Visa policy of Japan

Visitors to Japan must obtain a visa from one of the Japanese diplomatic missions, unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries.

A single-entry Japanese temporary visitor visa (New design since 2016)
A double-entry Japanese transit visa on a Chinese passport (Old design)

Visa policy mapEdit

 
  Japan
  Visa exemption – up to 6 months
  Visa exemption – 90 days
  Visa exemption – 30 days
  Visa exemption – 15 days (Thailand) or 14 days (Brunei)
  Visa exemption – 15 days (registered passports only)
  Visa required

Visa exemptionEdit

 
A Japanese temporary visitor landing permission sticker issued at the Haneda Airport on a Taiwan passport
 
The Japanese temporary visitor landing permission stickers and departed stamps issued at the Narita Airport and Naha Airport on a British passport

Holders of ordinary passports of the following jurisdictions do not need a visa to stay in Japan for up to 90 days (unless otherwise noted):[1][2]

Diplomatic and official passportsEdit

 
  Japan
  Visa exemption for diplomatic and official passports
  Visa exemption for diplomatic passports

Holders of diplomatic and official passports of the following countries do not need a visa for Japan, and are granted the status of residence as diplomats or officials:[77]

Holders of diplomatic and official passports of other countries to whom a visa exemption applies when using an ordinary passport are also exempted from a visa, but are granted the status of residence as temporary visitors under the same conditions and maximum stay as with an ordinary passport. This exemption does not apply to holders of diplomatic and official passports of Taiwan, and to those of the United States traveling for official purposes.[77]

APEC Business Travel CardEdit

Holders of passports of the following jurisdictions who also hold an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) containing the code "JPN" on the reverse may travel to Japan without a visa for business purposes for stays of up to 90 days:[1][80]

HistoryEdit

Japan had a special visa policy for nationals of countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States who could not provide their financial guarantees and get a visa on their own but instead they had to apply through an approved travel agency or be invited by a resident or a citizen of Japan.[81] These requirements were lifted for citizens of Russia on 1 January 2017,[82] Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on 5 June 2017,[83][84] Armenia on 1 September 2017,[85] Azerbaijan on 1 December 2017[86] and Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine on 1 January 2018.[87][88]

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has special visa policies for nationals of China and the Philippines. Nationals of these countries also must apply through an accredited travel agent or be invited by a Japanese citizen or a resident of Japan.[89][90]

As of 2014, nationals of the Philippines and Vietnam travelling in a group through a registered travel agency may obtain entry visas for tourist visits up to 15 days in a simplified process that requires fewer documents than before.[91] Moreover, nationals of India, the Philippines and Vietnam can obtain multiple-entry visas providing that they have visited Japan and other G7 countries or they have "sufficient financial capability".[92][93]

As of 2015, Chinese tourists travelling on approved cruise ships do not need a visa. They must embark and disembark the same specified ships.[94]

Japan was reportedly set to ease visa requirements for visitors from key markets, such as India, China and Vietnam, starting in the summer of 2016.[95] A new wave of visa liberalization policies started on 17 October 2016 for Chinese nationals[96] and on 1 January 2018 for Indian nationals.[97]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan suspended the visa exemptions for most countries from March 2020, and later for all countries, and restored them on 11 October 2022.[98]

StatisticsEdit

In 2015 4,768,286 Japanese visas were issued.[99] It is an increase of 66% from 2014 when 2,871,639 visas were issued and the highest number ever recorded.[100]

Most visas were applied for by nationals of the following countries:[101][102][103][104]

Application from Issued visas in 2017 Share Issued visas in 2015 Share Issued visas in 2014 Share Issued visas in 2013 Issued visas in 2012
  China 4,504,718 77% 3,780,773 79% 2,048,106 71% 971,542 1,112,407
  Philippines 325,564 5% 225,676 5% 163,386 6% 99,258 74,424
  Indonesia 239,201 4% 162,273 3% 141,321 5% 122,376 90,498
  Vietnam 226,993 4% 139,236 3% 96,648 3% 65,305 39,581
  India 96,658 2% 74,088 2% 66,696 2% 55,622 50,938
  Russia 67,445 1% 47,813 1% 57,606 2% 54,948 45,468
  Brazil 50,885 1% 38,798 1% 34,217 1% 28,697 35,049
  Thailand[105] 20,857 1% 21,322 1% 183,684 228,528
  South Korea[106] 20,399 0% 18,861 1% 21,644 22,964
  United States[106] 19,349 0% 19,017 1%
  Malaysia[105] 70,231 115,348
Others 357,548 6% 239,026 5% 204,459 7% 191,118 171.316
 
Foreign tourists to Japan

Most visitors arriving to Japan were from the following countries of nationality: In 2015 most visas were issued for group sightseeing (1,957,498) and individual sightseeing (1,126,209). There were 62,052 multiple-entry visas for Okinawa and 10,500 multiple-entry visas for three prefectures in Tōhoku.

