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Countries or Regions that do not require a visa to enter Japan

As of September 2019, Japan has taken measures concerning the Visa Exemption Arrangements with 68 countries and regions.

Nationals and citizens of those countries and regions are not required to obtain visas to enter Japan when their visits are tourism, commerce, conferences, visiting relatives/ acquaintances, etc. However, when foreign nationals engage in paid activities in Japan, or their periods of stay exceed those stipulated in each country’s arrangement of short-term stay, visas will be required to enter Japan.

The period of stay granted at the time of the landing permission will be “15 days” for Brunei, Indonesia, and Thailand, and “30 days” for United Arab Emirates and “90 days” for other countries and regions.

Countries or Regions that require a visa to enter Japan

(source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)

In the case of an invitation for the purpose of a short-term stay*, please write a Letter of Reason for Invitation and draw up a Schedule of Stay and submit these together with visa application documents.

*In the case that you are inviting relatives or friends, employees of a company with which you do business, etc. for a period of stay of 90 days or less and will not be paying them an income.

If you are inviting a person from China / Russia / CIS countries / Georgia, and if you will pay travel expenses instead of the visa applicant (who wishes to come to Japan), a Letter of Guarantee, the certificate of residence of the guarantor, and documents confirming the capacity of the guarantor to pay the expenses should also be prepared in addition to the above documents regardless of the applicant’s nationality. For further details, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s website.

Visa application procedures

Visa Application Documents are available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s website.

There are three ways to apply for a visa. Depending on the circumstances in your country or region, there are cases that the documents should only be submitted by the applicant him/herself going to the Japanese Embassy/Consulate, or through an accredited travel agent. Please check with the embassy or consulate to which you plan to apply before making the application.

  • the visa applicant him/herself goes directly to the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General.
  • the visa applicant writes a Letter of Proxy and get a proxy to go to the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General in his / her place.
  • the visa applicant uses an accredited travel agent approved by the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General.

The standard processing period is five working days from the day after the date of the acceptance of application. However, if any kind of checking is required (the submission of additional documents, an interview with the applicant, inquiries, etc.), etc., the examination may take longer than five working days (from several weeks to several months). Therefore, it is recommended that you make the application well before the scheduled date of departure.

About the “guarantor” for the visa application

The “guarantor” for the visa application is the person who makes a promise to the head of the embassy / consulate (the Japanese ambassador/ consul-general, etc.) to the effect that the visa applicant will stay legally in Japan.

The responsibilities of the guarantor only entails moral responsibilities and does not entail legal responsibilities like that of the “guarantor” in the Civil Code.

However, if it is recognized that the guaranteed matters (expenses for the applicant’s stay in Japan, return travel expenses, compliance with laws and regulations) have not been performed rightly, that person would lose credibility as a guarantor in subsequent visa applications.

Please be aware that if the guarantor or inviting person made a false statement in the documents about their relationship to the visa applicant or the purpose of visit, or if that caused terrorists to enter Japan or crime such as human trafficking, they may be held criminally responsible.

(source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)

For inquiry to Visa and Beyond by Takatsuka Office, please send a message through a contact page.

Published by Takatsuka Office たかつか事務所

Yuichi is an Administrative Solicitor (“Gyoseishoshi Lawyer”) as well as a Registered Migration Agent. オーストラリアから帰国後、「街の身近な法律家×国際人」として地域の皆様の力になりたいとの思いより、JR南浦和駅近くに行政書士事務所を開いた高塚雄一です。

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