The government of Japan recently announced its plan to introduce an online system for processing electronic visas for tourists come 2020, before the starting of the Tokyo Olympics.
The government intends to meet its goal of having up to 60 million tourists visiting the country every year by 2030. So by introducing the electronic visa to tourists, the government hopes to create a smoother visa-application process that will make this goal achievable. The electronic visa will also help minimize the workload on Japanese diplomats who are on diplomatic missions and equally put a tighter control on immigration as the Tokyo Olympics approaches in 2020.
Are all countries eligible for this visa?
This online solution will for the time being, be available only to single-entry Chinese applicants. This is because as revealed by Japan’s Foreign Ministry, Japan had about 60% of her tourists, all Chinese in 2017. However, other nations will gradually be included in the program.
Japan currently has 68 countries whose tourists are exempt from acquiring this visa. However, Japan’s Foreign Ministry has been working on extending the duration of stay approved for tourists as part for measure to allow tourists have a longer stay in Japan.
The US and Australia have long adopted the use of electronic visas in processing visa applications. Some other countries, on the other hand, have totally dropped the need for visa applicants to visit their embassies or any outposts designated for issuing visas for approval.
It is worthy of note though, that Singapore citizens do not need to make any prior applications before coming to Japan. Upon arrival in Japan, they can obtain a temporary visa that is valid for 90 days. Other countries that enjoy this special visa-issuance process are the US, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. They can all get their visa right after they arrive in Japan.
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