Visa & Immigration
Any foreign visitor entering Japan must have a valid passport for the duration of their stay, and all visitors must comply with the conditions of their visas.
Visa exemptions are currently made for citizens of sixty-eight different countries provided that their stays are within ninety days, for sightseeing purposes and that they do not engage in activities where they earn compensation.
This page provides information on short stays. Visa conditions are periodically revised, therefore, make sure to check the Visa section in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: Visa / Residing in Japan for the latest and detailed information on standard visas or visas other than for those for short stay programs.
On Short Stays
Countries and regions that do not require visas
The following is a list of countries that have Reciprocal Visa Exemption Arrangements with Japan:
For a period of 90 days or less
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria(7), Bahamas, Barbados(6), Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany(7), Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong(3), Hungary, Iceland, Ireland(7), Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lesotho(6), Liechtenstein(7), Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao(4), Malaysia(1), Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia(2), Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland(7), Taiwan(5), Tunisia, Turkey(6), United Kingdom(7), United States and Uruguay
For a period of 15 days or less
Thailand(*2) and Brunei
(*1) For nationals of Malaysia (since July 1, 2013), visas are not required only for holders of ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards. Those who do not hold such ePassport are advised to obtain a visa in advance, otherwise will be strictly examined and may be refused entry to Japan.
(*2) For nationals of Thailand (since July 1, 2013) and Serbia (since May 1, 2013), visas are not required only for holders of ePassport in compliance with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards.
(*3) For citizens of Hong Kong, visas are not required only for holders of Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport issued by the Hong Kong SAR of the People's Republic of China or British National Overseas (BNO) passports who have the right of residence in Hong Kong.
(*4) For citizens of Macao, visas are not required only for holders of SAR passport issued by the Macao SAR of the People's Republic of China.
(*5) For citizens of Taiwan, visas are not required only for holders of Taiwan passport which includes a personal identification number.
(*6) For nationals of Barbados (since April 1, 2010), Turkey (since April 1, 2011) and Lesotho (since April 1, 2010), visas are not required only for holders of Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) or ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards. Those who do not hold an MRP or ePassport are advised to obtain a visa in advance, otherwise will be strictly examined and may be refused entry to Japan.
(*7) For nationals of those countries with visa exemptions permitting stays of up to 6 months under the bilateral visa exemption arrangements, those who wish to stay in Japan for more than 90 days are required to apply for an extension of the period of stay to the Ministry of Justice (Regional Immigration Bureau) before the period of permitted stay is to expire.
(*8) Nationals of Peru (since July 15, 1995) and Colombia (since February 1, 2004), are advised to obtain a visa in advance, otherwise will be strictly examined and may be refused entry to Japan.
A "Temporary Visitor's Visa" is usually required as permission to stay in Japan for a period of up to 90 days for non-remunerative activities such as sightseeing, participating in amateur sports, visiting relatives, taking inspection tours, participating in lectures or research, attending conferences, making business contacts or other similar activities.
Countries that require visas
Nationals of countries that do not have "Reciprocal Visa Exemption Arrangements" with Japan must obtain a visa. Please see the information below if you are a visitor from a country that does not fall under the sixty-eight countries with the visa exemption programs above.
To apply for a visa, please check Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: Visa application form
As the type of documents required for the application may differ according to the purpose of your visit, the applicant is advised to check with the Japanese Embassy or consulate beforehand.
For the list of Embassy or Consulates in your country, please check here - JNTO: Japanese Consulates Abroad
All information is correct as of January, 2018. Independent research is always advised for the most up-to-date and relevant information.