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Applying for a Visa

Obtaining a visa for Japan can be a complicated and lengthy process and will depend on what you intend to do in Japan.


Tourist Visa (Temporary visa)

This is the easiest visa to obtain, people from many countries will not need to make an application before they depart and will be issued a 90 day visa when they arrive in Japan, certain countries will also be able to get an extension to 120 days without having to leave the country. See table below.


After the temporary visa has expired it is quite possible to leave Japan come back and be issued another temporary visa, however there is no definite rule as to how many times people are able to do this and the criteria is rather murky. You fate is in the hands of the immigration officer, and may depend on factors such as, your travel itinerary, funds at your deposal, how nice you smile and if they are having a good day or not.


You are not allowed to work in Japan on a Temporary visa, violating any rules can result in deportation and being banned from entering the country for several years.


Working Visa

To get a working visa the best procedure is to find an employer and let them handle the application process before you come to Japan. It is possible to come to Japan on a Temporary (tourist) visa and then change over to a working visa, however if you not really allowed to being looking for work if you are in Japan as a tourist.


Many companies will advertise only for applicants who have valid working visas so it can become kind of a catch 22 situation. As there is a high demand for English teachers usually large English schools will handle the application, becoming an English teacher is probably the easiest way for many people to get a working visa, several foreigners who run successful businesses in Japan started this way


The criteria for getting a working visa are based on factors such as your degree and the demand for your field of work; English teaching and IT employees are sought after.



Student Visa (General Visa)

The easiest procedure to apply for a student visa is to first find your College, University or Japanese Language School and let them aid with the application process this should be done well in advance of when you want to your study to commence.


The criteria are based on factors such as proof of funds available for study / living expenses and previous education.