While the process of obtaining a visa to enter Japan is largely simpler than the requirements for entering a variety of other nations, the process can appear complex and thus visitors and those relocating should review the latest visa information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Web site at http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/index.html#visa1.

Japan has wavered visa requirements for travelers from 61 countries (list available at the aforementioned Web site) coming to Japan for a short term stay (90 days or less).

For those that do require a visa to enter Japan for a short term stay, the application process will take place at your local Japanese Embassy or Consulate. You will be required to submit:

The visa application process generally takes 5 business days to complete, and some applicants may be required to attend an interview or submit additional documentation to support the visa application. Those that successfully receive their visa must enter Japan within three months of its receipt. Those who are turned-down for a visa cannot apply again for another six months after being notified of the visa disapproval.

Those wishing to apply for a visa extension can do so at their Regional Immigration Bureau (for contact details, please visit: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/inquire.html). Those wishing to extend their visa should be prepared to answer questions relating to what the purpose of the visit it, why the traveler is wishing to extend, and in some cases may be requested to show proof of departure information (itinerary, travel tickets, etc.)