Making travel plans can be difficult. Making reservations, deciding how much money to exchange into the native currency, and figuring out how to navigate in a new country–where you might not even understand the language–can all be demanding endeavors. A visa application is no exception. Whether you’re planning a week-long vacation or preparing to move to Japan for the long-term, the last thing you want is your visa holding you up. If your Japan visa application is not done correctly, you will have to postpone all your plans or even cancel them outright. The consequences of an unsuccessful visa application can make the whole process a stressful one.

On top of it, finding out exactly which documents are necessary and where to send them is a complicated process. It is even time-consuming and it could be the most boring part of your travel planning. Even the slew of information on the web can feel overwhelming. Especially as you wade through article after article searching for the correct up-to-date information that applies to your specific situation. Despite the tedium, it’s vital to get your Japan visa application done correctly in order for you to enter the country according to plan.

Fortunately for you, our list of the Top 10 Japan Visa Application Online Guides makes it easy. This compiles the most informative and helpful guides out there, so you can travel stress-free. With simplified instructions and information, these guides are here to answer all of your questions. These are visa types, requirements, and proper steps to take for your visa application to be successful and less confusing.

Table of Contents:

1) Top 10: Visas Japan’s Visa Guide
2) Top 9: @thepoortraveler’s Tourist Visa Guide 
3) Top 8: Goats on the Road’s Working Holiday Visa Guide
4) Top 7: ESL Authority’s Language Teacher Visa Guide
5) Top 6: Live Work Play Japan’s Self-Sponsorship Guide
6) Top 5: Transenz’s Dependent Visa Guide
7) Top 4: All About Japan’s Spousal Visa Guide
8) Top 3: Dream Studies Abroad’s Student Visa Guide
9) Top 2: GaijinPot’s Guide to Bringing Your Pet to Japan
10) Top 1: All About Japan’s Permanent Resident Visa Guide 

Online Guide #10: Visas Japan’s Visa Guide 

Visas Japan’s Visa Guide

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Japan has two types of visas: short-term visas, and long-term visas. Under those headings fall even more types of visas: tourist visas, working visas, highly skilled professional visas, general visas, etc. How’s a person to know exactly which visa is right for them? This guide gives a clear overview of all the different kinds of visas that Japan offers. It gives examples of the different kinds of travelers each visa is meant for.

It even offers a basic list of the documents required for Japan visa application, to give you a jumping off point. Although it doesn’t go in depth about each step of the application process, it does give you a good idea of which visa is appropriate for different purposes of travel. This guide will help you get started! Especially if you are beginning to planning your trip to Japan or need a good synopsis of your options.

Online Guide #9: @thepoortraveler’s Tourist Visa Guide 

@thepoortraveler’s Tourist Visa Guide 

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Unless you come from one of the 68 countries and regions that are exempt from providing a short-term stay visa when traveling to Japan, you will need to attain a short-term stay visa. Short-term stay visas grant the traveler a 90-day stay for the purposes of business, tourism, or visiting friends and relatives. The required documents include a passport, properly filled-out application form, a photograph and other documents such as letters of guarantee.

Although initially this all seems daunting, @thepoortraveler’s guide breaks it down. It is geared toward Filipino travelers. But with helpful information for all short-stay visa seekers, this guide provides detailed instructions on how to fill in your Japan visa application form. Also, it tells you common mistakes that may lead to an application being denied. Most importantly, the guide completes itself with thorough FAQ section and YouTube video full of tips. These will take you through each individual blank on the application form. Then once you’ve completed your application successfully, check out other contents if you’d like! The site is full of other helpful travel knowledge, especially useful for first time visitors to Japan.

Online Guide #8: Goats on the Road’s Working Holiday Visa Guide

Goats on the Road’s Working Holiday Visa Guide

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Working Holiday Visas are available to citizens of certain ages from these 26 countries and regions; including Australia, the UK, and Canada. The Working Holiday programs were set up in order to give young people the chance to travel while also supplementing their holiday funds through work. Almost everything about a Working Holiday Visa depends on these things; the nationality of the applicant, including age restrictions, length of stay, and how difficult it may be to acquire one.

