As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. On top of that, since April 3, entry to Japan is denied for all non-Japanese nationals who have been to the UK and a list of other countries other than exceptional circumstances. Here’s how you can apply for a visa to Japan when restrictions are lifted.
However, in recent news conference Hiroshi Tabata of the Japan Tourism Agency said the Japanese government plans to allocate $12.5billion (£10.27million) to a new reimbursement program for tourism, according to The Japan Times.
The new program could launch as soon as July, if the country’s infection rates continue to fall. With the 2020 Olympics postponed, the country is looking for another way to bring revenue into the country.
Japan is offering to subsidise the cost of flights for international tourists in a bid to attract them to the country.
The government has said it could pay up to half the cost of a plane ticket.
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Do you need a visa to go to Japan
In normal circumstances (pre-COVID), if you have a British Citizen or British National (Overseas) passport you can enter Japan as a visitor for up to 90 days without a visa.
You may need to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket.
If you want to stay for longer than 90 days or live, work, or study in Japan, you need a visa.
However, at present Japan has suspended its visa waiver system for anyone travelling with a British Citizen or British National passport until at least the end of June.
Single and multiple entry visas issued by Japanese Embassies and Consulate Generals in the UK prior to March 20 and in many other countries have also been suspended.
This means you won’t be able to take a trip to Japan until after the visa system is up and running again.
Brits already living in Japan are free to stay.
How to apply for a visa to Japan
You can’t apply for a Japanese visa at present.
The Embassy of Japan in the UK’s site explains: “The Government of Japan has decided that from 03 April, 2020, for the time being, foreign nationals who have been in the United Kingdom within the 14 days before arriving in Japan are not permitted to land in Japan unless there are exceptional circumstances.
“In line with this, we will in principle not be accepting visa applications until further notice.”
However, under normal circumstances the procedure is simple. The site has clear instructions on applying for a visa to Japan.
Visa applicants must visit the Embassy in person with the relevant documents in hand, including your passport and visa application forms. Find the forms here.
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It takes at least a week for a visa application to be processed by the Japanese Embassy, so you are free to make a fairly last minute long-stay trip if your application is approved.
You don’t need to make an appointment, you just have to show up to the Consular Section of the Embassy.
When you get there you should take a numbered ticket, and wait for your number to be called.
If you live in Scotland and the North of England (Cumbria, County Durham, Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton-on-Tees and Sunderland) should contact the Consulate-General of Japan in Edinburgh instead.
How much is a visa for Japan?
There’s no set price for a Japan visa since they vary depending on a number of factors.
Firstly, the cost depends on the application’s nationalist.
The price also depends on the type of visa you are applying for- Single Entry, Multiple Entry, or Transit Visas. Find the fees here.
All fees must be paid in cash, as the Embassy does not accept cheques or credit/debit cards.
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