On March 1, 2022, the Japanese government relaxed entry procedures for non-Japanese citizens who wish to enter Japan. Prior to March 1, 2022, only Japanese citizens, certain relatives of Japanese citizens, certain health care workers and foreign students were allowed to enter Japan. Furthermore, the Japanese visa exemption agreement, which allowed certain foreign nationals to enter Japan without applying for a visa, was suspended. However, with the decrease in COVID-19 infection rates, the Japanese government has decided to allow foreign students and certain business travelers to enter Japan under the following conditions:
- The inviter (company in Japan) must complete the Ministry of Health certification at the following website (link).
- The visa applicant must then fill out and submit the visa application with all supporting documents – letter of invitation/guarantee, picture, etc., together with a copy of the Ministry of Health certification that includes a bar code.
- The visa applicant must take a COVID test 72 hours prior to arrival in Japan, and must take a second COVID test upon arrival.
- The visa applicant must also download the SOS app, which will allow the Ministry of Health to track your whereabouts and call you to confirm your health status. This will be in effect for seven days. This period of time is technically considered to be a “quarantine” period.
Because of anticipated workloads at the Japanese consulate, visa applicants should expect a processing time of up to 10 business days.
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