Who needs a visa?


U.S. citizen and foreign nationals of visa exemption countries are EXEMPTED to obtain a visa when entering Japan for Short-Term Stay (less than 90 days) for the purpose of tourism, business, conference, or study, AND NOT engaged in income-earning activities.

See the list of visa exemption countries and regions.

The Visa Waiver Program applies based on your nationality, NOT on your U.S. residence status (including green card).

The visa waiver arrangement with the United States does NOT apply to following criterias,


  • COE: Certificate of Eligibility holders
  • Travel to Japan for news media related activities
  • Attending depositions taken by U.S. Consul
  • U.S. Federal Government employees on diplomat/official business or transit to/from official mission.



Visa Requirement Chart


Long Term Exemption Short Term



ATTENTION: Please read carefully before you apply for a visa

  • Visa Applicants may apply through the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco ONLY if they physically reside in our jurisdiction.
    Applications from those who entered the U.S. with a B1/B2 visa or who are under a U.S. visa exemption status will not be accepted in this office.

  • The visa approval process takes a MINIMUM OF 5 BUSINESS DAYS with sufficient documents.
    Please be sure to give ENOUGH TIME FOR PROCESSING AND DELIVERY when applying for your visa.
    Incomplete visa applications will be returned.

  • Visa applications with special circumstances may require additional time.

  • The Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco is accepting visa applications by DROP-OFF or MAIL
    Due to a recent increase in lost mail, we recommend submission via DROP-OFF if possible.

  • You will receive a confirmation email within 72 business hours after your visa application is delivered to us or dropped off in the drop box. Incomplete visa applications will be returned.

  • Please refrain from calling us regarding your visa application status.

  • If you have not received your passport(s) back within 7-10 business days after your visa application was delivered to us or dropped off, please email

  • Single-Entry Tourism VISA can be applied for ONLINE via eVISA.JAPAN eVISA

  • SINGLE-ENTRY visas are valid for 3 months once issued. You MUST apply within 3 months of the date you will enter Japan EVEN IF YOU WILL APPLY FOR A MULTIPLE-ENTRY VISA, since you may be granted a SINGLE-ENTRY visa upon examination.

  • Landing Permission at the Airport: Although a visa is one condition that allows you to land at an airport or seaport, you should note that a visa does not guarantee landing permission. You must obtain landing permission during immigration procedures.

  • Applicant(s) with a criminal record must provide a copy of his/her court conviction or sentence, along with an English translation of those documents if they are in any language other than English. Our office needs to know the charges, time served, fees paid, and probation (if any). If you have a criminal record, please email our office in advance.

VISA Application: Step 2


The visa windows are temporarily closed. Please mail or drop-off all the required documents listed on the checklists from Step 1.
Incomplete visa applications will be returned.

  1. SIGNED AND DATED Visa Application Form. Please WRITE YOUR EMAIL address on the form.
    Do not staple your application.

  2. Required Documents from the Checklist from Step 1.

  3. PHYSICAL PASSPORT (NOT copy). Our office will scan your passport and attach the visa.

  4. PREPAID SELF-ADDRESSED RETURN ENVELOPE with tracking is required.
    Service must be USPS only (priority mail flat rate or priority mail express flat rate). We are not able to return by FedEx, UPS, or DHL.
    Please include 1 return envelope per family. Do NOT include separate return envelopes for each family member.

  5. Completed Release of Liability

  6. Visa Fee (No fee is required for U.S. citizens. For other nationals please check visa fees page.)
    Exact amount in MONEY ORDER made payable to “Consulate General of Japan”.
    CASH accepted for drop-off only.  NO personal checks accepted.

Visa drop-off at the designated box (inside the San Francisco office)
*Please put all visa applications in 1 envelope/package per family.
Mon.-Fri. 10:00am-11:30am and 1:00pm-3:00pm (No weekend or holiday service)
No appointment necessary.

Please mail all applicable documents listed from Step 1 to:

Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco
VISA Section
275 Battery Street, Suite 2100
San Francisco, CA 94111


The visa windows are temporarily closed. YOU MAY NOT PICK UP YOUR PASSPORT IN PERSON.
We will EMAIL (not call) you once we receive your passport and visa application, so please do not forget to write your EMAIL address on your visa application form.
Please keep record of your return envelope TRACKING NUMBER as the Consulate will NOT keep any record of it.

eVISA: Online Application


ONLY Single-entry Short-term Tourist VISA for (stay of more than 24 hours) and (NOT for visiting relatives/friends) may be applied online through eVISA.

Please note that you will receive an EMAIL once your visa fee is required and you will be directed to pay by credit card online.
For more information, please visit the eVISA website and for online payment procedure and system maintenance schedule, click here.

If you have already submitted an eVISA application and have decided to apply by mail or drop-off instead, we ask that you withdraw your eVISA application online first, before re-applying by mail or drop-off to avoid delays during visa application processing.

For eVISA inquiries, please check eVISA FAQ


For general questions about visa, please check Visa FAQ.

Toll-Free & 24 Hour Hotline for Visa-related inquiries: 1-202-499-1468 (English only)

Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco (Visa Section)
For all visa related inquiries: (We will try our best to respond to you quickly, normally within 24 business hours).
For all eVISA related inquiries: (English only)
*Please mention your nationality or citizenship and place of residence in your email.

Tel: (415)780-6092 (Monday to Friday, 9:00a.m. to 12:00p.m., and 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.)
* Due to the high volume of applicants, we may not be able to answer your call.
* Our office cannot provide any updates on the status of your visa application.