Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago Visa Information

ATTENTION TO ALL VISA APPLICANTS!

Before you make an application, please read this website carefully. Once you have made an application, we will recognize that you fully understood and acknowledged all information on this website.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago reserves the right to request additional documents, interview if deemed necessary, and verify after you submitted all requirements.
  • All submitted documents shall be authentic, completed and satisfactory.
  • The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago determines the validity, type and term of the visa.
  • The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago will not make copies. If you wish to keep original documents, please submit original and copy.
  • The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago does not accept visa applications from those staying in the U.S. under B1/B2, U.S. visa waiver program, unlawful residents or out-side of our jurisdiction.
  • The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago is not liable for ANY mailing incident such as loss, damage, delay, missing, etc. If you would like to avoid any mailing incident, you must apply and pick up in person.
  • The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago reserve right to cancel or void your current Japan visa.
  • Regardless, The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago will not give you the reason why your application has been denied.
  • The Visa information on the website may be subject to change at any time without prior notice.

CONTENTS

      1. Jurisdiction
      2. Visa Exemption
      3. Criteria of the Visa Issuance
      4. How to Apply
      5. Location Address
      6. Mailing Address
      7. Visa Section Hours (Apply and Pick-up)
      8. Application Procedure
      9. Processing Time
      10. Status Check
      11. Visa Fee
      12. Visa Fee Exemption
      13. Certificate of Eligibility
      14. Requirements for the Visa Application (PDF Format)
      15. Receive Your Passport from the Consulate
      16. Downloadable Forms (PDF Format)
      17. Frequent Questions and Answers
      18. Links
      19. Contact

1. JURISDICTION

In order to apply for the visa to the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago, you must be a resident in the State of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota or Iowa. If you reside outside of our jurisdiction, you must apply within the appropriate jurisdiction. To check the location of the Embassy/Consulate-General with jurisdiction over your place of residence, please click here.

2. VISA EXEMPTION

U.S. passport holders are not required to obtain a visa to enter Japan when the purpose of their visit is tourism, commerce, a conference, meeting, visit to relatives/acquaintances, etc for up to 90 days of stay in Japan. However, when you engage in paid activities in Japan, you need the visa. Information for non U.S. citizens and detailed qualifications for the visa exemption.

3. CRITERIA OF THE VISA ISSUANCE

A Japanese visa will be issued to an applicant, when he/she meets all of the following requirements and if the issuance is considered to be appropriate.
  • The applicant possesses a valid passport and is entitled to re-entry to a country of his/her nationality or a country of his/her residence.
  • All submitted documents are authentic, completed and satisfactory.
  • The activities to be engaged in Japan/the civil status or the position of the applicant/the period of stay 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 “Immigration Control Act”)
  • The applicant does not fall under any of the items of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of the Immigration Control Act.

4. HOW TO APPLY

  • In person: You can apply in person any time during Visa section hours. Appointment is not necessary.
  • By mail: Applicants who reside outside of Cook County, Lake County, McHenry County, Kane County, Du Page County, Will County, Kendall County in Illinois and Lake County in Indiana are eligible to apply by mail. You can choose any mailing carrier to send your application.
  • Proxy: If you ask someone to apply for your visa application on behalf of you, you must submit completed Authorization form. Also, authorized person must bring their Identification.

  • ※ Please note that The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago is not liable for any mailing incident such as loss, damage, delay, missing, etc. If you would like to avoid any mailing incident, you must apply and pick up in person. Even thought, if you choose to use mail, we encourage you to keep tracking numbers. Do not contact us for checking the mailing status.

5. LOCATION ADDRESS

737 North Michigan Avenue,
Olympia Centre Suite 1100 (11th Floor),
Chicago, IL 60611


※ The Consulate building entrance located on Chicago Avenue.

6. MAILING ADDRESS

Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago
Attn: Visa section
737 North Michigan Ave,
Olympia Centre Suite 1100,
Chicago, IL 60611

7. VISA SECTION HOURS (APPLY & PICK-UP)

Monday – Friday except Consulate holidays from 9:30 to 12:15 and then 13:15 to 16:00.
(Please arrive at least 10 minutes before closing time to process)

8. GENERAL APPLICATION PROCEDURE

  • In Person
      1. 1. Applicant will prepare ALL required documents.
        2. Bring ALL required documents to the Consulate during Visa office hours.
        3. We will review your application.
        No error: We will accept your application and notify estimated pick up date.
        Error occurred: We will notify you the error. You can fix the error and re-apply
        4. We will exam accepted application.
        No error: You can pick up any time after estimated pick up date. Error occurred: We will contact you by telephone or email within 3 business days from the date we accepted.
        5. Pick up in person anytime during Visa office hours. You must bring the Receipt (you will receive the receipt when we accept your application), photo ID (State ID, Driver’s license, Student ID, Foreign government issued ID etc.) and Visa fee.

