It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive disenchanted - Japanese Proverb

The country of Japan is a fascinating place and almost mysterious to many outsiders who aspire to travel there. To facilitate this love for adventure and curiosity in human, a tourist visa for Japan is now more easily available than before. No matter what the purpose of your visit, or which city you might be visiting in Japan, you can easily secure a visa for Japan if you know which type to apply for. There are broadly two types of Japanese visas- long-term and short-term. So, the various types of visas serve the purpose of various types of foreign visitors who may be travelling to Japan to study or work or just to travel.

The Japanese tourism board has done a great deal to attract tourists from around the globe. It can easily be said that Japan is one of the most favorite destinations of foreign travelers. And this is, in large parts, owing to the ease with which one can obtain a visa for Japan. As a result, flight fares have also reduced significantly with the relaxation of visa policies that ensures you get a Japanese visa within a matter of days. According to a report published by the Japanese Embassy, the annual goal for the Tourism Board is to attract about 20 million foreigners to the country every year.

With a tourist visa for Japan, you can visit all the iconic landmarks of Japan including Mount Fuji and the Imperial Palace.

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Types of Long-Term Visa for Japan

Japanese visa information
You can visit the online site of VFS Japan visa to get ready information and guidance on the process of application | Image Source: thinkific.com

Depending on the type of visa for Japan, the application process and document requirements will also differ. But for all types of long-term visas, the common requirement is to have a hosting organization in Japan, which is typically your employer.

1. Working Visa

This visa is offered to professionals like professors, business managers, artists, and researchers for a period of 3 months to 5 years. You have to identify a sponsor who is a Japanese citizen or entity, who can apply for a work permit to the Regional Immigration Bureau, Republic of Japan on your behalf.

2. Highly Skilled Professional (HSP) Visa

This type of visa was designed in 2012 to attract specialized talent from outside Japan. You have to have a job offer from a Japanese company in order to apply for the HSP visa. During your application process, you will be awarded points based on your income and academic background. This is fixed by the Japanese Immigration Authority that states that you must score at least 70 points to be eligible.

3. General Visa

If you are planning to travel to Japan for a few days to engage in cultural activities, then this if for you. The duration of stay ranges from 3 months to 3 years.

4. Specified Visa

If you are the spouse or child of a Japanese national, then you need to apply for this visa for Japan which will allow you to stay in the country for 6 months to 5 years.

5. Diplomatic Visa

As the name suggests, a diplomatic visa for Japan can only be issued to constituent members of diplomatic missions or those working in foreign offices or consulates hosted by the Japanese government. The period of the mission determines the period of stay.

6. Official Visa

Unlike a tourist visa for Japan, you can use an official visa to carry out business activities on behalf of international organizations or foreign governments. This visa can allow you to stay in Japan for 15 days to 5 years.

Looking for a tourist visa to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Apply for a short-term visa.

Types of Short-Term Visa for Japan

Online guide to visa application
You can find all the information required for visa application process on the VFS Japan Visa site | Image Source: pexels.com

All the visa-related information including documents required for the application can be retrieved on the VFS Japan visa website. If you are a tourist planning to travel to Japan and the neighboring islands, then there are two types of visa you can apply for.

Online Visa

The Japan evisa was supposed to come into effect from the year 2021 to facilitate smooth application process for travelers. But owing to the pandemic, this may now take a backseat on account of the travel restrictions across the world. The advantage of an e-visa is that information once entered on the online portal can easily be retrieved at any time during the process.

Tourist Visa for Japan

Several countries across Asia, Latin America and Africa or members of the United Nations can avail a tourist visa for Japan. All you need is a valid passport to start with. As with all tourist visas, this is a temporary visa issued to travelers that allow them to stay in the country for up to 90 days. If you are planning to visit Japan twice within 6 months, it might be a good idea to apply for a double-entry tourist visa for Japan.

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Information on Japan Visa Fee & Documents

Japanese visa form filling
Have a valid passport and other required documents handy before starting Japanese visa application process.

