Japan Reopens to Foreign
Travelers, with Conditions

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan was one of the most open destinations for foreign travelers, with passport holders from nearly 70 countries enjoying visa-free entry to the Asian Pacific nation. But as the pandemic gripped the world, Japan shut its doors to outside visitors, even keeping foreign tourists from attending the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. The good news for travelers is that Japan is beginning to reopen. But that process comes with conditions.

For now, visa-free travel to Japan has been suspended. That means any foreign national traveling to Japan will need to apply for a visa. Japan is also limiting the overall number of visas being processed at this point. And the number of total entries to Japan are being limited.

For business travelers, Japan is currently offering four types of work visas:

1) For Engineers or Specialists in Humanities or International Services, which requires an employment contract directly with a Japanese entity

2) A Business Manager category for experienced managers employed with a Japanese company, or an individual launching a business in Japan

3) A work visa for intra-company transferees

4) A highly-skilled professional visa for qualifying individuals based on a points system. Long-term visas for students and technical trainees are also being processed.

Individuals hoping to visit Japan for leisure will find their options are even more limited. As of June, 2022, Japan is issuing some tourist visas, but only to individuals visiting Japan as part of a tour group with a fixed and pre-approved itinerary.

As of this writing, Japan uses a ranking system for countries with red, yellow, and blue levels corresponding to the highest to lowest risk countries, based on infection rate. Depending on your point of origin you should expect be asked to provide the results of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, and to spend up to 3-days quarantine at a registered facility. Use our Entry Guide (https://cibtvisas.com/health-requirements) to learn your country’s current color designation and entry requirements.

Though it is expected Japan will eventually reinstate their visa-waiver policies with some foreign nations, the visa requirements and COVID restrictions are in place for all visitors at this time. CIBT will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they are available. If your plans take you to Japan, and you would like assistance in navigating the entry requirements, contact us at CIBT. We’re here to help make your journey a smooth one.

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