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USA ESTA Visa Waiver Requirements for Japanese Citizens

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Japanese travelers who plan to travel to the United States for tourism, business, or transit purposes can apply for the US ESTA (also known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization). In order to obtain the ESTA, applicants must meet a few requirements and fill out an online application

US ESTA for Japan

All Japanese citizens who are planning to arrive in the United States via a commercial flight or cruise for short stays will be required to apply for an ESTA travel authorization.

The process of applying for an ESTA from Japan is quick and easy. In fact, applicants will only need about 15 minutes to fill out the online application and pay the processing fee. Applicants can expect to receive their US ESTA for Japanese citizens within 72 hours of applying. In most cases, the approval comes instantly.

The US ESTA for Japanese travelers is valid for 2 years,  or until the associated passport expires, and allows you to stay in the United States for a maximum of up to 90 days. Since the ESTA is a multi-entry authorization, travelers may enter and exit the country as much as they want, as long as it is within the allotted time frame.

US ESTA Benefits for Japanese Citizens

The ESTA has several benefits for Japanese citizens.

The main benefit is the convenient and quick application process. Applying online means that Japanese travelers do not need to visit their nearest US embassy, have an in-person interview, or submit folders of paperwork in order to be approved for a US visa. Applying for the ESTA from Japan is a much more streamlined system than most other visa application processes.

Secondly, the ESTA was implemented to increase border security in the USA by running background checks on travelers who are part of the Visa Waiver Program. This makes it much easier for the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who had limited ability to perform background checks on visa-exempt travelers before the ESTA was put into place.

Finally, Japanese travelers are able to use a US ESTA for a variety of purposes, including traveling around the country (tourism), visiting business associates or attending career expos (business), or simply transiting through the country onto their next destination.

US ESTA Requirements for Citizens of Japan

In order to apply for the US ESTA from Japan, there are a handful of required documents and items. The requirements state that the applicant should have:

  • A valid Japanese passport.  The applicant’s passport needs to be valid on the intended date of arrival in the United States.
  • A valid payment method. To complete and submit the ESTA application, travelers must pay the application fee. This can be done with a valid debit or credit card.
  • A device with internet access. In order to fill out the application, travelers will need to use a device that has internet access, such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  • A valid email address. Finally, travelers are required to enter a valid email address on their application. This is to ensure that all notifications regarding the US ESTA status will be promptly delivered after the authorization has been approved.

How can I apply for the US ESTA from Japan?

The first step in obtaining a US ESTA for Japanese citizens is to complete the online application form. The application is very straightforward and easy to understand, and will only take 15 minutes of your time to fill in.

The application will ask for various pieces of information, which includes the traveler’s personal details, such as their first name and last name; passport information, including the passport number, nationality, date of issue, and date of expiry; and contact information, including their address and email.

During the second part of the application, the form will also contain a couple of questions about the applicant’s previous travels to the United States (if any), their health history, employment, and criminal background.

After the form has been filled in and completed, applicants will need to pay the ESTA application fee with a valid form of payment, such as a debit card or credit card.

Applicants can often expect to get their US ESTA approved instantly, but in rare cases it may take up to three business days (72 hours) to be processed. Some possible causes for delays include high demand, public holidays, or the need for the CBP to do a second check of the applicant through the database.

Although it is not required to do so, we encourage applicants to print out their ESTA email in case the gate agent asks to see it during boarding. However, as the approved ESTA is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport, this is not usually necessary.

Application Steps

Complete online application
Confirm Payment
Receive approved Visa

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