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Home Visa/Immigration Requirements Japan Visa Application and Immigration Requirements: 2019

Japan Visa Application and Immigration Requirements: 2019

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This Article contains information on the Japan Visa Application and Immigration Requirements: 2019. Japan, is an island country in East Asia. It is often called the “Land of the Rising Sun”. Japan is a member of the UN, the G7, the G8, and the G20 and is considered a great power. Its’s also regarded as a technologically advanced nation with some interesting facts.

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Japan Visa Application and Immigration Requirements: 2019

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Yearly, many people travel to Japan for numerous reasons either for tourism, business, study, visit or immigration. Depending on the purpose of the trip to Japan, there are different types of visas that apply to the occasion.

So before applying for a Japanese  visa, it is necessary to know the Japanese  requirements and which of the visa category that you are eligible for.

LIST OF DOCUMENTS FOR A JAPANESE VISA APPLICATION

BASIC JAPAN VISA REQUIREMENTS
  1. International passport. Must have a signature and at least 2 blank pages. Broken passports are not accepted. Must have at least 6-month validity.
  2. A duly accomplished visa application form. Don’t leave any blank. Just put N/A if not applicable. You may download it from here.
  3. ID picture. 4.5cm x 4.5 cm. Write your name and birthdate on the back side. Paste it on the application form.
  4. Birth certificate. Must be issued within the past one year. If the birth certificate is marked LATE REGISTRATION, you must also submit Baptismal certificate, School Record (Form 137), and School Yearbook (if applicable). The address of the church or school must be indicated in the documents.
  5. Marriage certificate. Only if you’re married. If not, ignore this one. Must be issued within the past one year.
  6. Daily schedule. Your itinerary in Japan. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
  7. Accomplished list of Visa Applicants. Only if traveling as family/group. You can download the form here.

Note that documents that need to be printed out (e.g. application form, itinerary) must be done on an A4-size paper.

In addition, you also need to provide the following financial and employment documents. There is a separate set of requirements for those with guarantor from those who will shoulder their own expenses.

Without Guarantor

If you will shoulder part or all of your travel expenses, you must provide the following:

  1. Income tax return (ITR Form 2316). They need a clear photocopy of it.
  2. Bank certificate. Must be issued within the past 3 months. I’m not sure if they require a receipt, but I submitted the receipt too. To be safe, when you get your bank certificate, ask for a receipt too.

Although a Certificate of Employment is no longer on the list of requirements, we still recommend that you provide one showing your start date, salary, and contact persons, especially if you have an irregular ITR (not covering the complete year or issued by your previous employer).

If for some reason, you can’t provide a specific document, you may write a letter explaining why you can’t and submit supporting documents instead. For example, if you don’t have a current ITR because you’re new at your job or you’re working abroad, you can provide copies of invoice or payslip or other tax forms. That’s what I did in one of my applications and they accepted it.

With Guarantor

If a guarantor will sponsor your trip, you will need to provide the following additional documents:

  1. Guarantee Letter. Must explain your guarantor’s relationship to you and their contact details.
  2. Proof of relationship between applicant and guarantor. For example, if the guarantor is a parent or a close relative, submit their birth certificate too.
  3. Bank Certificate (original) of the Guarantor
  4. Photocopy of the Income Tax Return (ITR Form 2316) of the Guarantor

Again, documents to be printed out must be done on an A4-size paper. Other sizes will not be accepted.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A JAPAN VISA

  1. Complete the requirements, as listed above.
  2. Find an accredited travel agency. Except very special cases, the Japanese Embassy doesn’t accept direct applications. They must be coursed through any of their accredited agencies.
  3. Submit the documents. Go to your chosen travel agency in the morning or as early as you can. These days, Japan travel is so popular, queues can be so long it can sometimes eat up your entire day.
  4. Pay the Processing Fee. In reality, the visa is FREE, but the agency will charge a processing fee. The rates vary depending on the agency.
  5. Wait for your visa. After you have submitted everything to the travel agency, there’s nothing left to do but to wait and hope for the best. If they encounter any problem (e.g. additional requirements), they will let you know. Thus, you must apply not so close to your date of travel. Visa processing normally takes 3-5 days, but sometimes up to 7 working days. For others, it takes weeks. The first time I applied, I received my visa 5 days later. The second time, it took them only 2 days.

Depending on your arrangement with the agency, your passport with the visa (if approved) either will be mailed to you or must be claimed at their office.

JAPAN TOURIST VISA REQUIREMENTS

Before anything else, take note of these general guidelines:

  • THESE SAMPLES ARE FOR TOURISTS. This won’t apply if you’re visiting a relative or a friend.
  • Print the application form on an A4 paper only. Other sizes are not accepted.
  • Fill out the form either digitally or by hand. Both computerized (typewritten) and handwritten are accepted. But for handwritten forms, make sure that you write in block letters and that they are readable.
  • Use a black pen. Do not use erasable pens or pencils! Likewise, if you fill it out digitally, use black font.
  • Don’t use correction tape or liquid. Try to avoid any erasure. If something needs to be corrected, use double line (2 strikethroughs). If there are too many erasures, best to start all over with a fresh blank form.
  • Don’t leave any field blank. If the item or question doesn’t apply to you, write NA or N/A, which is short for Not Applicable.
  • Do not staple the form! The agency will most likely remove them too.

