Visa Application and Collection  Hours: 
    Monday to Friday
    9:00am–12:00 noon

    Visa Telephone Hours:
    Monday to Friday
    9:00am-12:00 noon only

    (04) 473-1540


    Level 18, The Majestic Centre, 100 Willis Street Wellington, PO Box 6340
    New Zealand

Frequently Asked Questions

March 2018

1. Do I need a visa to enter Japan?
Some countries have a visa waiver agreement with Japan, including New Zealand. Visitors from those countries may visit Japan for tourist purposes and stay for up to 90 days as long as they hold a passport which remains valid during their stay and do not receive any income while in Japan.
Please check here to see if your country has a visa exemption agreement with Japan for short term holidays.

2. Can I apply for a visa at the Embassy of Japan?

Applicants must be New Zealand passport holders or hold a valid long-term New Zealand visa (e.g. resident, work, student etc.) and must be residing in these regions:
Taranaki, Gisborne, Manawatu-Wanganui (excluding Ruapehu District), Wellington, South Island (excluding Canterbury).
Residents in the top half of the North Island (Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty Regions and Ruapehu District of Manawatu-Wanganui Region) must apply at the Consulate-General of Japan in Auckland. If you live in Canterbury, you must apply at the Consular Office of Japan in Christchurch.

Applications from those in New Zealand on a short-term visitor visa will not be accepted.*

* Exceptions may apply for those applicants holding a Certificate of Eligibility. Contact the Consular Section of the Embassy of Japan.

3. When should I apply for a visa?

Most visas are valid for three months from the date of issue, meaning you must enter Japan within three months of the visa being issued. The length of stay in Japan will be decided on a case-by-case basis based on your intended schedule. Working Holiday visas are valid for one year from the date of issue with a length of stay of one year from your first entry into Japan.

4. Do I need to make an appointment to apply? Can I post my application?

You do not have to make an appointment to apply. Simply bring in your application during our consular reception hours (Monday to Friday: 9:00-12:00 noon or 13:30-16:00 only).
Residents from within the jurisdiction of the Embassy but far from Wellington may apply by post. If you are not sure whether your courier company requires the physical address or the PO Box address, you should write both addresses on the envelope. **Please note that the passport will not be returned by post.

5. What supporting documents should I submit for my visa application?
Please see the navigation bar to select the relevant type of visa and see the list of required documentation.

6. How much does a visa cost?

Please see here for information about visa fees.

7. How long is the processing time for a visa?
Generally it takes about 5 working days but may take longer in some cases.
Please see here for visa processing times.

8. The visa application form asks for my "I.D. No. issued to you by your government". What is this?
The governments of some countries give their citizens individual I.D. numbers. However, many countries (including New Zealand) do not. It is okay to leave this section blank if your country does not have such I.D. numbers.

9. The visa application form asks for a guarantor/reference and inviter in Japan. What should I do if I do not have one?
If you are not being invited to Japan, you may leave this section on the form blank. It is not necessary to have a guarantor in every case.

10. I can’t complete and print the visa form online from the checklist. Is there another version I can print and handwrite offline?
You can download a different version of the visa application form here. Don’t forget to submit all documents from the relevant checklist.

11. What kind of photo should I use?
Please paste a standard passport photo on the application form. That photo can measure 35x45mm (as per a standard New Zealand passport-sized photo). You may also use a photo up to 45x45mm if you prefer. Please use a proper quality photo. Do not scan and print onto paper. Do not use staples.

12. Do I have to come and pick up my passport in person when the visa is issued?
Your passport must be collected by someone during opening hours and the visa fee (if applicable) must be paid in cash at that time. It is recommended that you collect it yourself but you can nominate another person to collect it on your behalf. He/she must provide your authorisation form. Passports will not be returned by post.

13. When should I come to Wellington to collect my passport?
See visa processing times. Processing for most temporary visas should be completed after 5 working days. However, cases which require further documents or require referral to Japan, will take longer. You should be notified if further items are required. Therefore, allow sufficient time for your visa to be processed. Make sure you (or your agent) come to collect during visa operating hours and not in the weekend or an observed holiday.

14. How long does my passport need to be valid in order to enter Japan?
Japan does not have any regulations relating to passport validity, so long as your passport will be valid until after you leave Japan.

15. Can I change my entry status once I am in Japan? For example, can I change from a tourist to a work visa?
No. Once you are in Japan, you cannot in principle change your visa. If you want to work in Japan, you must obtain a working visa from a Japanese diplomatic mission in New Zealand or a third country.

16. I have a criminal record. Can I visit Japan?
Not all crimes will affect entry into Japan. Crime types that are deemed serious enough to prevent entry into Japan can be found here. If your record includes these crimes, you can expect that your entry into Japan will likely be denied by Japanese Immigration.

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