Visa exemption countries

Depending on nationality, the purpose of visit and the length of intended stay, a foreigner may or may not require a visa to enter Japan.

As of April 2006, Japan had made arrangements with 62 countries and regions concerning the waiver of visa requirements, as shown in the accompanying table below. Nationals of these countries and regions holding valid passports can apply for landing permission (which is stamped in a foreigner’s passport by immigration officers at the airport or seaport where the foreigner goes through immigration procedures) for short-term stays for such purposes as sightseeing and business trips without obtaining a visa. Since Singapore is one of these countries that has such an arrangement with Japan, Singapore citizens (Singapore passport holders) do not require a visa to enter Japan for temporary visits up to 3 months. However, this arrangement neither permits the engagement in paid activities nor staying beyond the period allowed in each arrangement. In such cases, it is necessary for these foreigners and Singaporeans to obtain a visa.

Asia

Country

Period of stay

Remarks

Singapore

3 months or less




Brunei

14 days or less




Hong Kong (BNO, SAR)

90 days or less

Visa waiver is applicable to residents holding BNO or SAR passports. As for P.R.C. Chinese applicants in Hong Kong and Macau, visas are not required only for school excursions in Japan limiting to stays of less than 30 days.




Republic of Korea

90 days or less




Malaysia

3 months or less

With effect from 1 July 2013, nationals of Malaysia holding ordinary IC passports meeting ICAO standards (i.e. with ICAO’s IC passport symbol on the front cover) who wish to enter Japan for short-term stay will no longer be encouraged to obtain a visa and will be able to visit Japan without one. Other Malaysian holders of ordinary IC passport not in compliance with ICAO standards are still encouraged to obtain a visa. Read full details.




Thailand

15 days or less

With effect from 1 July 2013, nationals of Thailand holding ordinary IC passports who wish to enter Japan for a period not excedding 15 consecutive days for short-term stay will be exempted from visa requirements. Those who wish to stay short term beyond the stated period, or for purposes of work, will still require visas in advance.




Taiwan

90 days or less

Visas are not required only for Taiwan residents holding Taiwan passports bearing the holder’s personal ID number.




Macau (SAR passport)

90 days or less

Visa waiver is applicable to residents holding BNO or SAR passports. As for P.R.C. Chinese applicants in Hong Kong and Macau, visas are not required only for school excursions in Japan limiting to stays of less than 30 days.

North America

Country

Period of stay

Remarks

Canada

3 months or less




USA

90 days or less

Latin America and Caribbean

Country

Period of stay

Remarks

Argentina

3 months or less




Bahamas

3 months or less




Barbados

3 months or less

For nationals of Barbados (since April 1, 2010), visas are not required only for holders of Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) or ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards. Those who do not hold an MRP or ePassport are advised to obtain a visa in advance, without which will be strictly examined and may be refused entry to Japan.




Chile

3 months or less




Costa Rica

3 months or less




Dominican Republic

3 months or less




El Salvador

3 months or less




Guatemala

3 months or less




Honduras

3 months or less




Mexico

6 months or less

Nationals who wish to stay up to six months, in principle, will be granted permission to stay for 90 days at the time of landing. Those wishing to stay in Japan beyond 90 days will have to apply at the nearest immigration authority in Japan for an extension of their period of stay, even though their countries have visa exemption arrangement with Japan for up to 6 months.




Suriname

3 months or less




Uruguay

3 months or less

For Peru, Colombia, Barbados and Lesotho nationals, it is highly recommended to obtain visa;
For Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran nationals, the waiver of visa requirements is temporarily suspended.

Middle East

Country

Period of stay

Remarks

Israel

3 months or less




Turkey

90 days or less

For nationals of Turkey (since April 1, 2011), visas are not required only for holders of Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) or ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards. Those who do not hold an MRP or ePassport are advised to obtain a visa in advance, without which will be strictly examined and may be refuse

Oceania

Country

Period of stay

Remarks

Australia

90 days or less

Japan adopts a unilateral measure, not a bilateral waiver of visa requirements.




New Zealand

90 days or less

Africa

Country

Period of stay

Remarks

Lesotho

3 months or less

For nationals of Lesotho (since April 1, 2010), visas are not required only for holders of Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) or ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards. Those who do not hold an MRP or ePassport are advised to obtain a visa in advance, without which will be strictly examined and may be refused entry to Japan.




Mauritius

3 months or less




Tunisia

3 months or less

Europe

Country

Period of stay

Remarks

Andorra

90 days or less




Austria

6 months or less

Nationals who wish to stay up to six months, in principle, will be granted permission to stay for 90 days at the time of landing. Those wishing to stay in Japan beyond 90 days will have to apply at the nearest immigration authority in Japan for an extension of their period of stay, even though their countries have visa exemption arrangement with Japan for up to 6 months.




Belgium

3 months or less




Bulgaria

90 days or less




Croatia

3 months or less




Cyprus

3 months or less




Czech Republic

90 days or less

Denmark

3 months or less




Estonia

90 days or less




Finland

3 months or less




France

3 months or less




Germany

6 months or less

Nationals who wish to stay up to six months, in principle, will be granted permission to stay for 90 days at the time of landing. Those wishing to stay in Japan beyond 90 days will have to apply at the nearest immigration authority in Japan for an extension of their period of stay, even though their countries have visa exemption arrangement with Japan for up to 6 months.




Greece

3 months or less




Hungary

90 days or less




Iceland

3 months or less




Ireland

6 months or less

Nationals who wish to stay up to six months, in principle, will be granted permission to stay for 90 days at the time of landing. Those wishing to stay in Japan beyond 90 days will have to apply at the nearest immigration authority in Japan for an extension of their period of stay, even though their countries have visa exemption arrangement with Japan for up to 6 months.




Italy

3 months or less




Latvia

90 days or less




Liechtenstein

6 months or less

Nationals who wish to stay up to six months, in principle, will be granted permission to stay for 90 days at the time of landing. Those wishing to stay in Japan beyond 90 days will have to apply at the nearest immigration authority in Japan for an extension of their period of stay, even though their countries have visa exemption arrangement with Japan for up to 6 months.




Lithuania

90 days or less




Luxembourg

3 months or less




Macedonia

3 months or less




Malta

3 months or less




Monaco

90 days or less




Norway

3 months or less




Netherlands

3 months or less




Poland

90 days or less




Portugal

3 months or less




Romania

90 days or less

This is limited Visa exemption arrangement until 31 Dec 2015.




San Marino

3 months or less




Slovakia

90 days or less




Slovenia

3 months or less




Spain

3 months or less




Sweden

3 months or less




Switzerland

6 months or less

Nationals who wish to stay up to six months, in principle, will be granted permission to stay for 90 days at the time of landing. Those wishing to stay in Japan beyond 90 days will have to apply at the nearest immigration authority in Japan for an extension of their period of stay, even though their countries have visa exemption arrangement with Japan for up to 6 months.




United Kingdom

6 months or less

Nationals who wish to stay up to six months, in principle, will be granted permission to stay for 90 days at the time of landing. Those wishing to stay in Japan beyond 90 days will have to apply at the nearest immigration authority in Japan for an extension of their period of stay, even though their countries have visa exemption arrangement with Japan for up to 6 months.

For the nationals of Serbia, from May 2011, visas are not required for Serbia-passport holders with biometric function in their respective passports.