Any foreign visitor who wishes to enter Japan must have a passport, which will remain valid during the period of stay.
Nationals of many countries are eligible to enter Japan without a visa unless the purpose of the visit is to reside in Japan, to obtain employment or to otherwise engage in remunerative activities.
The following is a list of nationals of countries that have "Reciprocal Visa Exemption Arrangements" with Japan:
For a period of 6 months or less
Austria, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Switzerland and United Kingdom (UK citizens only)
For a period of 3 months or less
Argentina, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Rep., El Salvador, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mauritius, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal (except when the passport was originally issued in present or former Portuguese colonies), San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, and Uruguay
For a period of 90 days or less
Andorra, Australia, Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Estonia, Hong Kong(*1), Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau(*2), Monaco, New Zealand, Poland, Rep. of Korea, Romania, Serbia(*3), Slovakia, Taiwan(*4), and U.S.A.
For a period of up to 14 days
Notes: In the case of the waiver of visa requirements of up to three months or 90 days, foreigners are granted upon landing a temporary visitor status for a period of 90 days (15 days for Brunei). Nationals of countries and regions that have taken measures concerning the waiver of visa requirements with Japan for stays of up to six months in principle are granted permission to stay in Japan for 90 days at the time of landing. Nationals of these countries and regions who wish to stay in Japan for more than 90 days must apply at their nearest immigration authority in Japan for an extension of their period of stay.
Nationals of countries that do not have "Reciprocal Visa Exemption Arrangements" with Japan must obtain a visa.
A "Temporary Visitor's Visa" is usually required as permission to stay in Japan for a period of up to 90 days for non-remunerative activities such as sightseeing, participating in amateur sports, visiting relatives, taking inspection tours, participating in lectures or research, attending conferences, making business contacts or other similar activities.
Needless to say, the "Temporary Visitor's Visa" cannot be used for any remunerative purposes, which involve profit making or payment acceptance within Japan by the visitor.
To apply for a visa, the applicant must apply in person to a Japanese Embassy or a consulate, usually in his or her home country. The following documents must be submitted whatever the purpose of visit you are going to make:
- (1)Valid passport;
- (2)Two passport photos taken within the six months previous to the date of application;
- (3)Two official visa application forms, available at the embassy or consulate;
- (4)Documents certifying the purpose of the visit.
As the type of documents required for the application may differ according to the purpose of your visit, the applicant is advised to check with the Japanese Embassy or consulate beforehand.
(*1)Persons holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport issued by the Hong Kong SAR of the People's Republic of China are exempt from the visa requirement.
(*2)Persons holding a valid and subsisting SAR passport issued by the Macao SAR of the People's Republic of China are exempt from the visa requirement.
(*3)The visa waiver regime only applies to Serbian nationals holding e-passports.
(*4)Persons holding a valid Taiwan passport which includes a personal identification number and residing in Taiwan are exempted from obtaining a visa.
(*5)Persons holding a valid Non-Machine-Readable passport issued by Barbados, Lesotho (since 1 April 2010), and Turkey (since 1 April 2011) need a visa to enter Japan. These nationals holding valid biometric passports containing an electronic chip will be exempt from the visa requirement.