Foreigners who are traveling to Japan on behalf of their companies and with the intention of conducting business have to apply for a Japan Business Visa.
Who Needs a Japan Business Visa?
You need a Japan Business Visa if:
- You are from a country that is subject to Japan Visa requirements
- You are traveling to Japan for business-related purposes, such as attend a meeting or a conference, for business talks or negotiations, etc.
If you are from one of the countries below, you do not need a Japan Business Visa for short-term purposes (up to 90 days):
- Brunei (visa exemption for up to 15 days)
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- United States
Passport holders of the following countries are exempt from Japan Transit Visas only if they have a Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) or an ePassport in line with ICAO standards:
- Indonesia (visa exemption for up to 15 days)
- Thailand (visa exemption for up to 15 days)
- United Arab Emirates (visa exemption for up to 30 days)
Note: For citizens of some of the aforementioned countries, specific rules apply. See Who needs a Japan Visa?
What are the Documents Required for a Japan Business Visa Application?
When you submit an application for a Business Visa, you need several supporting documents, such as:
- Japan Busines Visa Application Form, completed and signed. You can download a copy of the application form from the website of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (here).
- Complete all the fields, even if it does not apply to you: simply write “N/A” rather than leave it blank.
- Your passport, which must be valid for at least another six months and have at least two blank pages for the visa to be affixed in.
- Passport-size pictures of yourself, with the following specifications:
- Dimensions: 4.5cm x 4.5cm
- White background
- Taken in the last six months
- You must be staring straight ahead, with a neutral facial expression
- Your entire face has to be visible
- Your name and birthdate have to be written on the back
- Flight Itinerary. Include a detailed plan of your arrival and departure dates, flight reservation number, your name, etc. You don’t have to actually purchase the ticket.
- Daily Itinerary of your activities in Japan. You can find a sample itinerary for Japan Visa at the website of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affair (here).
- Letter from your employer, written in a letter with the company’s letterhead. The letter must state your position in the company and the details of your trip (purpose, duration).
- If you are the company’s owner: Business registration form
- Letter of Invitation from the company in Japan, which is stamped with the company seal and states the reason and purpose of the invitation. The letter must be addressed to the Japanese Embassy.
- Letter of Guarantee from the inviting company in Japan, stamped with the company seal.
- The Registration Certificate of the Japanese company.
- Civil registration documents, as required (birth/marriage certificate, etc.)
- Proof of sufficient financial means to cover the duration of your stay:
- If you are financing your own trip: Bank statements issued in the past three months and the latest Income Tax Returns
- If a Guarantor is financing your trip (or part of it): A Letter of Guarantee and the Guarantor’s Income Certificate issued within the last three months
How to Apply for a Japan Business Visa?
You have to apply for a Japan Business Visa at one of the diplomatic missions of Japan abroad, such as an Embassy or a Consulate. However, the diplomatic mission offices of some countries do not accept individual applications and you may have to apply through an accredited travel agency.
- Contact the Embassy/Consulate/travel agency to book an appointment.
- Collect the required documents for a Japan Business Visa (see below). The inviting company in Japan will have to send you several documents as well.
- Submit the documents at the Japanese consular services or the travel agency.
- Wait for the visa to be processed.
- Collect your passport Embassy/Consulate/travel agency. If the application has been approved, your visa will be affixed and you can use it to travel to Japan within three months.
Getting the Landing Permit
Once you arrive in Japan, the Immigration officers at the point of entry will review your Japan Business Visa and the supporting documents, and they will affix a Landing Permit on your passport.
Once you get the Landing Permit, the Business Visa will become invalid. It is the Landing Permit that allows you to legally enter and stay in Japan for the duration it is issued.
How Long Does it Take to Process a Japan Business Visa?
The application process for a Japan Business Visa is about 5 working days starting from the day the Japanese representative office receives your completed application. However, if they have to send your application for further examination in Japan or they ask you to submit additional documents, it will take longer.
So, you should apply well in advance of your planned trip.
How Long is the Japan Business Visa Valid?
A Japan Business Visa is a type of short-stay visa, which means it is valid for a maximum of 90 days. It is a single-entry visa and allows the holder to stay in Japan for up to 15 days.
However, citizens of certain countries may be able to get a multiple-entry visa for business purposes.
Who Can get a Japan Multiple-Entry Japan Business Visa?
According to the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you are eligible for a Multiple-Entry Japan Business Visa if you are from:
- An Asia Pacific region
- A Latin American region
- From one of the New Independent States (ex-USSR)
However, the specific countries are not listed, so if you believe you are eligible you should contact one of the Japanese Consular Service offices.
In addition to the country of nationality, to qualify for a Japanese Multiple-Entry Business Visa, you must also be in a managerial position (or higher) or have worked for at least one year 1 year in:
- A government enterprise
- A company listed on the stock exchange market
- A company which has continual transactions with Japanese companies listed on the stock exchange in Japan
- A joint corporation that has co-invested with a Japanese company listed on the stock exchange in Japan
- A company that is a member of the Japan Chamber of Commerce (JCC) on a city where an Embassy or Consulate of Japan is located
When you submit the visa application, you also have to include a letter stating why you need a Multiple-Entry Business Visa for Japan.
How Much is the Japan Business Visa Fee?
The fees for Japan Visas are as follows:
- For a single-entry visa: 3,000 Yen
- For a double-entry or multiple-entry visa: 6,000 Yen
You only have to pay the visa fee if your application is approved.
Keep in mind:
If you apply through an approved travel/visa application agency, they will charge you for a service fee.
The fees for Japan Business Visas can change depending on the local currency or your nationality.
Can I Extend a Japan Business Visa?
The Japanese Immigration Offices do not typically issue visa extensions for short-stay visas, such as the Business Visa or the Tourist Visa.
You can get a Japan Visa Extension only if you have a long-term visa or if you have a serious and extreme reason for not being to leave Japan, such as a sudden illness or an accident.
Can I Work with a Japan Business Visa?
No, you cannot. A Japan Business Visa is a short-term visa (just like the Japan Tourist Visa ), so it does not allow you to engage in any renumerated activities.
If you want to work in Japan, you need a Japanese Work Visa as well as a Work Permit.