How to enter Japan after your COE is approved
Update: July 6, 2021
Update: April 2, 2022
We are often asked by our clients how they can enter Japan after their COE (Certificate of Eligibility) has been approved.
Due to the spread of Covid-19, the procedure is getting more complicated than before.
We would like to explain so it is easier to understand.
After your COE is approved
When your COE is approved, have your relatives in Japan or your immigration lawyer (Gyousei-shoshi) mail it to you in a traceable way such as Express Mail Service, EMS.
Caution! When posting by EMS especially to US
Please note that from January 1, 2021, to increase security, the transmission of electronic customs clearance data became obligatory. The items sent by using the handwritten EMS label may cause delay in delivery and items sent to the U.S. with handwritten labels cannot be accepted as a general rule. Some post offices tell you this, but others just accept the handwritten label without giving any notice. If the item reaches the U.S. customs, it is not likely to be sent back to Japan, but it may take some time to be returned within Japan though it is once received at the post office. When you create a label on the website of Japan Post, the information you have entered will be sent to the destination country as electronic data for customs clearance. The label can be made by using PC or Smartphone.
Please refer to the website of Japan Post for more details. https://www.post.japanpost.jp/intmypage/whatsmypage_en.html
After receiving COE
Although your COE is approved, you will not be able to enter Japan until a visa is issued in your passport by the local Japanese consulate. Take your photo, visa application form, and other necessary documents to the Japanese embassy or Japanese consulate in your country and apply for a visa.
After a few days of examination, you will receive your passport with the visa seal affixed.
The time from application to receipt of the visa varies from country to country, but it is approximately one to five business days. During this time, you will have to leave your passport with them, and you will not be able to leave the country. They are not open on weekends, so if your departure date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, please plan your schedule so that you can receive your passport before then.
Extension of the validity period of the COE
The validity of COE is normally 3 months. However, in consideration of those who have been delayed in entering Japan due to the spread of the Covid-19, the validity period of the COE has been extended further as follows.
COE issued on or after January 1, 2020
- Issued between January 1, 2020, and January 31,
2022 → Until July 31, 2022
- Issued between February 1, 2022 and July 31, 2022
→ Valid for 6 months from the date of issue
Certificate of Testing for Covid-19
To prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, when entering or returning to Japan, you are required to present a “Certificate of Testing for Covid-19 within 72 hours before departure” to the quarantine station. If the certificate cannot be presented, landing in Japan is not permitted based on the Quarantine Law.
From the arrival of Japan on July 1, 2021, a “Nasopharyngeal Swab”, “Saliva” and “mixture of Nasopharyngeal and Oropharyngeal swab” are the valid specimen. Please find the format in various language on the website of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
The submission of an arbitrary format is not precluded, but the “contents to be included in the inspection certificate” must be satisfied. Therefore, we recommend you to use the provided format.
When landing in Japan
1. Stay in accommodation secured by the quarantine station and submit a written pledge
Depending on the country/region you stayed in prior to entering Japan, you will be asked to wait and undergo inspection at an accommodation facility secured by the quarantine station.
You will be required to submit a written pledge to the quarantine station, which includes not using public transportation for 14 days, staying at home, storing and presenting your location information, and using a contact confirmation application. If you are unable to submit the written pledge, you will be asked to wait at an accommodation facility secured by the quarantine station. If you violate your pledge, your name, nationality, and information that contributes to the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 may be disclosed, and you may be subject to revocation of your status of residence and deportation proceedings.
For more details, please check the website. https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000798725.pdf
2. Submission of Questionnaire
For health follow-up during the first 14 days after entry into Japan, contact information such as email address and telephone number will be checked during quarantine. Please be sure to provide an email address and phone number that can be used by the person entering the country in Japan on the questionnaire.
Restrictions on entry into Japan against Covid-19 are subject to change at any time.
We recommend that you check the websites of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before entering Japan and check the latest information.
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