More than 32 million visitors were received by Japan during 2019. This is the highest figure in the history of the country in terms of international arrivals. However, the 2020 estimations are even greater, considering the island country is the host of the Olympic Games, to be celebrated in Tokyo.
What does this mean for Sri Lankans thinking about traveling to Japan? Only good news, since as of April 2020 citizens have a new way of acquiring a travel permit to visit the country: the Japan eVisa, also known as Japanese electronic visa.
As many other countries around the world have already done, Japan is planning to roll out a new electronic visa system, which will be applied for and received entirely online. This new e-Visa aims to streamline and simplify the visa application process, as well as strengthen the security of the whole system.
Do I Need an eVisa to Visit Japan from Sri Lanka?
However, are Sri Lankan nationals eligible to apply for an electronic travel permit? What countries are able to obtain an eVisa from Japan? First, it is relevant to know that currently there are 68 visa-exempt countries and territories when visiting the nation.
In general, citizens from most African, Asian, former Soviet Union and Latin American countries need to apply for an eVisa when traveling to Japan. Therefore, if Sri Lankans wonder whether they require an e-Visa to visit Japan, the answer is yes: each citizen from Sri Lanka is required to have a visa before entering Japan.
This travel situation will remain the same following the implementation of the eVisa in April 2020. The duration of the travelers’ stay and their reasons for visiting Japan will dictate which visa they need to apply for.
Types of Japanese eVisas for Sri Lankans
There are a few different types of visas that are available for travelers from Sri Lanka, including the new Japan eVisa to be launched in April 2020. To have a better understanding of the visas available to travel to Japan and legally stay in its territory, these travel authorizations can be divided into two main categories: short-term visas and long-term visas.
Short-Term Japanese Visas
The Japanese tourist visa allows for stays of up to 90 days inside of Japan. The visa can either be issued as a single-entry or a double-entry visa. This is the most common visa and would be appropriate for individuals who intend on visiting Japan for tourism, leisure, visiting family, or for short-term business ventures.
The Japanese transit visa is designed for those travelers who are only using Japan as a layover instead of a destination.
The Japanese business visa is meant for those individuals who are spending time in Japan strictly for the purpose of doing business. The visa can either be issued as a single or double entry visa.
Long-Term Japanese Visas
There are several long-term Japanese visas available. However, they have special terms and conditions that should be taken into consideration to know in advance whether the applicant is eligible or not.
In general terms, the long-term visas for Japan that are currently obtainable by Sri Lanka citizens are related to work/business permits, familial connections, and foreign-policy missions, among other circumstances.
These travel authorizations are named as follows:
- General visa. Suitable for travelers willing to stay in Japan for up to 3 years.
- Working visa. Designed for Sri Lankans who have received a job offer to move to Japan for work. Important: a new Japan visa policy has increased the number of work visa types.
- Specific visa. Available for Sri Lankan family members and spouses of Japanese nationals who can prove their familiar links. Visa validity: up to five years.
- Diplomatic visa. Only available for Sri Lanka citizens who are developing diplomatic work in Japan. The duration of the visa varies depending on the role of the applicant.
- Official visa. Granted for a number of reasons including business, governmental, and international relations work. The duration of the visa varies according to the applicant’s personal and professional circumstances.
Japanese Visa requirements for Sri Lankans
The requirements for the Japanese eVisa for citizens from Sri Lanka will not differ much from the standard documents and pieces of information that embassies or consulates ask for when applying for a visa in person. In general, each applicant will need to provide the following alongside their completed application form:
- A passport that contains at least two blank pages and has a minimum of six months of validity
- A recent, digitalized passport-style photograph
- A second piece of nationally recognized identification to verify travelers’your identity. This can come in the form of a driver’s license, birth certificate, or other government ID
- If the applicant is married, the official marriage certificate will need to be provided
- A detailed travel itinerary which includes applicants’ plans for entering and exiting Japan, as well as the details regarding where they willyou’ll be staying within Japan.
In addition to the information above, any traveler who will be traveling to Japan with the aid of a guarantor or sponsor must provide the following:
- A letter from the individual guarantor or sponsor detailing the relationship they have to the traveler.
- Proof of the relationship that is detailed in the letter. This may take the form of supporting documents relevant to the case.
- Bank statements and other documents that prove that the guarantor or sponsor is capable of financially supporting the traveler throughout the duration of their trip to Japan.
If a traveler is heading to Japan on their own and without a sponsor or a guarantor, then they must be prepared to provide proof that they are financially capable of supporting themselves during their time spent in Japan in the form of recent bank statements and income tax forms.
It is advised to be aware of the latest news regarding Japan’s new eVisa to stay up to date on all the latest information provided by the official authorities.