Travelers heading to Japan will no longer need to queue at a Japanese embassy or consulate to apply for a visa for Japan. The Japanese government has now launched a new Japan eVisa that can be easily obtained online.
The online visa for Japan is part of a wider government plan to boost tourism in Japan. The target is to reach 60 million by 2030. The new tourist visa makes traveling to Japan much more accessible for millions of people around the world.
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Online Visa System
The Japan eVisa system launched on August 18, 2022 and allows travelers to obtain a single-entry visa for a stay of up to 90 days in the country.
An approved online visa for Japan allows visitors to travel to the country for purposes of:
- Visiting relatives
Eligible applicants can complete the online application without needing to visit an embassy or consulate. The whole process takes just a matter of minutes.
Who is eligible for the Japan eVisa?
At present Canadians and US citizens are eligible to apply for the Japan eVisa. Eligible applicants must be visiting Japan for one of the motives listed above and must not engage in remunerative activities during their stay.
Due to coronavirus travel restrictions, all eligible applicants for the online business or tourist visa for Japan are required to have a ‘receiving organization’ (e.g. a Japanese company for business travelers).
Those visiting for tourism must be traveling as part of a guided tour organized by a travel agency which acts as a responsible ‘receiving organization’.
The organization must complete a application in the Japanese Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS) on the guest’s behalf.
This generates a “Certificate for Completion of Registration issued by the ERFS ”, which the traveler can then use to apply for their eVisa.
At present, a Japan eVisa only permits the holder to visit relatives living in Japan. Visiting friends and acqantantines is not currently permitted with an eVisa at this time.
When to submit an online visa application
It may take up to 5 business days for a Japan online visa to be processed and approved.
Therefore, applicants should submit their request at least 5 days before the intended travel dates to ensure sufficient processing time.
Required documents for the online visa
Canadians and US citizens need to have the following required documents to apply for the online tourist visa or business visa for Japan:
- Valid passport
- Digital passport-style image of the applicant
- A copy of the “Certificate for Completion of Registration issued by the ERFS” (provided by the receiving organization)
Those who intend to visit relatives with their Japan eVisa do not need the ERFS certificate, but they need to provide:
- Invitation Letter,
- Documents to prove kinship (e.g birth or marriage certificate)
If you are applying for a visa for a spouse or child of a Japanese national or permanent resident, you don’t need to submit an Invitation Letter. You do, however, need to provide a document to prove kinship.
- If the application is made by a proxy instead of the actual applicant, a letter of attorney authorizing the third party to do so should be submitted
- A parental consent form must be submitted if the applicant is a minor.
In some cases, it may be necessary for applicants to submit additional documents upon request in order to finalize their application.
How to apply for the Japan eVisa
Canadaians and US citizens can apply for the visa in 4 simple steps:
- Log on to the Japan eVisa website
- Complete the online form with personal, passport, and travel details
- Receive the results of your application via email
- Pay the visa fee stipulated in the email notification
Once the Japan eVisa has been approved, you will be able to access the visa issuance notice in your website account.
This must be displayed on a digital device at the airport in order to board a flight for Japan. Screenshots or PDF copies of this document will not be accepted.
Please note that Canadians and US citizens intending to stay in Japan for more than 90 consecutive days cannot do so with an eVisa. In such cases, they must apply for a visa from a Japanese embassy or consulate.