Generally, a national of a foreign country who wishes to enter Japan must first obtain a visa. Under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act of Japan, it is stipulated that any foreigner wishing to enter or land in Japan must possess a valid passport and a visa obtained from an embassy or consulate. Travelers from certain countries may be eligible to visit Japan without a visa under visa exemption arrangements.
Categories of Visa
Before applying, visa applicants must first decide which kind of visa to apply for according to the purpose of their visit to Japan. The documentation required for application differs according to the kind of visa the applicant needs. Please check the link Types and Categories of Visa.
At the Port of Entry
A visa itself does not guarantee landing (status
of residence) permission. A visa is a recommendation
that a foreigner should be allowed to enter
Japan. In other words, it is a kind of certificate
issued by the ambassador or consul verifying
that the foreigner's passport is genuine and
valid and that the application for a stay in
Japan for the purpose and period indicated on
the visa has been deemed appropriate. Landing
permission is stamped in a foreigner's passport
by immigration officers at the airport or seaport
where he or she goes through immigration procedures.
It is this landing permission, not a visa,
that servers as the legal basis for the foreigner's
stay in Japan. A visa is only a recommendation
and does not automatically guarantee landing
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