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Visas in Japan Explained

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Visas in Japan

There are different types of Visa one can use to enter in Japan. Application and requirements depends on the type of Visa and country where you are from. On this page we will explain the different type of visas commonly used in entering Japan.

1. Tourist Visa

As of July 2017, Japan has taken measures concerning the Visa Exemption Arrangements with 68 countries and regions. For details please check the site below:

Source: https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html.

Nationals and citizens of those countries and regions above (68 countries) are not required to obtain visas to enter Japan when their visits are tourism, commerce, conferences, visiting relatives/ acquaintances, etc. However, when foreign nationals engage in paid activities in Japan, or their periods of stay exceed those stipulated in each country’s arrangement of short-term stay, visas will be required to enter Japan. Period of stay varies country to country, for details please visit the Japan Embassy website to know more about per country specifics.

If a person is from OECD countries, one can enter Japan visa free for 90 days. The main purpose of the visa is to tour in Japan. You cannot work or find employment under this visa.

For countries that need visa to Japan, tourist visa is mainly for tourism business. You cannot seek employment under this visa. Even if you try to, companies in Japan will not entertain you as the first thing they ask is your visa type in Japan.

2. Student Visa

If you come under student visa, you are expected to go to school 5x a week. You are allowed to work for 28 hours per week for normal school days and 40 hours for long school break.
As mentioned in our student guide, student’s attendance is reported to Immigration monthly. If you fail to reach 80% on your attendance, student may not be able to apply visa extension if he or she intends to go to higher education such as Senmon Gakko or University. While on Student visa, you are not allowed to switch to work visa unless you have completed your school term.

3. Working Holiday Visa

The working holiday programmes are, based on bilateral arrangements, intended to make it possible for the youth of Japan and its partner countries/regions to enter each country/region primarily for the purpose of spending holidays while allowing them to engage in employment as an incidental activity of their holidays for the purpose of supplementing their travel funds.

The programmes are designed to provide the youth with wider opportunities for them to appreciate the culture and general way of life in the partner countries/regions for the purpose of promoting mutual understanding between Japan and its partner countries/regions.

Japan started the working holiday programmes first with Australia in 1980. As of 1st April 2019, Japan has introduced the programmes with the 23 countries/regions. (For details please visit https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/w_holiday/index.html)

Working holiday visa can only be used once. After you completed your one year holiday visa, you cannot reapply. Immigration will require you to show proof of sufficient funds before applying as well as health certificate and return ticket. 
Please visit the Japan Embassy website to know more about per country specifics. 

Conditions Tourist Visa Student Visa Working Holiday Visa
How long you can stay? Varies from 15,30 to maximum of 90 days depending on your country 1-2 years depending on the intake 1 year (only to qualified countries)

For residents of Australia, Canada and New Zealand, visa is valid for 6 months and can be extended for another 6 months

Can you work?  NO Yes with conditions of 28 hours per week on normal school days and 40 hours for long holidays Yes but you cannot accept permanent work as you can only stay for a year.
Age limit NO Preferably below 30 years of age (but it varies on applicant’s nationality, especially OECD’s citizen has no restrictions.) not more than 30 years old

For citizens of Ireland, should be not more than 26 years old

For Australia, Canada and Republic of Korea, should be 18-25 but can be extended until 30 (depends on Immigration)

Bank balance Depends on applicant’s nationality (Embassy might ask some additional documents too to support their purpose) US $19,000-20,000 At least US$2500
How many times can you apply?  NO LIMIT You can apply multiple times (condition applies). But for COE or Visa reapplication, stricter conditions apply Only once regardless of country. 
Type of Work Available  NOT APPLICABLE All work with exceptions of entertainment and gambling like pachinko parlors, bars and cabaret and only 28 hours per week All work with exceptions of entertainment and gambling like pachinko parlors, bars and cabaret
Japanese Required NO Depends on intake, school and Nationality No but maybe required when you look for work in Japan

 

Source: https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html.