  • By Mail
      1. 1. Applicant will prepare ALL required documents.
        2. Send us the prepared ALL required documents.
        3. Once we received package, we will review your application.
        No error: We will accept your application. Error occurred: We will return your application with instruction notice. Once you received the package, please follow the instruction and re-apply the Visa.
        4. We will exam accepted application.
        No error: We will process your visa application.
        Error occurred: We will contact you by telephone or email within 5 business days from the date we accepted.
        5. We will return your Passport by mail (USPS prepaid self-addressed return envelope).

    ※ Please note that some visa applications require consultation with our headquarters in Tokyo and may take longer than general processing time.


9. PROCESSING TIME

If all criteria of visa issuance are met, most visas can normally be processed in 5-7 business days (not including mailing time). There is NO EXPEDITE SERVICE. Every application takes standard processing time. Please note that some visa applications require consultation with our headquarters in Japan and may take longer than general processing time.

10. STATUS CHECK

After we accept your visa application, we will review and examine your application. This process takes 5-7 business days. If there is any error in your application, we will return the entire visa application package back to you or contact you by telephone. Since we can’t identify you by telephone call from you, we will not give you the application status. If you wish to know the status of your visa application, please come in person with your valid Identification card.

11. VISA FEE

Visa fee must be paid by EXACT AMOUNT OF CASH or MONEY ORDER ONLY. Paying by Money order, please make payable to the “Consulate General of Japan”. Visa fees are revised on April 1st each year and are waived for certain nationalities.

Visa Fee (Effective from April 1, 2017 until March 31, 2018)
 
  Single Entry Multiple Entries Transit (includes double entry visa)
Ordinary US $27.00 US $55.00 US $6.00
Indian US $8.00 US $8.00 US $1.00


New Visa Fee (Effective from April 1, 2018)
 
  Single Entry Multiple Entries Transit (includes double entry visa)
Ordinary US $27.00 US $54.00 US $6.00
Indian US $7.00 US $7.00 US $1.00


Be aware of fraudulent website, social media, emails in an attempt to extract payments from visa applicants. We have received reports of fraud websites, social media and emails, falsely stating that they are issued by the Government and/or Embassy of Japan, in an attempt to extract payments from visa applicants. Please be aware that these scams are NOT related to the Government of Japan. All visa applications must be submitted to the Embassies of Japan, Consulate-Generals, or Consular Offices of Japan directly or through the accredited agencies. Please contact your nearest Japanese diplomatic missions for visa application procedure and the list of the accredited agencies.

12. VISA FEE EXEMPTION

Region Country
North America United States, Canada
 
Region Country
Central and South America Bahamas, Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Suriname
 
Region Country
Asia Bangladesh, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines (only for Temporary Visitors staying in Japan within 90 days or Transit), British Nationals Overseas (Hong Kong), Hong Kong S.A.R., Macao S.A.R.
 
Region Country
Europe Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania (only for Temporary Visitors staying in Japan within 60 days), Russia, San Marino, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
 
Region Country
Middle East Jordan, Isreal,
 
Region Country
Oceania Australia, New Zealand

13. CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY

The Certificate of Eligibility is issued by the Immigration Bureau in Japan for the person who is going to work study or live in Japan. The Immigration Bureau will not issue the Certificate of Eligibility to person who is going to Japan for temporary visit or transit. Validity of the Certificate of Eligibility is 3 months from date of issue. Therefore, please be aware that you must obtain the Japan visa and enter Japan within 3 month from date of issue of the Certificate of Eligibility. If you have any questions about the requirements, processing time, etc of the Certificate of Eligibility, please inquire to your proxy or Immigration Bureau in Japan.

14. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE VISA APPLICATION (PDF Format)

※ Please find your purpose of visit and read definition from list below. In order to apply for the Visa, you must prepare ALL requirements. Partial application will be rejected.
  • For Transit (Stay of up to 2 night/ 3days)
    【Definition】 A foreign citizen traveling to another country who will have a brief layover in the Japan when the only reason for entering the Japan is to transit. Not including business, academic or visiting relatives/ acquaintances purposes.

