Frequently Asked Questions


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1.  Do I need a visa to enter Japan?
Please check here to see if your country has a visa exemption agreement with Japan. If your country is not on this list, you will need a visa to enter Japan. Please note that anyone intending paid activities in Japan will need a visa regardless of their nationality.

2.  I'm New Zealand citizen with New Zealand passport, do I require a tourist visa to enter Japan?
No, New Zealand passport holder who enter Japan as tourists may stay for up to 90 days as long as your passport remains valid during your stay and do not reeceive any income while in Japan.

3. Can I apply for a visa at the Consulate-General of Japan in Auckland?
Applicants must hold a valid long-term New Zealand visa (Resident, Work, Student) and must be residing in the top half of the North Island (Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty Regions and Ruapehu District of Manawatu-Wanganui Region ONLY) to be eligible to apply at the Consulate-General of Japan.

* If you live in Canterbury, please apply at the Consular Office in Christchurch.

If you live elsewhere in the country, please apply at the Embassy of Japan in Wellington.

Applications from those in New Zealand on a Visitor Visa will not be accepted.

4. When should I apply for a visa?
Generally, Japanese visa is valid for 3 months after the issue.  You may apply on the day of 3 months prior to your entry date of Japan.

5. What supporting documents should I submit for my visa application?
Please return to the visa homepage and select the relevant type of visa to see the list of required documentation.

6. What kind of photo should I use?
Please paste a standard passport photo on the application form. That photo can measure 35mm x 45mm (as per a standard New Zealand passport-sized photo).   You may also use a photo up to 45mm x 45mm if you prefer.
Please use a proper quality photo. Do not scan and print onto paper. Do not use staples.

 7. Is it necessary to go to the office by myself to apply for a visa?
All applicants over 18 years of age must appear in person when applying for application or collection of visa (except CoE application).

8. How much does a visa cost?
Please see here for information about visa fees.

9. How long is the processing time for a visa?
Please see here for the processing times for visas.

10. How long is the validity of the visa?
Visas are valid for three months from the date of issue, meaning you must enter Japan within three months of the visa being issued. The length of stay in Japan will be decided on a case-by-case basis based on your intended schedule.

Working Holiday visas are valid for one year from the date of issue with a length of stay of one year from your first entry into Japan.

11. How many unused visa pages do I need to have remaining in my passort when I apply for a visa? 
A Japanese visa needs one full visa page and the Japanese immigration authorities need at least half a visa page for landing permission and departure confirmation stamp, therefore at least one and a half pages are essential at the time of visa application.  Please note that we can't use any pages other than designated visa pages to issue a visa seal or immigration stamp.

12. Can I apply for a visa by post?
Visa applications must be submitted by the applicant in person. If extraordinary circumstances make it impossible for you to come in person, please contact us first.

13. Do I need to make an appointment to apply for a visa?
You do not have to make an appointment to apply. Simply bring in your application sometime during our visa hours (Monday to Friday : 9:00-12:00 or 13:00-15:30 only)

14. How long does my passport need to be valid in order to enter Japan?
Japan does not have any regulations relating to passport validity, so long as your passport will be valid until after you leave Japan.

15. The visa application form asks for my "I.D. No. issued to you by your government". What is this?
The governments of some countries give their citizens individual I.D. numbers. However, many countries (including New Zealand) do not. It is Okay to leave this section blank if your country does not have such I.D. numbers.

16. The visa application form asks for a guarantor/reference and inviter in Japan. What should I do if I do not have one?
If you are not being invited to Japan, you may leave this section on the form blank. It is not necessary to have a guarantor in every case.

17. Do I need trave insurance?  
  • It is recommended to take out overseas travel insurance.
  • An overseas travel insurance makes you feel secure, even in emergencies and you can enjoy your trip.
  • Medical expenses can be very high in Japan.  If the travel insurance you purchased offers sufficient coverage of treatment costs, you can receive treatment without concern.
  • It is recommended to have overseas travel insurance with travel support for hospital referrals, medical interpretation and cashless medical service (We recommend that you check your insurance details before travelling.  For example, perinatal medical care is not covered by travel insurance and can be expensive).
18. If I have a criminal record, can I visit Japan?
Not all crimes will affect entry into Japan.  Crime types that are deemed serious enought to prevent entry into Japan can be found here.  If your record includes these crimes, you can expect that your entry into Japan will likely be denied by Japanese Immigration.