time out of reasons like employment, you have to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from an Immigration Office in Japan.

You should be applying for the Certificate of Eligibility via a proxy before applying for your visa at the Japanese Embassy / authorized agency in your country.

How long does it take to get your Japan Visa?

In general, a Japanese Visa takes up to five working days, starting from the time that the consulate or the authorized agency receives your completed application. Nevertheless, it could take more time if they need further documentation from your side. If they realize something is missing or shady on your application and they feel like they have to send your visa application for further examination to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo, you should expect at least a month of a waiting period for your application. However, this only happens in extreme cases.

For this reason, it is better to apply for your visa as soon as possible to prevent unwanted situations like missing your flight!

How much does a Japanese Visa cost?

If you are applying for a Japanese visa, you should know that the fee will vary according to the entry type and in some cases, there could be additional fees according to the applicant’s nationality.

Normally, here’s are the fees for the Japanese visa:

  • Single Entry: 3000 YEN ( 29 USD )
  • Double Entry: 6000 YEN (58 USD )
  • Transit Visa: 700 YEN ( 7 USD )

It is better to keep in mind that if you are applying for the Japanese visa via an authorized agency, there’ll be an additional processing fee cost. 

What is the duration of your Japanese Visa?

The duration of your Japanese visa is determined by the type of visa you have applied for. If you have applied for a short-term visa then the duration of your Japanese visa will be less than 90 days. However, a multiple-entry visa can be valid for up to 5 years. This is determined by the purpose of your stay and your financial situation.

Can you travel to other Asian countries?

Yes, you can! Just like Japan, there are a lot of other beautiful places which you can visit and discover. For example, you can apply for a Korean visa while you are in Japan and travel to Korea for a couple of days, and come back to Japan. However, you should bear in mind that you may need a visa depending on your nationality to be able to travel to South Korea.

Can you apply for the Japanese visa online?

Unfortunately, under current circumstances, there is no possibility in which you can apply for a Japanese visa online. Also, make sure that the Japanese borders are open to your country because there may be a travel ban due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Do you need Japan Visa as a US citizen?

The short answer is no! If you are traveling to Japan for a period of fewer than 90 days, you do not need to get a Japanese visa. However, if you are planning to stay in Japanese territory for longer than 90 days, you have to apply for a Japanese visa.