New Immigration Procedures for Diplomats
Individuals whose immigration status in Japan is either “diplomat” or “official” are exempt from providing personal identification information at the port of entry. Please take note of the following:
- Whether or not the individual falls within either “diplomat” or “official” status is primarily based on the visa he/she obtains in advance. If the individual holds a diplomatic or official passport, and the passport is exempt visas, he/she needs to bring with him/her a note verbal or other document which is issued by either a foreign government or an international organization in order to prove his/her status and mission.
- Diplomat/official of the country to which visas are exempt with only an ordinary passport shall be permitted entry as a Temporary Visitor, and should provide personal identification information, unless he/she obtains appropriate visa in advance. Therefore, such a diplomat/official who visits Japan for diplomatic or official purposes should obtain a diplomatic/official visa in advance.
- If a diplomat/official arrives in Japan without diplomatic/official visa and he/she does not have anything to prove his/her status and purpose of visit, there will be a need to confirm with the Embassy in Japan via Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This procedure will take a considerable amount of time at the port of entry.
(Q1) In the case of a diplomatic or official visa exemption, must written evidence of official business be presented every time? Also, what language should be used in the document submitted? Where (to whom) should they be addressed?
(A1) We ask that you present this evidence each time. As for the language to be used - while there is no special language that has been decided, English would be appropriate. You do not have to prepare a particular document to be addressed to The Director of Immigration, as long as some other document is shown that indicates you are on official business.
(Q2) What happens if a UN employee traveling on an official Laissez-Passer accompanies a spouse using his/her ordinary passport? Also, is it possible for those involved with the UN who do not hold a Laissez-Passer, but have written evidence that they are traveling on official business of the UN to get the same exemptions?
(A2) In the first case, if the spouse has been granted an official visa, she/he will be permitted entry as an Official and be granted the same exemption. In the later case, (holders of diplomatic or official passports from diplomatic/official visa-exempt countries), if the applicant provides official written evidence from the United Nations and be permitted entry as an Official, exemption will be granted.