Japan transit visa requirements

Japan transit visa requirementsAre you wondering how to get to another country by transiting through Japan? This post will provide all the information you need to know about the Japan Transit Visa. Since still citizens of many different countries do need a visa to transit through Japan.

So, keep on reading, and we will describe what the transit visa is, how to prepare for it, the visa fees, and other important things to know before transiting via Japan.

What is the Japan Transit Visa? 

A Japan Transit Visa is a necessary document for foreign travelers who need to transit through Japan on their way to any final destination. The transit visa is a regular travel permit obtained at an Embassy or electronically using the new Japan e-Visa system.

The traditional Japanese transit visa can only be used for tourism and transit purposes, such as exploring the attractions of Japan, and therefore, is only valid for 15 days.

A regular Japan Transit Visa costs about 700 Yen. However, you should remember that the cost may vary depending on the country you are applying from. The fees should be paid upon getting visa approval and visiting the Embassy to collect the issued document.

To put it into perspective, 700 Yen is less than 7 USD.

Who does not need a Japan Transit Visa?

  • You can transit through Japan visa-free if you are a citizen from any of the following countries:
The United Kingdom, United States of America, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland, Slovakia, Spain, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Andorra, Austria, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Brunei, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Guatemala, Malta, Netherlands, Mexico, Iceland, Italy, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Mauritius, Monaco, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Surinam, Sweden, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
  • However, if you are not from the above-listed countries and if you are planning to enter Japan and transit to another third country destination, you are required to have a Japan Transit Visa.

Please note! Countries that can currently visit Japan without a travel permit will most likely need to apply for a Japanese e-Visa once it’s completely in place. Check the requirements when planning your trip.

Can I transit through Japan with an e-Visa? 

But if you are unable to get a Japan Transit Visa approved, you can still travel through an e visa and transit to another third country as well. These e visas are issued for 30 days and are valid for 3 months.

What do I need to prepare for a regular Japan transit visa? 

When applying for a regular Japan visa, the list of required documents to prepare is quite extensive. To complete your paperwork, make sure to gather the following documents:

  1. A fully completed and signed application form
  2. A passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the intended date of arrival in Japan. Make sure to check if your travel document has at least two blank pages.
  3. A valid travel permit for the country of your final destination (if it’s required)
  4. A cover letter with the details of why you travel to Japan
  5. Passport-size photographs taken at least six months back, in the following sizes: 4.5cm x 4.5cm. Your face should be clearly visible, the background should be, and the facial expression neutral.
  6. Full flight details of your arrival and departure dates, flight reservation number, etc.
  7. A written document describing your itinerary and plans for the upcoming trip.
  8. Proof of having sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the trip. (this can either be a bank statement, a tax return, or both)

Please note! Since arranging the above-listed documents may take a while, it’s best to start preparing for the application process a few weeks ahead of the planned trip.

As can be seen above, the transit visa Japan requirements may seem difficult to gather. Thus, make sure to check the next section that describes the Japanese e-Visa requirements for an effortless alternative.

What documents are required for the Japanese e-Visa?

As opposed to the long list of documents described in the previous section, applying for the Japanese e-Visa does not require you to prepare in such an extensive way.

All you need is:

  • A passport that will stay valid for at least 6 months from the intended date of arrival in Japan
  • An active email address (to be able to receive the approved e-Visa in PDF form)
  • Access to any online payment method of choice (could be a credit/debit card, PayPal, PayU, and more)

Not only is the list of required documents elementary, but the whole application process is also effortless and does not require you to visit an Embassy!

How can I apply for a regular Japan transit visa?

The first point to notice is the fact that regular Japan transit visa applications need to be submitted to an Embassy or a Consulate. Thus, it’s essential to give yourself at least a few weeks to complete the whole process.

Collect the required paperwork and make sure all your documents have the appropriate validity/blank pages as needed.

Next, schedule a visit to an Embassy or Consulate and go submit the complete paperwork once you’re ready.

Please note! Some countries do not accept applications for individual travel, and therefore check with it as you will be required to apply through an accredited travel agency.

Lastly, your Japan transit visa will be issued and added to your travel document. You can now use it to travel to Japan within three months of the approval date.

How to apply for the Japanese e-Visa?

Japanese e-Visa can be obtained entirely online after following three simple steps. Grab your valid passport and any working device with an internet connection.

Spare a few minutes, either at home, during a break at work, or at any other point in your day, and follow these steps to submit a successful application online:

  1. Complete the application form – put your data in the application form, including your name, surname, birth date, nationality, passport and travel details, and more. Make sure everything is correct and does not contain any mistakes.
  2. Cover the fees – select any preferred online payment method and cover the fees of issuing your Japanese e-Visa.
  3. Check your email box – the approved e-Visa for Japan will be sent to your email box in the form of a PDF file.

The processing time for the electronic Japan visa is just 72 hours! Whereas the regular visa can take even 10 business days or more to be issued.

In which cases can I transit through Japan without a visa?

You can transit through Japan without a visa only if you meet the following conditions:

  • You will not leave the designated airport’s transit area
  • You have a booked flight that takes off within the same day as your arrival
  • You have all of the relevant paperwork for the next country you are traveling to (e.g., a valid visa)

Final thoughts

Getting a Japan Transit Visa may seem like a difficult process at first. But with the required documents as listed above and the eligible criteria, your visa application will be approved in no time.

Even if you don’t get it approved, there are other ways to transit through Japan to a country you love to visit, e.g., using the easier alternative in the form of an e-Visa. It’s best to apply for an electronic visa in the first place since the transit visa requirements for Japan may take too much of your time!

So, what are you waiting for? This is your chance to explore Japan and also other countries as well whether you are traveling for tourism or business purposes!