Before I start talking about how I got my Japan Temporary Visitor visa and why the hell do they call it that, let me start with a little backstory.
I grew up hearing about Japan, how advanced it is, how perfect everything is out there, how they worked and progressed after getting nuked twice in WWII, and like a lot of children I had my share of Japanese anime.
Later as a teenager, I got to explore Japanese Manga, better anime and I remember watching a vlog that was titled “Planet Japan” by a famous person who did a lot of travel vlogging.
All of that was definitely intriguing but it wasn’t until I had a Japanese friend “named Echo” that I really wanted to go to Japan. We met while doing a workaway project a few years ago and had a wonderful connection.
Echo would keep saying “Come to Japan”, and my answer was always very brief yet meaningful: “visa”. Echo was fully aware of what that meant.As an Egyptian, I can only apply for a Japanese visa at home or at a country I’m a resident in.
I have been traveling far from home for over 4 years and have been mostly staying in places as a temporary visitor thus, I wasn’t able to apply.
After successfully getting a job and a residency in Hanoi, Vietnam last year I was finally eligible to apply for a visa to visit the old empire. Let me tell you how it all went.
Do You Need a Visa for Japan?
A lot of people don’t need to apply for a Japanese visa as they can get it on arrival or they don’t even need one at all. However, if you need a visa like me, keep on reading, this article could be helpful.
Here are all the countries whose citizens are visa-exempt for Japan for 90 days, except for a few that get less than 90 days visa-free.
|Brunei (14 days)||Hong Kong||Israel|
|Indonesia (15 days)||Macao||Malaysia|
|Republic of Korea||Singapore||Taiwan|
|Thailand(15 days)||Turkey||UAE (30 days)|
|Dominican Republic||El Salvador||Guatemala|
Additional Requirements related to Passports for Japan Visa
- For citizens of Hong Kong, visas are not required only for holders of Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport issued by the Hong Kong SAR of the People’s Republic of China or British National Overseas (BNO) passports who have the right of residence in Hong Kong.
- For citizens of Macao, visas are not required only for holders of SAR passport issued by the Macao SAR of the People’s Republic of China.
- For nationals of Malaysia, Thailand, Serbia, Indonesia, UAE visas are not required only for holders of ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards.
- For nationals of Barbados, Turkey, and Lesotho, visas are not required only for holders of Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) or ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards.
What is Japan Temporary Visitor Visa?
A Japan temporary visitor visa grants you permission to stay in Japan for up to 30 days for the purpose of tourism, sightseeing, visiting family and friends, and partake in short business trips.
Japan Embassy in Vietnam
I submitted all the required documents to the Japanese embassy in Hanoi.
Address: 27 Liễu Giai, Ngọc Khánh, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
These are the contact details of the embassy if you want to double check with them:
You can submit your application between 9:30 am and 11:30 am. You can collect your passport with the visa between 2 pm to 3.30 pm.
Japan Visa Requirements in Vietnam
I emailed the Japanese embassy in Hanoi a few times asking about the whole visa process and they were very responsive thankfully and it all proved to be fruitful.
If you are planning to get your visa in any other country, here is the list of Japanese embassies all over the world.
Depending on where you are applying from, the requirements and the process might vary a little.
1. Valid Passport
A valid passport with 2 blank pages at least.
2. Japan Visa Application Form
You need to fill in the application form for Japan Visa. You can fill it in online and then print it out and sign it.
You would need to fill in personal and travel-related details like:
- Date of birth
- Passport details
- Marital status
- Purpose of visit
- Port of entry into Japan and date of entry
- Name & address of the hotel where you intend to stay
- Current residential address
Japan Visa Guarantor- Do You Need to Fill it in?
A part of the Japan visa application form needs you to fill in the guarantor details. This needs to be filled in only if you have someone like a friend or relative inviting you to Japan.
Once you fill in the details, you also need to get the required documents from the guarantor/inviter and submit them along with your application.
I didn’t provide any such details as I was applying by myself.
Applying as a Group?
If you are submitting the Japan tourist visa application as a group or family, then you can fill in the group application form for Japan visa.
3. Japan Tourist Visa Photo Requirements
You need to affix one 45mmx45mm passport-sized photograph in the Japan visa application form.
4. Proof of Funds- Show Money for Japan Visa
In order to show money for Japan visa, you can provide the bank statements that shows that you have sufficient funds to cover your intended period of travel.
I gave an original statement from the Vietnamese bank with its bank stamp and it was covering 5 months. I had 2000 USD at the time.
5. Travel Plans in Japan
I had to provide details of where I’m staying the whole time. I just booked one hostel for 7 nights in Tokyo and cancelled it later. But yes the whole period must be included in the itinerary paper with address and contact number.
You can fill in the Schedule of Stay in Japan here.
Here is how to fill it in.
6. Proof of Accommodation
I used booking.com to find options with a free cancellation policy.
7. Proof of Legal Status in Vietnam
To prove that I was a legal resident in Vietnam, I showed
- A copy of my work permit and the original for verification
- The original temporary residency card
8. Flight Itinerary for Japan Visa
You can simply show a flight reservation for Japan visa application. You don’t have to have confirmed tickets.
You can use Visa Reservation to rent a flight for 15 days.
If you are a citizen of Vietnam, then you don’t need to show these documents.
Japan Visa Application Process
How Apply Japan Tourist Visa?
Depending on where you are applying from, you might need to take a prior appointment.
In Vietnam, I didn’t need to make any appointments. I simply headed directly to the embassy. Had to show my ID and papers for verification then I was allowed in after giving my bag to search. I also had to go through a metal detector before reaching the visa section.
I got a number and had to wait very briefly then I presented my documents and had the receipt. I was told the visa process takes 8 working days. It did take 8 days excluding an extra week I had to wait because I applied during the Japanese holidays time.You can apply Japan Tourist Visa 3 months prior to the date of entry to Japan.
Where Can You Apply Japan Visitor Visa?
You can apply for a Japan visitor visa in a Japanese consulate or embassy in your home country or in a country where you are a legal resident. Note that if you are a tourist in another country and you want to get a Japanese tourist visa, they might deny you.
For example, if you have a US B1B2 visa, you can’t apply for a tourist visa for Japan in the Japanese embassy in the United States.
Can You Apply Japan Visa Online?
Although Japan announced the plans to introduce a Japan e-Visa for tourism in 2020, it is still not in effect. So there is no online visa application until now.
Japan Visa Processing Time
The processing time for Japan visa in Vietnam is 10-15 business days. In my case, it took 8 days excluding an extra week I had to wait because I applied during the Japanese holidays time.
Please note that the processing period may vary depending on each case, especially if the applicant needs to submit additional documents upon request.
Japan Tourist Visa Cost
I had to pay in local currency the amount of 630,000vnd which is the equivalent of 27.12USD as per today’s rates, and I paid only at the time of collecting my passport and visa.
The embassy in Hanoi accepts local currency exclusively.
Understanding Your Japan Temporary Visitor Visa
I obtained a tourist visa for Japan that’s valid for 3 months with one single entry. The period of stay is 15 days though I mentioned in my application that I will be staying for 8 days only (which I am). This has been one of the least costly visas I ever got.
And I flew to Japan after a week.
It was super fast and efficient though a lot of people were queuing. Photography wasn’t allowed. No questions asked really.