Q & A: Japanese Visas

01 November 2017

Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong

 

Q & A - Japanese Visas
  Please find below the answers to some frequently asked questions that the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong receives concerning Japanese Visas.
       
  [Q & A Content]
  (General)
    Q1: Can I enter Japan if the validity of my passport is less than 6 months? Can I board the aircraft (or cruise ship)?
    Q2: Can I apply for a visa in Hong Kong if I am residing outside of Hong Kong or Macau?
    Q3: Do I need to apply for a visa if I am going to travel to third countries from Hong Kong via an airport in Japan?
 
  (Application Procedure)
    Q4: How do I apply?
    Q5: Can the visa application be submitted by a proxy?
    Q6: Why wasn’t my visa application accepted?
 
  (Application Examination)
    Q7: How long is the application examination period?
    Q8: Why was I asked to provide additional documents?
    Q9: My departure date is approaching, can the visa be issued as soon as possible?
 
  (Issuance or Rejection of the Visa Application)
    Q10: Can the visa application be collected by a third party?
    Q11: Why was my visa application rejected?
    Q12: Is it possible for the submitted documents to be returned?
 

       
  (General)
 
Q1:
Can I enter Japan if the validity of my passport is less than 6 months? Can I board the aircraft (or cruise ship)?
   
A1:
Please note that the Government of Japan requires a foreign national or citizen of the countries & territories with visa exemption, e.g. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport, Macau Special Administrative Region passport, British National Overseas passport with the right of residence in Hong Kong etc., to present a valid passport when entering and departing from Japan. There is not a “six months validity requirement” for foreign passports. However, please note that the Hong Kong Document of Identity (HKDI) or Macau Travel Permit must have at least 6 months’ validity at the time of submitting the visa application. Please confirm with the airline or cruise company whether they allow foreigners to check in and board.
       
 
Q2:
Can I apply for a visa in Hong Kong if I am residing outside of Hong Kong or Macau?
   
A2:
The Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong only accepts visa applications for Hong Kong or Macau residents who hold Hong Kong or Macau identity cards (as well as residency visas) and who are currently residing in Hong Kong or Macau. Temporary visitors are not eligible for visa applications.
       
 
Q3:
Do I need to apply for a visa if I am going to travel to third countries from Hong Kong via an airport in Japan?
   
A3:
If you do not go outside the airport and remain in the “transit area” after arriving in Japan, due to a connecting flight to another country on the same day, a visa is not required since you will not make an application for permission to land. On the other hand, if you are going to enter Japan even though you only stay for a few hours during transit, you need to obtain a “Transit Visa” in advance for Japanese Immigration inspection. Please note that all visas (including “Transit Visa”) cannot be issued at the airports/ports. However, the nationals or citizens of the countries & territories with visa exemption are not required to obtain visas for the above situations.
   
 
  (Application procedures)
 
Q4:
How do I apply?
   
A4:
Except for cases of diplomatic/official matters and humanitarian assistance, the Japan Visa Application Centre in Hong Kong currently handles all the procedures of visa application and collection. In principle, applicants must submit their visa applications to the Japan Visa Application Centre in person. (Applications submitted by post, fax or email will not be accepted.)
       
 
Q5:
Can the visa application be submitted by a proxy?
   
A5:
(1) Only family members (excluding minors) from the same residential address as the applicant, or (2) an accredited agency are permitted to make submissions on behalf of the applicant to the Japan Visa Application Centre. Even in the case of applying by a proxy, an application form must be signed by the applicant. Please note that an application form signed by a proxy will not be accepted. Please confirm in advance whether your nationality and the visa type can be handled by accredited agencies as there are some limitations.
       
 
Q6:
Why wasn’t my visa application accepted?
 
A6:
If any of the following cases apply to you, your application may not be accepted.
 
(1) Applications from persons holding Japanese nationality
 
(2) The application is made to the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General outside your country (region) of birth or country (region) of residence (here referring to Hong Kong or Macau).
 
(3) You currently hold a valid 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 date of rejection
 
(5) The visa application is already being processed at a different Japanese Embassy / Consulate General
 
(6) The submitted documents contain errors or omissions
 
(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
       
 
       
 
  (Application Examination)
 
Q7:
How long is the application examination period?
   
A7:
Processing the visa application takes around 1 week from the date of submission. However, the duration of visa processing may vary if the applicant is requested to submit additional documents, an interview, inquiries, etc., or if a visa application is made for the purpose of a long-term stay without a Certificate of Eligibility, etc., the examination may take longer than 1 week (from several weeks to several months). Therefore, it is recommended that you make the application well before the scheduled date of departure.
       
 
Q8:
Why was I asked to provide additional documents?
   
A8:
Occasionally additional information will be required for the examination process, and you may be asked in the process to submit extra documents in addition to the documents indicated as necessary documents. Each applicant has different conditions and circumstances, and at times we are unaware of these until the application has been accepted, therefore there are some documents that are not always requested at the beginning. If you do not submit the additional documents, the examination cannot be processed any further, and your visa will not be issued.
       
 
Q9:
My departure date is approaching, can the visa be issued as soon as possible?
   
A9:
We cannot make a decision about whether to issue or reject the visa application until the necessary examination has been completed. We process the applications fairly in the order in which we received them. It is recommended to apply for the visa as soon as possible once your travel plans have been confirmed.
       
 
  (Issuance or Rejection of the Visa Application)
 
Q10:
Can the visa application be collected by a third party?
   
A10:
Upon collection, a third party may collect the result on the applicant’s behalf (except for those who are specially instructed to collect the visa in person). The receipt which is issued by the Japan Visa Application Centre, Hong Kong or Macau identity card of the third party and the visa application fee must be presented.
       
 
Q11:
Why was my visa application rejected?
   
A11:
A visa will not be issued to an applicant if the application does not meet the criteria of visa issuance. For example, under the situations listed below, or if there is any related suspicion which cannot be clarified. We may not be able to disclose a specific reason in regard to the issues of an individual’s visa examination. (We will not accept your visa application if your previous application was rejected and you apply for the same purpose of visit within six months from the date of rejection.)
     
The passport of the applicant is not authentic or valid
     
The contents of submitted documents are false
     
The applicant has been sentenced to imprisonment for 1 year or more
     
The applicant has been convicted and sentenced for a drug offence in any country in violation of the law concerning narcotics, marijuana, stimulants or prostitution
     
The applicant has been deported or removed from Japan where the period set forth in the relevant provision has not yet elapsed
     
The purpose of the visit to Japan does not conform to “the authorized activities in Japan” under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act
     
The purpose of the visit to Japan does not conform to the criteria of Ordinance of the Ministry of Justices which is related to the landing permission of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.
     
There is a possibility that the applicant may commit acts detrimental to the interests or public security of Japan
       
 
Q12:
Is it possible for the submitted documents to be returned?
   
A12:
Please note that all submitted documents, except passports, will not be returned to the applicant. The personal information of the visa applicant, inviting person and guarantor will be managed appropriately in the Consulate General of Japan based on the Act on the Protection of Personal Information Held by Administrative Organs. Also, the Japan Visa Application Centre and the accredited agencies that wish to handle visa applications must gain the approval of the Consulate General of Japan, 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.