Entering Procedures in Japan [Part 1]
All foreigners, including foreign residents, get fingerprinted and photographed upon entering Japan as a measure aimed to prevent terrorism attacks. Persons under the age of 16 and a few special groups, such as diplomats and visiting dignitaries are included in this as well.
All foreigners receive a status of residence when entering Japan.
There are more than twenty statuses of residence, including “temporary visitor” for tourists, and a range of statuses for students, workers and relatives of Japanese nationals and residents.
[Tourists and Business travelers (Temporary Visitors)]
If you are a citizen of one of over 50 countries, with which Japan has a “general visa exemption arrangement”, you need only a valid passport to enter Japan as a “temporary visitor”. Otherwise, you need to obtain a visa before entering Japan.
Temporary visitors from most countries are allowed to stay for up to 90 days.
If you are a citizen of Austria, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, you have the possibility to extend your stay to a total of up to six months. You still initially enter Japan on a 90-day permit, but you can then apply for an extension at an immigration bureau in Japan.
Temporary visitors are not allowed to engage in any paid activities. However, short term studies at Japanese language schools are permitted. Take note that all foreign tourists in Japan are required to carry their passports with them at all times.
[Working in Japan]
Foreigners, who want to work in Japan, need to get a work visa from the Japanese embassy or consulate outside of Japan in order to enter the country on a status of residence permitting work .
There are over a dozen such statuses of residence. Each status is allowed as a holder to work only in a specific professional field, for example, journalism, art, research, education, engineering, entertainment, business management, international service, etc. If you change jobs while you are in Japan and your new job falls into a different professional field (e.g. from education to engineering), you will need to change your status of residence.
You are required to have informations such as a university degree or considerable professional experience in the applicable field in order to qualify for most working visa types.
You are also required many other details in order to have a prospective employer as a sponsor. Residence permission is granted in periods between 4 months and 5 years and is extendable.
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