Travelling to Japan from Singapore? Here's what Singaporeans need to know about travel restrictions, VTL updates and more.
Planning to visit Japan for an extended stay? Whether you’re heading there from Singapore for work or business, to visit family or simply enjoy a holiday, you might need to get a visa.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting a Japan visa from Singapore. This includes the visa types available, how to apply, the documents you’ll need and of course, how much it costs.
We’ll even give you a handy tip on saving money when covering your travel expenses while in Japan. Open a free account with Wise and you can spend like a local using your Wise debit Mastercard, with no foreign transaction fees to worry about.
But before we do all that, let’s just quickly check whether you actually need a Japan visa for your trip.
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Only planning a short trip to Japan? If you’re staying for less than 90 days, you won’t need a visa at all¹. All you’ll need is a valid passport.
This is because Singapore has a reciprocal visa exemption arrangement with Japan, so its citizens can visit for up to three months visa-free.
However, the only major condition with this arrangement is that you can’t engage in paid work. You can visit Japan for business purposes (for example, attending a conference or holding a meeting) but you can’t work. If you want to earn money while in Japan or stay for a longer period, you’ll need to get a visa.
Japan has a few different visa types for foreigners. However, as Singapore citizens can stay in Japan for up to 90 days visa-free for many different purposes, most won’t be relevant to you. For example, you won’t need a Japan tourist visa from Singapore as this has the same validity and purpose of visit as the visa exemption scheme.
So, there’s only really one visa type you need to know about - the Work or Long-Term Stay Visa.
This visa is for Singapore citizens wanting to stay in Japan for more than 90 days at a time. It’s also for people wanting to work, settle, study or train in Japan, as these are activities you can’t do under the terms of the visa exemption scheme.²
The type of work or long-term stay visa you’ll need to apply for depends on the nature of your visit. You can choose from a Working Visa, General Visa, Official Visa or Specified Visa.²
Before you can put your application for one of these long-term visas though, you’ll need to get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This is issued by Japan’s immigration authorities and proves that you meet the conditions of the country’s Immigration Control Act. You can apply for a COE through your employer or other proxy in Japan.²
The length of validity for a long-term Japan visa varies depending on the reason for your stay. But most multiple-entry visas tend to last for between one and five years³.
To be eligible to apply for a long-term or work visa for Japan, you’ll need to be a Singapore resident with a valid passport.
The good news is that you don’t need to fly to Japan to get your visa. You can apply for a Japan visa in Singapore, simply by submitting your application to the Embassy of Japan in Singapore.
Here’s a quick checklist of the paperwork you’ll need to submit along with your Japan visa application²:
- A valid passport with at least two blank visa pages
- A recent passport-size colour photo of yourself
- A Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
- Your Singapore Government identity card
- A letter of authorisation (if your application is being submitted by someone else).
In most cases, Japan visas are processed and issued within 5 working days⁴. However, it can take longer if there are any documents missing or further information is needed. It’s not possible to get an urgent or express visa, and you must apply before you travel.
Now we come to the important part - how much it costs to apply for a visa for Japan. For Singapore citizens, the fees for issuing a Japan visa are⁵:
- 38 SGD for single entry visas
- 75 SGD for multiple or double entry visas.
This fee can only be paid in cash (not electronic payment or debit/credit card) and in the exact amount at the time you collect your visa from the Embassy.
Looking for the cheapest and most convenient way to manage your money while in Japan? Open a free account with Wise.
With this one powerful borderless account, you can send money between Japan and Singapore for tiny fees and the real exchange rate.
You can also get a contactless Wise debit Mastercard, which automatically converts currency at the mid-market rate whenever you spend. There’s only a tiny fee to do this, and absolutely no transaction fees. Even better, you can withdraw up to 350 SGD⁶ a month for free at Japanese ATMs.
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After reading this guide, you should have all the info you need to apply for a Japan visa from Singapore - if you need one. Many trips are covered under the handy visa exemption scheme, so you can visit Japan for up to 90 days without any extra paperwork. Have a great trip!
Sources used for this article:
- Embassy of Japan in Singapore - Do I require a visa to enter Japan?
- Embassy of Japan in Singapore - Work or Long-Term Stay Visa (with Certificate of Eligibility)
- Embassy of Japan in Singapore - How long is the validity period of a visa?
- Embassy of Japan in Singapore - Visa to Japan
- Embassy of Japan in Singapore - Visa Fee
Sources checked on 10 March 2021
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