Visa Requirements for Japanese Citizens

Learn about the visa requirements for citizens of Japan to travel to every country around the globe.

Visa Requirements for Japanese Citizens

Visa requirements for citizens of Japan are administrative entry restrictions placed on Japanese passport holders by the authorities of other countries across the world.

Visa requirements for Japanese passport holders may vary depending on the country of destination the traveler plan to visit, as well as the duration of the intended stay and the purpose of that stay.

The Japanese passport is currently ranked as the strongest passport in the world in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index. This is determined by the number of countries to which the passport holder can travel without a visa or with a visa on arrival.

In the case of Japanese citizens, this is around 140 countries across the world, which include China, India, the European Union, and the United States.

Most states on the visa not required country list for Japanese passport holders allows travellers from Japan to spend between 14 days up to 6 months in the territory without the need to obtain an electronic or embassy visa.

However, for longer periods of stay or for purposes other than tourism, transit or business, it is normally mandatory to obtain a visa from Japan to travel to the same countries.

Other visa-exempt states for Japanese nationals may require the traveler to pre-register for an electronic travel authorization before departure from Japan.

Other countries require citizens of Japan to obtain a visa, no matter the purpose of the visit or the intended duration of the stay. This may be an electronic visa, a visa on arrival or an embassy visa from the nearest diplomatic office of the destination country.

List of Visa Countries for Japanese Passport Holders in 2020

While it is possible for Japanese nationals to visit a large number of countries without a visa, it is mandatory to meet the visa requirements for Japanese passport holders to travel to others. It is currently necessary to obtain a visa to travel to around 130 countries across the world from Japan.

For these countries, Japanese nationals are required to obtain the correct type of travel documentation depending on the duration and the purpose of the stay. This may be a tourist visa, business visa, study visa, work visa, transit visa or other visa type.

Visa requirements for Japanese citizens state that it is necessary to obtain a visa before departure from Japan for around 100 countries around the world, whether an embassy visa or an electronic visa through an online application.

Other visa-required countries for Japanese passport holders have a visa on arrival option, but this often involves the need to wait in long queues at border control checkpoints in order to submit an application.

Below you can find a list of the visa-required countries for Japanese nationals.

Electronic Travel Visa Authorization

An Electronic Travel Visa Authorization system eliminates the need to apply in person for a visa application at an embassy or consulate. It permits Japanese citizens to obtain either an electronic visa waiver or an online eVisa to travel to their destination.

Some of the visa-free countries for Japanese passport holders require registration for an electronic visa waiver before arrival in order to pre-screen travelers. Other countries offer an online eVisa application to expedite the visa request process.

There are around 30 countries that have an electronic visa authorization option for citizens from Japan. It is usually necessary to complete a simple online form with passport and personal information, as well as to answer some questions related to security.

An electronic visa waiver or eVisa for Japanese nationals may be issued as a single or multiple entry travel authorization and permit a stay from 14 days up to 3 months.

Once approved, most online travel visa authorizations are sent to the applicant via email and electronically linked to their passport. Travelers are also usually recommended to print a paper copy of this authorization to present upon arrival.

Below you can find a complete list of the countries Japanese citizens can visit with an electronic travel visa authorization.

Countries for nationality

Electronic Travel Visa Authorization for United States

Japanese passport holders who wish to travel to the United States are required to obtain an ESTA (Electronic System Travel Authorization) before departure from Japan.

Applicants for an ESTA are simply required to complete a form with personal and passport information, such as name, date of birth, passport number, passport dates, and answer a few security and health-related questions.

After completing the application, Japanese nationals are required to pay a fee electronically with a valid debit or credit card in order to submit the form.

An expected arrival date is not required, so Japanese citizens can apply as soon as they plan to travel to the United States. Applicants will usually receive an approved ESTA soon after completing the form, although, in some cases it can take up to 72 hours.

The approved ESTA is normally sent to the traveler via email and electronically linked to the passport. It is multiple entry and issues for tourism, business or transit purposes.

ESTA allows a maximum stay of 90 days per visit and is valid for 2 years, or until the associated passport expires, whichever comes first.

