Visa policy of Japan

Visitors to Japan must obtain a visa from one of the Japanese diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries. The Government of Japan currently allows citizens of 68 countries/territories to travel to Japan for tourism or business without having to obtain a visa.[1][2][3]

Visa exempt countries

Holders of passports issued by the following 66 countries or regions are visa exempt for visits up to 901 days (unless otherwise noted):[1][2]

1 - Citizens of Austria, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Switzerland and the United Kingdom may apply for an extension of stay with the Ministry of Justice for up to 6 months.
2 - For the United Kingdom, only British citizens and British Nationals (Overseas) are eligible for visa-free entry.
3 - Until 31 December 2018 for Romanian citizens.[4]
4 - With biometric passports or machine readable passports only.
5 - With biometric passports in compliance with ICAO standards only.
6 - For holders of Taiwan passports which includes a personal identification number.
7 - For holders of HKSAR passport.
8 - For holders of MSAR passport.

Holders of passports pre-registered at the Japan Embassy/Consulate issued by these 2 countries can visit without a visa:[5][6]

Non-ordinary passports

The governments of the following 45 countries have concluded bilateral visa waiver agreements with Japan. Holders of diplomatic and/or service category passports do not require a visa to visit Japan:[81]

D — diplomatic passports

Holders of diplomatic and official passport of the countries (to whom visa exemption applies when using an ordinary passport) are also, on reciprocal basis, exempted from visa as temporary visitor. In this case, they will be granted the status of residence as "Temporary Visitor" at the landing inspection in Japan (not the status of residence as "Diplomat" or "Official".), and in principal, they are obliged to provide their personal identification information such as fingerprints and facial photo.[82]

B — diplomatic passports

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan holders of diplomatic and service passports of Taiwan and United States need a visa.[83]

APEC Business Travel Card

Holders of passports issued by the following countries who possess an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) containing the "JPN" code on the reverse that it is valid for travel to Japan can enter visa-free for business trips for up to 90 days.[1]

ABTCs are issued to nationals of:[84]

Special visa policy for some countries

Japan had a special visa policy for nationals of some former Soviet countries who could not provide their financial guarantees and get a visa on their own but instead they had to apply through an approved travel agency or be invited by a resident or a citizen of Japan.[85] These requirements were lifted for citizens of Russia on 1 January 2017,[86] Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on 5 June 2017,[87][88] Armenia on 1 September 2017,[89] Azerbaijan on 1 December 2017[90] and Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine on 1 January 2018.[91][92]

In addition, Japanese MOFA has special visa policies for nationals of China and the Philippines. Nationals of these countries also must apply through an accredited travel agent or be invited by a Japanese citizen or a resident of Japan.[93][94]

As of 2014 nationals of the Philippines and Vietnam travelling in a group through a registered travel agency can obtain entry visas for tourist visits up to 15 days in a simplified process that requires fewer documents than before.[95] Moreover, nationals of India, the Philippines and Vietnam can obtain multiple-entry visas providing that they have visited Japan and other G7 countries or they have "sufficient financial capability".[96][97]

Chinese tourists travelling on approved cruise ships do not require a visa as of April 2015. They must embark and disembark the same specified ships.[98]

Japan was reportedly set to ease visa requirements for visitors from key markets, such as India, China and Vietnam, starting in the summer of 2016.[99] A new wave of visa liberalization policies for Chinese nationals started from 17 October 2016,[100] for Indian nationals started from 1 January 2018.[101]

Statistics

In 2015 4,768,286 Japanese visas were issued.[102] It is an increase of 66% from 2014 when 2,871,639 visas were issued and the highest number ever recorded.[103]

Most visas were applied for by nationals of the following countries:[104][105][106][107]

Application fromIssued visas in 2017ShareIssued visas in 2015ShareIssued visas in 2014ShareIssued visas in 2013Issued visas in 2012
 China4,504,71877%3,780,77379%2,048,10671%971,5421,112,407
 Philippines325,5645%225,6765%163,3866%99,25874,424
 Indonesia239,2014%162,2733%141,3215%122,37690,498
 Vietnam226,9934%139,2363%96,6483%65,30539,581
 India96,6582%74,0882%66,6962%55,62250,938
 Russia67,4451%47,8131%57,6062%54,94845,468
 Brazil50,8851%38,7981%34,2171%28,69735,049
 Thailand[108]N/AN/A20,8571%21,3221%183,684228,528
 South Korea[109]N/AN/A20,3990%18,8611%21,64422,964
 United States[110]N/AN/A19,3490%19,0171%N/AN/A
 Malaysia[111]N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A70,231115,348
Others357,5486%239,0265%204,4597%191,118171.316

In 2015 most visas were issued for group sightseeing (1,957,498) and individual sightseeing (1,126,209). There were 62,052 multiple-entry visas for Okinawa and 10,500 multiple-entry visas for three prefectures in Tōhoku.

