Visas
  Introduction
Definitions
General Information
Visa for Medical Stay
Visa Exemptions
Application with Certificate of Eligibility
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VISAS


Click here to DOWNLOAD A VISA APPLICATION in PDF format

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If you cannot print the visa application in the PDF format exactly as it appears on your computer screen, please send us a self addressed, stamped envelope and we will mail an application to you.

 

Introduction

Persons traveling to Japan may require permission to enter the country in the form of a visa. Requirements for visa application vary according to nationality, purpose of visit, and length of stay.

If you will be traveling to Japan for less than 90 days, you may not need a visa. Click here to see if you qualify to enter Japan under a visa exemption agreement.


If you are planning to work, study, or otherwise reside in Japan for more than 90 days, a visa is necessary. Click here for a list of the types of visas available and a brief description of each.


Please be aware that visa guidelines vary widely based on nationality, purpose of visit and length of stay intended.  Explanation of the visa application process can take some time. Therefore, for most efficient and correct information, it is best to discuss your situation with the visa officers directly by phone. Please contact the Consulate-General of Japan and ask for the visa section.

 
Definitions

Visa
a recommendation for entry into a foreign country issued by an embassy or consulate of that country; usually stamped into a passport


Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
a document issued by the Ministry of Justice in Japan which certifies that the holder has met the criteria established for a certain status of residence in Japan; a Certificate of Eligibility is obtained from an immigration office by a proxy (e.g., school, employer, relative) in Japan


Passport
a document issued by the government of a country which identifies the holder as a national of that country

 
Visa Section General Information

Jurisdiction
The Visa Section of the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago services applicants from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. If you reside elsewhere, please apply to another consulate. Click here for a map of consulates and jurisdictions. * Please note that we do NOT accept an application who are staying in the U.S. under B-1, B-2 and VWP (Visa Waiver Program).


Office Hours
Visa applications may be submitted at the visa window from 9:30 am to 12:15 pm and from 1:15 to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, except selected holidays. You may normally reach someone in the Visa Section by telephone weekdays from 9:30 am to 12:15 pm and from 1:15 to 5:00 pm.


Location
The Visa Section is located on the 11th floor of Olympia Centre, 737 North Michigan Avenue, in Chicago. Click here for directions. The entrance to the building is on Chicago Avenue just east of Michigan Avenue.


Requirements
Requirements and processing times for visa applications vary according to nationality, purpose of visit, and length of stay. Therefore, please contact the visa section at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago at 312-280-0400 for detailed information. If you have a Certificate of Eligibility, please see the section Visa Application with Certificate of Eligibility. Note that if you are traveling to Japan for the purposes of transit or temporary visitor, then a Certificate of Eligibility cannot be issued.


Application Procedure

a) In person:
Please submit all of the requested documents together at the visa window during office hours. Processed passports will normally be ready for pick up after three business days, in the afternoon, however depending on factors such as nationality, purpose of visit and length of stay intended, processing time may take longer. Please telephone us at (312) 280-0400 to inquire about the exact amount of processing time needed. Due to privacy matters, we cannot answer questions about pending applications by telephone. If there is any problem with your application, we will either immediately return your documents with instructions, or contact you by telephone.


b) By mail:
Applicants who reside far from the Chicago area can apply by mail. Documents should be sent to:
Consulate-General of Japan
Attn: Visa Section
737 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 1100
Chicago, IL 60611

Processed passports will be returned by mail only when one of the following are provided:

  • a completed Fed Ex airbill (please use the same name and address for sender and recipient to avoid the Consulate being billed for payment), OR
  • a self-addressed, stamped return envelope (this is possible with all types of U.S. mail except Registered Mail and Certified Mail)
  • We can not utilize Fed Ex Ground for the return, only Fed Ex air.

Also, to help avoid mailing problems such as delay or loss of passport, we strongly recommend using a mail service that has a tracking number.

