As you already know, this year the Ethereum Devcon 5 conference is happening in the beautiful city of Osaka in Japan. Before you can attend the conference (or one of the many OFFDevcon events), however, you should probably check out whether you will require a visa or not.
Japan Entry & Exit Conditions
Whether you need a visa or not, you must meet the following conditions:
- Your passport must have been issued within the last ten years
- For tourist/business “visa-free” stays of up to 90 days, you must have a valid passport and an onward/return ticket
- The passport must have at least 6 months remaining and 2 blank pages
- You must have the means of supporting yourself. Japanese immigration officers may deny your entry if they feel otherwise
Can I get in without a visa?
If you belong to one of the following countries, then you will be issued a 90-day visitor visa upon arrival — Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, USA, and more. Check out the full list here.
If you belong to one of the following countries then not only will you be issued a 90-day visitor visa upon arrival, but you’ll also be able to renew it for another 90 days without leaving the country — Austria, Germany, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Mexico, Switzerland, and UK¹.
If you are from Brunei, Indonesia, and Thailand, then you will be issued a 15-day visitor visa on arrival. People from the United Arab Emirates can stay for 30 days.
I am not from those countries. What do I do?
If you 'don't belong to one of those countries, then you will need to apply for a visa. The Japanese Embassy will issue the visa. To get your hands on one, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Make sure that you have a valid passport.
- Download your visa form here and fill it accordingly.
- Provide a recent colour passport photo and a certified copy of your birth certificate.
- If married, submit a marriage certificate (if issued within the last year).
- You must clearly state your intention to leave Japan at the end of your stay.
- You have to prove that you have the means to financially support yourself during your stay in Japan. You must provide them a copy of your bank balance of the last six months.
- If applying without a sponsor, a copy of your Certificate of Employment must be submitted.
NOTE: As part of your visa application, if you require an official invitation showing that you are attending Devcon 5, please email the Ethereum Foundation at email@example.com with the following info: Full Name, Date of Birth, Nationality, Passport Number, Home Address. They’ve been able to help some community members before.
How much do these visas cost?
Fees must be paid for the issuance of visas. The price for the visas are as follows:
- Single-entry visa: 3,000 yen.
- Double-entry visa: 6,000 yen.
- Transit visa: 700 yen.
The fees are collected in the currency of the country (region) in which the Embassy / Consulate General is located.
Can anything else happen during the visa process?
Majority of the time, obtaining the visa is a pretty straightforward process. However, there may be some minor quibbles along the way. So let’s run through some of these scenarios.
What if I don’t have a particular document?
If you don’t have a particular document, then you have to mention it in the Cover Letter. Clearly state why you are unable to obtain that specific document.
Will the Embassy contact me for extra details?
On rare occasions, the Embassy may require extra information from you for the assessment process. The conditions for acceptance changes from applicant-to-applicant. That’s why there may be some other documents needed from the ones mentioned in the beginning.
Will they call me for a personal interview?
Sometimes you could be requested by the Embassy to appear for a personal interview. These interviews shall take place at the Japanese Embassy.
Getting a Japanese visa is a very straightforward process. It is only on the rarest of situations that you’ll be asked to provide extra information from what you have already provided. If you are one of the lucky few who can get visa-on-arrival, then you don’t really have anything to be worried about. Regardless, we hope that you have a great time in Devcon 5 and OFFDevcon Osaka!
This story was based on a series of articles by Genny Marcoux, who was very helpful guiding people through Devcon4 last year.
OFFDevcon Osaka (also sometimes referred to as Osaka Blockchain Week) is a community initiative and includes all events happening outside of Ethereum Devcon V: events, workshops, hackathons, parties, meetups, and more. This year around 80 community events are expected to be organised between October 1 and October 15. Join the community here.