Japan is a gorgeous and wonderful country full of incredible places of interest for tourists from all over the world. If you also desire to visit Japan, then you need to have a valid Japan tourist visa. The Japanese government has structured many different types of Japan tourist visas for various purposes and time periods, and you can decide which one you would need to apply for accordingly.
Although, you don’t need a Japan tourist visa if your country is on the list of 60 countries that get visa-exempt for tourism or business. But if you are from a country that does need a visa, you have to consult the consulate for the visa application process or visit a Japanese Embassy.
Here is everything that you need to know about Japan Tourist Visa Requirements and how to apply for, so that you can be well-prepared for your visa application and know what you are going to be dealing with.
For expert assistance with your visa application, don’t hesitate to reach out to our visa application helpline. Our team of professionals is here to help guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
Application Process for Japan Tourist Visa
Step 1: Determine Whether You Need to Apply for Japan Tourist Visa or not.
Prior to travelling to Japan, you have to obtain a tourist Visa if you are from a nationality that is excluded from this requirement. Some of them are the United States, Singapore, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Malaysia and most European countries and their citizens don’t need to obtain a tourist visa to travel to Japan.
If you are from one of these counties, then you get to stay a maximum of 90 days visa-free in Japan on a Temporary Visitor status. It is valid for a single-entry stay for the purposes like visiting tourist attractions, sightseeing, attending conferences or courses of visiting friends.
You can also apply for a double-entry visa within 6 months for 2 short trips, but you must understand that you cannot engage in paid employment in Japan on a tourist visa.
Who can visit Japan without visa?
The following lists include the names of the nationalities who don’t require a visa to enter for a short–term stay. If the name of your country is not among these, then you know that you need to look into a visa application.
|South Korea||Hong Kong||Indonesia||Singapore||Costa Rica||Malaysia|
|Honduras||Bahamas||Dominican Republic||Mexico||El Salvador||Thailand (15 Days)|
|United States||Canada||Israel||United Arab Emirates||Turkey||Lesotho|
There are a number of different types of Japanese visas which include an eVisa. Japanese Embassies and Consulates are the ones that provide and approve the visas and the application process for eVisa can be done online.
There are mainly three categories into which Japanese visas can be grouped.
- Family Related Visas
- Working visa
- Non-working visa
Since we are talking about tourist visas here, the focus of this article is going to be on short-term stay visas.
Within the Category of Short-term ‘Tourist’ Visa, there are four different types you can apply for. Depending on the kind of visa you are applying for, you get to enjoy different privileges and validity.
- Single-entry Visas: it is valid for 3 months upon the issue and it is not possible to extend their validity.
- Double-entry Visas: it is valid for 6 months upon the issue.
- Multiple-entry Visas: it is valid for 1 to 5 years but will depend upon the purpose of your visit as well as your nationality and the passport you hold. You get to enter Japan multiple times with this visa but your stay cannot exceed the 30 or 90-day period.
Step 3: Prepare the required documents for your application.
During your submission of the application, you will need to submit a set of legally certified documents too. You will also need to meet a few eligibility criteria which are crucial to receiving approval for your application.
Japan visa requirements
To apply for a Japan tourist visa successfully, here is a list of visa requirements that you need to meet.
- Fill Application form Clearly and Correctly: You need to fill out the visa application form completely and carefully without any mistakes. It is a very strict requirement because even the tiniest error/mistake can potentially result in the rejection of our visa application.
- Passport: You need to have a passport that has at least 6 months of validity and two blank pages.
- Photograph: You need to provide a good-coloured photograph of yourself that has been clicked recently ( within the last six months) and not too long ago. This photo should be clicked solely for this application and not be used in any other place. Your photo should be passport-size (45mm × 45mm or 2in × 2in) and of good quality. Check Japan visa photo requirements here.
- Certificate of Eligibility (CoE): Some places, you need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility which is a must requirement for all non-residents of Japan to obtain. If you are applying without a sponsor, then it is important that you apply for it as soon as possible. Note: Certificate of Eligibility only require for study and work in Japan and not for tourist visa. Here is a link for how to get CoE
- Birth Certificate: Sometimes you are also asked for a certified copy of your birth certificate, and you should have it handy just in case. This is mostly asked in Japan embassy in Philippines.
- Tax Return: Another thing you need to submit is your tax return. But this also not a compulsory one.
- Proof Of Financial Ability: You should be able to provide proof of financial ability so that it can be proved that you will be able to provide for yourself financially while you stay in Japan. Normally 3 to 6 months bank statement.
- Certificate Of Financial Situation: You also need to provide a certificate of your financial situation for 6 months prior to submission of the application that is issued by your bank.
- Marriage Certificate: If you are married and your marriage certificate was issued within the last year then, you need to submit a marriage certificate too.
- Travel Plans And Reservations: You also need to provide a schedule and travel plans for the trip with your application. Such include reservation of the hotel you are planning on staying at, your itinerary and flight reservation details. You don’t have to book a flight ticket, that is not the requirement but having a flight reservation is what’s crucial here.
