General information for Non-Thai nationals


October 2011


Visa information on this page is designed for NON-THAI nationals.
If you are looking for the Japanese visa requirements for Thai passport holders, please see THAI version.

If you are planning to obtain a Japanese visa in Thailand, please take your time and read following the information carefully.

1. Visa Exemptions

Some countries have visa exemption arrangements with Japan. Nationals from those countries do NOT need to apply a visa for a temporary visit without employment in Japan.

Please check the list of countries and regions that have visa exemption arrangements with Japan; http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/

However, if you are seeking employment or residence in Japan, such exemption does not apply. You must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from an immigration office located in Japan before applying for a visa. Please visit the Japanese Immigration website for more information / http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/

2. Conditions for making your application in Thailand

In principle, you should have a legitimate long term residency in Thailand. You are kindly requested to show us the following documents:

  1. Thai visa (Non-immigrant O, F, ED etc., rather than Tourist Visa) in your passport
  2. Thai re-entry permit valid for more than 3 months from the date of your application for a Japanese visa.
  3. Thai work permit (for business people) or certificate of enrolment from your school in Thailand (for students)

Please note that some conditions differ from one nationality to another. If you came to Thailand only as a tourist and plan to apply for a Japanese visa, please contact JVAC or the Embassy by phone. If you are still in your home or residence country and plan to go to Japan via Thailand, we strongly recommend you obtain a Japanese visa in your country.

3. The time required to obtain a result

It takes at least 5 working days to process a visa. On the date of application, JVAC will hand you a receipt in exchange for your passport and you will find the collection date of your passport on the receipt. The average time required for necessary examination is 5 working days, but in some cases the Embassy will request additional documents or an interview, which will take longer. In such cases, the Embassy will contact the customer by phone. If you have not heard from us more than 10 days after your application, you can call us and check progress by quoting the 8 digit barcode number on your receipt. Please plan your application in advance and submit it to JVAC in good time. Passports will also be collected from JVAC.

4. Documents

  1. Passport (with more than 2 blank pages and with re-entry permit to Thailand. Please present your old passports, if any)
    * When entering Japan you must possess a valid passport. Your passport doesn’t have to be valid for a minimum of 6 months.
  2. Application form is available at JVAC or can be downloaded here
  3. One photograph taken within the last 6 months (The photo must be 2 x 2 inches, black and white or color with plain background)
  4. Questionnaire is available at JVAC or can be downloaded here
  5. Necessary documents other than the above 1.- 4. depend on the type of visa you are applying for; please read the information for each category carefully. If the documents are insufficient or incomplete, JVAC will not be able to accept your application.
  6. Visa will not be granted if counterfeit or forged documents are submitted. However, the provision of satisfactory documents does not guarantee the issuance of a visa.
  7. We will keep all documents submitted to us. If certain original documents need to be returned, please inform the staff and submit photocopies.

5. Visa fee

Different fees apply to different nationalities. Some countries have visa fee exemption arrangements with Japan. Please ask JVAC or contact the Embassy by phone for specific information. All applicants have to pay both service and visa fees on the application date.

6. Other

  1. If visa is not granted, we usually cannot disclose the reasons to the applicant or persons concerned. JVAC will not accept another application from the same applicant within 6 months of the date of refusal.
  2. We strongly recommend you NOT to purchase your air ticket before actually obtaining a visa to Japan (except for a transit visa). We are NOT responsible for the air fare and other costs incurred in case of visa refusal.
  3. In principle, you should apply in person. However, if you meet one of the following criteria, you can ask an agent, family member, or messenger to apply on your behalf.
    • Those who are under 16 and above 60 years of age
    • Those who are physically disabled
    • Those who are traveling for business purposes
    • Those who have traveled to Japan within the last 5 years
    • Those who are traveling as a part of group tour which is organized by one of the travel agencies registered with the Embassy.
    • Those who hold a diplomatic or official passport

    In case a representative is applying on your behalf, you must provide an authorization letter. However, your representative must also bring his/her ID card or passport when contacting the Embassy or the centre for identification check.

    Authorization Letter (English) (Japanese) (Thai) PDF

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