Residency in Japan

Find out about your visa and entry requirements to live and work in Japan: the paperwork and the process to follow...

Being a resident in Japan doesn't mean that a person can stay in the country indefinitely. In fact there are almost 30 categories of Japanese resident depending on the length of the stay and the reason for it. There are categories for long-term residents right down to tourists who are only in the country for a few weeks.

Individuals are only permitted to engage in activities allowed by their residency status. The requirements which must be met to enter Japan depend on the intended length of stay, the reasons for the visit and the nationality of the applicant. To enter the country, an individual must have a valid passport and a visa issued by the Japanese government.

A visa must be obtained before arriving in Japan. Applicants can get visas from a Japanese embassy or consulate in their home country. The documents needed to make a visa application depend on the type of visa. A visa is usually issued within five working days, providing there are no problems with the application.

Once issued, a visa is normally valid for 90 days and can only be used to enter the country once unless a multiple-entry visa has been specifically applied for.