Narita T2 Arrival Hall
Photo: Time Out TokyoUndated photo of Narita T2 Arrival Hall

Family members of foreign residents can now enter Japan for short-term visits

Japan is granting visas to first- and second-degree relatives of foreign residents, namely parents and children

Emma Steen
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Emma Steen
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Japan has been taking its time in easing border restrictions. While there are no immediate plans to reopen for tourism just yet, the government has begun expanding its scope of visa eligibility, especially for new entries into Japan.

According to a Japan Times report which quoted a Foreign Ministry official, the country has recently begun granting visas to first- and second-degree relatives of foreign residents, in addition to foreign students and business travellers. First- and second-degree relatives include parents, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren. While the daily reports that visas are issued on a ‘case-by-case basis’, the following are examples of those who may be eligible for a short-term stay in Japan.

  • Immediate relatives (of first- and second-degree) of permanent residents or Japanese nationals who want to visit Japan

  • Family members who need to care for a foreign resident in Japan or who need to travel to Japan for bereavement purposes 

  • Family members who need to accompany a minor to Japan, or those who cannot travel independently 

Spouses and children of Japanese nationals and permanent residents are already eligible for visas prior to this most recent ease in restrictions. However, fiancés or partners who cannot legally prove their relationship are not eligible for a visa. Foreign nationals who are seeking to reunite with family members in Japan are encouraged to contact their designated embassies or consulates for guidance. 

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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