  • For Tourism (Stay of up to 15, 30 or 90days)
    【Definition】 A foreign citizen traveling to Japan for tourism / sightseeing. Not including business, academic or visiting relatives/ acquaintances purposes. It is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue generating business operation or activities to receive remuneration.

  • For Visit/Meet Person(s) Who Reside in Japan (Stay of up to 15, 30 or 90days)
    【Definition】 A foreign citizen traveling to Japan for visit relatives/ acquaintances as tourist. Not including business or academic purposes. It is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue generating business operation or activities to receive remuneration.

  • For Visit/Meet Person(s) Who Reside in U.S. Military Base in Japan (Stay of up to 15, 30 or 90days)
    【Definition】 A foreign citizen traveling to Japan for visit relatives/ acquaintances who reside in Japan as U.S. military member (SOFA). Not including business or academic purposes. It is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue generating business operation or activities to receive remuneration.

  • For Temporary Visit as Business Purposes (Stay of up to 15, 30 or 90days, Single Entry)
    【Definition】 A foreign citizen traveling to Japan for business affairs, commerce, conferences etc., as Business. It is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue generating business operation or activities to receive remuneration.

  • For Temporary Visit as Business Purposes (Stay of up to 15, 30 or 90days, Multiple Entry)
    【Definition】 A foreign citizen traveling to Japan for business affairs, commerce, conferences etc., as Business purpose. It is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue generating business operation or activities to receive remuneration.

  • For Temporary Visit as Academic Purposes (Stay of up to 15, 30 or 90days, Single Entry)
    【Definition】 A foreign citizen traveling to Japan for attend academic conferences, symposium, short term study, internship etc., as academic purpose. It is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue generating business operation or activities to receive remuneration.

  • For Temporary Visit For Chinese National Only (Stay of up to 30 or 90days. Multiple entry)
    【Definition】 A Chinese citizen traveling to Japan for tourism, visit relatives/ acquaintances, business affairs, commerce, conferences, conferences, symposium, short term study, internship etc., It is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue generating business operation or activities to receive remuneration.

  • For Temporary Visit for Indian National Only (Stay of up to 15 or 30 days. Multiple entry)
    【Definition】 A Indian citizen traveling to Japan for tourism, visit relatives/ acquaintances, business affairs, commerce, conferences, conferences, symposium, short term study, internship etc., It is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue generating business operation or activities to receive remuneration.

  • For Work, Study or to Live (Apply Visa with Certificate of Eligibility)
    【Definition】 A foreign citizen traveling to Japan for work, study as college/high school student or to live.

  • For Deposition

  • For Medical Stay

  • ► For Other Purposes (Please inquire by telephone or email)

15. RECEIVE YOUR PASSPORT FROM THE CONSULATE

  • In person: You may pick-up your own passport any time after the “Pick up date” indicated on the receipt that issued to you when you applied in person. In order to pick up your own passport, you must bring the receipt, photo ID and visa fee (if applicable).


  • By mail: If you wish to receive your own processed passport by mail, you must submit a U.S. Postal Service Express Mail or Priority Mail pre-paid self-addressed return envelope and completed Release of Liability. This is mandatory for applicant who apply via mail. If you are applying in person and wish to receive your processed passport (Visa) by mail, you must submit a USPS Pre-paid self-addressed return envelope (No FEDEX, UPS etc.). Recipient’s name and address must be matched as on the Visa application information.


  • Proxy: If you wish someone to pick-up your passport, you must submit the completed Authorization Form at the time you make your visa application. We can release the passport only to the visa applicant or authorized proxy.

  • Please note that The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago is not liable for any mailing incident such as loss, damage, delay, missing, etc. If you would like to avoid any mailing incident, you must apply and pick up in person. Even thought, if you choose to use mail, we encourage you to keep tracking numbers. Do not contact us for checking the mailing status.

16. DOWNLOADABLE FORMS (PDF Format)



17. FREQUENTLY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

      Q: I have a U.S. green card. Do I still need the Visa to enter Japan?
    It depends on your nationality. If you are a National/citizen that is not visa exempt, you need a visa to enter the Japan.

