Japan is a country that’s proved fascinating for foreigners ever since opening up to the world over 150 years ago. With a unique culture, and burgeoning economy, it’s a perfect place for expats who want to work hard, play hard, and get a taste of a really unique way of life.

Visitors to Japan must obtain a visa from one of the Japanese diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries. The Government of Japan currently allows citizens of 68 countries/territories to travel to Japan for tourism or business without having to obtain a visa.


There are various types of Japan visas as following:


This visa is for those people who want to study in Japan.

If you are planning to study in Japan for more than three months you’ll need to get a student visa. All students coming to study Japanese full time (3 to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week) in Japan for 6 months or more must have a visa. A Certificate of Eligibility is a required document in order to obtain a student visa for Japan and complete the immigration process. A foreigner in possession of this certificate can under most circumstances acquire a visa at a Japanese consulate in their home country.

The study semester in Japan starts four times a year: January, April, July, and October. It’s best to apply around 6 months before the desired semester in order to receive a visa on time. For example, if the school term starts in October, the application deadline would be in April.

Student visa holders can study for up to two years. It’s possible to study for a year, go back home, then come back for the 2nd year; however this means you MUST re-apply for that 2nd year. The visa also allows part time work for up to 28 hours per week, which can help offset the cost of living. Students are allowed travel in and out of the country without having to re-apply for a visa each time, provided they fill out a re-entry permit slip at the airport.

Getting your student visa for Japan may seem a little tricky up front, but Go! Go! Nihon walks students through the entire process, so there’s no need to worry.


This visa reserved for those applicants who want to do work/business in Japan.

There are many different visa types for working in Japan which vary slightly according to the job you intend to do. The options are set out on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, but basically mean that you might be able to apply for a working visa for your specific profession (in the case of specialist skilled workers, journalists, artists and so on), or a visa designed for highly qualified professionals.

If you already have a visa (status of residence) that has no restriction in the type of your activities such as Permanent Resident, Spouse or Child of Japanese National, you are free to choose your business structure whether it is a sole proprietor (kojin jigyo) or a company (KK or GK).

In some cases, it is recommended to establish a company in Japan in order to show a certain credibility to your business relations such as your office’s landlord, clients and suppliers or to better manage the relation between several investors and directors.If you would like to start a business in Japan but don’t have a long term visa that allows you to do so, it is necessary to apply for the Investor / Business Manager visa.

There are conditions to satisfy in order to qualify for the Investor / Business Manager visa, and in most cases, it is required to register a company with at least 5 millions yen capital before you can apply for the visa.You need to make sure that you are eligible for this Business Manager visa in advance, as it is technically possible to register a company even if you don’t satisfy the visa requirements, although you won’t be allowed to run the company without having an appropriate visa.


This visa is for those people who want to spend his/her life in Japan.

To visit Japan, you will usually need to obtain a visa before you get on the plane.However, there are some countries that are exempted from the need for a visa to enter and stay in Japan for a certain amount of time. Also, for some countries there are special visa policies in place, that one needs to know about before planning a visit to Japan.

68 countries are exempted from the need for a visa, and their nationals can travel to Japan without one. They can stay up to a maximum of 90 days in Japan unless otherwise specified. Countries of the European Union and North America (including Mexico) are allowed to travel in Japan for 90 days without any paperwork. Some countries like Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland are allowed to apply for an extension of their stay for up to even 6 months.

For some countries, there are special rules. Citizens of Indonesia, Brunei, and Thailand are allowed a 15-day visa-free travel in Japan; while citizens of United Arab Emirates are allowed 30 days.

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