Until further notice, the GOJ will deny permission to enter Japan to those foreign nationals* who have been physically present in the U.S. or other designated countries/regions in the 14 days prior to their arrival to Japan, as they fall under Article 5, paragraph (1), item (xiv) of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act*, unless there are “Exceptional Circumstances.”
Foreign nationals who fall under the cases below (either 1, 2, 3 or 4) are currently considered to be under Exceptional Circumstances.
Foreign nationals with Status of Residence (regardless of its category) who have departed from Japan with a valid Re-entry Permit/Special Re-entry Permit. Those foreign nationals do NOT need to apply for a visa to enter Japan**.
2. NEW ENTRY
Foreign nationals who will newly enter Japan (i.e., enter Japan without a re-entry permit) under any of the cases below. Those foreign nationals MUST apply for a visa to enter Japan.
(1) Foreign nationals who have departed from Japan on or before August 31, 2020 with a valid Re-entry Permit/Special Re-entry Permit, but have been unable to re-enter Japan because the validity of their permit has expired after their departure from Japan**.
(2) The spouse or child of a Japanese national or a permanent resident of Japan.
(3) The spouse or child of a foreign national with the status of “Long-term resident” (their Resident card should indicate “Long-term resident”) whose family is staying in Japan and who have been separated from their family.
(4) Foreign nationals who are going to acquire the status of "Instructor" or "Professor" and who need to enter Japan to fill a vacancy at the educational institution they are employed by or will be employed by, provided such a vacancy would result in the suspension of educational activities at the above-mentioned educational institution.
(5) Foreign nationals who are going to acquire the status of "Medical Services" and will contribute to the enhancement and strengthening of the Japanese medical system.
(6) Foreign nationals who are going to acquire the status of “Dependent” or “Designated Activities (limited to Notification No.7, 18, 19, 23, 24, 30, 31, 38, 45, 47)” and whose family reunification is considered necessary to resolve current family separation.
(7) Foreign nationals who intend to enter Japan based on “New measures for border enforcement (19).” (Short-term Stay for Business and Long-term Stay with any Status of Residence under Supervision of Receiving organization)
Starting from November 8, 2021, the Government of Japan will allow foreign nationals with short-term business/work purposes (up to 3 months) and foreign nationals with any of the long-term Status of residence (e.g., employees, international students, and technical intern trainees) to enter Japan under certain conditions.
To become eligible to enter Japan under this category, prior to visa application by the foreign national at the Embassies or other Consular offices of Japan, a receiving organization in Japan (e.g., inviting/employing companies) needs to submit the required documents, including a Written Pledge and an Activity Plan, to the appropriate Ministry/Agency of Japan. The appropriate Ministry/Agency will vary based on the receiving organization’s type of business. After submitting the required documents the receiving organization must then obtain a “Screening Certificate (審査済証：Shinsazumisho)”.
You do not need to be fully vaccinated to become eligible to enter Japan under this “New measures for border enforcement (19).” However, you need to be fully vaccinated, and have a valid vaccine certificate, if you intend to apply for a relaxation of activity restrictions that will allow you to start certain activities before completing the 14 day-quarantine period upon arrival in Japan. For the details of the relaxation of activity restrictions, please reference the section titled “[Optional] Relaxation on COVID-19 Mitigation Requirements after arrival in Japan” below.
On November 29, 2021, the Government of Japan announced strengthened quarantine measures in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Effective November 30, 2021 at 00:00 (JST), new entry of foreign nationals based on “New measures for border enforcement (19)” will be suspended until the end of February 2022.
For inquiries on new modified visa process:
Hotline: TEL +81-3-3595-2176 (The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan)
3. DIPLOMATIC / OFFICIAL
Foreign Nationals who are going to acquire/have acquired the status of “Diplomatic” or “Official”.
4. Humanitarian Reasons (short-term stay up to 90 days only) Examples of cases considered to have humanitarian reasons are as follows:
A foreign national who is within the second degree of kinship (under Japanese Civil Law) with a Japanese national or a permanent resident of Japan, or who is within the first degree of kinship with a foreign national with the status of “Long-term resident” (Their Resident card should read “Long-term resident”), provided that the purpose of entering Japan is to visit such relatives.
A foreign national whose purpose of entering Japan is to provide nursing assistance or support to the family member who resides in Japan and who is sick or will give/has given birth.
A foreign national whose relative/s residing in Japan is/are critically ill or deceased.
A foreign national who will accompany a relative who is unable to travel by him/herself (e.g., minor or sick).
(2) Public Interests
Any Public Interests cases are examined by the relevant Ministry/Agency on a case-by-case basis.
* Foreign nationals with the status of “Special Permanent Resident” are NOT subject to Article 5, paragraph (1), item (xiv) of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. Therefore, they will not be denied permission to enter Japan based on Japan’s Border Control Measures Related to COVID-19.
** For foreign nationals whose re-entry/special re-entry permit or Certificate of Eligibility has either expired or is about to expire while they are outside of Japan and still unable to re-enter due to COVID-19 related restrictions, please refer to this link: Entry from Overseas (Immigration Services Agency of Japan)