Japan Travel Visa: What Does It Require and How Long Is It Valid?

Japan is a popular destination for visitors from around the world. The country saw over thirty-one million tourists in 2018.

Citizens of over 68 countries do not require a visa to enter Japan for business or tourism-related purposes. However, non-exempt nationalities must report their stay and pay accompanying Japan travel visa fees.

Visa Requirements

If you want to visit Japan for leisure or business, there are a few things you need to know. These include visa requirements, entry restrictions and Health Declaration.

Tourists and students can visit Japan for up to 90 days on a non-working visa. These are available for citizens of visa-exempt countries and those with family or business contacts in Japan who can act as guarantors.

The application process is relatively simple, with a standard processing time of five business days with the help of professionals like iVisa. However, you should be prepared to submit additional documents if you are asked for them.

Work visas are available for a variety of professional fields. They require a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and a university degree or significant professional experience. You can submit the COE yourself, or your Japanese employer, a family member, or an immigration lawyer can do it for you.

Permanent residency is also available to those who meet certain conditions. These include high academic achievement, professional experience, and sufficient investment or savings to support themselves in Japan.

The Japanese government has introduced a point system to determine if an ex-pat qualifies for permanent residence. Ex-pats who score high will have a greater chance of getting permanent residency in as little as one to five years.

Entry Requirements

If you plan to visit Japan on holiday, you’ll need a valid passport. It can be an ordinary one, a diplomatic or official passport from one of the countries listed in our visa-exempt list, or a travel visa.

The type of visa you apply for can impact how long you can stay in Japan. Single-entry tourist visas are ideal for those who plan to spend a single, short trip to the country. However, this visa is only suitable for people who intend to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days or work here.

There are also various types of non-working visas available for tourists and business travelers. These last three months to a year and are often granted to tourists and students who plan to work for cultural purposes only.

A certificate of eligibility (COE) is required for this type of visa and can be submitted by yourself, your employer, a family member or an immigration lawyer. The COE process usually takes 1-3 months and is processed at the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate.

Before, the vaccination requirements for this visa were the same as those for the single-entry tourist visa, except that a negative pre-flight PCR test is not required if you have been triple-vaccinated in the UK or any other country. A ‘fast track’ entry pass is also available, and this can be obtained by uploading a copy of your official Government vaccination certificate to the VJW website. It means that airport staff will scan the QR code rather than requiring you to provide a hard copy of your vaccination or negative test documentation. But now, you won’t need a covid vaccination, although the Japan Health Declaration is still required.

Transit Requirements

Tourists who wish to visit Japan for a short period without engaging in any paid work may apply for a single-entry or double-entry Japan visa. Those from countries with reciprocal visa exemption arrangements with Japan do not need a tourist visa and can visit Japan as Temporary Visitors.

Those traveling to Japan for business can also apply for a single or double-entry business visa (if both trips are within six months). They can engage in various activities, including seminars and conferences, meetings, signing contracts, and market surveys.

A Japan travel visa requires a valid passport. You can get this at a port of entry or online, depending on your nationality and where you are arriving in Japan from. You must have two recent colored passport photos with a light background.

You must have a valid ticket and airline reservation number for the flight you are boarding in Japan. The itinerary must indicate your arrival date, the ticket number, and the “Certificate of Reservation” issued by the airline.

In addition to your passport and tickets, you must bring your vaccination certificates and pre-departure COVID-19 test results. You can use the digital health credential app VeriFLY to submit these documents ahead of time and complete airport check-in procedures more quickly.

Passengers wishing to stay in Japan longer than 90 days must register with their residence’s municipal office and obtain a Resident Card (“Zairyu Card”) from the regional immigration offices. It will allow you to travel freely within Japan and obtain a work permit if required.