Japan Launches eVisa for US & Canadian Citizens

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The Japanese government launches a Japan eVisa for Canadians and US citizens. The electronic visa for Japan will go live on August 18, 2022, and allows nationals of Canada and the United States to solicit a tourist visa through a simplified online system.

An eVisa for Japan has been in the works for some time and was originally expected to launch in April 2020. However,  the development of the system was put on hold following the introduction of Japan’s COVID-19 travel restrictions in March 2020.

Now that Japan has opened its borders to international tourism once more, the government has sought to facilitate the visa application process for the country to boost the number of tourist arrivals.

The eVisa will also help to reduce the workload of Japanese embassy and consulate staff in the area of visa processing duties. As the visa exemption program for Japan remains suspended, all US and Canadian passport holders need to apply for and obtain a tourist visa in advance of travel.

In addition to a visa for tourism, the electronic visa for Japan is also available to citizens of the US and Canada who wish to visit for business purposes or to visit relatives.

Japan Launches eVisa for US & Canadian Citizens

Requirements to Apply for the Japan eVisa from the US or Canada

In order to obtain an online visa for Japan from the US or Canada, tourists need to be traveling as part of an organized tour group. 

It is necessary for those applying for the tourist eVisa to first obtain a certificate for completion of registration to the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS). This is supplied by their receiving organization in Japan (e.g. the tour operator).

This requirement also applies to business travelers, who should receive the certificate from the host company in Japan. The ERFS registration document needs to be uploaded during the eVisa application process.

Japanese eVisa applicants visiting relatives do not need the ERFS form. However, they are required to upload both an Invitation Letter and documents to prove kinships, such as a birth or marriage certificate.

All applicants must have a valid US or Canadian passport to complete an eVisa form. It is also necessary to upload a digital passport-style photograph. Additionally, those applying on behalf of a minor must submit a parental consent form.

How the Japan Online Visa Application Works

Travelers from Canada and the US are able to request the eVisa for Japan through an online application on the electronic visa site. They simply need to:

  • Complete the eVisa form with basic personal data, passport information, and travel details
  • Upload supporting documents and submit the application
  • Pay the eVisa fee at the nearest Japanese overseas office
  • Receive confirmation of the Visa Issuance Notification via email

After the applicant receives an email confirming their approved eVisa for Japan, they can access an electronic copy of the Issuance Notification. 

This must be displayed on a digital device in order to board a flight to Japan alongside the same passport used to complete the application. PDF or printed copies of the eVisa are not currently being accepted.

The online visa for Japan allows the holder to stay in Japan for up to 90 consecutive days.  If a US or Canadian citizen wishes to visit for longer periods or purposes other than those permitted with the eVisa, they are still required to apply for a visa from a Japanese embassy or consulate.

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