Japan, a thriving country full of endless possibilities has found its place in almost everyone’s bucket list. With its advancements in technology, rich cultural heritage and the various scenic tourist spots, it is a hub for all kinds of tourists throughout the year. However, to travel in Japan, you must submit a specified set of documents for the Japan Tourist visa. Luckily, Japan’s visa policy is quite lenient.
There are three ways to apply for a tourist visa at the Consulate-General: Directly by the applicant, or by a representative agency of the Consulate-General, or through a travel agency registered at the Consulate-General.
The minimum number of days for visa application processing is 5 working days; the passport will be issued on the 6th day.
The maximum duration of stay for a tourist visa in Japan is 15 – 90 days, depending on your country of origin.
So if Japan is the destination for your next vacation, here’s a quick guide to getting your visa.
Eligibility For Japan Tourist Visa
To apply for a Japan tourist visa you must fulfil all of the following criteria,
- You must own a valid passport which contains at least 2 blank pages for the visa.
- Your passport’s validity should exceed the duration of the applied visa by at least 3 months.
- Carry proof of your confirmed hotel reservation, flight bookings and travel itinerary along with the completed visa application form.
- You must provide proof that you are capable of supporting yourself during your stay in Japan.
- Your latest income tax return certificate and a formal statement of your financial situation from your bank (of 6 months) should be provided.
- You have to provide a copy of your birth certificate; If married, you must provide a copy of your marriage certificate.
- You must have a copy of your Certificate of Employment or leave letters from school or college.
- You must have the intention to leave Japan at the end of your authorized stay.
Mandatory Documents Required For The Visa Application
- A photocopy of completed visa application form
- Two colour photographs
- Covering letter stating the purpose and duration of the visit
- Original confirmed return and onward air ticket as well as proof of hotel reservation
- Last 6 months bank statement, original and photocopy of Income Tax Returns and Investment documents
- Old passports and visa (if any) and photocopy of pan card
- For students: Copy of leave letters from school or college
- Travel insurance.
How To Apply For The Japan Tourist Visa?
Before you apply for Japan tourist visa, ensure that you have all of the above mandatory documents and know the processing time needed for the visa to be issued. If you are unsure of any details, you can always contact the embassy. Once you are aware of all the details regarding the application, you are set to apply for the tourist visa.
Step 1: Get the Visa Application
You can get the application form from the VFS Japan – the official visa application centre for the Japan Embassy in India. Find the Japan Visa VFS Centre closest to your passport address, and apply for your visa from there. The Visa centres in India are
- Embassy of Japan, New Delhi
- Consulate General of Japan, Mumbai
- Consulate General of Japan, Kolkata
- Consulate General of Japan, Chennai
- Consulate General of Japan, Bengaluru
You can also opt to courier your Japan visa application through designated Blue Dart centres. However, the processing time takes two days longer.
Step 2: Fill up the form and collect the mandatory documents for visa application
Fill your details in the application form carefully and put your signature on your completed application form. Gather all the documents mentioned, along with your recent colour photograph and keep them ready for submission. Your photograph must not be more than 6 months old and should be of the specified size (2×2 inches).
Step 3: Provide a simple cover letter
Write a simple cover letter, including your trip itinerary and hotel reservations clearly. You may also mention names of major countries you hold visas to, or have in the past, as it strengthens your visa application, especially as an Indian passport holder. Add in a copy of your confirmed return flight ticket as well as hotel bookings.
Step 4: Check the visa application fee
Check the fees required for your visa application and keep it ready for submission along with your application form. Fees for Japan tourist visa vary depending on the nationality of the visitor – Japan Tourist Visa for Indian nationals is INR 460.00. Since the visa application fee is subject to change at any time, it is advisable to verify with the nearest Japan Embassy or Consulate before submitting your visa application.
Step 5: Submit your visa application form
Submit your completed visa application at the japan Embassy or consulate nearest to you, along with the documents. You may have to attend an interview as well. You don’t need an appointment to submit your application at the VFS Japan centre. But they don’t allow any electronic devices inside, hence carry only your documents and phone to avoid any security hassle.
While submitting your application form, pay the fee and receive the invoice and receipt for the same. This is required while collecting your visa. Note that your application fee will not be refunded, even if your application for a tourist visa is refused or rejected for any reason.
Step 6: Track your application and collect your visa
After your visa is issued, you will be notified about it. Meanwhile, you can track your Japan visa application online.
You can collect your visa by showing the original invoice and receipt. In case your travel agent is to collect the passport on your behalf, you need to provide an authorization letter signed by you along with the original invoice cum receipt.
Visa Renewal In Japan
If you wish to extend your stay in Japan, longer than the duration granted in your visa, you need to apply for an extension at the nearest immigration office. An additional fee is required to apply for the visa extension.
Immigration at Tokyo Airport
On most occasions, the immigration goes on without a hitch, with the officer rarely asking for additional details. However, it is recommended to keep your return flight ticket and hotel booking details handy, just in case.
Whether you seek out the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ for its cultural glory or its technological advancements, or simply to satisfy the wanderer in you; with all your right documentation and preparations, you’re one step closer to your next dream destination.