Are you planning to travel to Japan for the 2020 Summer Olympics? If so, there are a few things to keep in mind before you embark on your trip. That means, besides booking flights and purchasing tickets to your favorite games, you’ll also need to consider your travel plans.
Specifically, you should be aware of the upcoming changes to the visa application process for entering and staying in Japan. Within the next year, Japan will be rolling out a new, simplified process for applying for a Japan visa. This process is known as the Electronic Visa System.
What is the Electronic Visa System in Japan?
Starting in April 2020, the electronic visa system in Japan, otherwise known as the Japan eVisa, will allow eligible foreign nationals to travel to Japan for a short period of time.
To obtain the Japan visa, applicants will need to apply online. After entering your personal information, you’ll be required to answer a few travel and security questions.
The eVisa process will replace the current visa application process for Japan. At the moment, nationalities that require a visa to enter Japan need to apply at the Japanese embassy or consulate.
By streamlining the application process, applicants will be able to easily apply for a visa in just a matter of minutes. Not only will the eVisa simplify things for foreigners, but it also reduces the workload at the local embassies and consulates.
The eVisa also aims to increase tourism throughout Japan. Although millions of visitors travel to Japan each year, Japan hopes that the simplified process will draw in even more tourists. The Japan National Tourism Organization expects to have 40 million visitors by 2020, and 60 million visitors by 2030.
Who Can Apply for the Japan eVisa?
At the moment, Japan has not announced the specific countries and nationalities that will be eligible for the program. As the April 2020 launch date approaches, the Japanese government is expected to release the exact list of countries that can apply for the Japan eVisa.
However, citizens from the People’s Republic of China will be the first few who can apply for the visa. That’s because Chinese visitors make up almost 3/4 of all current visa applicants to Japan.
Soon after, the eVisa application will open to other nationalities. At the moment, 66 countries can currently travel to Japan without a pre-arranged visa. It’s unknown if these countries will be able to continue to go to Japan visa-free, or if the online eVisa will be required.
The exact list of participating countries will be announced in the near future.
What are the Requirements for the Japan eVisa?
Since the Japanese government is still defining the eVisa process, the exact requirements have yet to be determined.
However, the main requirement is that you hold a valid passport from an eligible country that is participating in the Japan visa program. And depending on your nationality, you might be required to have a Japanese sponsor or guarantor.
For information is expected to be released closer to the April 2020 launch date.