Japan

ESTA for Japanese Citizens

Japanese citizens are eligible to apply for an ESTA to visit the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Japan has been a member of the VWP since 1988 and therefore able to apply for an ESTA as travel authorization.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

  • ESTA is for short term visits for business, tourism, medical and transit
  • Electronically links to biometric passports
  • For trips to US of no more than 90 days
  • Children, infants and all travellers require their own ESTA
  • ESTA is issued for two years, or until passport expires
  • Can be used for multiple visits to the US
  • ESTA is required whether travelling by air or sea
Application for Japanese Citizens

Benefits of ESTA for Japanese Citizens

Japanese citizens who wish to visit the United States for business or tourism purposes can benefit from the easier process of applying for an ESTA instead of a US visa. One of the key benefits of obtaining an ESTA is that is allows the holder to make multiple trips to the US, as long as the ESTA is valid and the passport it was issued for is also valid.

Instead of waiting for the longer processing that is typical with visa applications, an ESTA can be issues on the same day that the application is submitted. Many applicants receive their confirmation within just a few hours, although it is recommended that the application is submitted at least 72 hours in advance of the intended travel to the US.

Once an ESTA has been granted, the holder is able to travel to any part of the US as long as they do not stay for longer than 90 days in one trip. The ESTA application fee is cheaper than the application for a US visa, so that is another big advantage, as well as saving time.

Once an ESTA has been granted, the holder is able to travel to any part of the US as long as they do not stay for longer than 90 days in one trip. The ESTA application fee is cheaper than the application for a US visa, so that is another big advantage, as well as saving time.

How Japanese Citizens Can Apply for ESTA

Instead of attending an interview at the US Embassy, the applicant for an ESTA simply needs to complete an online form that takes less than 20 minutes to finish. The form requires information such as passport details, personal information and details related to criminal convictions and health. The information is then used as part of the pre-screening process by the US Department of Homeland Security as they determine whether the application is to be approved.

To apply for ESTA, you must be a Japanese citizen (or citizen of another VWP country) and must have a valid passport. If approved, the ESTA will be electronically linked to the applicant’s passport. Applications will also require a valid email address for correspondence regarding the application and a method of payment for the application fee i.e. credit or debit card.

Important Advice for ESTA Application

It is quite common for people to make errors on their ESTA application, which can mean the application is declined or delayed. Therefore, it is advised that you take as much time as possible to check over the details, paying particular attention to key information such as passport number. If your ESTA is declined and you have no other form of travel authorization such as a visa, you will not be allowed to enter the US.

What to do if ESTA is Declined

If you receive an email to say that your application for US ESTA has been declined, there may still be another option to still go on your trip to the US. If your application has been declined because you made a mistake on the application, you should be able to re-apply but this could delay your trip.

The other option you have if your visa is declined is to apply for a tourism or business visa if relevant. To apply for a visa, you must complete a DS-160 form and pay the application fee and then arrange an interview at the Japanese US Embassy.

The address for the US Embassy in Japan:

US Embassy Tokyo 1-10-5
Akasaka Minato-ku
Tokyo 1078420
Japan

Benefits of ESTA for Japanese citizens:
  • Benefits of ESTA for Japanese citizens:
  • Quick processing
  • Use for visits to US for tourism, business, medical or transit
  • Can be used on visits of up to 90 days in US
  • Application form is quick and easy to fill in
  • Complete the form using either mobile or desktop
  • Use for multiple visits to US