How to Get a Travel Visa?

Many foreign countries require a travel visa in addition to a passport. You can apply for a visa at the nearest consulate of each country in which you plan to travel. At a minimum, the person will require a valid passport to obtain a visa. When the visa is granted, the passport will be stamped indicating the visa was issued and the expiration date of the visa. Many countries require at least 6 months of validity on the passport before issuing the visa. Some people believe that a country does not need a visa because its surrounding countries do not. However, this is not correct when it comes to countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Here are some steps to get a travel visa

(1) Contact the consulate of the country you plan to visit for VISA requirements and procedures.

(2) Ask if they require a tourist visa to travel to this country.

(3) Request an application by mail, if a visa is necessary.

(4) Get all the necessary documents and instructions for completing the forms.

(5) Complete the application as soon as you get it. State the estimated length and nature of your visit where required.

(6) Keep a copy of your application for your records.

(7) Attach any required fee and photos, and submit the original application to the consulate. Make sure to submit it early, since processing can take many weeks.

(8) Make an appointment for an interview, if an interview is required.

(9) Once you have your interview scheduled, you have to arrive on time. If you do not arrive on time you can lose your appointment and your application fee. Make sure to take your personal documents with you to the interview such as your passport, bank statements and any other document that are required. Upon processing your information your visa will be approved or rejected. If denied, a stamp will be put in your passport. If approved, your passport will be kept for the day it takes to print the visa. Once you have your travel visa, you are ready to visit the country.

(10) Keep your travel visa with your passport when it arrives.

Japan Travel Visa – 3 Main Japanese Visa Options

Whether you plan to visit Japan as a tourist, a student, on business, or to seek employment in-country, you will need to understand what your obligations are in terms of qualifying for a visa.

Like most other countries around the world, the Immigration Bureau of Japan has in place certain restrictions, guidelines and requirements concerning who can enter the country and what they are allowed to do once they arrive. Specifically, the Bureau requires any and every foreigner seeking to enter the country to have a valid passport and – in some cases – a visa.

Formal definitions aside, essentially a visa is a permit to enter a given country. It restricts and allows certain activities on the part of that person once they enter that country.

Japanese visas can be obtained by applying to any of your home country’s Japanese Embassy or Consulate General offices. Your selection of the proper office will depend upon where you live. Application for a Japanese visa is required to be made in person. However, if you live in a remote area you may apply by mail in some cases.

In terms of a Japan travel visa – or another type of visa you may require to enter Japan – here are your 3 main Japanese visa options:

1. Visa-Free Stay:

If your Japan travel plans have you in country for 90 days or less and you are going to be engaged primarily in tourist activities or visiting a friend or family member, you may be able to travel visa-free. This option is designed for tourists and other short-term visitors to Japan.

Certain restrictions apply, of course. For example, you are not allowed to work or otherwise earn money while in Japan if you enter the country for a visa-free stay. Also, upon entering Japan at the airport’s immigration area, your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your planned stay. To change your visa status later (say, to a Working visa), you must leave Japan and return later with the new visa.

2. Working Visa:

Many people go to Japan with the intention of seeking employment there, and many others enter the country having already negotiated a new job or as a job transferee from a position in another country. In any of these cases, the Immigration Bureau of Japan will require that you get approved for a Working visa first. Any type of job that allows you to earn money as a foreign resident in Japan will require a Working visa.

3. General Visa:

There are other reasons why you may want to enter Japan, but neither as a tourist or as someone seeking to earn money. In this case, you would require a General visa. For example, someone involved in cultural activities or studies would need this type of visa. Also requiring a General visa to enter Japan would be college students, precollege students, people in training and people engaged in a family stay/home stay. In all of these cases, a General visa is needed if you plan to stay in Japan for longer than 90 days.

Note that there are a handful of other types of Japanese visas that are to be used for other specific situations. These are the Specified, Diplomatic, and Official visas. However, these are fairly rare. If you need to apply for one of these in order to conduct your affairs in Japan you will be directed to the correct type of visa application.

Consider these 3 main Japanese visa options as you prepare for your trip or long-term stay in Japan.

International Travel Visa Advice

Before we proceed, a word to the wise: When I was in my early twenties I bought a round the world ticket, starting in Sydney. The first flight was to Vietnam via Singapore. Rather than take responsibility for my trip, I blindly arrived in Saigon, where they asked for my travel visa, which of course I didn’t have. Travel visa?

Turns out you had to buy your visa before landing on Vietnamese soil. In my case, they quickly escorted me back to the plane I arrived with, and flew me back to Singapore.

Here is my advice for people interested in international travel visa requirements:

Buy travel visas prior to arrival. This lesson was driven home with monster truck force. Ever since that fateful day, I have always arrived with my visa in hand. There are several countries where you can buy your visa once you are on their soil, though I prefer to error on the side of caution.

Understand the different types of visas available. I have seen several instances where someone was denied entry into a country for business, but was able to purchase a tourist visa instead. Some countries grant an automatic visa for thirty days, but you have to apply for a visa if you want to stay longer. Learn the ins and outs of each country, and use them to your advantage.

Expect delays. Ah, the world of bureaucracy, where today can just as easily mean next week. There will be extra charges, fees, delays, bribes… plan your visa purchase at least a week in advance to avoid any chance of delaying your trip.

Unsure if you require an international travel visa? I recommend you search your country’s embassy site, as they provide the best information about limitations and requirements of your stay.