Airport Immigration Process in Japan / Crash Course
Find out crucial details and requirements about going through the Japanese Immigrations Desks in the airport before you get there.
Visa Variety and Requirements
Visas in Japan vary in length and permission granted to participate in different activities. The typical tourist is granted a 90 day visa upon entering Japan. Some countries require a visa to be aquired before entering Japan. Check your countries laws to determine whether a visa is needed in advance. There are over 50 countries that allow the visitor to simply get the visa at the immigration control desk in the airport. Some of these countries include: the US, Canada, Italy, Mexico, France and Portugal.
What to expect going through immigrations
It is required that everyone who enters Japan be fingerprinted and photographed before leaving the airport. There are a few exculsions to that rule to include dignitaries and diplomats, but for the majority this process is necessary. It is important to understand that this is to help prevent terrorism within Japan. If the visa is aquired at the airport, it will be entered into the system and attached to a page in your passport. If you do not know Japanese well, it might take a little time to get your thoughts across to the person at the immigration desk. It can be a little intimidating to be fingerprinted and photographed when entering a new country for the first time, but that is for the protection of everyone in Japan, including the tourists.
Paperwork Required for Entry
During the final leg of the trip to get to Japan by plane, customs and immigrations forms will be given out. Theses forms must be compelete and correct before being permitted to leave the airport. The immigration form is probably the most important as it tells the Japanese government records of how you got here, when, your visa status, your address while staying in Japan, and what flight you are taking out and when. This form also records your passport number which is used to make positive identifications if there is a need to contact the US about anything pertaining to you. When traveling, your passport number works like your Social Security number, except without the full trouble if it gets stolen.