Japan Digital Nomad Visa – What’s the latest information?

Japan, popular mostly for Mount Fuji and cutting-edge technology, is a popular destination for digital nomads and expats. Sad but true, Japan is not on the list of the (over) 50 countries with coveted digital nomad visas. But many digital nomads love this country for a myriad of reasons. As a matter of fact, many digital nomads are living in Japan on tourist visas. A Japanese tourist visa allows applicants to stay for up to 3 months in Japan. 

Is there a digital nomad visa for Japan?

As of writing this, Japan has no special digital nomad visa. If you’re a digital nomad willing to relocate to Japan and considering moving your family to Japan, you’ll need a visa. If you’re thinking of working remotely on a tourist visa, you got to drop the idea immediately. This is because, technically, you’re not allowed to work on a tourist visa. A Japanese tourist visa is valid for a short stay, i.e., 90 days, and if you want to stay longer than that, you need to apply for a work visa. 

What are the visa options for digital nomads?

Although there is no specific visa for digital nomads or remote workers, there are several visa options for those wishing to stay in Japan for a short time or a longer period. Based on this, a Japanese visa can be broadly divided into two types:  

Long-Term Visa 

There are 6 types of long-term visas for Japan. The eligibility criteria and documents can vary depending on the country and individual circumstances of the applicant. Anyone who wishes to stay in Japan for a longer time must apply for a long-term visa. 

Unlike a short-term visa, an applicant can work legally with a long-term visa. The validity of the long-term visas can range from 3 months to 5 years. There are 6 types of long-term visas:

  1. Working Visa
  2. Highly Skilled Professional Visa
  3. General Visa
  4. Specified Visa
  5. Diplomatic Visa
  6. Official Visa

Short-Term Visa

There are 4 short-term visas available for travelers who plan to stay in Japan for no longer than 90 days. The requirements and documentation can vary according to the applicant’s nationality and the visit’s purpose. 

A short-term visa is suitable when you want to travel to Japan for purposes like tourism, business, and visiting families or friends. For example, if you want to visit Japan for business purposes for up to 90 days, you can apply for a business visa. Please be informed that you cannot work on this visa for any remunerative activities.

  1. Japan e-Visa (Online Visa)
  2. Tourist Visa
  3. Business Visa
  4. Transit Visa

The Japanese government takes no longer than 5 days to process the applications. However, please note that it may take longer than usual or a lesser time. Regarding visa fees, depending on the nationality and purpose of the visit, the applicant can be charged different amounts.

What are the documents required for a Japanese visa application?

Please ensure to submit the following documents for a Japanese visa:

  • Application form
  • Certificate of eligibility
  • Passport-size photo
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if married)
  • Proof of employment

One important thing to remember is that the documents for visa application may vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. For example, a work visa requires proof of employment but may not require a University diploma. You may also need to pass an interview.