Tips 22 Apr 2024

How to Apply for a Visa Waiver to Japan

“An e-passport holder does not need a visa to go to Japan.” You might have heard that. But actually, that is not entirely true. It is not that you do not need a visa, but rather, a different type of visa is required. You still need to know how to apply a Visa Waiver to Japan if you plan to visit this country to see its breathtaking sakura. But what exactly is a visa waiver? Let’s find out!

What is a Visa Waiver?

A visa waiver is a program that allows Indonesian, and other country citizens with e-passports to enter Japan without applying for a conventional or regular visa. This policy is based on the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and applies to tourism and business travels.

However, not all e-passport holders are eligible for this visa waiver program. Only those who meet the following criteria are allowed to apply:

  1. The purpose is to take a short trip, e.g., for tourism, business, visiting family, and the like.

  2. The maximum stay duration is 15 days.

If you meet both above conditions, then you can proceed to find out how to apply a Visa Waiver to Japan. The purpose of applying for a visa waiver is to register your e-passport as proof that you have obtained permission to enter Japan. Without a stamp as evidence that the e-passport is registered, you will definitely be denied entry at Japanese airports.


How to Apply a Visa Waiver to Japan

The process of how to apply a Visa Waiver to Japan is much easier and more convenient than applying for a conventional visa. To apply for this type of visa, you only need the following documents:

  1. Valid e-passport

  2. Completed application form (can be downloaded here)

Next, you simply need to bring those two documents to the Embassy of Japan or the Japan Visa Application Center (JVAC). If you apply directly to the Embassy of Japan, the process takes about 2 business days. Meanwhile, if you apply to the JVAC, the process takes 5 business days.

This visa waiver is valid for 3 years, but if the e-passport expires before the visa waiver expires, it will cease to be valid along with the e-passport. During these 3 years, you can visit Japan multiple times with a maximum stay duration of 15 days each time, without the need to re-register.

If you ever change your e-passport, either because it expires or due to data changes, you need to re-register your new e-passport. The process of applying a visa waiver for your new e-passport is exactly the same.

The application for this visa waiver is free of charge and there are no fees at all. Moreover, the process is very quick and simple, so you only need to allocate a little time to handle it yourself.

However, similar to a conventional visa, this authorization is not absolute because the final decision lies with the immigration authorities when you arrive in Japan. At immigration, you may be asked about your purpose of visiting Japan, accommodation, duration of stay, and travel itinerary. Do not be afraid or worried, just answer honestly.

Sometimes, immigration may also ask you to show proof of hotel booking and flight ticket purchase. So, it is a good idea to prepare everything in advance. You can print them out or show them directly on your online booking application. These requests are only to prove that you are visiting temporarily and not to settle in Japan. If you intend to settle, you will need a different type of visa.

The process of how to apply a Visa Waiver to Japan is so easy, right? After registering your e-passport with the Embassy of Japan, now it is time to think about protection for your trip. You can consider purchasing Travel Insurance from MSIG Indonesia to protect yourself during travels. Travel Insurance to Japan will also provide you with protection in case you fall ill while in Japan. So, you do not need to worry about the high medical expenses in Japan. Enjoy your trip and have a great time in Japan!

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