If you belong to any of the visa-exempt nations enlisted by the Japanese Immigration Authority, then you can stay for up to 6 months without a visa in the country. For other nationals, you will need to apply for a visa for Japan for which an extensive list of documents would be required:

  • A valid passport which is still valid for the next 6 months from the date of arrival in Japan.
  • Two colored photos in matte finish and clicked with a white background of size 2x2 inches.
  • Proof of accommodation in Japan.
  • Confirmed return tickets.
  • The correct visa application form, duly filled in.
  • A cover letter accompanying the form with personal details, itinerary and expenses.
  • If you are self-employed, the cover letter must be submitted on the company's letterhead.
  • If employed, then you have to provide the salary slips of the last 3 months before travel.
  • You also need to furnish an employment certificate if employed.
  • Disclosure of financial records for the last 6 months in the form of bank statements, duly signed and stamped.
  • Income Tax Return Proof (Form 16) for the previous 3 years.
  • Original relieving letter from previous employer.
  • If you are retired, you will need to submit proof of retirement in the form of pension passbook or retirement letter.

For Indian nationals, Japan visa fee is a INR 510/-.

Japanese Visa Requirements for Students

Student exchange
You can easily apply for a student visa for Japan through online VFS Japan visa poral | Image Source: unsplash.com

You can follow these easy steps to secure a student visa for Japan-

  1. Determine the Visa Type: Depending on the nature of your course. you can opt for a short-term student visa of up to 90 days or a long-term visa of 90 days to to 20 weeks. Students from some countries like the Netherlands and Germany tend to extend their stay for 90 extra days beyond the initial 90 to get a fee waiver on their visas. There are even longer-term courses for which you maybe required to stay for up to 2 years, in which case the visa type changes.
  2. Apply for A Visa for Japan through Your School: If you have already secured admission to a Japanese school for your course, then you are in luck. Most institutions in Japan provide support in getting you the right visa or even take care of the application themselves. All you have to do is provide the required information and send relevant documents and the application form to the concerned university.
  3. Get the Certificate of Enrollment: Once your visa forms and documents are approved, the college or university will issue you with the CoE or Certificate of Enrollment that you need to submit at the Embassy in your country. This has to be done in conjunction with submission of a valid passport and the other required documents.
  4. Collect your Visa: In case you have applied for an evisa, you will be sent an intimation to download the visa on approval. Alternately, you can collect it from the Embassy.
  5. Get a Work Permit: Once you have arrived in Japan, you will be requested to fill out a landing card stating your purpose of visit. The immigration authorities at the airport will review this and upon satisfaction, they will clear you to stay on and study/work in Japan.

Multiple Entry Visa for Japan

Old Japan map
Japan offers many opportunities for business professionals, workers and students which makes it worthwhile to obtain the right visa.

Did you know? Sleeping on the job is acceptable in Japan -  Anonymous

Surely one would not travel to Japan with the purpose of retiring. Because the land is so full of opportunities. So, why not take the opportunity to visit the country as an d when you please by securing a multiple-entry visa for Japan?

Multiple-entry visas can only be obtained for business purposes or by people who want to engage in cultural and intellectual activities. The visas vary for different periods between 15 days to 10 years. Multiple-entry visas cannot be used as a tourist visa.

Who is Eligible for Multiple-Entry Visa for Japan?

  1. A regular government employee.
  2. Spouse or child of a government employee.
  3. Applicant who wants to travel for recurring business.
  4. An employee of a Japanese company that is a member of the Japan Chamber of Commerce.
  5. An employee of a company listed on the stock exchanges of India and Japan or any other country and Japan.
  6. An employee with more than three travel records to Japan for business in the last 3 years.
  7. An employee with a travel record as a temporary visitor to G7 countries except Japan in the last 3 years.
  8. A full-time professor.
  9. A lawyer or professional in affiliated legal professions.
  10. A DIET member, government official, and the likes.
  11. A researcher.
  12. AN artist or scientist.
  13. A sportsperson (amateur or professional)
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Pragnajyoti

Doctor, dog lover, traveler..