Visas & Letters of Invitation

Entering Japan for the Conference

(updated September 26, 2022)

Visa Waivers
From October 11, 2022, all travellers will once again be able to travel to Japan without restrictions.
Visa waivers will be reinstated for trips of up to 90 days and for certain countries. If applicable to your situation, you will only need to present a valid passport.

Currently, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs grants visa waivers/exemptions to approximately 60 countries that have special agreements with Japan. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a short-term visa to enter Japan in order to attend this conference, please consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website.

If your country is not listed, you will need to contact the Embassy of Japan, or the nearest Consulate of Japan in your home country, to receive guidance on the application process and necessary documents. For more information please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website.

As part of the visa application process, you may be required to submit a Letter of Invitation from the ACAS Organising Committee.


Proof of Vaccination or PCR test
Travellers who possess a valid vaccination certificate of COVID-19 will be no longer required to submit the certificate of negative result of pre-departure COVID-19 test.

Quarantine and Arrival Testing
Quarantine and arrival testing have been eliminated for travellers from 128 "blue" countries & regions, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.
These include Indonesia, Australia, Republic of Korea, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, New Zealand, Philippines, Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia, UK, Canada, United States, and all European countries.
- Full list of countries grouped by restrictions
- Check requirements by country of departure

Wearing of Masks
Most Japanese people continue to wear masks in public places.
Since May 16, the wearing of masks is no longer compulsory both outdoors as long as social distancing is practiced and there is no physical contact. Masks are still strongly recommended on public transport, in hotels and in crowded places.

Travel Insurance
It is recommended to take out travel insurance for your trip to Japan. Medical expenses can be high if you become sick or injured and need to visit a hospital. Please be aware that not all health insurance policies cover COVID-19.
Further Reading - JNTO Health & Safety for Travelers in Japan
https://www.jnto.go.jp/emergency/eng/mi_guide.html


Entering Japan Before October 11

The Process

1) Register for the Conference

2) Plan your Schedule
Plan a rough outline of your travel dates/plans including the address you’ll be staying at during your time in Japan.

3) Apply for the Letter of Invitation
You will need to submit a copy of your passport information/photo page and travel plans.
Department of Foreign Affairs, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

4) Wait
We will send you a stamped Letter of Invitation and an ERFS Certificate – both in a PDF format.

5) Apply at the Japanese Embassy or Consulate
Take (or send) the Letter of Invitation, the ERFS Certificate, and your passport to your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate. The processing time is 5 to 7 days. They will send your passport to you or some will allow you to pick it up in person.

About ERFS
ERFS stands for the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System. This is a new COVID-tracking system for foreign nationals entering Japan. It’s required for both short-term (under 90 days) and long-term stays until October 11, 2022. You will still need your usual visa documents along with your ERFS certificate in order to enter Japan.
IAFOR is able to provide ERFS certificates for visiting researchers who are planning on attending a conference in Japan.

Once we have completed the ERFS application on your behalf we will send you an ERFS digital certificate in a PDF format. The certificate is valid for 3 months. Although you can show the digital version of the certificate when you arrive, we’d advise you to have a physical copy printed out as well.

Take (or send) the certificate and your passport to your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate.
The processing time is 5 to 7 days. They will send your passport to you or some will allow you to pick it up in person.


Letters of Invitation

A Letter of Invitation is an official document that confirms payment of registration fees and extends an official invitation to the paid registrant to attend and participate in the upcoming conference. In other words, it provides the holder with an official reason to come to Japan. It may be required by your university for administrative purposes, and will likely form one of the documents required for visa application if you are from a country that does not have a visa exemption agreement with Japan.

In order to qualify for a Letter of Invitation, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be registered as an author of an accepted abstract and/or paper
  • Have paid the conference registration fee in full
  • A verifiable email address from an institution (.edu, .org, .ac) is required. We are unable to accept a personal address (gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc.).

IAFOR will not, under any circumstances, provide a Letter of Invitation or visa application paperwork to any interested party who does not meet the three criteria listed above. If your application for a Letter of Invitation is successful, your Letter of Invitation will be sent to you by email as a PDF attachment. In addition, a hard copy will be mailed to your residence or place of work. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your application to be processed.


Letters of Guarantee

IAFOR cannot provide Letters of Guarantee.
Please note that a Letter of Guarantee is different from a Letter of Invitation. Depending on your professional situation, background and nationality, you may be required to submit a Letter of Invitation and/or Letter of Guarantee.

A Letter of Guarantee is a letter in which an individual or body agrees to be legally and financially responsible for you during your stay in Japan. You may know an individual or institution in Japan willing to act as a guarantor, or, if you have no connection with the country, Japanese immigration authorities may find that it is acceptable to have your university act as the guarantor.

Further Visa Assistance

All questions/concerns regarding the status of your visa should be directed to the Japanese immigration authorities or Japanese Embassy in your home country. If your visa application is denied, please note that IAFOR will not be able to change the decision of the Japanese immigration authorities, nor will IAFOR engage in discussion or correspondence with the Japanese immigration authorities or the Japanese Embassy on behalf of the applicant. IAFOR is not authorised to assist with the visa process beyond providing a Letter of Invitation.


Letter of Invitation Application Process

After confirmation of conference registration we will send you instructions on how to apply for a Letter of Invitation. Providing all the information we receive is correct, the Letter of Invitation process will usually take between 7 and 21 days. Please allow ample time for the Letter of Invitation application process.

Letters of Invitation are sent as PDF attachments. A regular airmail option (free) and a trackable registered mail option (additional cost) are available.

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