      Q: I am currently reside outside of your jurisdiction. But, my hometown is in your jurisdiction. Can I apply for my visa at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago?
    No. If you are residing in outside of our jurisdiction, you must apply within the appropriate jurisdiction where you current reside. To check the location of the Embassy/Consulate-General with jurisdiction over your place of residence, please click here.

      Q: I am residing in your jurisdiction. But I am temporary outside of your jurisdiction due to travel, business, etc. Can I apply by mail from outside your of jurisdiction?
    We can’t accept applications by mails that are from outside of our jurisdiction. You must apply for your visa when you back in our jurisdiction.

      Q: I am dual Japan and U.S. citizen. Can I apply for a Japan visa?
    No. We do not issue a Japan visa to a Japanese national. Please use your Japanese passport to enter Japan. If you wish to apply for a Japan visa, you must renounce your Japanese nationality before you apply for the Japan visa.

      Q: I have a transit via Japan to a third country. Do I need the visa?
    It depends on your transit conditions. Generally, if you have no intention to enter Japan and your transit is within the same airport, on the same calendar date and you possess confirmed airline tickets to the third country, you do not need a visa. You can wait at the gate area without going through immigration.

      Q: I have criminal record. Can I apply visa?
    It depends on the criminal charge. Please submit your criminal record documents that state your charges, sentence from the court.

      Q: How can I check my visa application has been approved or not?
    We will not give the visa application status. You will see whether application has been approved or denied when you receive the processed passport from us.

      Q: How can I get a Certificate of Eligibility?
    Since we are not the issuing authority, you may ask your proxy or immigration bureau in Japan. We don’t have any detailed information about obtaining or the processing time of the Certificate of eligibility.

      Q: Why was my visa application not accepted?
    If any of the following cases apply to you, your application may not be accepted. (1) Applications from persons holding Japanese nationality. (2) The applicant reside outside of our jurisdiction. (3) You currently hold a valid Japan visa or re-entry permit. (4) Your previous visa application to visit Japan for a specific purpose was rejected and you reapply to visit Japan for the same purpose within six months from the rejection. (5) The visa application is already being processed at a different Japanese Embassy / Consulate General. (6) There are some errors or omissions in the submitted documents. (7) The period of validity or the visa attachment space of your passport is insufficient. (8) The application is made by a person who does not have the qualifications to make a proxy application. (9) An application for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility is still pending.

      Q: Why was I asked to provide additional documents?
    Sometimes additional information will be required for the examination process, and sometimes you will be asked in the process to submit extra documents in addition to the required documents. Each applicant has different conditions and circumstances, and sometimes we do not become aware of these until after the application has been accepted, therefore there are some documents that we do not ask everyone to submit from the beginning. If you do not submit the additional documents, the examination cannot be preceded any further, and you will not be able to get the visa issued.

      Q: I don’t have all required documents, will you accept the visa application?
    In order to review and exam your visa application, you must submit ALL required documents. Partial application will be rejected.

      Q: My departure date is approaching. Can you issue the visa as soon as possible?
    We process the applications fairly in the order in which we received them. Apply for the visa as soon as possible once your travel plan has been decided.

      Q: I don’t have an ordinary passport. But, I have emergency/temporary passport, travel document. Can I apply for the visa?
    We can accept it as long as the Government of Japan recognizes your emergency/temporary passport, travel document as a valid travel document.

      Q: Tell me why you rejected my visa application.
    The reason for the rejection is that your application did not meet the criteria of visa issuance. We do not give you the reason of the rejection because if we do so, the information would eventually become known to the public. Once that happened, there is a danger that some people might misappropriate such information to get around the visa examination process and try to enter Japan for illegal purposes. It would impede the proper visa examination process in the future and have negative effects on Japanese society. The Administrative Procedure Act, Article 3, Paragraph 1, Item 10 excludes "dispositions concerning departure and immigration of foreign nationals" from application of the obligation to show the examination criteria or the reasons for the rejection of the application.

      Q: Why was my visa application rejected even though a Certificate of Eligibility was issued?
    The Certificate of Eligibility does not guarantee the issuance of the visa. The certificate means that the Ministry of Justice certifies that the foreign national meets the condition of landing (entering Japan): the activity which the foreign nationals wish to engage in Japan at the time of the landing examination is not fraudulent, and the activity is qualified to acquire status of residence that is stipulated in the Immigration Control Act, etc. Therefore, in the visa examination process, we do not examine the applicability of status of residence, but some other points such as the verification of the applicant's identity and the validity of his/ her passport. A visa will not be issued, if in the process of examination, it is found that the application does not meet the criteria of visa issuance, or it is determined that the Certificate of Eligibility was issued based on mistaken or fraudulent information.

