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Japanese Entry Visa

Updated on August 1, 2012

I Want to Go to Japan

Japan is a beautiful country full of so many things to see. Many people travel here daily. They may come to work, to study abroad, or to vacation. What ever the reason may be, proper documents should be at the top of your list be for planning to travel. It can get a bit confusing whether or not you need a visa or which type of visa you may need. None the less, it is very important to understand the types of visas, the requirements of the visas and what privlages those visas allow you.

Short Stay Visitors

When Traveling from the USA, Americans are allowed to enter Japan without a visa. The terms of a visitor's visa are fairly simple. You may inter the country for business or pleasure for up to 90 days. You may participate in short term language lessons but the class cannot be longer than 90 days. You may also use this visa if you have business to attend to in Japan. Or if you are simply here to visit relatives or vacation. You are not permitted to work. This visa is great if you are planning to move or study in Japan. You can enter the country with your passport and "scout" jobs, school or housing before choosing to file for a long term visa and make your official move. This visa is also really handy for summer study students. Students wishing to study abroad for the summer are able to due to the fact that most summer terms do not go on longer than 90 days.

General Visa

If traveling to Japan For a period of time longer than 90 days, then you will require a visa of some type. The average person usually travels to Japan for educational purposes. Those individuals would apply for a general visa. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the following people would require a general visa.

  • Cultural activities (Examples: unpaid internships, people studying the tea ceremony or Japanese flower arranging, etc.)
  • College student (Examples: college students, occasional students and research students, etc. enrolling in a university, etc. in Japan)
  • Precollege student (Examples: college students enrolling in a high school in Japan, students enrolling in a Japanese language school, etc.)
  • Training (Examples: trainees in a company, a local government, etc., participants in the Industrial Training and Technical Internship Program, etc. (* Including practical training for 90 days or less)
  • Family stays (Examples: The spouse and children, etc. of a foreign national on a long-term stay)

*Quick tip*

Travelers looking to visit Japan between April-June, apply as early as possible. These months are very busy. The Japanese school year begins in April so many families may be moving around that time to ensure that their children start school on time. Also most students like to study abroad during the summer. As you can imagine, the immigration offices are filled with visa request. April-June is a very busy time.

Working Visa

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan, the following people would qualify for a working visa.

  • Professor (Examples: university professor, assistant professor, assistant, etc.)
  • Artist (Examples: composers, songwriters, artists, sculptors, craftspeople, photographers, etc.)
  • Religious activities (Examples: religious people such as monks, bishops, missionaries, etc.)
  • Journalist (Examples: newspaper journalists, magazine journalists, editors, news cameramen, announcers, etc.)
  • Investor/business manager (Examples: company presidents, officers, etc.)
  • Legal/accounting services (Examples: attorneys, judicial scriveners, public accountants, tax accountants, etc. certified in Japan)
  • Medical services (Examples: physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, etc. certified in Japan)
  • Researcher (Examples: researchers, investigators, etc. at research institutes, etc.)
  • Instructor (Examples: teachers, etc. at elementary schools, intermediate schools and high schools)
  • Engineer (Examples: scientific engineers, IT engineers, etc.)
  • Specialist in humanities/International Services (Examples: foreign language teachers, interpreters, copywriters, designers, etc.)
  • Intra-company transferee (Examples: people transferred to the Japanese branch (head office of the same company, etc.)
  • Entertainer (Examples: musicians, actors, singers, dancers, sportspeople, models, etc.)
  • Skilled labor (Examples: chefs specializing in the food of a foreign country, animal trainers, pilots, sports trainers, sommeliers, etc.)

With this visa a foreigner would be authorized to work and receive wages. Also this visa requires sponsorship. The applicant must have a company willing to sponsor them into the country. The immigrant must report any changes in employment immediately or they could potentially be deported.

Dependant Visa

This is a visa I have come to know very well.This visa Is for those of Japanese ancestry or connection. With this visa a foreign nation would be able to work and attend school. Since the visa is not based on the job or school, the foreigner would be able to change jobs without having to report any change.

Traveling to Japan is not as difficult as one may think. There are several steps in the immigration process. The first step is understanding the type of visa you will need. All other steps will fall into place.

Happy Traveling!


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    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Some great research info here on getting into Japan! Great hub! Cheers!