Most visitors arriving to Japan were from the following countries of nationality:

Country/Territory 2017[112] 2016[113] 2015[114] 2014[115] 2013[116]
 China 7,355,800 6,373,564 4,993,689 2,409,158 1,314,437
 South Korea 7,140,200 5,090,302 4,002,095 2,755,313 2,456,165
 Taiwan 4,564,100 4,167,512 3,677,075 2,829,821 2,210,821
 Hong Kong 2,231,500 1,839,193 1,524,292 925,975 745,881
 United States 1,375,000 1,242,719 1,033,258 891,668 799,280
 Thailand 987,100 901,525 796,731 657,570 453,642
 Australia 495,100 445,332 376,075 302,656 244,569
 Malaysia 439,500 394,268 305,447 249,521 176,521
 Philippines 424,200 347,861 268,361 184,204 108,351
 Singapore 404,100 361,807 308,783 227,962 189,280
Total 28,690,900 24,039,053 19,737,409 13,413,467 10,363,904

See also

References

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  2. 1 2 Exemption of Visa (Short-Term Stay)
  3. VISA/Residing in Japan
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  5. Visa Waiver for Indonesian Nationals Based on a System of E-Passport Registration
  6. Japan-UAE Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Working Dinner
  7. Probably still applied under Visa waiver agreement between Japan and Yugoslavia on 1967
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  18. Under Visa Agreement on 1958
    Previous visa-free agreement was applied from 1 Sep 1928 until the Anschluss 1938 under Visa agreement on 1927
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  20. "UK Treaties Online".
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  23. Under Agreement concerning Reciprocal Waiving of Passport Visas on 1 September 1966
  24. http://www.hugtakasafn.utn.stjr.is/hugtak.adp?id=61867
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  58. ブルガリアへの入国・滞在に必要な手続き, Entry into Bulgaria: Necessary procedure for stay, Bulgarian Embassy in Tōkyō (in Japanese)
  59. Temporary visa-free between 1 March 2005 and 28 February 2006
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  61. Was applied from 20 August 1973 under Visa waiver agreement on 1973
  62. Was applied from January 1961 under Visa waiver agreement on 1960
  63. Was applied from 1 June 1967 under Visa waiver agreement on 1967
  64. Was applied from 1 October 1974 under Visa waiver agreement on 1974
  65. Was applied from 1 March 1983 under Visa waiver agreement on 1983
  66. Was applied from 1 February 1972 under Visa waiver agreement on 1972
  67. 1 2
  68. Was applied from 1 September 1962 under Visa waiver agreement on 1962
  69. Visa Exemptions for Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
  70. Visa Exemptions for Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
  71. Visa Exemptions for Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
  72. "ABTC Summary". Archived from the original on 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  73. Nationals of Russian, CIS countries, or Georgia who wish to come to Japan for a short-term stay
  74. http://www.mofa.go.jp/press/release/press4e_001844.html
  75. http://www.mofa.go.jp/press/release/press4e_001786.html
  76. Nationals of China who wish to come to Japan for a short-term stay
  77. Nationals of Philippines who wish to come to Japan for a short-term stay
  78. Japan eases visa requirements for Vietnamese going on organized tours
  79. Application Procedures for Multiple Visa for Nationals of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Viet Nam
  80. Application Procedures for Multiple Visa for Nationals of India
  81. Japan offers visa-free cruises to Chinese tourists
  82. Japan to ease visa rules this summer
  83. Japan to relax visa rules for Chinese visitors
  84. Statistics for the Number of Visas Issued in 2015
  85. Statistics for the Number of Visas Issued in 2014
  86. Visas abolished on 1 July 2013
  87. Visa exempt country.
  88. Visa exempt country.
  89. Visas abolished on 1 July 2013
  90. 2017 Foreign Visitors & Japanese Departures
  91. 2016 Foreign Visitors & Japanese Departures
  92. 2015 Foreign Visitors & Japanese Departures, Japan National Tourism Organization
  93. 2014 Foreign Visitors & Japanese Departures, Japan National Tourism Organization
  94. 2013 Foreign Visitors & Japanese Departures, Japan National Tourism Organization
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