As an example, there is no limit on the number of Working Holiday Visas issued to Australian citizens. However, only 1,000 are issued per year to citizens of the UK. To understand more of it, this guide gives an overview of what to expect – not only when applying for a Working Holiday Visa, but also on what happens after your application is accepted. The guide covers these things; the application requirements, necessary documents, ways to find Working Holiday jobs, steps you’ll need to take once you get to Japan.

Online Guide #7: ESL Authority’s Language Teacher Visa Guide

ESL Authority’s Language Teacher Visa Guide

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The vast majority of native English speakers seeking a working visa in Japan are likely to be employed as English teachers. Relatively lax requirements for native English speakers to teach in Japan. A four-year degree in any major makes it a popular choice among people who are looking to relocate to Japan. Jobs for foreigners in both public schools and the large eikaiwa industry abound.

The majority of positions advertised to foreigners on recruitment sites like GaijinPot are advertising teaching positions. ESL Authority provides a comprehensive explanation of the different types of visas available to English teachers in Japan, as well as the processes for acquiring them. In addition, it provides further information spread throughout multiple articles detailing English teaching in Japan. Topics range from; how much you stand to make each month, what to expect when living in Japan, and how to land a job as an English teacher. It might be easier than you think!

Online Guide #6: Live Work Play Japan’s Self-Sponsorship Guide

Live Work Play Japan’s Self-Sponsorship Guide

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Not everyone who works in Japan wants to rely on a company for their visa. For those with the independent entrepreneurial spirits, there’s self-sponsored visas. These are only possible for those already residing and working in Japan with valid visas. A transition into self-sponsoring is an option, albeit a tricky one.

This guide lays out the financial criteria for a self-sponsored visa application as well as the required documents for filing. However, even a well done self-sponsored visa application is not a sure thing, and results do vary. Even with a successful application, the results aren’t always worth the effort. For example, some visa holders get kicked back down to a one-year visa from a three-year after making the change to self-sponsor. In addition, the guide recommends a few workarounds. This includes asking a company where an applicant works part-time for sponsorship. It seems to really undercut that self-sufficient feeling you might get from self-sponsoring. It seems no man is an island.

Online Guide #5: Transenz’s Dependent Visa Guide

Transenz’s Dependent Visa Guide

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Living separately from your family can be very difficult. For those living and working in Japan, arriving in Japan with the whole family together is not always a possibility. However, there is a way to bring your spouse and children to live with you: the dependent visa.

Almost all residents of Japan qualify to file dependent visas for their family members, even some types of students. This guide clarifies the financial requirements for a dependent visa application, provides links to the appropriate downloadable forms, and lists all the documents needed in order to complete a dependent Japan visa application successfully. There is also great advice for the steps to take; should a dependent in Japan decide to get a job, something that’s not allowed on the dependent visa. Unfortunately, approval of a dependent visa application can take up to three months. Therefore it is definitely something to place right on top of the to-do list.

Online Guide #4: All About Japan’s Spousal Visa Guide

All About Japan’s Spousal Visa Guide

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So you’ve gotten married to or are planning to marry a Japanese national. Congratulations! Now here comes the bad news – the process of obtaining a Spousal Visa can be one of the most complicated of the lot. It’s a paperwork-heavy application procedure that can take up to three months for the Immigration Bureau to process.

Fortunately for you, this guide breaks it down for you, document by document. It includes the Japanese names for each one to make them easier for you to track down at your local ward office and embassy. They also include helpful links for downloading some of the forms you’ll need to submit. Also of note is that a Spousal Visa is likely to be highly scrutinized as the Immigration Bureau cracks down on sham marriages. Therefore, this guide gives you helpful tips on how best to present your application as the legitimate proof of commitment to your partner that it is. Best wishes to the happy couple.

