When you apply for a Japan Visa, you need several documents to support your application. The Japan Visa requirements change depending on the reason you are travelling as well as the duration of your stay.  However, there is a list of requirements all applicants need to have.

Japan Visa Requirements for all applicants

The standard set of documents you need when you apply for a Japan visa is:

  • Japan Visa Application Form
  • Your passport
  • Passport-size picture
  • Flight itinerary
  • Daily itinerary
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of financial solvency
  • Letter of invitation
  • Proof of travel purpose
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE), if applicable

Japan Visa Application Form

The Visa Application Form has to be completed and signed. You can download a copy from the website of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (here) where you can fill it in electronically and then print it out. You can also get it on arrival at the Japanese Embassy/Consulate when you go there to apply

You have to enter your personal information (name, passport number nationality, employment information, etc.), your itinerary (date and location of arrival/departure, intended stay, where you will stay), information about the person/company inviting you to Japan or your guarantor, etc.

Complete all the fields. If they do not apply to you just write “N/A” (Non-Applicable).

Your Passport

Your passport must be valid for at least another six months and have at least two blank pages for the visa to be affixed in. If you intend to stay for longer than six months, your passport has to be valid for a longer time as well.

You must also include photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport, such as the issue and expiry date, personal information, etc.

Cover Letter

Part of the Japan visa requirements is a cover letter which you have to write yourself and address it to the Embassy/Consulate. You should use the letter to introduce yourself, state the reason for your travel,  dates when you intend to enter and depart, as well as a general itinerary of your stay.

See how you can write a cover letter for visa application.

Japan Visa Photo Requirements

Along with the required documents for Japan visa applications, you also need pictures which follow these 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

The number of pictures you have to submit depends on the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in which you are applying, as well as the purpose of your travel (usually between 1 to 4).

Flight Itinerary

Include a detailed plan of the arrival and departure dates, flight reservation number, etc. along with the other visa requirements. You don’t have to actually purchase the ticket.

Read: Purchasing a flight ticket without paying the full ticket

Daily Itinerary

You need an itinerary which lists your daily activities in Japan, such as places where you’ll go, activity plans, and the dates. Find a sample itinerary for Japan Visa at the website of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affair (here).

If applying for a Working Holiday Visa, submit a schedule of what you plan to do every month during your stay in Japan, including in which cities you will live, what you will work, and what other activities you will engage in.

Proof of Accommodation

You may also have to submit proof of accommodation in Japan, such as the hotel reservation or apartment booking, etc.

See: Proof of accommodation for visa application

Proof of Financial Solvency

Submit a document which proofs you have sufficient financial means to cover the duration of your stay.

If you are financing your own trip, submit Bank Statements issued in the past three months and the latest Income Tax Returns

If your Guarantor will help finance your stay:

  • Letter of Guarantee
  • Income Certificate issued within the last three months
  • Residence Certificate, if they are a foreign resident of Japan

If you are applying for a Student Visa, you can submit:

  • Your bank or income statements
  • Proof of a Scholarship
  • Proof you receive Financial Aid
  • Letter of Sponsorship, if someone is sponsoring you, along with your sponsor’s proof of income and bank statements

Letter of Invitation

If you are applying for a Japanese visa to visit a family member or relative, they should write you a Letter of Invitation, detailing your relationship, the reason you are visiting etc.

If you are travelling for business, you need a Letter of Invitation from the company in Japan, which has to be stamped with the company seal and state the reason and purpose of the invitation.

The invitation letter must be addressed to the Japanese Embassy where you will apply for the Japan visa.

Your guarantor should also include a Letter of Guarantee if they will help finance your stay.

See how to write an Invitation Letter for visa applications.

Additionally, if you are visiting friends or family members, submit the following documents along with the Japanese visa requirements:

  • For relatives/family members: Civil status documents, such as birth or marriage certificates
  • For friends: Pictures together, receipts, phone call details, and a letter explaining your relationship

Proof of Travel Purpose

Depending on the reason for your travel, there are additional Japan visa requirements.

Japan Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

If you are visiting Japan for reasons other than tourism, transit, business, or a short-term visit, then you need a Japan Certificate of Eligibility.

The Japan Certificate of Eligibility is issued by the Immigration Services in Japan before you enter the country. This means you need to have a sponsor there already who can submit the application on your behalf. Meanwhile, you have to send them any relevant supporting documents (as listed above). Depending on the type of visa you’re applying, your sponsor could be your employer, your school, or your spouse.

Once you get the COE (the process can take up to three months), your sponsor has to send it to you, and you can use it to apply for the Japan Visa.

Keep in mind

This is not an exhaustive list of requirements for a Japan Visa. Japanese Immigration and Consular services can request any additional documents as they see fit.

You should consult with the immigration officers handling your visa application on whether you have to submit the originals or copies of the documents. Sometimes, your documents will not be returned.

The documents you submit have to be either in English or in Japanese, as per the request of the Embassy/Consulate. If they are not, you have to get them translated by a professional translator.

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