Japan is a fascinating country that attracts people from many parts of the world. There are several Japan visa types for travelers who wish to visit Japan with different purposes.
While some foreigners only wish to visit the country, there are several foreign visitors who wish to stay in Japan for longer periods of time to study or work in the country. Therefore, Japan has short-term visas available as well as long-term visas. The types of visa for Japan are:
Japan Short-term Stay Visa
It is important that travelers are aware that documentation may vary according to their nationality and purpose of visit. There are a few short-term Japan visas available
The tourist visa for Japan is available for citizens of several countries from Asia, Africa, Latin American and former Soviet Union nations. A valid passport with 2 blank pages is required to get the tourist visa to Japan.
The temporary visa for tourism purposes can grant a stay of up to 90 days. Travelers can apply for a double-entry visa if they wish to make a trip to Japan within a 6-month period for tourism purposes.
Japan has introduced a multiple entry visa for a temporary visit for business purposes including:
- Market surveys
- Business liaison
- Business talks
- Signing contracts
- After-sale service for machinery imported to Japan
The criteria for the business visa is as follows:
Nationals of countries from Asia and Asia Pacific, Central and South America, Europe, Russia and the C.I.S., parts of Near Middle East and African regions (UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, South Africa) who are employees holding supervisory positions (i.e. at least equivalent of a manager) of a corporation that satisfy one of the following listed criteria or those who have completed at least one year of full-time employment at a corporation of similar capacity can apply for a Japan Business multiple entry visa:
- A public listed enterprise (on the Stock Exchange of Singapore, Japan or another country）
- A national (state-owned) enterprise
- A joint venture with a public listed enterprise in Japan
- A company that has frequent trading with a public listed enterprise in Japan
- A company that is a member of the local Japanese Chamber of Commerce with an operational base or contact address in Japan.
There is also a temporary visa for business purposes for stays in Japan of up to 90 days which can be single or double-entry. Applicants can apply for a double-entry visa only if they have to make two trips to Japan within a six month period for business purposes.
One of the Japan visa types available for citizens of non-visa exempt countries is the transit visa. This type of visa for Japan is a requirement for travelers who need to stop over in Japan while en route to another country. To get this visa type is necessary to gather the necessary documents including a valid passport and a completed visa form.
Japan Long-term Stay Visa
There are several long-term visa types for Japan. The requirements and documents will differ depending on the applicant’s nationality and individual circumstances. Among the visa types for Japan, it is possible to obtain a work visa, general visa, or diplomatic visa.
When applying for any kind of work visa is is necessary to have a hosting organization in Japan, generally an employer. There are exceptions such as visas granted to journalists or artists in which an employer is not required. A hosting organization is referred to as a “visa sponsor” and those who apply for a long-term visa must secure their sponsor before applying for their visa.
Japan has two main categories for work visas, the Working Visa and the Highly Professional Visa. The Working Visa is designed for a number of different kinds of professionals including professors, artists, business managers, researchers, etc.
A working visa can grant its holder authorizations for periods of three months to up to five years, depending on the case. The process to get a work permit for Japan starts with finding a sponsor in the country that will apply to the Regional Immigration Bureau in Japan for a certificate of eligibility.
Documents needed for a Working Visa for Japan include:
- A completed application form
- A 4 cm by 3 cm photograph
- A return envelope with a 392-yen stamp
- Supporting documents that demonstrate the reasons for your visa request
- A letter of guarantee
Highly Skilled Professional Visa
The Highly Skilled Professional Visa, HSP or HSFP visa, was introduced in 2012. This visa offers several advantages and it is designed for talented foreign workers with advanced and specialized skills.
This type of visa to Japan still is a work visa, therefore, it is not possible to apply without a job or job offer from a Japanese sponsoring organization.
Points are awarded to the applicant based on their educational and professional background, income and academic achievements based on a fixed point chart created by the Japanese Immigration Authorities. Applicants must score 70 points or more to be eligible for this visa type.
A holder of a highly skilled professional have certain privileges including:
- Possibility of engaging in multiple activities that cover different visa categories
- The length of the visa is 5 years
- Faster access to Permanent Resident visa
- Preferential processing of Immigration procedure (new visas, change of visa status, renewal, etc.)
- The HSFP visa holder’s spouse can also work full-time under certain conditions
- Possibility of bringing parents to Japan under certain conditions
- Possibility of hiring a domestic helper/nanny under certain conditions
The general visa is designed for its holder to engage in cultural activities. The period can stay can range from 3 years, 1 year, 6 months or 3 months.
It is necessary to provide the following documents and requirements to get this type of visa to Japan:
- One visa application form (nationals of Russia, CIS countries or Georgia need to submit two visa application forms)
- One photograph (nationals of Russia, CIS countries or Georgia need to submit two photographs)
- Certificate of Eligibility – the original and one copy
A Certificate of Eligibility is issued before a visa application by a regional immigration authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice as evidence that the foreign national meets the conditions for landing in Japan.
Chinese citizens must also provide a copy of the Chinese Family Register and a Temporary Residence Permit or Residence Certificate.
A Specified Visa can be granted to the spouse or child of a Japanese national. The period of stay with this visa can range from 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or six months.
The documents and requirements are similar to those of the General Visa. Exceptions or specific instructions apply to citizens of certain countries. For example, second-generation Japanese-Filipinos or second-generation Japanese-Brazilians making visa application to the Japanese Embassy in Manila or the Japanese consulate in Sao Paulo are also required to submit documents that clearly show Japanese ancestry, such as a copy of family register.
A Japan diplomatic visa can be granted only to individuals that will engage in activities on the part of constituent members of diplomatic missions or consular offices of foreign governments hosted by the Government of Japan, activities on the part of those who are provided with similar privileges and/or immunities as are given to diplomatic missions in accordance with treaties or international customary practices, and the activities on the part of their family members belonging to the same household.
The period of stay is determined by the period of the mission of the person who has requested the diplomatic visa. Among the documents necessary for this type of visa, it is necessary to provide a passport, photograph and a note verbale and/or documents issued by the foreign government or international organization, certifying the identity of the person concerned and his or her purposes while visiting Japan.
An official visa to Japan can be used for official business of foreign governments or international organizations recognized by the Government of Japan. As a long-term visa, an official visa can grant stays of up to 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 3 months, 30 days or 15 days.
To obtain an official visa it is necessary to have a passport, a photograph, and a note verbale and/or documents issued by the foreign government or international organization, certifying the identity of the person concerned and his or her purposes while visiting Japan. A visa application form should also be completed.