Now that we have those out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the form. You’ll see that the form is quite short and straightforward. It only has two pages.

  • Given and middle names: Write both your given name AND your middle name (your mom’s last name).
  • Other names: If you have a nickname, write it down. But I just write N/A all the time.
  • Place of birth
  • Former and/or other nationalities or citizenships: Write N/A if it doesn’t apply to you.
  • ID No. issued to you by your government: You can write down any government-issued ID here like Driver’s License, SSS ID, or UMID.
  • Passport type: Ordinary
  • Passport number: Make sure it’s correct.
  • Place of issue: You can write the city name.
  • Issuing authority: DFA.
  • Purpose of visit to Japan: Tourism. (If you’re visiting a friend or family, write VISIT FRIEND/FAMILY.)
  • Intended length of stay in Japan: Number of days including the day of arrival.
  • Port of entry into Japan: Name of the airport.
  • Name of ship or airline: Just the name of the airline or the ship. It doesn’t matter if you’re already booked or not.
  • Names and addresses of hotels or persons with whom applicant intends to stay: If you’re traveling as a tourist, write down the name, address and telephone number of your hotel. If you don’t know the exact address or telephone number of your hotel, Google it!
  • Dates and duration of previous stays in Japan. Write N/A if it’s your first time in Japan. If you’ve been to Japan before write the inclusive dates of your previous visits and the number of days. If you’ve been to Japan many times and it won’t fit, use a separate sheet and indicate it on the form.
  • Your current residential address: If you have more than one address, list them all on a separate sheet.
  • Telephone number: If you don’t have a landline number, write N/A.
  • Current profession or occupation and position: Be truthful! If your current occupation or position doesn’t match the ITR you’re submitting (for example, you moved to another company), you can write a letter explaining it.
  • Partner’s profession/occupation: If you’re single and of legal age, write N/A. If you’re married, write the profession of your partner. If for a minor, write the profession or occupation of parents.
  • Guarantor/Inviter Info: Since you’re applying for a TOURIST VISA, just write N/A in all the fields.
  • If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, please provide relevant details:If you answered NO to all the questions, write N/A.
  • Signature: Sign it by hand. I’m not sure if digital signatures are accepted, but I doubt it. If the applicant is minor, a parent or legal guardian can sign, but the relationship must be indicated below the signature.

JAPAN VISIT VISA REQUIREMENTS

Below is a list of the documents you need to gather for your visa application. Note that documents that need to be printed out (e.g. application form, itinerary) must be done on an A4-size paper.

  1. International passport. Must have a signature and at least 2 blank pages. Broken passports are not accepted. Must have at least 6-month validity.
  2. A duly accomplished visa application form. Don’t leave any blank. Just put N/A if not applicable. You may download it from here.
  3. ID picture. 4.5cm x 4.5 cm. Write your name and birthdate on the back side. Paste it on the application form.
  4. Birth certificate. Must be issued within the past one year. If the birth certificate is marked LATE REGISTRATION, you must also submit Baptismal certificate, School Record (Form 137), and School Yearbook (if applicable). The address of the church or school must be indicated in the documents.
  5. Marriage certificate. Only if you’re married. If not, ignore this one. Must be issued within the past one year.
  6. Daily schedule. Your itinerary in Japan. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
  7. Accomplished list of Visa Applicants. Only if traveling as family/group. You can download the form here.

The list above are just the basic requirements. But there are additional documents needed depending on your relationship to the person you will visit in Japan.

There are two types of visit visas. The first type is for visiting a Close Relative. The other is for visiting a friend or distant relative. The requirements are different.

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IF VISITING A CLOSE RELATIVE

Emphasis on CLOSE. This applies to close relatives — parent, child, brother, sister, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle. Everything else falls under the distant relative category.

  1. Birth certificates to prove your relationship. Must be issued within the past one year.
    – Parent-child – BC of both applicant and relative in Japan
    – Siblings – BC of both applicant and relative in Japan
    – Aunt/Uncle -> Niece/Nephew – BC of applicant + relative in Japan + parent of relative in Japan.
    – Niece/Nephew -> Aunt/Uncle – BC of applicant + parent of applicant + relative in Japan.
  2. Invitation letter from person to visit in Japan. Must be issued within the past 3 months. This must explain why you will be visiting and must have a signature.
  3. Family Registration Certificate. Only if relative in Japan has a Japanese Spouse or relative. Must be issued within three months. Ignore if not applicable to you.
  4. Residence certificate if your guarantor is Japanese OR Foreign Registration Certificate from City Hall if guarantor is not Japanese. Must be issued within the past 3 months.
  5. Copy of Residence Card or Special Permanent Resident certificate of relative in Japan. Copy of both sides must be submitted.

