Japan Entry Ban: Current List of Countries and Rules

In order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, as of June 30th, Japan denies landing permission for foreign nationals from 111 countries. A list of countries subject to entry ban was first announced on April 3rd and subsequently amended on April 29th, May 16, and May 27.

On June 29th, the Immigration Services Agency:

  • Added 18 countries which will be subject to the entry ban as of July 1st, bringing the number of banned countries to 129. Please see the full list below.
  • Clarified re-entry rules for Permanent Residents and Spouses of Japanese Nationals, based on your date of departure from Japan with a re-entry permit and country where you stayed after departure. This is explained below in the section on Exceptions.

Basic policy

The basic policy is that foreign nationals who have stayed in the countries or territories (listed below) within 14 days of applying for landing permission will, in principle, be denied entry to Japan. This rule will be applied regardless of whether you hold a re-entry permit (except in special circumstance, as explained below).

Foreigners who have a country passport issued in Hubei or Zhejiang Province, China or who were on board the Westerdam cruise ship from Hong Kong are also subject to denial of landing.

The entry ban does not apply to Japanese citizens or Special Permanent Residents (特別永住者).

Exceptions

Exceptions for Special Circumstances – June 12th

On June 12th, Japan announced specific examples of cases where re-entry may be permitted depending on your individual situation.

These exceptions are considered by the immigration agency on an individual basis. Permissible exceptions are divided into two categories: whether you departed from Japan with a re-entry permit for a country before or after it was added to the list of banned countries.

If a foreign national left Japan for a banned country before it was added to the list, the following are examples of cases qualifying for the entry ban:

  • My family is staying in Japan and we have become separated.
  • I departed from Japan with my child who is enrolled in a Japanese educational institution, but my child is unable to go to school.
  • I need to re-enter Japan for treatment at a Japanese medical institution such as surgery (including re-examination) or childbirth.
  • I had to depart from Japan in order to visit a relative who was in critical condition abroad or to attend the funeral of a deceased relative.
  • I had to depart from Japan for treatment at a foreign medical institution such as surgery (including re-examination) or childbirth.
  • I had to depart from Japan after receiving a summons from a foreign court to appear as a witness.

If a foreign national left Japan for a banned country after it was added to the list, the following are examples of cases qualifying for the entry ban:

  • I had to depart from Japan in order to visit a relative who was in critical condition abroad or to attend the funeral of a deceased relative.
  • I had to depart from Japan for treatment at a foreign medical institution such as surgery (including re-examination) or childbirth.
  • I had to depart from Japan after receiving a summons from a foreign court to appear as a witness.

Exceptions for Permanent Residents and Spouses of Japanese Nationals – June 29th

On June 29th, the immigration agency issued a clarification regarding re-entry rules for foreigners with the following statuses:

  • Permanent Resident (永住者)
  • Spouse of Japanese National (日本人の配偶者)
  • Spouse of Permanent Resident (永住者の配偶者)
  • Long-Term Permanent Resident (定住者)

The exception described below also applies to Japanese spouses and Japanese children who are not eligible for residence.

The June 29th rule clarification states that for foreigners holding the above statuses, the immigration agency will determine special circumstances for re-entry permission based on the date of departure from Japan with re-entry permit and the country where you stayed after departure.

If you left Japan by April 2nd

  • If you hold one of the above statuses and left Japan by April 2nd with a re-entry permit, in principle, you qualify as having a special circumstance allowing re-entry.

If you left Japan between April 3rd and 28th

  • If you hold one of the above statuses and left Japan between April 2nd and 28th with a re-entry permit, in principle, you qualify as having a special circumstance allowing re-entry, even if you stayed in any of the countries added to the entry ban list as of April 29th, including countries added on April 29th, May 16th, May 27th, and July 1.
  • However, if you have stayed in other regions subject to refusal of landing permission, in principle, you will not qualify as having special circumstances allowing re-entry and will be denied landing permission.

If you left Japan between April 29th and May 15th

  • If you hold one of the above statuses and left Japan between April 29th and May 5th with a re-entry permit, in principle, you qualify as having a special circumstance allowing re-entry, even if you stayed in any of the countries added to the entry ban list as of May 16th, including countries added on May 16th, May 27th, and July 1.
  • However, if you have stayed in other regions subject to refusal of landing permission, in principle, you will not qualify as having special circumstances allowing re-entry and will be denied landing permission.

If you left Japan between May 16th and May 26th

  • If you hold one of the above statuses and left Japan between May 16th and May 26th with a re-entry permit, in principle, you qualify as having a special circumstance allowing re-entry, even if you stayed in any of the countries added to the entry ban list as of May 27th, including countries added on May 27th and July 1.
  • However, if you have stayed in other regions subject to refusal of landing permission, in principle, you will not qualify as having special circumstances allowing re-entry and will be denied landing permission.

If you left Japan between May 27th and June 30th

  • If you hold one of the above statuses and left Japan between May 27th and June 30th with a re-entry permit, in principle, you qualify as having a special circumstance allowing re-entry, even if you stayed in any of the countries added to the entry ban list as of July 1.
  • However, if you have stayed in other regions subject to refusal of landing permission, in principle, you will not qualify as having special circumstances allowing re-entry and will be denied landing permission.

If you leave Japan after July 1st

  • If you hold one of the above statuses and leave Japan after on July 1 or after even with a re-entry permit and if you have a history of having stayed in other regions subject to refusal of landing permission, in principle, you will not qualify as having special circumstances allowing re-entry and will be denied landing permission.

List of countries subject to entry ban – By date added

Countries put on Japan’s entry ban list as of April 3 — 73 countries

  • Asia:  Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia
  • Oceania:  Australia, New Zealand
  • North America:  Canada, United States
  • South and Central America:  Ecuador, Chile, Dominica, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia
  • Europe:  Iceland, Ireland, Albania, Armenia, Andorra, Italy, United Kingdom, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Kosovo, San Marino, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, Hungary, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Moldova, Montenegro, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Romania, Luxembourg
  • Middle East:  Israel, Iran, Turkey, Bahrain
  • Africa:  Egypt, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, Morocco

Countries added to Japan’s entry ban list as of April 29 — 14 countries

  • South and Central America:  Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Peru
  • Europe:  Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
  • Middle East:  Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
  • Africa:  Djibouti

Countries added to Japan’s entry ban list as of May 16 — 13 countries

  • Asia:  Maldives
  • North America:  Mexico
  • South and Central America:  Colombia, Honduras, Bahamas, Uruguay
  • Europe:  Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan
  • Africa: Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Cabo Verde, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau

Countries added to Japan’s entry ban list as of May 27 — 11 countries

  • Asia: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan
  • South and Central America: El Salvador, Argentina
  • Africa: South Africa, Guinea, Ghana

Countries added to Japan’s entry ban list as of July 1 — 18 countries

  • South and Central America: Guyana, Cuba, Guatemala, Grenada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Nicaragua, Haiti
  • Europe: Georgia
  • Middle East: Iraq, Lebanon
  • Africa: Algeria, Eswatini, Cameroon, Senegal, Central Africa, Mauritania

Sources:

Ministry of Justice, Announcement on Denial of landing permission related to the prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus (PDF in Japanese), June 29, 2020

Ministry of Justice, List of banned countries (PDF in Japanese), June 29, 2020

Lead image: iStock