Requirements for tourist visa in Japan with guarantor
If you’re planning to visit Japan and have a guarantor, there are certain requirements you need to fulfil to obtain a tourist visa. Firstly, if your guarantor is Japanese, you’ll need an invitation letter from them along with additional documents as instructed by the embassy.
Additionally, you’ll need to provide proof of your relationship with the guarantor, such as your birth certificate or marriage certificate. Meeting these requirements will help ensure a smooth visa application process.
Step 4: How to Fill Out the Japan Visa Application as a Tourist
- You can fill out the Japan visa application form both digitally as well as by hand. If you are filling this form by hand, make sure you use a black ballpoint pen and use a block letter. Don’t use erasable pens or pencils.
- If a field doesn’t apply to you, fill in “nil”, “none” or “N/A”. and don’t leave it blank.
- Print your application form on an A-4 size sheet because other page sizes are not accepted.
- Avoid cuttings in your form. If it cannot be helped, use double lines to cross it. If there are too many cuttings and crossings, start over with another form.
Here is a sample of a properly filled Japan visa application form correctly. The number indicates the part which you might need guidance for:
- Your surname must be in capital letters. Fill in your name here the same as it is on your passport. Don’t use initials like ‘Mr’ or ‘Dr’.
- If you have another name you are known by, for example, a pen name or nickname, write it here. In case, your name uses initials on your passport, write your full name here. Write N/A if none.
- If you have immigrated and got citizenship in another country, write down your current nationality. If not, fill out N/A.
- Please be very careful while filling in your passport number. Double-check it and make sure it is correct.
- In this field, you must fill out a specific purpose like for Relatives visit, for Business, or for Sight-seeing. Don’t write only single words like Work, Travel, Visit etc.
- If you are going to stay in a hotel, fill out the required details here. If you don’t know the address or telephone number of your hotel, look it up on google. If you are going to stay with a friend or family, write down their name, address and phone number.
- If you are single and of legal age, fill out N/A. If you are a minor, fill in the occupation/profession of parents. If you are married, fill in the occupation/profession of your partner.
- As a tourist who is bearing all the expenses, you can fill out N/A in all the fields here. In case you do have a guarantor, fill out the required details carefully.
- If your guarantor and the Inviter are the same people, write ‘same as above’ in the fields here.
- If you filled in any of these questions’ yes’, fill out relevant details in the text box provided. If your answers are ‘no’ to all of these questions, fill in N/A in the box.
- Write the date of the day you are submitting your visa application.
- If the applicant is a minor then one of the parents or legal guardians can sign here and write down the relation to the applicant also.
You can download the Japan Visa application here.
Step 5: Book an Appointment at Embassy or Consulate and Submit Your Documents
The entire process of submitting your short-term tourist visa consists of three main steps. The Japanese visas are provided only by the Japanese Embassy or the consulates abroad for the time being, and during this process, the following things are involved:
1. Find and Contact to Japanese Consulate or Embassy near to you
The first step is to find and contact a Consulate or a Japanese Embassy nearest to you. Contact them to enquire about the opening and closing hours as well as book an appointment. You can also communicate with them via email and correspond with them online. They give you five days, and you have to pick a date out of those days to book an appointment.
2. Submitting documents and going to Embassy or Consulate
Next, you have to submit the required documents along with your Japan visa application. Something that you must prioritise here is that you arrive for your appointment on time. In Japan and for its people, Punctuality is very important. That’s why you should try to reach the Embassy or consulate for your appointment five to fifteen minutes earlier rather than be late.
When you reach for your appointment, you are provided with a token/number, and when your number is called, you meet with the official in charge of your application for an interview. During the application process, officials typically do not ask many questions but instead focus on verifying that all required documents are present.
If any documents are missing or additional information is needed, officials will inform you on the spot. To avoid any issues, it is recommended to double-check all documents before leaving for your appointment.
3. Finally collect your passport and your visa
Then finally, after a few days, which is usually 5 to 7 days, you get an email regarding your application status. In this email, you are asked to pick up your passport and, if approved, to collect your visa too!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Standard processing time for your visa application is five working days. But for a number of reasons, this time can extend into weeks and even months. That’s why it is recommended to submit your application as early as you can.
How Much Does a Japanese Tourist Visa Cost?
When you apply for a Japanese visa, you are also required to pay a certain amount as a visa issuance fee. This amount of visa fee varies depending on whether you are applying for a single-entry visa or multiple-entry visa and your nationality.
- For Single-Entry Visa: 3,000 yen
- For Double-Entry Or Multiple-Entry Visa: 6,000 yen
- For Transit Visa: 700 yen
Note: Sometimes, you may be required to pay a different amount or not pay any fee at all, and this depends on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Also, if you are not issued a visa, you don’t need to pay any fee.
