How to Enter Japan on the Residence Track Visa

From October 1, 2020, people from all over the world can enter Japan using the Residence Track process, but the procedure is quite complicated, and many things are unclear and can be confusing. We often hear stories such as “Even if I contact the Japanese embassy, I do not get a reply,” etc.
In this article, we will explain what the Residence Track is, what procedures are required, and what you should be aware of in an easy-to-understand manner.
Sakura Mobile also conducted interviews with customers who have entered Japan on the Residence Track, so we will also share information from their actual experiences.

Please note:

  • The response methods of each country are changing from time to time, and minor changes are being done. Therefore, please check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs page (LINK) for the latest information.
  • The information that is presented on this page is based on the information released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as of (2020-11-12)

Table of Contents

1) What is the Residence Track

2) Procedures for Entering Japan by the Residence Track

2-1) In the case of areas that are subject to denial of permission to enter Japan

2-2) For areas that are NOT subject to denial of permission to enter Japan

3) Frequently Asked Questions

4) A Japanese Phone Number Is Essential for Living in Japan

5) Useful Links

1. What is the Residence Track?

The Residence Track is an entry process that is for overseas individuals coming to Japan as long-term residents.

From October 1, 2020, the Residence Track will be available to people all over the world. The statuses of residence covered by this system are (1) all residence statuses except for short-term stays and (2) short-term commercial visas.

*Regarding (1), the specific statuses of residence that a new entry permit can be applied for are as follows.

“Professor”, “Artist”, “Religious Activities”, “Journalist”, “Highly-Skilled Professional”, “Business Manager”, “Legal/ Accounting Services”, “Medical Services”, “Researcher”, “Instructor”, “Engineer/ Specialist in Humanities/ International Services”, “Intra-company Transferee”, “Nursing Care”, “Entertainer”, “Skilled Labor”, “Specified Skilled Worker”, “Technical Intern Training”, “Cultural Activities”, “Student”, “Trainee”, “Dependent”, “Designated Activities”, “Long Term Resident” are applicable. Those who are considered as “Spouse or Child of Japanese National” or “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” don’t need to present the written pledge for application for visa, provided that they present their Certificate of Eligibility or full copy of the family register, etc.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Application for Visa for foreign nationals eligible for Phased Measures toward Resuming Cross-Border Travel

2. Procedures for Entering Japan by the Residence Track

The immigration procedures vary depending on whether your country is an area subject to denial of permission to enter Japan or not. Check the list below to see if your country/region is included in the list of countries/regions that are subject to denial of permission to enter Japan.

List of countries/regions subject to denial of entry: https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html

Now we will explain the immigration procedures below.

2-1. In the case of areas that are subject to denial of permission to enter Japan

[ Things to do before leaving your country ]

  • Application for VISA issuance, etc. at your Japanese embassy/consulate in your country (submission of pledge, etc.)

– When applying for a VISA at your Japanese embassy/consulate in your country, submit a “pledge” signed by your Japanese host company/organization/school

  • Acquisition of inspection certificate, etc.

– Before leaving your country (departure time of your scheduled flight), take the PCR test within 72 hours and obtain the test results/certificate from the medical institution in your country/region

[ At your arrival airport in Japan ]

  • Quarantine and immigration at the airport

– Submit “Questionnaire [filled out on board]” and “Pledge” at the airport quarantine area

– Submit an inspection certificate

– Present Visa

– Show that you have installed the required applications on your smartphone (LINE and COCOA)

– Take a PCR test

[ After the immigration process is completed ]

  • Activities under a limited range of activities

– For 14 days after entering Japan, you will need to wait at home or accommodation (a facility that manages private rooms, baths, and restrooms individually) without using public transportation

– Perform health check-ups/follow-ups using the LINE app and save your location information using a map app, etc.

– Use an app that tracks COVID-19 contact tracing, providing, and receiving information about COVID-19 contract tracking

       

 

2-2. For areas that are NOT subject to denial of permission to enter Japan

The main difference is that you do not have to take a PCR test.

[ Things to do before leaving your country ]

  • Application for VISA issuance, etc. at your Japanese embassy/consulate in your country (submission of pledge, etc.)

– When applying for a VISA at your Japanese embassy/consulate in your country, submit a “pledge” signed by your Japanese host company/organization/school

[ At your arrival airport in Japan ]

  • Quarantine and immigration at the airport

– Submit “Questionnaire [filled out on board]” and “Pledge” at the airport quarantine area

– Present Visa

[ After the immigration process is completed ]

  • Activities under a limited range of activities

– For 14 days after entering Japan, you will need to wait at home or accommodation (a facility that manages private rooms, baths, and restrooms individually) without using public transportation

– Perform health check-ups/follow-ups using the LINE app and save your location information using a map app, etc. (Recommended)

– Use an app that tracks COVID-19 contact tracing, providing, and receiving information about COVID-19 contract tracking (Recommended)

3. Frequently Asked Questions

3-1. What apps are required to be installed when entering Japan?

a) LINE   

  • It is necessary to report your health condition through the application called, LINE, during the 14-day quarantine period after entering Japan.
  • A Japanese phone number is required (overseas SIM and phone numbers are not supported). Only available in Japanese.

*Sakura Mobile provides airport pickup at the arrival area for your Japanese phone number SIM card (Voice & Data SIM Card)

  • The host company or organization can install and set up the necessary applications, and then report the individual’s health conditions if the person cannot install the applications.

b) COCOA   

  • COCOA provides contact information to keep track of contact tracing and infected individuals.

c) Google Maps   

  • It is asked that you save your location data for the 14-days after entering Japan
  • Set Google Maps to “Location History On”
  • ※For iPhone: Turn on the “Frequently Used Places” settings

3-2. Where can I isolate for the 14-days quarantine?

  • Staying at home/accommodation facilities (private rooms, bathroom, facilities where they are managed and used individually, etc.)
  • Currently, if the test result is negative, it seems that most hotels will allow for booking
  • If possible, first contact your Japanese host company/organization/school about accommodations

3-3. What service should I use for traveling from the airport to my accommodation for quarantine?

  • Do not use public transportation from the airport to your place of stay/accommodation
  • Use a private car, a vehicle owned by the Japanese host company/organization, a rental car, or a hired driver
  • This is also something that you should talk to your Japanese host company/organization/school about before coming to Japan

4. A Japanese phone number is essential for living in Japan

When entering the country on the Residence Track, you need to install the LINE application to report your health condition to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. In order to use the reporting feature in the LINE application, you must have a valid Japanese phone number.

In addition to LINE, you need to have a Japanese phone number to rent an apartment and open a bank account in Japan.

Sakura Mobile provides Long Term monthly contract SIM cards to foreigners in Japan.

 

Benefits of Sakura Mobile are:

✔ AFFORDABLE PLANS

✔ FAST 4G LTE ON JAPAN’S BIGGEST NETWORK

✔ ENGLISH CUSTOMER SUPPORT

✔ AIRPORT PICK UP AVAILABLE

✔ VARIOUS PAYMENT METHODS AVAILABLE

 

If you are entering Japan using the Residence Track, you will begin the voluntary quarantine period once you leave the airport. Therefore, many people are not able to obtain a Japanese phone number SIM card after leaving the airport.

With Sakura Mobile, you can pick up your Japanese phone number SIM card at our pickup counter located in the arrival areas at various Japanese airports.

Place an order on the Sakura Mobile website in advance and pick up your SIM card at the airport!

 

Check Out Our Plans!👉https://www.sakuramobile.jp/long-term/

 

5. Useful links

 Check out the most up-to-date information here.

 You can see the real experience of foreign people who have already entered Japan.

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