Types Of Visas In Japan

Types Of Visas In Japan: Explained

Embarking on a journey to Japan isn’t just about packing bags and booking flights; it’s about navigating the sea of visa options, each tailored to a different chapter of your Japanese tale. Need to know more? Don’t Worry! We’ve got you covered!

Whether you’re an aspiring student, a budding entrepreneur, or a global wanderer, understanding Japan’s visa landscape is your first step towards a new adventure. Dvelve into our guide to find your perfect visa match and prepare to set your story in the heart of the Rising Sun.

Let’s dive in!

For Whom Is A Japanese Visa Required?

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A Japanese visa is needed by foreign nationals who reside in countries that are not exempt from the visa requirement. 

Countries whose residents are required to obtain a short-term visa on visiting Japan include Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the U.S.a. 

Citizens of certain countries can enter with Temporary Visitor status for 15 to 90 consecutive days, while others need a tourist visa prior to entering the country. 

The visa requirement applies to individuals planning a short-term stay i.e less than 90 days, for purposes such as tourism, business and studying. U.S. 

Japan has taken measures on the visa exemption arrangements for 70 countries.

Keep in mind that even visa exempt countries need a long stay visa or any other visa  they want to stay longer than 90 days.

Visa exemption means that if you are a citizen of one of the following countries, you can temporarily go to Japan visa-free for vacation or business purposes for up to 90 days.

Such countries are as follows:

BelgiumBrunei (Only 15 days)Bulgaria
CanadaChileCosta Rica
CroatiaCyprusCzech Republic
DenmarkDominican RepublicEl Salvador
HondurasHong KongHungary
IcelandIndonesia (Only 15 days)Ireland
MonacoNew ZealandNetherlands
North MacedoniaNorwayPoland
PortugalRomaniaSan Marino
SloveniaSouth KoreaSpain
TaiwanThailand^ (Only 15 days)Tunisia
TurkeyUnited Arab Emirates (Only 30 days)
United KingdomUnited StatesUruguay

What Are The Requirements To Enter Japan?

Foreigners who want to enter Japan for long-term stay or for activities not permitted under the status of a Temporary Visitor, require either a Diplomatic visa, Official visa, Working visa, General visa, Specified visa e.t.c.. 

These are mostly long-term visas for purposes of employment, education, training and long-term residence. 

When applying for a visa for the above-mentioned activities, a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) must be obtained before the actual visa application process can commence.

Some general requirements for a long stay visa is:

  • Hold a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and 2 blank pages
  • A completed visa application form
  • If married, submit a marriage certificate (if issued within the last year)
  • You must have the intention to leave Japan at the end of your authorized stay
  • Proof of financial ability demonstrating you can support yourself financially during your stay in Japan

Single Entry, Multiple Entry And Transit Visa In Japan

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A single-entry visa for Japan allows the holder to enter Japan once and is typically valid for a maximum of 3 months

On the other hand, a multiple-entry visa permits the holder to enter Japan multiple times and is issued for a longer validity period, which can range from 1 to 5 years, depending on the purpose of the stay. 

The multiple-entry visa remains valid even after the holder enters Japan, whereas a single-entry visa becomes invalid once the holder receives the Landing Permit

The specific validity and conditions for each type of visa may vary based on the applicant’s nationality and the purpose of the visit.

A Japan transit visa is required for citizens of visa-required countries who have to transit through Japan on their way to a third country of destination. This visa is also known as a Japan Shore Pass

The transit visa allows the holder to stay in Japan for a limited period, usually no more than 15 days, and can only be used for tourism, sightseeing, or rest.

What Are The Types Of Japanese Visas?

There are about 30 types of visas in Japan, and they can be divided into three main groups: working visas, non-working visas, and family-related visas. 

Working Visa

This is for people who want to be involved in jobs such as:

Non Working Visa

This includes visas:

  • Tourist Visa: This temporary visitor visa is for individuals planning to visit Japan for tourism, visiting friends or relatives, attending conferences, etc. It typically allows a short stay.
  • Student Visa: If you intend to study in Japan, you will need a student visa. This visa is for those enrolled in educational institutions in Japan.
  • Dependent Visa: Family members (spouse, children, etc.) of individuals working or studying in Japan may apply for a dependent visa to stay with their family member.
  • Cultural Activities Visa: This visa is for individuals engaging in cultural or artistic activities in Japan, such as learning tea ceremony, traditional arts, or participating in cultural exchange programs.
  • Temporary Stay For Medical Care: If you need to visit Japan for medical treatment, you may apply for a visa under this category.
  • Designated Activities Visa: This category covers a range of specific activities such as volunteering, participating in conferences, attending business meetings, etc.
  • Working Holiday Visa: Some countries have agreements with Japan that allow young people to stay for an extended period and engage in short-term work for the purpose of supplementing their travel funds.

