As a general rule, It’s not possible to enter a country without a permit granted by the Government of the receiving nation. In many cases, the temporary visitor or tourist visa is issued at the customs office of the airport of the country of destination.

For all other visas, it’s necessary to go to the Consular representation of the country in question and carry out the legal procedures required there. We recommend, in order to avoid waiting or wasting time, to inquire from the Consulate or Embassy website or by a phone call, to find out what are the necessary documents needed for this procedure as to prepare you documents and save another trip in vain as has happened to the best of us.

In the case of Japan, the Government grants visas based on the residence status it grants to its applicant. Currently, according to the Japanese Ministry of Immigration there are 27 different residency statuses issued. To make it a bit easier, let’s make a brief summary.

  • Tourist or short stay

    Allows a stay of no more than 90 days.

  • Cultural Activities

    This is a type of visa that allows one to do an internship or certain studies, often related to something cultural. Normally 6 months to 1 year stay is permitted for this status.

  • Academic Activities

    This visa status allows you to study in a language school and/or enroll in a University. This would also allow you to work part time a certain amount of hours per week. Also this is the only visa that could later be converted into a working visa.

  • Work

    This is the visa type, which would be required to work full time in Japan, it’s slightly more complicated to get as few years experience in the field of work is required to procure this status. A 1-year renewable visa would be given here.

  • Spouse

    Here as you can imagine, you receive a spousal visa if you marry a Japanese citizen or someone with permanent residency in Japan. You will be allowed to work without restrictions.

  • Working Holiday

    This is the visa status that motivated and inspired us to start this project. The amount of people offered this visa will be different for different nationalities, although once in Japan the same rules would apply for everybody. It is granted for a period of 1 year.

    This is a great visa status for youngsters who want to come and see the Japan and get a real feel of the country by being allowed temporary work. We will talk more in detail about this kind of Visa status in the Working Holiday section.