Prior to late-2022, Japanese citizens are free to travel across the European Union and stay for up to 90 days. After this period, however, everything changes thanks to a system known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Japanese Citizens
The ETIAS visa waiver was developed with a view to tightening security within the Schengen Zone, an agreement that has been signed by 26 European nations. Schengen countries have agreed to abolish all internal borders and to operate as a large multi-nation border, and the ETIAS, along with the Schengen Visa, are the systems designed to protect borders.
Only countries within the European Union and Schengen Zone are guaranteed visa-free access to other Schengen countries. For Japanese citizens, there is no such guarantee and after the end of 2022, they are required to apply for an ETIAS before they can visit countries like Germany, Austria, Greece, Spain, France, and Norway.
Do Japanese Citizens Need an ETIAS Visa Waiver for Europe?
The ETIAS visa waiver doesn’t apply to all of Europe. It doesn’t even apply to all of the European Union (EU). It’s only relevant for countries within the Schengen Area, which spans a total of 26 nations.
For instance, the United Kingdom is in Europe but it is not in either the EU or the Schengen Area and so the ETIAS is not relevant.
In fact, Japanese citizens don’t need any type of visa to visit the United Kingdom and are free to stay for up to 6 months.
ETIAS Requirements for Japanese Citizens
Japanese citizens applying for the ETIAS visa waiver will need all of the following:
- Valid Japanese passport (with more than three months validity from the date of travel)
- Valid email address
- Basic contact details and travel information
- Credit or debit card (for €7 fee)
You can complete the ETIAS application online and providing you meet all of the requirements, you should be granted travel authorization within 3 days.
Is Japan in the Schengen Area?
Japan is not in the Schengen Area as it is not in Europe. The Schengen Area spans 26 European nations, all of which have signed the Schengen Agreement. These nations include 22 from the EU and 4 from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Can Japanese Citizens Travel to the US Without a Visa?
The United States has its own visa waiver program that allows stays of up to 90 days. Japanese citizens must apply for this program before they can visit the United States.
Which Countries Can Japanese Citizens Visit Without a Visa?
In addition to the United Kingdom, Japanese tourists can visit most countries in the Caribbean and Asia without a visa. In fact, prior to the commencement of the ETIAS visa waiver program, the Japanese passport was considered to be the strongest in the world in terms of visa-free access.
The Most Popular Japanese Tourist Destinations
Taiwan is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Japanese travelers. They also spend a lot of time and money in South Korea and Hawaii. None of these countries are relevant for the ETIAS, and of the ones that are, France and Italy seem to top the list, followed by Germany.
Many Japanese travelers also spend time in the United Kingdom and the United States.