Family Related Visas

This includes:

  • Spouse Or Child Of A Japanese National Visa: This visa is for spouses, children, or adopted children of Japanese nationals. It allows family members to join the Japanese national and reside in Japan.
  • Spouse Or Child Of A Permanent Resident Visa: Issued to spouses, children, or adopted children of foreign nationals who hold permanent residency in Japan. Allows family members to live with the permanent resident in Japan.
  • Dependent Visa: This visa is for family members (spouse, children, parents) of foreign nationals who hold a work or student visa in Japan. It allows dependents to reside in Japan with the primary visa holder.
  • Long-Term Resident Visa: For dependent family members of foreign nationals holding a long-term resident visa. This category may include spouses, children, and parents.

What Is The Japanese Visa Application Procedure?

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You have to apply for the visa from a representative office of Japan abroad (embassy or consulate). This process is as follows:

  • Gather The Required Documents: These are listed below.
  • Submit Your Socuments: This is to be done at the embassy.
  • Visa Processing: This will usually take 5 working days, starting from the day the Japanese Representative Office receives your completed application.
  • Collect Your Passport: If the application has been approved, your visa will be affixed and you can use it to travel to Japan within three months. You will receive it from the embassy.

Keep in mind that incomplete documents will require additional visits to the embassy or result in the need to reapply.

What Are The Required Documents For The Visa Application?

The documents include:

  • Completed and signed visa application form. You can usually download this form from the official website of the Japanese embassy or consulate.
  • Valid passport with at least two blank pages for visa endorsements and a validity period that extends beyond your intended stay in Japan.
  • Recent passport-size photos meeting the specified requirements.
  • Proof of finances such as bank statements or other documents showing that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Japan.
  • A letter of guarantee from a Japanese national or resident who is willing to take responsibility for you during your stay.
  • A copy of your round-trip flight itinerary.
  • Additional documents specific to the purpose of your stay such as an enrollment certificate for students and employment contract for work visas.

For most long-term visa categories, you will need a Certificate of Eligibility issued by a sponsor or guarantor in Japan. 

This is typically obtained by the person or organization that is inviting you to Japan.

If you are applying as a dependent, include proof of relationship with the primary visa holder which includes a marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.

Any additional documents may be required for the specific visa category you are applying for.

Additional Document For Short Stay Visa Include:

  • Hotel Reservation (proof of accommodation for the duration of your stay)
  • Travel Schedule

Additional Document For Long Stay Visa Include:

  • Job Offer Letter (For Work Visa)
  • Proof Of Enrollment (For Student Visa), such as a letter of acceptance from the Japanese educational institution.
  • Housing Arrangements
  • Health Certificate

Visa Application Appointment, Fees And Processing Time

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Generally, many Japanese embassies and consulates do require applicants to schedule an appointment before submitting their visa applications

The fees are collected in the currency of the country in which the Embassy is located. 

As of April 1st, 2023:

  • The fees for a single-entry visa are 3,000 yen
  • The fees for a double-entry or multiple-entry visa are 6,000 yen
  • The fees for a transit visa are 700 yen

The fees must be paid for the issuance of visas, and they are collected in addition to the processing fees in case the visa application is approved. The fees can be paid in cash, money order, or credit card (eVISA only) at the Embassy.

The visa approval process takes a minimum of 5 business days with sufficient documents. Keep in mind, incomplete visa applications will be returned

As such, it is recommended to apply in advance of the anticipated travel date to counter  potential delays in the processing of the visa application.

What Happens If Your Application Is Rejected

An applicant is allowed to reapply for a Japan student visa after the rejection. After six months from the date of refusal, the application shall be submitted. The Japanese immigration service will not accept a resubmission if it is made immediately after the refusal.

Do Japanese Visas Have Visa Extensions?

You have to apply to extend the period of your stay in Japan before your current visa expires. You may submit a Japan Visa extension application up to three months before the date your visa is set to expire.

You can submit the application for a Japan Visa Extension at the Immigration Office.

When submitting an application for the extension of period of stay in Japan, you must have several documents to support your application depending on the specific purpose of your stay:

  • A completed extension of the period of stay application form
  • Your Passport
  • Your Residence Card
  • Passport-size picture of yourself meeting the required conditions stated by the embassy.
  • Proof of finances to continue living in Japan

Additional documents included:

  1. For a Japan Student Visa:
    • A copy of your Registration Certificate issued by your educational institution
    • A copy of your Results Certificate issued by your educational institution
    • Proof you can meet the financial requirements related to your stay
  2. For a Japan Work Visa:
    • Proof of continued employment which states the details of your employment, such as the salary, position, and duration
    • The company’s registration documents
    • Proof of the annual income and tax payment
  3. For a Japan Spouse or Child Visa:
    • A copy of the family registration of the Japanese citizen or foreign resident
    • A copy of the Residence Card of the Japanese citizen or foreign resident
    • Proof of the income and profession of the Japanese citizen or foreign resident
    • Letter of guarantee from the Japanese citizen or foreign resident

The fee for a Japan Visa Extension of 4,000 Yen, which you have to pay through revenue stamps.


And so, with a clearer map of Japan’s visa maze in hand, you’re one step closer to scripting your own Japanese saga. Each visa opens a door to new experiences, opportunities, and tales waiting to be lived.

Remember, the right visa not only grants you entry into Japan but also into a chapter of your life filled with growth, discovery, and countless adventures. Choose wisely, tread boldly, and embrace the journey that awaits in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Path Discovered!

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