      Q: Why can't I reapply immediately after my visa application was rejected?
    We do not accept your visa application if your previous application was rejected and you will apply for the same purpose of visit within six months from the rejection. This is because if, for example, we accept the same application the day after it was rejected, the circumstances of the applicant would not change so that the result of examination would be the same. However, we sometimes accept re-applications within six months in cases where your circumstances have changed significantly after the rejection, and travel to Japan is necessary for humanitarian reasons. Consult with the Japanese Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply for the visa before making the application.

      Q: I want to postpone my travel. Until when is my visa valid?
    The period of validity of a single-entry visa (that becomes invalid as soon as once you enter Japan) is basically three months. Enter Japan within three months of the issuance of the visa. If you wish to postpone your travel for longer than three months, you will be required to make another visa application.

      Q: I have lost my passport with the visa in it. What should I do?
    You should submit a lost property form to the local police. If you need a new visa, you must make an application again.

      Q: Why was my application to enter Japan rejected even though I had a valid visa?
    A visa is only one of the requirements for the application to land in Japan and it does not guarantee that you will be able to enter Japan. (There is a warning on the visa application form and your signature on the application form means you have accepted this fact.) Even if you have a valid visa, sometimes you will not be given permission to enter Japan, certainly in cases in which the person making the landing application is different to the person whose name is recorded in the passport and/or visa, and also in cases where you cannot properly explain to the immigration officer the activities you plan to engage in after entering Japan.

      Q: How will the personal information I submitted at the time of my visa application be handled?
    The personal information of the visa applicant, inviting person and guarantor will be managed appropriately in the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General based on the Act on the Protection of Personal Information Held by Administrative Organs. Also, local travel agencies that wish to handle visa applications have to get the approval by Japanese embassies /consulates, and the condition of such approval is that they have agreed to manage personal information appropriately based on the aforementioned act, under the same criteria as the outsourcing organization.

      Q: What is the legal basis for the issuance or non-issuance of my visa?
    Under the international customary law, the decision as to whether or not to issue a visa to a foreign national is determined to be a sovereign act of each country. Japanese consuls carry out the administration related to visas based on the Act for Establishment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Article 4, Item 13, Article 7, Item 1, and Article 10, Item 2 and Item 3.

      Q: Isn't it unfair that people from countries which exempt Japanese from tourism visas, are required to get a visa to enter Japan?
    Visa exemptions are not necessarily bilateral. For example, there are many cases in which developing countries give visa exemptions to Japanese as a unilateral measure because accepting travelers from Japan is economically advantageous for those countries. However, on the other hand, if Japan gave visa exemptions to people from all of those countries, there could be a negative impact on the internal security and national interest of Japan. For example, it could lead to an increase in the number of illegal over stayers and illegal workers, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to consider visa exemptions carefully from a comprehensive perspective.

      Q: What is the scope of responsibility of the guarantor?
    The "guarantor" for the visa application is the person who makes a promise to the head of the embassy / consulate (the Japanese ambassador/ consul-general, etc.) to the effect that the visa applicant will stay legally in Japan. The responsibilities of the guarantor only entails moral responsibilities and does not entail legal responsibilities like that of the "guarantor" in the Civil Code. However, if it is recognized that the guaranteed matters (expenses for the applicant's stay in Japan, return travel expenses, compliance with laws and regulations) have not been performed, rightly that person would lose credibility as a guarantor in subsequent visa applications. However, be aware that if the guarantor or inviting person made a false statement in the documents about their relationship to the visa applicant or the purpose of visit, or if that caused terrorists to enter Japan or crime such as human trafficking, they may be held criminally responsible.

18. LINKS/OTHER INFORMATION


19. CONTACT

Phone: 1.312.280.0400 (Please ask for the Visa Section)
Monday – Friday except holidays the Consulate is closed, 9:30 to 12:15 and 13:15 to 16:00.
Email inquiry click here.

※In order to reply, please give us the following information. Please note that we will not reply for status inquires.
  • Applicant’s name
  • Applicant’s current U.S. address
  • Contact phone number
  • Nationality
  • U.S. visa status and expire date of your current U.S. visa (Only for non U.S. citizen)
  • Detail purpose of visit to Japan
  • Indented Length of stay in Japan
  • The name of the country that you intend to enter after Japan