What is valid visa for Japan?

To be granted to enter to Japan visitor's will need a passport and a visa (unless you are from a country which is visa-exempt). There are different types of Japanese visas which are designed depending on the purpose of visit and the lenght of stay by the Japanese Government.

The process of getting one of these Japan visas depend on the nationality of the visitor. Some nationalities need to reach the closest Japanese Embassy or Consulate to apply for a Visa. However, there are 68 countries whose citizens can enter visa-free for tourism or business. In addition, Japanese Migratory Authorities are planning to introduce an eVisa in 2020 that will simplify the application process to acquire the Japan Visa in an 100% Online Way.



Japan visa types

Japanese visas can be basically grouped in 3 main categories:

  • Working visa
  • Non-working visa
  • Family Related Visas


Working visa

Working visas are normally issued as long-term stay visas and are covering the kind of work that requires high-level professional knowledge or skills. Typical working visas:

  • Engineer, Specialist in Humanities, International Services Engineer. Engineers and Specialists in Humanities should hold an university degree in their corresponding fields or 10 years of professional experience. International Services Engineers must have at least 3 years of professional experience in their field.
  • Intra-company Transferee. This type of visa applies to expats of foreign companies or the subsidiary companies of Japanese firms located overseas who have worked at least more than one year in the mentioned office in overseas.
  • Skilled Labor. Jobs involving foreign architecture, cooking, or civil engineering characteristic to foreign countries, training animals, instructing sports, sommeliers, processing precious stones will fall into this status. It’s totally mandatory to have at least 3 years of professional experience in the field.
  • Business Manager. Issued to visitors that are going to start a business or invest into a new business in Japan. It also applies to those managing business on behalf of investors.
  • Highly-Skilled Professional. This visa is issued to workers who are likely to contribute to the Japanese economy.

Those with a certain status, skills, or knowledge can get the following working visas:

  • Diplomats or Officials, Personnel of the embassies and consular offices, Diplomatic missions, Government personnel and their families.
  • Instruction of foreign languages or other education at elementary schools, high schools, etc. Those instructors looking to work in private language schools must apply for the Specialist in Humanities / International Services visa.
  • Research and education at university or equivalent educational institutions.
  • For those whose artistic activities provide enough income to support their living in Japan.
  • Religious activities. Missionaries sent to Japan from foreign religious organizations.
  • Medical Services. Medical specialists with Japanese qualifications.
  • Those journalists who have signed contracts with foreign media organizations. It includes freelance journalists.
  • Legal and Accounting services.
  • For those researches working under a contract with public or private organizations in Japan.
  • All of those working in show business and sports.


Non-working visa

Any visitor that is holding a non-working visa is allowed to work as long as the local immigration office grants them permission. This type of visas can be perfectly considered as a short-term stay visa and some restrictions apply. In case these visitors are doing some work cannot exceed the number of authorized hours per week.

Who can benefit:

  • The visa application is submitted through the school.
  • Those training to acquire technology, skills or knowledge. This status is granted only when the candidate will work in a job requiring that technology, skills or knowledge once he returns to his home country.
  • Technical Internships. That covers internships after training under trainee visa.
  • Cultural Activities. Cultural or artistic activities with no income.
  • Spouses or children of people staying in Japan under the work visa and non-working visa (except for temporary visitors and trainees).
  • University students taking part in an internship without remuneration.
  • Students or researches of Japanese cultural or artistic activities.
  • Temporary Visitors (also known as Tourist visa). This status includes visitors on sports, family visits, vacation, participants in conferences and seminars, market research, business meetings, and those traveling to Japan to engage in PR activities.

There is also another type of non-working visas that is granted case by case: Designated Activities. Students on internship, working holidays, diplomats’ housekeepers are some of the people who can aply for this visa.



Family related visas

Family related visas are issued as considered short-term stay visas and have no retrictions when it comes to employment, so you can engage in more than one activity or change jobs. Those who can apply to these visas are:

  • Spouses and children of Japanese nationals
  • Permanent Residents
  • Long Term Residents
  • Spouses and children of Permanent Resident

Japan tourist visa

Any tourist from the required countries may need to visit Japan must obtain a tourist visa prior arrival to Japan. Please keep in mind that citizens from most European countries, United States, or Australia do not need to get the Japan Tourist Visa since they are considered visa-exempt countries for tourism purposes. If this is the case, these visitors can stay in Japan for a maximum of 90 days visa-free and are assigned Temporary Visitor status.

Japan tourist visa is a short-term stay visa for the purposes of sightseeing, visiting friends, or attending conferences or courses. Under the single-entry regulation, tourists can remain in Japan for up to 30 days, but this tourist visa is valid for a period of up to 90 days. Tourists can also apply for a double-entry visa for 2 short trips within a 6-month period. It is important to note that the Japan tourist visa does not allow travelers to engage in paid work while in the country.



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