Who is allowed to enter Japan now and policy for resuming international travel

On August 12th, Japan’s Immigration Services Agency published a summary of the government’s current policies on:

  1. Who is allowed to enter or re-enter Japan under the measures being taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
  2. Quarantine measures that will be required for foreigners entering or re-entering Japan and when they will be implemented.
  3. Basic policy and steps for resuming international travel to and from Japan.
  4. What paperwork will be required to enter and re-enter Japan.

Below is a summary of the key points.

Who is currently allowed to enter or re-enter Japan

Basic Policy

In principle, you will be denied permission to land in Japan if you stayed in any of 146 designated countries subject to landing denial within 14 days of applying for entry to Japan.

Exceptions

There are some special circumstances under which you may be allowed to enter or re-enter Japan. For details on special circumstances, please refer to this document (PDF in Japanese). Specific examples allowing for entry or re-entry to Japan include:

  • If you are re-entering Japan as a foreigner after departing Japan with a re-entry permit and left Japan by April 2nd.
  • If  are newly entering Japan as a spouse or child of a Japanese national or Permanent Resident.
  • If you need to re-enter Japan and qualify on humanitarian grounds. For details on what are considered humanitarian exceptions, please refer to this document (PDF in Japanese). Specific examples of humanitarian exceptions include:
    • You left Japan to appear as a witness in foreign court, to receive medical treatment, or (for children and students) because you had to leave in order to fulfill graduation requirements overseas and now need to return to Japan to continue your education at the same Japanese primary or secondary school in order to graduate. In this case, your guardian would also qualify for the exception.

Quarantine

You may be subject to additional quarantine measures, depending on when you enter or re-enter Japan. For details on exceptions for quarantine, please see the section below on “1. Additional quarantine measures for foreigners entering or re-entering Japan)

Quarantine measures for those allowed to land in Japan include: antigen or PCR testing, not using public transportation, and self-isolation for 14 days.

Basic policy and steps for resuming international travel

Basic policy: Based on the situation of infections both in Japan and overseas, Japan will gradually allow the resumption of  international travel in and out of the country in a manner that is compatible with preventing the spread of infections.

1. Travel to-and-from designated countries

For countries and regions where the infection situation is stable, the entry and exit of “human resources” necessary for business will be carried out on a trial basis, as soon as preparations are completed. However, additional quarantine measures will be implemented, including a requirement for a certified negative COVID-19 test result and a requirement that the government store information as to re-entrants’ physical location for 14 days.

Countries/regions with which Japan is consulting and coordinating:

  • Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand (announced on June 18)
  • Cambodia, Singapore, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Laos, Taiwan (announced on July 22)

⇒ On July 29th, Japan started procedures for visa application and re-entry at overseas diplomatic missions in Vietnam and Thailand.

2. Re-Entry and Entry of Residence Status Holders

Residence status holders who left Japan the day before the country or region in which they are currently staying was added to the entry ban list will gradually  be allowed to re-enter Japan, subject to additional quarantine procedures.

Residence status holders in this category include business people, international students, and technical interns, among others.

⇒ On July 29th, Japan started procedures for re-entry applications at overseas diplomatic missions.

3. Very limited entry for countries not on list of designated coordinating countries

Japan will gradually introduce a framework to allow very limited entry for a small number of people who are not traveling from the countries designated in 1. above. People traveling under this framework will also be subject to additional quarantine measures.

Under this framework, in principle, people will be allowed to stay for a period of 72-hours, will have to land in Japan on a private jet carrying a limited number of people, and will be restricted as to where they may go and who they may have contact with.

Additional quarantine measures and paperwork

1. Additional quarantine measures for foreigners entering or re-entering Japan

In principle, additional quarantine measures will be required for foreigners entering or re-entering Japan from countries that have been designated as subject to denial of landing permission.

Special Permanent Residents (特別永住者) or foreigners holding diplomatic or public official statuses of residence are exempt from additional quarantine measures.

Also, foreigners who enter or re-enter Japan by August 31 and who meet the conditions under (1) or (2) specified below will not be required to undergo additional quarantine measures.

(1) If you meet all the conditions from ① to ③ below:

①  If you left Japan with a re-entry permit by April 2nd or if you left Japan with a re-entry permit on or after April 3rd and did not stay in a country that was subject to landing refusal as of the day of your departure from Japan. AND

② If you have not stayed in Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines or Peru within 14 days of the application date for landing permission. AND

③ If you have a residence status of Permanent Resident (永住者), Japanese Spouse (日本人の配偶者等), Spouse of Permanent Resident (永住者の配偶者等), or Long-Term Permanent Resident (定住者) or you are a child or spouse of a Japanese national or Permanent Resident.

OR

(2) If you are a person who has been recognized as having an individual special circumstance based on humanitarian reasons.

Concrete examples of special circumstances are described in this document (PDF in Japanese). In addition to the examples detailed in the PDF, special circumstances will also be considered for people who qualify under condition (1) — ① described above who have any of the following circumstances:

  • Your family is in Japan and you have been separated from them.
  • You are a child who lived in Japan with a guardian and you were enrolled in a Japanese educational institution but you left the country with your guardian and are now unable to attend school. This exception would be applicable to both you and your guardian.
  • You are a child or student who were receiving primary or secondary education in Japan and you need to return to Japan in order to continue receiving your education.
  • You need to return to Japan in order to have surgery, receive medical treatment, or give birth at a Japanese medical institution.
  • You had to leave Japan in order to visit a seriously ill relative or to attend the funeral of a family member.
  • You had to leave Japan in order to receive treatment or give birth at a foreign medical institution.
  • You had to leave Japan in order to appear as a witness in response to a summons from a foreign court.

If you are a foreigner who qualifies under (1) or (2) above to enter or re-enter Japan and you do so as of September 1st, you will be subject to additional quarantine measures.

2. What documentation will be required to enter or re-enter Japan

You are required to have the following documentation in order to enter or re-enter Japan:

  • Visa or confirmation of submission of documents required for re-entry issued by the embassy or consulate in the country or region where you are currently staying.
  • Certificate from a medical institution issued within 72-hours indicating a negative result for COVID-19.

For the certificate of testing for COVID-19, please use the format specified by the Immigration Services Agency. The certificate should be stamped or signed by a doctor.

If you aren’t able to use the official format, the certificate should have the following information in English:

  • Personal info (name, passport number, nationality, date of birth, sex)
  • Proof of negative COVID-19 test (testing method, test result, date sample was taken, date of test result)
  • Information about the medical institution (name of medical institution or doctor, street address, seal or signature of doctor)

Exception for certification of negative COVID-19 test

If you have to enter or re-enter Japan urgently (for example, for medical treatment or to visit a seriously ill family member) you do not need to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test but you need to have the embassy or consulate where you applied certify the reason for the exception.

3. Submit documentation to immigration inspector when you land in Japan

When you land in Japan, submit the original or a copy of the documents described above to the immigration inspector. If you are re-entering Japan, you should also submit the confirmation document for your re-entry documents that was issued by the embassy or consulate.

If you fail to submit these documents, you will be denied landing permission. If you submit falsified documents, you may also be subject to deportation.


Source:

Adjudication Division, Japan Immigration Services Agency

TEL: +81-3-3580-4111 (Extension 4446 or 4447)


  • Summary of current policies on denial of landing permission, PDF in Japanese, August 12, 2020
  • List of countries subject to denial of landing permission, PDF in English, July 24, 2020
  • Special circumstances for entering or re-entering Japan, PDF in Japanese, August 12, 2020
  • Policies on additional quarantine measures, PDF in Japanese, August 12, 2020