If you're an Indian citizen planning a trip to Japan, you'll need to obtain a tourist visa to enter the country. Here's what you need to know about the Japan tourist visa requirements, process, and fees:
Find Visa Application Center
VFS Global is usually the agent you'll apply to. You should contact them to know what will be the right application centre for you.
I applied from the VFS Global office in Bengaluru for a single entry tourist visa. This visa allows you to visit Japan for a holiday or recreation for a stay up to 90 days.
Check VFS website’s if they’re accepting applications at the moment from your city and for your intended visa type.
Book an Appointment
According to VFS's website:
"Please be adviced that you need to book an appointment in case you are submitting your visa application at VFS Japan Visa application centre New Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow & Bangalore."
If you're applying from the above mentioned cities, you can book an appointment online here.
You'll need to register and then log in to select an available date and time.
Booking an appointment is free of cost. You can then reschedule or cancel if required.
Here’s a list of the required documents:
- Passport that is valid for at least another 3 months
- Recent photographs with white background (3.5cm X 4.5cm)
- Filled visa application form in your own handwriting. View the form here (Click on "Download Form")
- Covering letter written in one's own handwriting and signed.
Here's a sample letter that you can use:
Date: ______ To, The Visa Officer Consulate General of Japan Bengaluru Subject: Request for a Tourist Visa Dear Sir / Madam, I, ______, holding passport number, ________, would like to travel to Japan for tourism purposes for [X] days ([Start Date] to [End Date]). I work as a ________ and all the expenses will be borne by me on this trip. I am planning to visit Tokyo and Osaka to experience modern city life, Kyoto and Nara for the traditional cultural experience, and finally Takayama to see the fairytale-like village of Shirakawago. I have attached the itinerary of my trip along with the documents. Please find the visa application form duly filled and signed along with the valid passport, photographs and the relevant documents for your perusal. Kindly consider the application and grant necessary visa. Thanking You, [Your Name] [Contact Number]
- Original NOC / Leave Approval letter from Company if you're employed. (I submitted a contract letter since I was a contractor)
- Booked accommodations for the entire trip
- Daily itinerary. You can also use ChatGPT to create a custom one for you. You can use the below format for the itinerary:
- Applicant traveling to third country before and after traveling to japan need to submit third countries visa copy.
- Last 3 months attested bank statements. You have to visit your bank’s nearest branch and they’ll give you the sealed statements to you.
- Last 2 years ITRs
- Confirmed air tickets (round trip)
Refer to VFS's website here to check the updated requirements. You must also arrange the documents in the same order as outlined in Document Checklist.
Check for Covid requirements if any. When I traveled, they asked for a triple vaccination or a negative covid test. For some reason, VFS employees asked me to submit a NOC from my parents because I was self employed and unmarried. They said if I was married, then they would need my husband’s NOC.
I checked online but haven’t found this requirement mentioned anywhere so this pissed me off quite a bit!
On the day of the appointment, arrive about 15 to 30 minutes early and wait for your turn.
Once you pass the security check, collect your token number from the respective room and wait for your turn to submit your documents. Make sure to collect token first on time or else they won’t assign you a token even if you’ve entered the office on time.
Once it’s your turn, submit your documents. The employee will check your documents, and will send you back if anything is missing!
Sometimes, they ask for documents that they haven’t even mentioned anywhere so that’s incredibly annoying. Unfortunately you can’t really do anything. Make sure to carry an address proof just in case and apply from the right center!
Fees & Processing Time
According to VFS:
"The timelines given by The Consulate General of Japan, Bengaluru for the processing of each application is minimum 06 working days from the day it is submitted at The Consulate General of Japan
Please note that this is an indicative processing time only. Processing time may increase or decrease at the discretion of the Consulate General of Japan, Bengaluru.
VFS Global is involved only in non-judgmental task of visa processing and does not play any role in processing the visa application as this is entirely the prerogative of the Consulate General of Japan, Bengaluru."
Having said this, I received my visa in about 10 days.
You can check this page for the updated fees.
You can opt in for passport delivery at your home for about Rs 500 or you can come and collect it from the office yourself. Once you pay the visa fee, VFS fee and courier, (you’re only allowed to submit the fee in cash), you are given a receipt.
You can track your passport online. It doesn’t really tell you the visa approval status but just at what stage your application is, at the consulate, processing or passport dispatched.
You only know the approval status once you have your passport back in your hands. If it's approved, you'll find a sticker visa inside!
Please note that the above is based on my experience with obtaining a Japan single entry tourist visa. Please take everything in this post as advise and do your own research before applying. I know it can be a stressful, but you should know that it's worth it!