The Japanese government has updated its entry requirements and reduced its list of exceptional circumstances for entering the country.

Key Point:

  • Until at least Dec. 31, foreign nationals who have been in the U.S. and other high-risk countries within 14 days of intendent arrival are barred from entering the country unless there they meet one of the following “Exceptional Circumstances.”
    • Reentry. Japanese residents, regardless of their visa category, who left Japan and have a valid reentry permit or special reentry permit can enter the country without having to apply for a new visa.
    • New entry. The spouse or child of a Japanese citizen, permanent resident or a foreign national with the status of “long-term resident” whose family is in Japan and has been separated from their family can enter the country but must apply for a new visa.
    • Diplomatic/Official. Foreign nationals who are traveling with the status of “Diplomatic” or “Official” can enter the country. Officials are only allowed to enter the country if their travel is inevitable or for emergencies.
    • Humanitarian/Public Interest. Individuals can enter the country for short-term stays up to 90 days if they are traveling for humanitarian reasons or in the public’s interest.

Additional Information: Foreign nationals who have the status of instructor, professor, medical services, dependent, designated activities or those intending to enter Japan for short-term or long-term stays for business no longer meet an “Exceptional Circumstance” for entering the country. A full list of countries with travel restrictions and entry requirements can be found here. More information regarding the visa application process is available here.

BAL Analysis: The list of countries affected by the Omicron variant could increase in the coming days and weeks. Health measures may change with little or no notice. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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