Travelers are recommended to print a copy of this electronic travel authorization as some air or cruise companies may ask to see a paper printout.

Visa on Arrival

A visa on arrival for Japanese passport holders is a kind of travel authorization that can be obtained at immigration checkpoints upon arrival in the country of destination. Japanese nationals can obtain this kind of authorization for around 30 countries across the world.

To obtain a visa on arrival in an issuing country, it is necessary for the traveler to go directly to a border entry checkpoint and wait in line to complete a visa on arrival application form for Japanese citizens.

After completing the visa on arrival form it is usually necessary to pay a fee in cash in the local currency.

Most visas on arrival for Japanese passport holders are issued as either a single or multiple entry permit and allow a stay of between 7 days up to 3 months in the country of destination.

Many visa on arrival countries for Japanese nationals also allow travelers to obtain an eVisa, an electronic visa, before departure. Travelers can complete a simple application form online as an alternative to queuing for a visa at immigration checkpoints.

Find below the complete list of the visa on arrival countries for Japanese passport holders.

Embassy Visa Required

An embassy visa for Japanese nationals is a type of travel document that must be obtained in advance from an embassy or consulate of the destination country before departure from Japan.

There are currently around 70 countries across the globe for which Japanese passport holders require an embassy visa, regardless of the period of intended stay or the reason for the travel.

A travel authorization from an embassy can be granted for a variety of purposes, whether a tourist visa, work visa, study visa, business visa or other visa type. It may be issued for a range of periods of permitted stay.

Applicants are usually required to make a visa appointment at the nearest diplomatic office of the destination country in Japan.

It is normally necessary to bring a completed visa application form and a range of supporting documentation to the consular interview, which may vary depending on the visa required before an embassy visa can be approved.

Japanese nationals who are planning to submit an embassy visa application are advised to do so well in advance of their planned trip, as it may take up to 2 weeks or more to receive visa approval.

Find below the main destinations where an embassy visa is required for Japanese citizens.

Visa Not Required

The visa policy of a number of countries across the world state that a travel document such as an electronic authorization or a visa is not required for Japanese nationals who wish to visit for short stays.

At the moment, the visa not required country list for Japanese passport holders includes around 110 countries across the world, including China and the European Schengen Area. The permitted period of stay varies between 14 days to 6 months depending on the state or territory of destination.

Japanese citizens can travel to these visa-free countries simply by presenting a valid Japanese passport upon arrival. Japanese passport holders are usually allowed to gain entry to these countries for purposes of tourism, business, or to transit on the way to another destination.

To visit these same visa-free countries for a longer period of stay or for a purpose other than tourism, business or transit, it is normally necessary to apply in person for an embassy visa in advance of departure from Japan.

Browse the list below and find out the main countries for which a visa is not required for citizens of Japan.

ETIAS Visa Waiver for Japanese citizens

Currently, Japanese citizens are permitted to stay visa-free in any European country that has signed the Schengen Agreement, for a maximum stay of 90 days within any 180-dayd period.

The Schengen Area includes a total of 22 European Union countries, and 4 non-EU members (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland).

However, the ETIAS Visa Waiver is expected to be implemented by the end of 2022. Once this occurs, all Japanese citizens traveling to any Schengen Area countries will be required to apply for an ETIAS before departure from Japan.

The ETIAS online visa waiver is issued as a multiple entry authorization which will allow Japanese passport holders to spend a total stay of 90 days for each entry, and it will be issued for purposes such as tourism, transit, business or medical treatment.

To obtain this Visa Waiver Japanese nationals will have to complete a simple online application with basic personal, travel and passport information; and also answer to a few security and health related questions.

Before applying, travelers need to ensure that the passport they will use is valid for at least 3 months from the intended date of arrival into the Schengen Area.

Once approved, an ETIAS is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport and will be valid for a total of 3 years from the date of issue or until the associated passport expires, whichever comes first.

Japanese citizens who wish to travel to Schengen countries for another purpose or for an intended longer stay, will be required to apply in person for an embassy visa of the individual country they wish to visit.

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