Japan eVISA Application Guide (How to Apply & My Experience)

The JAPAN eVISA system is a new application process launched in August 2022 that seeks to significantly ease the process of applying for a Japanese Visa to enter the country of Japan. It is especially useful during the current entry rules that require all foreign visitors to apply for a visa — whether for tourism, business, visiting relatives, or any other purpose.

In this guide, we’ll cover in detail how to access the JAPAN eVISA system, who is eligible to use it, how to complete application process, what to expect after applying, and my personal experience receiving a JAPAN eVISA recently.

Who Is Eligible To Apply for Japan eVisa?

Being a relatively new system just introduced in 2022, there are unfortunately a number of limitations for who can apply using the Japan eVisa system. Most notably, applicants must be applying from either the United States of America or Canada. Applicants from other countries must continue to apply in-person at their nearest local Japanese Consulate.

Here are the complete eligibility requirements to apply through the Japan eVisa online application:

  • Resident of United States of America or Canada.
  • Single-Entry Visa.
  • Staying in Japan for purpose of business, tourism, or visiting relatives.
  • Short-term stays of 90 days or less.

How To Create Japan eVisa Account

To get started, you’ll first need to create an account on the Japan eVisa website first. Don’t worry, it’s very simple!

To create an account, the following information is required:

  • Email Address
  • Language
  • Nationality or Region
  • Application Destination

All of this is pretty straightforward, but I’ll briefly explain the final Application Destination field. Essentially, the Japan eVisa system is a middle-man between you and your local Japanese consulate. So by providing your country and state/province, the system will match you with the closest Japanese consulate near you, who will process your eVisa application later.

After verifying your email address, you will be asked to create a password as well.

How To Apply For Japan eVisa

After you’ve created an account and logged into the Japan eVisa website, you will be presented with this start screen indicating the Japanese consulate that has jurisdiction over your location, an overview of the application procedure, and most importantly the New Registration button.

When opening a new application, you first need to click and agree to a disclaimer, and then you can begin to fill out the appropriate fields. The exact fields you will be required to fill out can vary by residency and your purpose of visit, but we’ll cover over a brief summary below of the fields that should apply for all eVisas.

Finally, before you start filling out the application, please note that the Japan eVisa website does NOT save your in-progress application. If you don’t have time to sit down and complete the entire process in this moment, I recommend waiting until you can find time to do so.

Basic Information

Purpose of Visit: Choose between Tourism, Business & Various Exchanges, or Visiting Relatives.

Passport Image: You need to upload a photo of your passport. This must be under 2MB in image size, so resizing it with an online tool may be necessary before uploading.

Facial Image: You need to upload a photo of yourself. Per Japan’s guidelines, it must be a clear shot of your entire face horizontally centered in the photo with plain background shall contain no texture, must be taken within 6 months.” You may also need to click the ‘Cut out the face manually’ button to crop the photo to Japan’s guidelines.

Note that the image provided will be used on your eVisa when it’s issued, so make sure you don’t completely hate it! Also, the image must be under 2MB in size, so resizing it with an online tool may be necessary before uploading.

Passport Information: Enter your family name (last name), given name (first name), middle names, birthday, nationality, birthplace, gender, passport number, passport issue date, passport expiry date, and more exactly as shown on your passport that was uploaded previously.

Accommodation / Destination: Enter the area where you will be staying in Japan, as well as your destination in Japan. Strangely, both of these fields feature a dropdown that only has specific options for four of Japan’s 47 different prefectures. So unless your destination is in Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, or Okinawa… just select Other.

Number Of Times The Visa Is Valid: The Japan eVisa currently only supports single-entry visas, so the only option to select is Single. If you require multiple uses, then you will need to apply in-person at a consulate.

Occupation: Enter the occupation of yourself, and your spouse if applicable. Self-employed people may want to select Independent Business, whereas traditionally employed people may want to select Office Worker. Note that I am not an immigration lawyer and this is not legal advice.

Accommodation Information

Scheduled Date Of Entry Into Japan / Departure From Japan: Enter your scheduled date of entry into the country, and date of departure out of Japan. For most people, these can simply be your flight dates.

Note that it’s my understanding that the dates do not need to be precisely exact. The visa you are issued will likely be valid for entry at any point in the next 90 days following approval.

Name Of Japanese Airport Of Arrival Or Port Of Arrival: Enter the airport or port you will be entering Japan through. For most people, this will be Narita International Airport (NRT), Tokyo International Airport (HND), or Kansai International Airport (KIX).

Name Of Airline, Flight Number Or Vessel Name: Enter the flight you will be entering Japan on, or vessel name if arriving by cruise or other boat.

To keep it simple, you may simply provide the short flight number without any lengthy airline names. For example, if you are booked on United Airlines’ flight 32 from LAX to NRT, you can enter UA32 here.

Accommodation Or Hotel Name: Enter the name of the hotel or other accommodation (like an Airbnb or friend’s home) you will be staying at during your trip in Japan.

If you are intending to stay at multiple different accommodations or hotels during your stay, simply enter the name of the first hotel you will check-in to after arriving in Japan. This is applicable to the address and telephone information as well.

Telephone Number / Address Of The Accommodation: Enter the complete address of the hotel or residence you will be staying at in Japan, as well as phone number.

Cumulative Number Of Days Of Stay In The Last Year: Enter the number of days that you have previously stayed in Japan in total within the past year. Sadly, for the vast majority of us, this will be a big 0!

Current Address of the Applicant

In this section, enter your complete home address, phone number, and email address in the provided fields.

Employer (Company/School/University)

In this section, provide basic information about your employment or enrolled education status. This may include the name and phone number of your employer or school.


Towards the end of the application, there are a number of questions that must be answered about your personal history. These include whether you have been previously refused a visa, convicted of a crime, sentenced to prison, deported from a country, and other questions.

Application Documents

The final piece of your Japan eVISA application includes uploading any required or related documents. What you may need to apply will vary by the type of visa you are applying for, or the current state of Japan’s entry rules.

As an example, if you wish to apply for a Tourism Visa under current rules, you will need to upload and provide a Certificate of Completion of Registration to the ERFS System. This can be obtained by working with a tour agency company in Japan to review your itinerary and issue you an ERFS certificate.

Another example is that those applying for a Visiting Relative Visa under current rules may need to upload and provide some sort of Invitation Letter indicating relationship to the applicant.

Submit Your Application (It’s Confusing!)

After you’ve completed all of the information on your Japan eVISA application and it’s finished, make sure it’s actually submitted! At least for myself, I found the interface to be a little confusing and didn’t initially fully submit my application.

Under the ‘Visa Application List’, you will initially see your application listed with the status of ‘Application not made’. To have your eVisa application formally submitted and ready to be assessed, you need to take an extra step of checking the box next to the application and pressing the large orange Application button in the bottom right of the page.

This button will lead you to a confirmation page where your Japan eVisa application can be formally submitted after proceeding through warnings. The next page will remark that ‘The application is complete’ and the status will update to ‘Application in progress’.

Paying Visa Fees If Applicable

Unfortunately, the Japan eVISA system is incapable of taking payment of any required visa fees. A visit to a Japanese consulate will be necessary to pay such fees before receiving an eVISA if required.

However, for the vast majority of Japan eVisa users, paying these visa fees will not actually be required. That’s because both the United States and Canada have visa agreements with Japan that allow for citizens of these countries to have visa fees waived. Phew!

Getting & Viewing Your Japan eVisa

If you are successful and your Japan eVisa is approved, you’ll receive access to two different forms of Visa Issuance Notice documents that confirm your approved visa for entry into Japan:

  • Visa Issuance Notice (PDF): A PDF document that can be downloaded as a receipt.
  • Visa Issuance Notice (To Display): A live page on the Japan eVisa website that can be viewed with an authenticity timer and photo.

These can both be accessed by going to the ‘Visa application list’ on the Japan eVISA website, selecting the checkbox next to your application row, and pressing either the Visa Issurance Notice (PDF) or Visa Issuance Notice (To Display) blue buttons.

The Visa Issuance Notice PDF document is primarily intended as a receipt of sorts to confirm to you that Japan has issued an eVisa for you, alongside the relevant details of your identity, visa stay duration, date of issue, and date of expiry. However, it is advised that this PDF document should not be used as a proper proof of visa.

The Visa Issuance Notice (To Display) is a live webpage that can be accessed directly at any time from the Japan eVISA website. Unlike the PDF document, this webpage constitutes contains your uploaded facial image and features a live timer in the top right that can be used to confirm authenticity. For those reasons, this is the recommended form when proving your eligibility to enter Japan to an authority, such as an airline at check-in.

Furthermore, the official Japan eVISA website currently has the following important notice outlining this policy:

This eVisa system is not available for Applicant who cannot display “Visa issuance notice” on the mobile devices at the airport. (Printed out document or screenshot is not accepted).

