Japan is a beautiful, mysterious and unique oriental country that has always attracted travelers. Even today, it is a favorite vacation spot for millions of tourists from around the world. The truth is, honestly, it should be noted that traveling to Japan is not a cheap pleasure at all. You will be required to make a significant financial investment. In addition, for many Russians who dream of visiting this country, the visa issue is becoming an obstacle.
According to the current diplomatic agreements, the citizens of our country need a visa to visit Japan. At the same time, its registration requires a fairly extensive set of required documents and is fraught with many difficulties and pitfalls. The visa regime between our countries has existed for many years, and 2019 is not marked by changes in that regard. However, in 2017, a pardon was introduced –the need for a mandatory Guarantor on the Japanese side and the provision of an invitation has disappeared . And Japan is still a fairly closed country, and entering its territory is not so easy. Know more about Plužine.
In this article, we will tell you about all the difficulties that will probably await you on the way to getting a visa and how you can avoid them.
Various visa options
Japan’s diplomatic missions currently issue the following types of visas:
- Transit visa. This must certainly be available to those who fly to a particular third country with a stopover in Japan. This usually applies to travel to those countries to which there are no direct flights (for example, to Australia or New Zealand). Such a visa allows you not only to be at Tokyo Airport, but also to go further from it to explore the city and its surroundings. The validity of this type of visa is three days.
- Tourist visa – the most common variety. For this type of travel document most applicants. Read more about how to get such a visa and what papers are needed for it below.
- Work visa. To qualify for this, you must have an official contract with an employer in Japan. Despite the fact that there is a constant shortage of labor in Japan, the country’s government does not welcome attracting foreigners as migrant workers. Therefore, obtaining a visa of this type is often very difficult.
- student visa – issued to citizens of foreign countries who want to get a higher education in Japan. Today there are many specialized programs in which participating in which residents of other countries can get a real opportunity to study in Japan. True, this requires a lot of effort. Participants in such programs must demonstrate excellent knowledge of several subjects, as well as an appropriate level of knowledge of the Japanese language. Conditions for foreign students who manage to enter a Japanese university are very good: the country’s government even pays for such citizens airline tickets to Japan and provides a good scholarship, quite enough for a comfortable and pleasant life. In addition, a student visa allows students to stay in Japan to work after graduation.
Japan is a great place for family travel. In case you plan to take your children on a trip, you will have to adhere to certain formalities and prepare the following additional documents along with other papers:
- A copy of each child’s birth certificate.
- Certificate received at the place of study.
- Power of attorney signed by one or both parents (depending on who the child is traveling with).
These are quite standard requirements, after which you can take your children on a trip.
Required documentation and application procedure
Today you can get a visa to visit Japan yourself or you can through one of the many travel agencies. According to experienced travelers who have visited the Land of the Rising Sun multiple times, it is much easier to apply for a visa through specialized companies. Such organizations usually easily obtain visas for their clients within a few days.
* From January 1, 2017, the so-called A visa guarantor is no longer required, an invitation to a package of documents can be omitted.
Whichever method you choose, you will need to prepare a significant amount of different work. The main feature of applying for a visa for Japan is that applicants will certainly need an official invitation issued by an individual or (in most cases) some organization that exists in Japan. In no case is a Visa for Japan issued without an invitation. Such papers can be sent to you, for example, by your friends or relatives who permanently live in Japan or by a Japanese travel agency from which you buy a tour in advance. The inviting party must send you the following set of documents:
- An official letter explaining the purpose and reasons for your trip.
- Detailed travel plan for each day of stay in the country.
- Letter of guarantee.
- Documents on the organization acting as a guarantor (certificate of registration, letter describing the type of activity, certificate of payment of all necessary taxes, documents confirming the purpose of the trip and indicating full payment for the tour).
- Confirmation of hotel reservation and airline ticket reservation.
The applicant who needs a tourist visa must submit the following papers directly:
Only with all these documents in hand (including papers sent by the calling party from Japan), you can apply for a visa at the embassy.
When your plane lands in Tokyo, you will need to go through a series of specialized immigration controls, including a hand scan and a face photo. Representatives of diplomatic missions, minors and tourists traveling in transit are exempt from such control. For all other categories of foreigners, such immigration control is strictly mandatory.
Perhaps the only positive side in everything related to obtaining a visa for Japan without a consular fee . True, you still have to have certain expenses, especially to spend money on sending documents from Japan. This figure varies around $ 15-17.
If you decide to transfer the job of applying for a visa to a travel agency, be prepared to spend. Each organization independently sets the price of its services, usually for obtaining a visa without a personal presence, travel companies charge about a hundred dollars.
If you need to get a visa urgently, keep in mind that the Japanese embassy does not provide the ability to expedite the processing of applications for an additional fee. All documents are considered in a general way within 4 days to two weeks. Keep this in mind when planning a travel date.
As you can see, getting a visa for Japan is not easy. To be able to visit this traditionally very closed and conservative country, you will have to go through bureaucratic procedures and collect a lot of documents.
The main difficulty is that a visa for Japan is not issued without a tour and an official invitation from the Japanese side. The presence of an invitation or a prepaid trip is a prerequisite for issuing a visa.
In addition, the staff of the Japanese missions study very carefully and thoroughly every document submitted by the applicant, checking all the data, and if even the slightest mistake or violation is found, they refuse permission to enter. Moreover, if the passport is refused, a special stamp is affixed, after which it is possible to submit a new application only after six months.
Despite all these difficulties, obtaining a visa for Japan is still quite realistic. The main thing is to approach the process of registration of all necessary documents very responsibly and carefully. Under no circumstances should you disclose inaccurate or even unreliable information or false documents. Try to arrange everything perfectly, in accordance with all strict rules and requirements, so that embassy representatives can not find objections in the design of your application. A little perseverance, patience and self-control – and you will surely manage to get the desired visa.
Unfortunately, for many years there has been such a rather complicated visa regime between Russia and Japan. For many citizens of our country, Japan remains something unknown and incomprehensible, solely because this country is not open to everyone and does not receive a huge number of tourists in its countries. And the financial side of such a trip often becomes a reason to choose another, more affordable option. For residents of the central and European part of Russia, a flight to Japan for many thousands of kilometers will cost a significant amount. This series of reasons served the fact that Japan is not very popular in our country today as a tourist destination.