Country/Territory 2017[107] 2016[108] 2015[109] 2014[110] 2013[111]
  China   7,355,800   6,373,564   4,993,689   2,409,158   1,314,437
  South Korea   7,140,200   5,090,302   4,002,095   2,755,313   2,456,165
  Taiwan   4,564,100   4,167,512   3,677,075   2,829,821   2,210,821
  Hong Kong   2,231,500   1,839,193   1,524,292   925,975   745,881
  United States   1,375,000   1,242,719   1,033,258   891,668   799,280
  Thailand   987,100   901,525   796,731   657,570   453,642
  Australia   495,100   445,332   376,075   302,656   244,569
  Malaysia   439,500   394,268   305,447   249,521   176,521
  Philippines   424,200   347,861   268,361   184,204   108,351
  Singapore   404,100   361,807   308,783   227,962   189,280
Total   28,690,900   24,039,053   19,737,409   13,413,467   10,363,904

Re-entry Permit as a VisaEdit

 
A Re-entry Permit Stamp (sticker type)

There is also a stamp type Japan Re-entry Permit (再入国許可), which is pasted into a foreign passport or other travel document servers as an re-entry visa.

Those who are traveling outside Japan for longer than 1 year are required to have a re-entry permit. Normally, the re-entry permit will be applied to a passport in the form of a self-adhesive sticker. For those who do not have a valid passport, a booklet type Re-entry Permit will be issued at the same time as the re-entry Permit stamp issues.

In the new system as of July 2012, the maximum period for a re-entry permit is 6 years.

Special Re-entry PermitEdit

From July 9, 2012, foreign nationals residing legally in Japan who are leaving Japan for no more than 1 year will not be required to apply for a re-entry permit prior to leaving, but can instead apply for a special re-entry permit at the point of departure.[112] Previously if a foreign national left Japan without a re-entry permit, their visa or legal residency status could be revoked.

The special re-entry permit system does not apply to those falling under any of the following.

  1. those whose resident status is in the process of revocation
  2. those whose confirmation of departure is suspended
  3. those who have received a written detention order
  4. those who are in the process of a refugee application and staying with the resident status of "Designated Activities"
  5. those who are specified by Japan's Ministry of Justice to be a threat to Japan's national interests or public order, or for other good reasons to be in need of a re-entry permit for the sake of fair control of entries and departures

The special re-entry permit is not available for booklet type Re-entry Permit holders and they must have a stamp type re-entry permit on their booklet since the valid date of the booklet Re-entry Permit is limited to the stamp.

Admission refusedEdit

As a result of sanctions against North Korea, admission and transit is refused to nationals of   North Korea, even if not leaving the aircraft and proceeding by the same flight.[1][113][114]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Nationals of Austria, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Switzerland and the United Kingdom may apply for an extension of stay with the Ministry of Justice for up to 6 months.
  2. ^ a b c Only for holders of machine-readable passports.
  3. ^ For stays of up to 14 days.
  4. ^ Holders of Hong Kong SAR passports or British National (Overseas) passports who have the right of abode in Hong Kong.
  5. ^ a b For stays of up to 15 days.
  6. ^ Only for those who have registered their biometric passport in a Japanese diplomatic mission in Indonesia. The registration is valid for three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.
  7. ^ Holders of Macau SAR passports.
  8. ^ a b c d Only for holders of biometric passports.
  9. ^ Only for holders of Taiwan passports that include a personal identification number.
  10. ^ a b c For stays of up to 30 days.
  11. ^ Only British citizens and British Nationals (Overseas).
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Only for holders of diplomatic passports.
  13. ^ a b For stays of up to 90 days.

ReferencesEdit

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  86. ^ "Relaxation of Visa Requirements for Nationals of Azerbaijan".
  87. ^ "Relaxation of Visa Requirements for Nationals of the Republic of Belarus".
  88. ^ "Relaxation of Visa Requirements for Nationals of Ukraine".
  89. ^ Nationals of China who wish to come to Japan for a short-term stay
  90. ^ Nationals of Philippines who wish to come to Japan for a short-term stay
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  103. ^ Number of visas issued, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, 2008–2012.
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  105. ^ a b Visas abolished on 1 July 2013
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  108. ^ 2016 Foreign Visitors & Japanese Departures
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External linksEdit