So in conclusion, the PDF document is nice to have as a receipt of sorts to celebrate the approval of your visa and confirm all of the information as accurate — but you should treat the ‘To Display’ option on the Japan eVisa website as the true confirmation!

My Personal Experience Applying For Japanese Tourism eVisa

Unlike some guides on the internet, this article isn’t just based on available information from other sources — I personally applied for and successfully received a Japan eVisa in late August 2022.

For my personal experience, I applied for a short-stay Tourism Visa after working with a registered tour agency in Japan. After sharing my itinerary plans with the tour agency and paying a small fee, my information was inputted into the ERFS system and an ERFS certificate was generated that the tour agency sent to me.

Next, I proceeded to fill out the Japan eVisa application forms as described earlier in this article, including uploading my ERFS certificate as part of the process.

After submitting my application on a Friday night, I received an email on the following Monday night notifying that my Japanese eVisa had been successfully issued and the website updated allowing me to view it!

That’s an impressively quick turnaround of just three full days including a weekend but whether you experience the same will likely vary by your application’s assessed risk, your consulate location, and how busy they are.

As of this article’s last update, I haven’t yet travelled to Japan to use my eVisa, but I intend to do so in late September 2022 and will update later with my experience entering with an eVisa!

What Do Japan eVisa Statuses Mean?

Throughout my eVisa application’s journey, I noticed the status change at quite a few different points with descriptions that weren’t always particularly clear. Making matters worse, I was unable to find much information on the website explaining the different statuses.

Below are the eVisa statuses I encountered during my application process, approximately when they occurred, and my best understanding of what they each mean. I hope that this will help guide you along the process if you have submitted an application and ease any anxiety you may be feeling.

Application Not Made: Despite the name implying you haven’t made an application yet, this is the status you’ll see after filling out the application, but it hasn’t been properly submitted yet. Need help? We covered this tricky pitfall in the Submit Your Application (It’s Confusing!) section above.

Application In Progress: This status is what you’ll see immediately after properly submitting your application confirming that has been done successfully! If all goes well, this status should move on to the next one below within matter of minutes or hours.

Temporarily Received: Shortly after submitting your application, the Japan eVISA system will run an initial check and change the status to ‘Temporarily received’, alongside a notification sent to your account’s email address confirming ‘notice of completion of reception’. In my personal, this occurred after only about 20 minutes.

Received: This status seems to mark the Japanese consulate formally receiving your application and taking a brief look at it, while confirming whether your eVisa requires any visa payment fees, as the ‘Issuing fee’ column updated to ‘Free-of-use’. In my experience, this occurred about three days after submitting my application.

Examined And Passed: The semi-final status prior to having the Japan eVisa isssued, this status confirms that your application has been examined and that you have passed all checks, paving the way for your visa to be issued imminently. I encountered this about half a day after the ‘Received’ status.

Issued: The end of your journey to acquiring a Japanese visa is here when you see this status, confirming that you have been approved and can view your visa! An email announcing ‘notice of electronic visa issuance’ will be sent to your account’s email address as well. In my experience, the visa was issued just 20 minutes after I noticed the previous ‘Examined and Passed’ status.

Share Your Experience

If you have any further questions on how to navigate the Japan eVisa system, please feel free to ask in the comments below and I’ll try to help out using my experience.

And if you successfully complete the process yourself, consider leaving a comment below sharing your experience (such as approval time or any roadblocks you encountered) to help others who come across this guide in the future! Let’s all work together to visit Japan.

2 thoughts on “Japan eVISA Application Guide (How to Apply & My Experience)”

  1. Thank you for the helpful writeup Justin. Indeed the eVISA system has pitfalls.  I was surprised by the lack of “Submit” button at the end of the application.  I thought maybe it was submitted automatically after all visa info was entered.  Some people might just wait for a response from the visa office. I really wanted to be sure, so I looked at the application “Status” in the application list. But the only letters that showed up on my screen were “Applicati…”.  Thus, my status was a mystery!  The next day I realized the table cells can be dragged to display the rest of the text: “Application not made”.  So then how to submit?  It’s not obvious. Luckily I found the “JAPAN eVISA Manual” link on the upper right of the application portal, and it contained instructions to complete the submission.  I think some people will miss out on the visa if they don’t find that manual or a page like yours.
    I was issued the eVISA in 5 business days.  And just to let you know, there’s another status in the system… my application showed “Accepted” before “examined and passed”.   

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I submitted mine on Sept 8th and received a notice on 12th for ready for issuance. Today I checked the status and the status changed back to under examination. So I am a little worried if they have changed the practice during these days. Will update.


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