Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to Japan

Japan is an eastern Asian island country that is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Its capital, Tokyo, is the biggest city in the world by population. Its official language is Japanese, but there are many other regional languages also spoken. Most of the country is forested and mountainous, prone to natural disasters and not arable, so most of the residential areas are crowded, and it is one of the most densely populated countries.


Citizens of 63 countries do not need a visa to enter Japan, but the length of time they are allowed to stay differs. Otherwise, one must apply for a short-term visa to visit Japan. To apply for any visa, you must do so in person at a Japanese embassy or consulate.

For all visas, you must submit the following:

  1. Passport
  2. Two passport photographs
  3. Two official visa application forms

You also must submit appropriate documents according to your purpose of visit. If you enter as a temporary visitor, you must present your departure tickets, and prove your funds.

Work Visa

You must have an employee sponsor you in order to work in Japan, and tourists are not allowed to work. However, work visas are specific as to your specific occupations, and you have to submit different documents.

For example, if you are applying for a job in the medical field, you must submit the following:

  1. Certificate showing the outline of your organization
  2. Documents that show you are qualified to perform activities under the status of residence of “Medical Services,” listed here
  3. Documents that certify the activity, its length, your position and payment

In order to apply as an engineer in Japan, you must submit the following:

  1. Copies of company registration, and its profit and loss statement
  2. Information about your company’s activities and business
  3. Diploma, certificate of graduation
  4. Documents that describe your job, its length, your position and payment

Engineers must have at least 10 years experience, and should receive no less salary than a Japanese person would for the same job.

Student Visa

To enter Japan as a college student, you must submit the aforementioned documents, along with the following:

  1. Copy of certificate of admission from the school you will attend, or information about the research you will conduct
  2. Proof of funds while you’re in Japan

To enter Japan as a pre-college student, you must submit the following:

  1. Copy of certificate of admission from your school
  2. A diploma and documentation of your education
  3. Proof of funds

Permanent Resident

To become a permanent resident of Japan, you must submit the aforementioned documents, plus the following:

  1. Copy of the family registration, marriage certificate, birth certificate, and any other documents of that matter
  2. Proof of funds
  3. A letter of guarantee by a person living in Japan

Moving Pets

If you want to move your pet to Japan, it must sit in quarantine for at least two weeks at the airport. You are responsible for feeding and caring for your pet in its kennel. Be aware that most apartments do not allow animals, and those that do require a fee. Make sure to have your pet vaccinated against rabies and bring vaccination records and medical certificates. In quarantine, dogs will be examined for rabies and leptospirosis.

Other Information

Click here for information on Japan’s Foreign Policy.

Click here for information about real estate in Tokyo.

Click here for an article with general tips about moving to Japan.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *