The Japanese government is developing a new electronic visa authorization system to enhance the processes by which travelers all over the world obtain a Japanese e-Visa. It is expected to launch after the Tokyo Olympics in April 2020. It has been designed to simplify the process of obtaining a visa in order to visit the country.
This new system will be paramount for Hong Kong citizens since more than 2 million of them were welcomed by Japan during 2018, which means they represented over 7% of total international travelers who entered the island country that year.
As of April 2020, travelers from Hong Kong can apply for the eVisa by filling out an online application with details such as their name, date of birth, country of citizenship, contact information, gender, marital status, passport information and travel details.
Travelers from Hong Kong will also be required to answer some basic security questions regarding past criminal or immigration offences, as well as other legal violations. Care must be taken to answer these questions as honestly as possible while ensuring that all the information entered on the form by the traveler is accurate. Discrepancies in the information provided can negatively affect the traveler’s chances of receiving an eVisa.
Different Types of Japanese Visas
The Japanese government offers a variety of visas that travelers can apply for mostly contingent upon the reason for their travel to Japan and the intended length of their stay in the country. Travelers applying for these visas will need to visit a Japanese embassy or consulate in order to submit their paperwork.
It is important to note travelers need a visa for Japan from Hong Kong, therefore, they must learn about the requirements they must submit during the visa application process.
Japanese Visas for Short-term Stays:
- Japanese tourist visa: appropriate for those individuals who plan to visit the country in order to engage in touristic endeavors. This is the Japan tourist visa for Hong Kongers who are thinking in going on holidays in the island country. It visa can be applied both as a single- or double-entry visa.
- Japanese business visa: can be obtained by individuals interested in traveling to the country to attend short-term business engagements. It is also available either as a single-entry or double-entry visa depending on whether or not the traveler will need to visit Japan twice within a 6-month period.
- Japanese transit visa: should be obtained by travelers that need to make a stopover in Japan on their way to another country.
Japanese Visas for Long-term Stays:
- General visa: this visa has been designed for individuals who plan to participate in certain cultural activities. The visa can be valid from 3 months to 3 years, and a certificate of eligibility must be submitted along with the visa application.
- Working visa: this type of visa is available for people looking to take up employment in the country. The applicant will need to have a job offer from a Japanese sponsoring company. This visa cannot be obtained otherwise.
- Specified visa: is offered to spouses or children of Japanese nationals. Applicants will have to submit proof of their Japanese ancestry to obtain this visa. It can be valid from 6 months to up to 5 years.
- Diplomatic visa: is available to those individuals that are part of a diplomatic mission or consular offices of a foreign government hosted by Japan. Individuals involved in a supportive role to those serving in such a mission or consular office may also be eligible to obtain a diplomatic visa. This visa is only granted after receiving a letter from the foreign government or diplomatic mission certifying the individual’s identity and the purpose of their visit to Japan.
- Official Visa: is granted to official businesses of foreign governments or international organizations that Japan recognizes. In order to receive this type of visa, the foreign government or international organization must certify the applicant’s identity and the purpose of their visit to the country. Other documents may also be required for identity verification purposes.
Japan Visa: What Requirements Need to Be Met?
The Japanese government has set some basic requirements that applicants must meet in order to successfully apply for a Japanese visa. Among these requirements are:
- A valid passport that has a validity for the duration of the traveler’s trip to Japan. It must also have 2 blank pages for entry/exit stamps
- A completed visa application form
- A recent photo of the applicant taken against a white background
- If the applicant is married, then a marriage certificate (issued within one year) must be submitted
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover the applicant’s expenses for their trip to Japan. This should be in the form of a recent bank statement and the most recent income tax return
- A detailed outline of the applicant’s travel plans, including the intended dates of travel, list of places they plan to stay, etc.
- A guarantee letter that explains the relationship between the applicant and the guarantor/sponsor
- Proof of the relationship between the guarantor/sponsor and the applicant
- Bank certificate or income tax return of the guarantor/sponsor proving availability of sufficient funds to cover the traveler’s trip to Japan
Traveling to Japan from Hong Kong
Currently, travelers from Hong Kong can only apply for a Japanese visa through a local Japanese embassy or consulate. However, once the Japanese eVisa is made available, travelers will be spared the trip to the embassies and consulates. Instead, they will able to apply for the eVisa online by submitting their details and uploading all the required documentation. More details will be made available on this Visas Japan website closer to when the Japanese eVisa is launched.