Japan Launches Tourist e-Visa System for Residents of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Canada, UK, and USA

Published on: 24 March 2023

Today, on March 24th, 2023, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a new electronic visa system that will make traveling to Japan for tourism easier for citizens and residents of various nationalities in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and nine other countries. The new system will allow eligible applicants to apply online for a tourist visa that allows stays of up to 90 days in Japan. This update specifically targets individuals who were not previously exempt from Japan’s short-stay visa policy.

Starting from March 27th, 2023, citizens and residents of the following countries who are not exempt from a Japan visa can apply for the new e-Tourist Visa online: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, UK, USA, Cambodia, Canada, Mongolia, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Africa. Applicants must have a criminal record free of any crimes, violations, or deportation from any country and must not be dual nationals with Japanese citizenship.

It’s worth noting that in September of last year, Japan announced that UAE citizens would be exempt from entry visasfor stays up to 30 days, which took effect on November 1, 2022. As a result, Emirati citizens who do not require a visa to travel to Japan are unaffected by this new e-visa program. However, the program will be useful for residents of the UAE who hold nationalities that are not exempt from the Japan visa requirement.

To apply for the Japan Tourist Visa, applicants must complete an online application on the Japan Visa e-portal no less than seven days before their travel date. However, applications are not allowed to be submitted more than three months in advance. Required documents vary by nationality and country of residence but generally include a valid passport and a recent personal photo taken within six months of the submission date.

Travelers who are from the UK or Singapore are able to easily pay their visa fees online by using a credit card. However, those applying from other countries will need to visit the nearest Japanese consulate or embassy to pay the fee. Once an application has been received, processing time for the Japan e-Visa takes up to five working days, starting from the day after receipt, provided there are no issues or errors in the content of the application.

The Japan e-Visa is a single-entry category that is valid for 3 months from the day following its issuance date, and allows for a maximum stay of 90 days. While travelling, it is mandatory for travelers to display the visa issuance notice on their devices via the JAPAN eVISA website at the port of departure. It’s important to note that PDF copies or printouts of the e-Visa will not be accepted by the authorities.

The Japan E-Visa system, which was recently announced by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offers a more streamlined process for eligible individuals from eleven countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to obtain a tourist visa to visit Japan. By applying online, travelers can enjoy a more convenient and efficient way of obtaining their visa.

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