Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Japan: Documents needed for entry

A valid passport and an onward/return ticket are required for tourist/business "visa free" stays of up to 90 days. Passports must be valid for the intended period of stay in Japan. Americans cannot work on a 90-day "visa free" entry. As a general rule, "visa free" entry status may not be changed to another visa status without departing and then re-entering Japan with the appropriate visa, such as a spouse, work or study visa.

For more information about the Japanese visa waiver program for tourists, Japan's rules on work visas, special visas for taking depositions, and other visa issues, travelers should consult:

The Consular Section of the Embassy of Japan
2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 238-6800,

Or the nearest Japanese consulate: visit the Japanese Embassy’s website for location details. The U.S. Embassy and U.S. consulates in Japan cannot assist in obtaining visas for Japan so you must take care of this before you leave your home country.

All foreign nationals entering Japan are required to provide fingerprint scans and to be photographed at the port of entry. This requirement does not replace any existing visa or passport requirements. Foreign nationals exempt from this requirement include special permanent residents, persons under 16 years of age, holders of diplomatic or official visas, and persons invited by the head of a national administrative organization. U.S. travelers on official business must have a diplomatic or official visa specifying the nature of travel as "As Diplomat," "As Official," or "In Transit" to be exempt from biometric collection. All other visa holders, including those with diplomatic and official visas stating "As Temporary Visitor," are subject to this requirement.


Passport with Japan landing permission sticker (left), visa (right)

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