Eligibility

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Who is eligible for the Japan Rail Pass

The Japan Rail Pass is a special discount service, created for non-Japanese nationals*. However, there is a number of conditions specific to the Rail Pass. Please read the eligibility requirements carefully before continuing to making a JR Pass purchase.

The Japanese Rail Pass is available to all foreign nationals who are visiting the country for a short period of time and have obtained a Japanese Tourist Visa. The Tourist Visa allows for a stay of up to 90 days in the country. This rule applies to all visitors - adults, children, tourist groups, double nationals and Japanese residents*.

The same rules are valid for the foreign permanent residents such as students and interns, who work or reside permanently in the country. This would mean they have a permanent and not a Tourist Visa in their passport.

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Remember that the Tourist Visa is the only visa, which allows you to obtain and use the Japan Rail Pass.

Note: The Japanese Immigration Laws have a very strict policy, which regards the Temporary Visitor visa as the only valid stamp for you to receive and use the Japan Rail Pass. Be aware as there are other types of visas, allowing for a short-term entry but are not eligible for the Pass.

Japanese residents

(*) Japanese residents are not eligible to purchase nor to use the JR Pass as they are permanent residents of the country and this service is only available to tourists.

However, if the Japanese citizen is married to a foreign national and/or is a permanent resident of another country, then he/she may be eligible for the Rail Pass. This is possible in the following cases:

1. The Japanese citizen is legally residing permanently in another country and is able to provide:

  • Permanent status proof such as a Green Card.
  • Proof of residence outside of Japan such as: residential documentation, tax payments, national insurance etc. The official documentation must include the solicitor's name and address abroad.

2. The Japanese citizen is married to a foreign national, is permanently residing outside of Japan and is able to provide:

  • Official documentation with the applicant's name and address outside of Japan.
  • A marriage certificate to a non Japanese citizen.
  • Official documentation stating the candidate’s spouse's names and address outside of Japan.

Note: Please, remember that all Japanese nationals must provide the official documentation listed above in order to successfully make the Japan Rail exchange process. Simply showing a foreign passport/driving license or a foreign work permit will not serve as sufficient evidence of your permanent residence abroad.

Double citizenship

Citizens with double citizenship must enter Japan with their non Japanese passport as this is the only way to receive a Tourist Visa stamp in the passport. The Тourist Visa stamp will be required when exchanging the order for the actual Pass. In case you have entered the country with your Japanese passport, you will not receive the required stamp and therefore you will not be eligible to exchange the order and receive a JR Pass.

Note: Entering the country with a Japanese passport and then showing your foreign passport at the Exchange Bureau will not be sufficient to successfully make the exchange, nor showing a foreign birth certificate or driving license. All dual nationals must have the Tourist Stamp in their foreign passport, or no exchange will be possible.

Eligibility verification

If after having read all the above-mentioned eligibility requirements and you still have doubts about whether or not you will be eligible to make the Japan Rail Pass exchange, please contact us and we will help you better understand your personal case. However, you should always remember that if the JR personnel is unable to verify your eligibility, due to missing, unclear or unofficial documents, you will not receive the Rail Pass. Please, make sure you understand and comply with the above-mentioned requirements, before purchasing the Pass.

Note: Remember that the Tourist Visa is the only visa, which allows you to obtain and use the Japan Rail Pass. The Japanese Immigration Laws have a very strict policy, which regards the Temporary Visitor visa as the only valid stamp for you to receive and use the Japan Rail Pass. Be aware as there are other types of visas, allowing for a short-term entry but are not eligible for the Pass.

Remember that the Tourist Visa is the only visa, which allows you to obtain and use the Japan Rail Pass. The Tourist Visa is the only type of visa, which will allow you to successfully exchange your Exchange Order for the actual JR Pass upon arrival.