What is the change? Japan will soon relax visa requirements for nationals of five Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

What does the change mean? Effective June 5, nationals of these countries traveling to Japan for short-term stay business trips will be eligible for five-year visas, up from the current maximum of three years. Additionally, letters of reference from guarantors will not be required for travelers who can self-finance their travel to Japan.

  • Implementation time frame: June 5.
  • Visas/permits affected: Short-term stay for business purposes visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan traveling to Japan.
  • Business impact: The changes will ease visas requirements for business travelers from the five Central Asian countries.
  • Next steps: Officials indicated additional details about the new visa applications will be posted to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Background: The changes were announced after a “Central Asia plus Japan” meeting of foreign ministers earlier this year.

BAL Analysis: Officials hope the eased visa requirements will increase both tourist and business travel to Japan, and the changes are welcome developments for business travelers who frequently visit Japan from the five Central Asian countries listed above.

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

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