NOTICE: The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago is not liable for any loss or damage of documents or passports while being transported to or from the Consulate by any type

 
Visa for Medical Stay

A "Visa for Medical Stay" is a visa issued to foreign patients wishing to visit Japan for medical purposes (including full medical check-ups). The visa is issued to their accompanying person(s) as well if necessary and as needed.

Follow the below link to learn more about this Visa:
http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/medical_stay.html

 
Visa Exemptions

Many countries - including the United States of America - have concluded visa exemption agreements with Japan. Under the agreements, nationals of these countries carrying valid passports may enter Japan without visas for up to 90 days (15 days for nationals of Brunei) to engage in non-remunerative activities such as tourism and short-term company business.


Activities Allowed Under the Visa Exemption Agreements

a) tourism
b) visiting friends or relatives
c) business meetings
d) attending conferences and trade fairs
e) academic research
f) study
g) amateur sports

Activities for Which Visas Are Required

a) all activities for which one will be paid in Japan, or
b) any activity requiring a stay of more than 90 days (15 days for nationals of Brunei)

Please contact the Consulate-General of Japan for visa requirements or applications, or for more information.

To see a list of the countries that have concluded visa exemption agreements with Japan, please click here:     http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html

 
Visa Application with Certificate of Eligibility

If you have received a Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Ministry of Justice in Japan, you must still obtain a visa from a Japanese embassy or consulate before entering the country. As noted on the Certificate of Eligibility, it is valid for three months from the date of issue. If you fail to enter Japan within three months, you may be refused entry


Visa Requirements
A U.S. citizen with a Certificate of Eligibility must submit the following to obtain a visa to enter Japan:

1) A valid passport (with at least one blank visa page, we cannot issue a visa on a page reserved for amendments or endorsements)
2) A completed visa application form in ballpoint pen, dated and signed by the applicant
3) One passport-size photograph, affixed to the application form in the space indicated
4) The original Certificate of Eligibility
5) A photocopy of the Certificate of Eligibility (front and back)

Application Procedures

a) In person:
Please submit all of the requested documents together at the visa window during office hours. Processed passports will normally be ready for pick up after three business days, in the afternoon, however depending on factors such as nationality, purpose of visit and length of stay intended, processing time may take longer. Please telephone us at (312) 280-0400 to inquire about the exact amount of processing time needed.


b) By mail:
Applicants who wish to apply by mail should send their documents to:
Consulate-General of Japan
Attn: Visa Section
737 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 1100
Chicago, IL 60611

Processed passports will be returned by mail only when one of the following are provided:

  • a completed Fed Ex airbill (please use the same name and address for sender and recipient to avoid the Consulate being billed for payment), OR
  • a self-addressed, stamped return envelope (this is possible with all types of U.S. mail except Registered Mail and Certified Mail)
  • We can not utilize Fed Ex Ground for the return, only Fed Ex air.

Also, to help avoid mailing problems such as delay or loss of passport, we strongly recommend using a mail service that has a tracking number.

NOTICE: The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago is not liable for any loss or damage of documents or passports while being transported to or from the Consulate by any type of mail service.

Criteria of Visa Issuance
In principle, a Japanese visa will be issued to an applicant when he/she fills all of the following requirements and the issuance is regarded as reasonable:

a) The applicant possesses a valid passport (with at least one blank visa page, we cannot issue a visa on a page reserved for amendments or endorsements) and is entitled for the re-entry to a country of which he/she is a national or citizen or a country of his/her residence.

b) All submitted documents shall be authentic, completed and satisfactory.

c) The activities to be engaged in while in Japan, or the civil status or the position of the applicant, and the period of stay shall meet the requirements for the status of residence and the period of stay stipulated in the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (Cabinet Order No.319 of 1951 hereinafter referred to as "the Act").

d) The applicant shall not fall under any of the items of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of the Act.

Please contact the Consulate-General of Japan with visa questions or to obtain a visa application form.

 
Download the forms


Visa Application Form to Enter Japan

Letter of Guarantee form (English) (Japanese)

Invitation Letter/Reason for Invitation form (English) (Japanese)

Schedule of Stay Form (English) (Japanese)

 
Link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Visa-related information at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site:
http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/index.html