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Overview

ID番号 N32472 更新日 平成29年4月25日

In order to enter Japan, foreign nationals are generally required to fulfill the following conditions.

 

1.        Must hold a valid passport from their home country.
*For foreign nationals who are unable to obtain a passport from their governments, a “Travel Document” may be issued at the Japanese Embassy in that country.

2.       Must have the necessary visa issued from the Japanese Embassy or Consulate.

3.       Must have received a landing permission stamp (with status of residence and duration of stay) from immigration control when arriving in the country.

 

Disembarkation

Japan draws a distinction between “entry” and “disembarkation.” Entry refers to the act of entering Japanese territory or territorial waters, whereas “disembarkation” means to actually “land” or arrive in Japan (for example, exiting the airport). Visas are a kind of “recommendation letter” allowing entry into Japanese territory but not guaranteeing the right to disembarkation. When disembarking at a Japanese airport or seaport, you will be screened by an immigration officer. You must hand the officer your passport with visa affixed as well as other relevant documents, as well as have your picture and fingerprints taken. It is only once the officer stamps a landing permission stamp in your passport that you are officially permitted to disembark in Japan.

 

Visas and Statuses of Residence

A visa is an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter a country. These are issued by Japanese embassies and consulates, and you will need a visa to enter Japan. Once you enter Japan on a visa, you will receive a Status of Residence, or 在留資格, (zairyuu shikaku) from an Immigration Officer in the form of a landing permission stamp. Status of Residence is the qualification you have for staying in the country. However, keep in mind that the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

 

The following visa chart summarizes a few basic types of visas, and their corresponding status of residences. For a more complete list, click here.

 

Visa

Types of Status of Residence

Transit, temporary

Short-term stays (temporary visitors for tourism, special landing permission)

Designated

Spouse/child of a Japanese national, permanent resident, or other designated activities

Employment

Professor, researcher, journalist, instructor, engineer, entertainer, skilled labor, etc.

Diplomat

Diplomats

Official

Public officials (government)

General

College student, trainee, dependent

 *If you are entering Japan on a mid- to long-term visa, you will receive a Residence Card. More on this here. Sometimes due to time constraints or other issues, you will not be able to get a card immediately upon disembarkation. In this case you will be sent a card once you register with your municipality of residence.

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