It is recommended that you consult with the consulate or the Japanese Embassy you are working with to find out the fee you need to pay because the amount of such fee is subject to change at any time.
If you are consulting a travel agency (Japanese Embassy/Consulate General approved) for your visa application, you will be required to pay processing fees along with the visa issuance fees.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that the fee is taken in the local currency where your Japanese Embassy or consulate is located. It is to be paid at the time of submission of your application. When done with it, you will get proof of payment as well.
Japan tourist visa for green card holders
If you are a green card holder and wish to visit Japan as a tourist, you may need to apply for a tourist visa before your travel. However, the requirements and process may vary depending on your circumstances and nationalities. Generally, green card holders may need to provide the same documents when applying for a Japanese tourist visa as non-green card holders.
Can a U.S. Green card holder travel to Japan without visa?
No, U.S. Green Card holders are not exempt from obtaining a tourist visa to travel to Japan. They must apply for a Japan tourist visa in their home country or current residence.
Launched in August 2022, Japan Tourist eVisa is the new program of the Japanese government to meet their goal of reaching 60 million foreign visitors a year by 2030. It is available for US citizens and Canadians, but these nationalities can travel to Japan visa-free again. The Japanese government is working on adding more nationalities to this list soon in the future.
The benefit of this eVisa is that it has simplified the visa application process. You get to finish the form online straightforwardly, and there is no need to visit an embassy or consulate for the completion of the application. All you need is to make the necessary payment via debit or credit card while submitting the application. After all submissions and approval, your visa will be emailed as soon as it is done.
Why was your application rejected?
Your application could have been rejected due to not meeting the criteria for Visa issuance. Some of these are often errors or omissions in the submission documents.
Why are you not informed about the reason for the Visa rejection?
You will not be provided with the exact reason for rejection by anybody because that information cannot become public due to safety purposes. So, if your visa is rejected, you have to restart with a new application and pay the fee again.
What should I do to get a Certificate of Eligibility?
To obtain COE, you need your proxy inside Japan to get a consultation with the Regional Immigration Bureau nearest to them.
Why can’t I reapply immediately after my visa application was rejected?
You cannot reapply your visa application after at least six months because the circumstances for which your application has been rejected wouldn’t have changed, and it would be a waste of resources and time for everybody. But after six months, your circumstances could change, and you get a chance to make your application a better candidate for approval!
What should be your bank balance for a Japan visa?
There is no explicit amount that needs to be in your bank account when applying for a Japan tourist visa. All you need is to provide proof of sufficient funds that indicates that you will be able to support your travel and stay in Japan.
What are the Covid requirements to travel to Japan?
Every person entering Japan after October 11, 2022, needs to provide a vaccination certificate or a negative Covid test certificate that was taken within 72 hours of leaving the country. Fully vaccinated passengers don’t need a pre-travel COVID-19 test.
If you are entering Japan from a country that is evaluated as having a high-risk inflow of COVID-19, then you will be required to stay at a facility secured by the Quarantine Station for at least 3 days. After 3 days, a COVID-19 test will be taken, and if the results come back negative, you can leave the facility but still need to spend another 7 days in self-quarantine. Please see some links useful
Is Japan allowing tourist visa now?
As of October 2022, Japan has opened its borders to tourists and has begun issuing tourist visas. This is exciting news for travellers eagerly awaiting the opportunity to explore Japan’s rich culture and beautiful landscapes.
How do I get a tourist visa for Japan?
To apply for a Japan tourist visa, you will need to submit a completed visa application form, a valid passport, a recent passport photo, proof of financial stability, and a detailed itinerary of your trip. You may also need to provide additional documents depending on your specific situation. Please follow the steps above
Is Japan visa free for US citizens?
Yes. For U.S. passport holders planning a short-term visit to Japan, a visa is not required. This applies to visits lasting up to three months.
How much money do I need to show for Japan tourist visa?
According to the Japanese Embassy, there is no set amount of money that you need to show for a tourist visa. However, you must provide proof of sufficient funds to cover your travel expenses, such as airfare, accommodations, and daily expenses. Having at least $2,000 USD in your bank account is recommended.
You have to understand and keep this fact in mind that no matter how good your application is, there is always a possibility that your application might get rejected. No one can guarantee the approval of your application, whether it’s a lawyer or a travel agent or anybody else you are taking guidance from. If somebody is promising you this, then they are seriously lacking or a fraud. You can definitely make improvements to your application because it definitely increases your chances of receiving approval.
Japan is a great country, and I think everyone should get a chance to visit this incredible country. For this purpose, however, you might need to obtain a visa unless your country falls on the list of visa-exempt countries of Japan.
Visa Application needs to be filled out clearly, and carefully and you need to prepare all the required documents that need to be prepared prior to submission of your application, so your application process can run smoothly, and you have a better chance at getting approval for a visa!
If you liked reading this article, then you should check out our other travel guide articles. If there is something that you would like to add or share about your visa application journey, do leave a comment. We would love to hear about it!