Japan Transit Visa
If you want to transit through Japanese territories to enter a third destination country, you will need a Japan transit visa, which can be obtained online. However, you must be a citizen of a visa-required country. This means you must be a national of a country required to apply for and eligible for a transit visa.
What is a Transit Visa?
A transit visa is an official travel permit required to board connecting flights in Japan and to enter the third destination via Japan. This is necessary for travelers who need to make a short stopover in Japan and travel to another country. If they want to stay within the airport premises, they would not need a transit visa, provided they stay in the lounge area. It is important to note that on a transit visa, the traveler can only perform rest and leisurely activities. It cannot be used for business-related activities or to visit family and friends.
What is Transit Visa Validity?
If you have a transit visa, please remember that you can use it only for a few days, and it is valid for tourism, resting, and sightseeing purposes only. For visiting family and friends, you will need the right visa as a transit visa.
Who Requires a Transit Visa to Cross Japan?
Those who aren't citizens of any of the following countries would need a transit visa to cross Japanese borders, and those who want to enter a third destination country via Japan need to stay at the airport.
- Brunei (visa exemption- up to fifteen/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
A transit visa is issued only if the traveler has to board a connecting flight to another country. If they don't have a connecting flight on the same day, they would need a transit visa to stay within the airport premises or book a room for resting.
There is a visa exemption for citizens of the following country provided they have a valid e-Passport or a Machine-Readable Passport per ICAO standards.
- Indonesia (visa exemption- up to 15 days)
- Thailand (visa exemption- up to 15 days)
- United Arab Emirates (visa exemption- up to 30 days)
Anyone who needs a visa to enter Japan will require a transit visa to board a connecting flight. This includes travelers with a confirmed onward ticket for the same day and those who do not wish to leave the airport's transit area. It is necessary to keep documents of your next destination ready.
However, you won't need a transit visa if you travel via Tokyo International Airport, aka Haneda Airport, or Osaka's Kansai International Airport. But, for this facility, you must meet specific criterion, including:
- Possessing a confirmed onward ticket and other necessary documents
- A connecting flight within the next three days or 72 hours
- You don't wish to leave the international transit lounge of the airport
It is worth noting that you will need a Shore Pass on arrival if you don't have a connecting flight on the same day you arrive in Japan and the flight is within the next 72 hours.
Documents Required for Japanese Transit Visa:
The following documents are required to obtain a transit visa.
- A completed and signed Japan e-visa application form. Make sure you fill out all the fields even if you deem some point unnecessary.
- A passport valid for the next six months and containing two blank pages.
- A cover letter specifying the purpose of your travel.
- A passport-size photograph of yourself. Here are the specifications for the photo.
- Dimensions: No more than 4.5cm x 4.5cm
- Plain white background
- Not more than six months old.
- A full facial view should be visible. Keep your head straight and your facial expressions neutral.
Flight Itinerary: This should clearly state your arrival plans, departure date, “Certificate of Reservation” issued by the airline, and reservation number.
Daily Itinerary: Travelers must provide the full itinerary of their daily activities throughout the time they will stay in Japan. Please refer to a sample itinerary approved by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the website.
- An approved visa is necessary for your intended onward destination.
- Proof of financial sufficiency is another necessity. It must validate that you can support your stay in Japan financially. This could be last month’s bank statement.
- Income tax returns evidence (please provide most recent report)
How to obtain a Japanese Transit Visa?
You must apply through any Japan Diplomatic Representation office in your country. This could be an embassy or a consulate. Here is an overview of the application process.
- Book an appointment by contacting the embassy/consulate.
- Apply through this website or an accredited travel agency because most diplomatic missions don't accept individual applications.
- Provide the necessary travel documents as mentioned earlier in the article.
- Submit the documents to the travel agency or embassy/consulate.
- Wait for visa processing.
Transit Visa Processing:
The processing of a transit visa takes around five business days. This starts from the date your application is received by the embassy/consulate. Once approved, you will be duly informed, and you can collect your visa through the embassy/consulate or the travel agency. The visa must be used within three months of its issuance.
Japanese Transit Visa Validity:
A Japan transit visa is valid for no more than fifteen days, and it cannot be extended further.
What is the Transit Visa Fee?
Transit visa costs around ($). You must pay the fee after the transit visa has been approved. This fee will be paid to the embassy or consulate.
Please note that the Japan visa cost will vary as per your nationality, the local currency you choose to pay the fees, and the type of visa you have applied for. If you applied via an approved travel agency or visa facilitation service, a service fee would be added to the visa cost. However, this service fee will be much less than the travel expenses you may endure to visit the consulate embassy multiple times to obtain a visa.
What is a Japan Shore Pass?
The Shore Pass is essential if you don't have a connecting flight on the same day you arrive, and the flight will be in the next 72 hours. Travelers may obtain a transit visa on arrival, which is called the Japan Shore Pass in Japan. The airline can process the Shore Pass application upon your arrival, but it is better to contact them before boarding the plane to avoid the hassle.
The eligibility criteria for Japan Shore Pass are as follows:
- You possess the necessary travel documents to your final destination country.
- You have sufficient finances to stay in Japan until the day of your connecting flight.
- You arrive and leave from a seaport/airport in the same groups.
Please check the group details:
Group A: Airports:
Group B: Airports:
Group C: Airports:
- Hakata (Fukuoka)
- Naha (Okinawa)
Group D: Airport:
- Chitose (CTS)
FAQs Regarding Japan e-Visa
Yes, you can apply for an e-visa if you are a US citizen and reside in the USA as well. However, you cannot apply for an e-visa to Japan if you live in Canada or another country. Please note that Canadian citizens in the USA or US citizens in Canada are ineligible to apply for this visa and must obtain the visa via their nearest Japanese embassy or consulate.
Since green card holders are not considered a citizen of the USA, they cannot apply for an e-visa. They can apply using their nationality if their country qualifies for an e-visa for Japan.
Foreign travelers can apply for an e-visa, including those traveling in a group or accompanied by a tour operator. The e-visa for Japan has several conditions that the traveler must meet. This includes a valid passport, a passport-size photo, a return ticket, means of payment of visa fees, and proof of financial stability to support their stay.
A Transit visa is issued for staying in a Japanese airport only to board a connecting flight. It allows the traveler permission to stay within the airport premises, book a room for resting, and not for visiting family and acquaintances.
The transit visa is not offered for any other purpose of travel than staying at the airport while the traveler waits for their connecting flight. No traveler is entitled to obtain a transit visa to attend a wedding. Please contact the Japanese embassy or consulate for further assistance if you want to visit your family or attend a wedding.
Japan transit visa is valid for a maximum duration of 15 days. However, please remember that this is not a multiple-entry travel permit. You can use it for transiting through Japan once. Ensure that you have your travel documents ready, including a valid passport that you used to apply for the visa and an onward ticket to your destination.