Visa policy of Japan

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A double-entry Japanese transit visa on a Chinese passport

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 67 countries/territories to travel to Japan for tourism or business without having to obtain a visa.[1][2][3]

Visa policy map[edit]

Countries which are allowed visa-free entry to Japan

Visa exempt countries[edit]

A Japanese temporary visitor landing permission sticker issued at the Haneda Airport on a Taiwan passport
The Japanese temporary visitor landing permission stickers and departed stamps issued at the Narita Airport and Naha Airport on a British National (Overseas) passport

Holders of passports issued by the following 67 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 - With biometric passports or machine readable passports only.
4 - With biometric passports in compliance with ICAO standards only.
5 - For holders of Taiwan passports which includes a personal identification number.
6 - only for holders of biometric Indonesian passport who were issued a Visa Waiver Registration Certificate at the Japan Embassy/Consulate in Indonesia.[4]
7 - For holders of HKSAR passport.
8 - For holders of MSAR passport.

Holders of diplomatic or official/service passports of Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Turkmenistan, Vietnam as well as holders of only diplomatic passports of Albania, Georgia, India, Laos, Ukraine and Vatican City do not require a visa to visit Japan.

APEC Business Travel Card[edit]

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:[5]

Special visa policy for some countries[edit]

Japan has a special visa policy for nationals of CIS countries (except Russia)[6] and Georgia. Nationals of these countries can not provide their financial guarantees and get a visa on their own - they must apply through an approved travel agency or be invited by a resident or a citizen of Japan.[7]

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.[8][9]

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.[10] 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".[11][12]

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.[13]

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.[14] A new wave of visa liberalization policies for Chinese nationals started from 17 October 2016.[15]

Statistics[edit]

In 2015 4,768,286 Japanese visas were issued.[16] It is an increase of 66% from 2014 when 2,871,639 visas were issued and the highest number ever recorded.[17]

Most visas were applied for by nationals of the following countries:[18][19][20]

Application from Issued visas in 2015 Share Issued visas in 2014 Share Issued visas in 2013 Issued visas in 2012
 China 3,780,773 79% 2,048,106 71% 971,542 1,112,407
 Philippines 225,676 5% 163,386 6% 99,258 74,424
 Indonesia 162,273 3% 141,321 5% 122,376 90,498
 Vietnam 139,236 3% 96,648 3% 65,305 39,581
 India 74,088 2% 66,696 2% 55,622 50,938
 Russia 47,813 1% 57,606 2% 54,948 45,468
 Brazil 38,798 1% 34,217 1% 28,697 35,049
 Thailand[21] 20,857 1% 21,322 1% 183,684 228,528
 Republic of Korea[22] 20,399 0% 18,861 1% 21,644 22,964
 United States[23] 19,349 0% 19,017 1% N/A N/A
 Malaysia[24] N/A N/A N/A N/A 70,231 115,348
Others 239,026 5% 204,459 7% 191,118 171.316

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:[25][26][27][28]

Country/Territory 2016 2015 2014 2013
 China 01 Increase 6,373,000 01 Increase 4,993,689 03 Increase 2,409,158 03 Decrease 1,314,437
 South Korea 02 Increase 5,090,300 02 Increase 4,002,095 02 Increase 2,755,313 01 Increase 2,456,165
 Taiwan 03 Increase 4,167,400 03 Increase 3,677,075 01 Increase 2,829,821 02 Increase 2,210,821
 Hong Kong 04 Increase 1,839,200 04 Increase 1,524,292 04 Increase 925,975 05 Increase 745,881
 United States 05 Increase 1,242,700 05 Increase 1,033,258 05 Increase 891,668 04 Increase 799,280
 Thailand 06 Increase 901,400 06 Increase 796,731 06 Increase 657,570 06 Increase 453,642
 Australia 07 Increase 445,200 07 Increase 376,075 07 Increase 302,656 07 Increase 244,569
 Malaysia 08 Increase 394,200 09 Increase 305,447 08 Increase 249,521 09 Increase 176,521
 Singapore 09 Increase 361,800 08 Increase 308,783 09 Increase 227,962 08 Increase 189,280
 Philippines 10 Increase 347,800 10 Increase 268,361 10 Increase 184,204 10 Increase 108,351
Total 11 Increase 24,039,000 11 Increase 19,737,409 11 Increase 13,413,467 11 Increase 10,363,904

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]