Online Guide #3: Dream Studies Abroad’s Student Visa Guide 

Dream Studies Abroad’s Student Visa Guide 

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Japan can be a great place to study abroad — whether you’re interested in immersing yourself in the language and taking classes at Japanese language school, or if you’re inclined to attend one of Japan’s many universities or colleges. Of course, the application process differs depending on your situation. For instance, students choosing to enroll in shorter courses at language schools may be able to attend without a visa. But as long as their time in Japan doesn’t extend past 90 days.

In contrast, students seeking higher education or matriculating into lengthier programs have a more complicated application process. If this is the case for you, this guide provides a detailed step-by-step explanation of the procedure. Even though your school will be highly involved in the visa application, it can still be tricky when you don’t know what to expect. Therefore allow this online guide to help you through, and take a look at their recommendations for student housing while you’re at it.

Online Guide #2: GaijinPot’s Guide to Bringing Your Pet to Japan

GaijinPot’s Guide to Bringing Your Pet to Japan

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In the midst of all this worrying about your own visa, don’t forget about ensuring if you’ll be able to bring along that incredibly important passenger: your dog. Travelers with service dogs or emotional support animals or those moving with their pets should be forewarned. In fact, it is not an easy process to bring animals into Japan.

Japan has rigorous requirements for pets to ensure that rabies is not brought into the country. The process requires a lot of documentation and preparation, including a 180 day waiting period. So don’t put off getting your pet that updated rabies vaccine. In addition, there’s a good amount of paperwork and communication you’ll have to do with Japan’s Animal Quarantine Service ahead of time. So let this guide walk you through the steps. This website provides downloadable forms, a list of airports which allow animals, and advice on how to prepare your dog for the trip. Not to mention, an explanation of doggy etiquette specific to Japan.

Online Guide #1: All About Japan’s Permanent Resident Visa Guide

All About Japan’s Permanent Resident Visa Guide

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A permanent resident visa is the king of all visas. This is because; there is no expiration date, you’re not tied down to any specific industry or company, and is convenient when applying for things like credit cards and home loans. But all this freedom comes with a cost. Permanent residency is difficult to attain, and you only qualify for it after 10 years of living in Japan. Or at least one year living in Japan plus three years of marriage to a Japanese national. While there’s no real official financial requirement, only those who can support themselves financially are able to apply for PR.

Even after the difficult Japan visa application process, the waiting period on average takes six long months. But if you manage to secure the elusive permanent resident visa, you’ll come as close to Japanese citizenship as is possible. This guide leads you to all the documents you’ll need. Furthermore to the additional steps you’ll need to take if you’re married to a Japanese national. There are downloadable forms as well as handy advice for making your visa application look as appealing as possible. 

In Conclusion

The process of applying for a visa to travel or live in Japan can feel like an overwhelming task, filled with paperwork, official Japanese stamps, and long waits at the Immigration Bureau. Japan is a country renowned for its meticulous attention to detail and the visa applications are no exception.

Nevertheless, it’s an undertaking that many are willing to take in order to have a new journey to Japan. And it would seem that many consider it well worth the effort, as tourism has been growing exponentially within the last decade alone. Each year breaking the previous year’s record numbers of overseas tourists. Many are attracted to Japan’s unique culture, excited to visit the world-heritage temples of Kyoto and try out Japanese hot springs. Others flock to the big cities, drawn by the massive metropolis of Tokyo and the barrage of neon signs. And, of course, some just go for the food. Japan welcomed over 30 million overseas visitors in 2019, and is setting its sights even higher for the upcoming summer Olympics.

As overseas visitors to Japan grow in number, so does the number of people dealing with the tedious process of applying for visas. Thanks to our top 10 Japan visa application online guides, future travelers can rely on the wisdom of those that have gone before them. They can rest easy knowing that the complicated process of applying for a visa doesn’t have to be quite as difficult as it seems. Happy traveling.