How to Apply for a Tourist Visa for US from Japan?

Every year, many Japanese tourists travel to the US for holidaying and seeing the many amazing sights across the country. Whether it is a trip to New York, or any of the other great states, anyone entering the US must have the relevant travel authorization. For Japanese tourists, there are two different ways to apply for travel authorization:

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)

Japan has been a member of the Visa Waiver Program since as far back as 1988. This has meant that citizens of Japan do not require a visa if they are traveling to the US for business or tourism purposes for trips of less than 90 days in total. Instead, they can apply for an ESTA, which is an online form application, granting travel permission to enter the US.

To apply for an ESTA for Japanese citizens you require a valid, biometric machine-readable passport and you need to complete the details requested on the application form. The application will usually be processed very promptly and the ESTA is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport, valid for two years or until the passport expires.

Tourist Visa – How Japanese Citizens Can Apply?

For Japanese citizens who do not meet the requirements of ESTA, for example, they want to visit the US for longer than the 90 days that are allowed under an ESTA, they can apply for a tourist visa instead. The tourist/visitor visa is known as the B-2 visa and Japanese citizens are able to apply for this by starting off with filling in the Form DS-160. This is the online visa application and you also require a photo to upload with the form. You should take a print of the application confirmation page, as you will need to bring this along to your interview.

The next stage of applying for the visitor visa is to schedule an interview at the US Embassy. You will be required to attend the interview in person (with the exception of children under 13 and people aged over 80).

Where is the US Embassy in Japan?

There is a US Embassy in Tokyo, with Consulates in Naha, Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka and Nagoya.

How long does it take to obtain a US tourist visa?

The length of time it will take to get an appointment will depend on how busy the office is at the time, so it is recommended to give as much time as you can before your intended trip to the US, to allow for processing time. You will also be required to pay the application fee for the tourist visa, which currently costs $160, which is considerably more than the fee for an ESTA.

What Documents are Required for a US Tourist Visa?

You will require a passport that is valid for at least six months, the print off of the DS-160 confirmation page and the payment receipt. You may also be requested to provide documents that show the reason for your trip and your financial ability to pay for all costs associated with the trip to the US.






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