Without Guarantor

If you will shoulder part or all of your trip expenses:

  1. Income tax return (ITR Form 2316). They need a clear photocopy of it.
  2. Bank certificate. Must be issued within the past 3 months. I’m not sure if they require a receipt, but I submitted the receipt too. To be safe, when you get your bank certificate, ask for a receipt too.

With Guarantor

If your friend/relative in Japan will sponsor your trip:

  1. Guarantee letter. Must be issued within the past 3 months.
  2. Income Certificate
  3. Tax return certificate
  4. OR Bank Certificate . Best if you have all three.

IF VISITING A FRIEND OR DISTANT RELATIVE

Emphasis on distant. If you have friends or relatives in Japan, you may work with one of them. Here’s what they need to give you:

  1. Proof of Relationship. A letter from the person to be visited explaining their relationship to you plus other documents such as pictures, passport copies, etc.
  2. Invitation letter from the person you will visit. This must explain why you will be visiting and must have a signature. Must be issued within the past 3 months.
  3. Residence certificate  if your guarantor is Japanese OR Foreign Registration Certificate from City Hall if guarantor is not Japanese. Must be issued within the past 3 months.

Without Guarantor

If you will shoulder your trip expenses:

  1. Income tax return (ITR Form 2316). They need a clear photocopy of it.
  2. Bank certificate. Must be issued within the past 3 months. I’m not sure if they require a receipt, but I submitted the receipt too. To be safe, when you get your bank certificate, ask for a receipt too.

With Guarantor

If your friend/relative in Japan will sponsor your trip, you may not be required to prove you could afford the trip. The burden shifts to your friend or relative.

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  1. Guarantee letter. Must be issued within the past 3 months.
  2. Income Certificate
  3. Tax return certificate
  4. OR Bank Certificate . Best if you have all three.

Again, documents to be printed out must be done on an A4-size paper. Other sizes will not be accepted.

JAPAN PERMANENT RESIDENCY VISA REQUIREMENTS

The requirements that you need to satisfy for the Permanent Resident visa application are :
  • Good behavior and conduct (no criminal records, payment of taxes…)
  • Having sufficient assets or ability to make an independent living (stable job, enough savings…)
  • Satisfying all the requirements to maintain the current visa status (maintaining an appropriate job in case of a work visa holder, maintaining a stable marriage in case of a spoues visa holder for example)
  • 10 years of consecutive residence in Japan, which should include 5 years of residence under a work visa or those granted according to the family status (Spouse of Japanese national, Long Term Resident…)
  • Currently having the longest period of stay (3 years in most cases)
  • Havind paid taxes and contributions to the official Japanese social security system during the required period
  • Having a guarantor (Japanese national or permanent resident visa holder) to support the application
  • Having stayed in Japan physically for more than 6 months in total in a 12 months period prior to and during the application process

The requirement of the 10 year consecutive residency is shortened in the following cases:

  • Spouses of Japanese nationals and Permanent Residents having been married for more than 3 years and lived more than one year consecutively in Japan
  • children of Japanese nationals and Permanent Residents having lived more than one year consecutively in Japan
  • Holder of Long Term Resident visa or Refugee status having lived more than 5 years consecutively in Japan
  • Applicants who scores 70 points in this Point Calculation Table at the time of application and at all times during the most recent 3 years of residency leading up to the application
  • Applicants who scores 80 points in the said Table during the past one year of residency leading up to the application
  • More than 5 years of consecutive residency in Japan for those who have been recognized for having made a considerable contribution to Japan in diplomatic, social, economical and cultural fields.
It is necessary to provide with the resident tax certificates (kazei / nozei shomeisho to be obtaind at the local city hall/ward office) for the required number of years.

This means that if your income was low (due to unemployment etc.) in any year of the required period, the application is likely to be rejected.

Also the Immigration office tends to ask these days for the proof that you are enrolled in the health insurance scheme in Japan, the lack of which also leads to an unsuccessful application.

It is required to physically stay in Japan for more than 6 months in total during 12 months prior to the permanent resident visa application as well as while the application is being processed.

The application for Permanent Resident could take a very long time to be processed (4 to 8 months in general) and you still have to renew your current visa if it will expire before your Permanent Resident application is approved.

Role of a Guarantor

To be able to submit the application for the Permanent Resident visa, it is necessary to find a guarantor who is Japanese national or Permanent Resident visa holder (in case of non-Japanese) and who is willing to sign a Letter of Guarantee (English version hereJapanese version here).

The guarantor for the permanent residency application has only a moral obligation, and no legal obligation. Therefore, the guarantor will not be held legally responsible for any of the applicant’s actions or fees.

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A guarantor is required to provide the following documents:

  • Letter of Guarantee, filled and signed (English version hereJapanese version here))
  • Certificate of residence (juminhyo) issued by the ward office / city hall within 3 months
  • Resident tax certificates (kazei shomeisho and nozei shomeisho) issued by the ward office / city hall
  • Certificate of Employment (zaishoku-shomeisho) issued by the guarantor’s current employer, or other proof of occupation

*Note: When applying at the Japanese embassy/consulate in home country, the guardian or parent should accompany their under-age children.

Please consult the Japanese Embassy in your country for the updated Japanese Visa requirements!

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