Visa Overview

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 permission.
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