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International researchers entering Japan are exempt from obtaining a visa if their country has a visa exemption agreement with Japan for their period of stay and they will not be engaging in paid activities. Countries possessing visa exemption agreements with Japan are listed on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

URL: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html

International researchers who engage in paid activities or whose period of stay exceeds their permitted short term stay must obtain a visa in advance. The type of visa required will depend on your intended activities and period of stay. We recommend you consult your local Japanese embassy or consulate before applying, as you may be asked to attend an interview or to submit additional documents. Please follow the instructions of your embassy or consulate if you are not sure which visa is appropriate for you.

Types of Visas

  • For stays up to 90 days that do not include paid activities
  • Required documents:
    1. Passport
    2. Visa application form
    3. Photograph
    4. Confirmation slip, certificate, or other documentsto prove reservation of air or ship boarding ticket
    5. Certificate of Employment
    6. Letter of Reason for Invitation*
    7. Schedule of Stay*
    8. Letter of Guarantee*
    9. Certificate of Employment of your Host Researcher*
    10. Documents to prove ability to pay for travel expenses
  • Specific procedures exist for nationals of China, Russia, CIS countries, Georgia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Please follow those procedures if applicable.

*Documents 6-9 should be prepared by the host researcher.

  • For stays exceeding 90 days that do not include paid activities
  • Required documents:
    1. Passport
    2. Visa application form*
    3. Photograph*
    4. Certificate of Eligibility (original and one copy)
  • Chinese nationals must also submit the following documents:
    1. Copy of the Chinese Family Register
    2. Temporary Residence Permit or Residence Certificate (if the applicant does not have a family register within the region under the jurisdiction of the embassy or consulate where the application will be made)

*Nationals of Russia, CIS countries, and Georgia must submit two visa application forms and two photographs.

  • For stays that include paid activities related to research, guidance of research or education at a university
  • Required documents:
    1. Passport
    2. Visa application form*
    3. Photograph*
    4. Certificate of Eligibility (original and one copy)
  • Chinese nationals must also submit the following documents:
    1. Copy of the Chinese Family Register
    2. Temporary Residence Permit or Residence Certificate (if the applicant does not have a family register within the region under the jurisdiction of the embassy or consulate where the application will be made)

*Nationals of Russia, CIS countries, and Georgia must submit two visa application forms and two photographs.

  • For the spouse and children, etc. of a foreign national on a long-term stay
  • Periods of stay: 5 years,4 years and 3 months,4 years,3 years and 3 months,3 years,2 years and 3 months,2 years,1 year and 3 months,1 year,6 months, or 3 months.
  • Required documents:
    1. Passport
    2. Visa application form*
    3. Photograph*
    4. Certificate of Eligibility (original and one copy)
  • Chinese nationals must also submit the following documents:
    1. Copy of the Chinese Family Register
    2. Temporary Residence Permit or Residence Certificate (if the applicant does not have a family register within the region under the jurisdiction of the embassy or consulate where the application will be made)
    3. Questionnaire (available at Japanese embassies and consulates in China)

*Nationals of Russia, CIS countries, and Georgia must submit two visa application forms and two photographs.


Application documents can be downloaded from the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

URL: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/index.html

Where to Apply

Apply at your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate.

Processing Period

The standard processing period is five working days, but it can take a few months for your visa to be issued, depending on the situation.

Term of Validity

The visa will be valid for three months after issuance.

Last updated November 16, 2016

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