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Home - Question Forum
How risky is a 2nd 90 day tourist visa?

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How risky is a 2nd 90 day tourist visa? 2007/4/17 15:36
I am an American and am currently in the process of getting a working visa in Japan from my employer. I am on a tourist visa right now but it will expire on May 27th, 2007, and the working visa process will probably not be completed by then. I was thinking about going to China for a couple of days then coming back to get another 90 day tourist visa. Has anyone done this recently and could anyone provide some comments on how risky this might be? I also have a girlfriend of 4yrs who is living in Tokyo - could use for my excuse if interrogated by customs.
by Chris  

... 2007/4/17 17:38
You could try to get a visa extension inside Japan. The fact that you will soon start working in Japan may be a sufficient reason for a visa extension:
http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/kanri/shyorui/03.html
by Uji rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/17 22:17
On the issue of how "risky" would really all be dependent on the Immigration inspector you run into at the Airport.

Also a side note, just some technicalities, you are on a temporary visitor status rather than on an actual "tourist visa", since US-JAPAN have a Visa-Waiver / visa-free program for temporary visitors.

by John rate this post as useful

extension 2007/4/18 02:35
I agree with Uji that you should apply for extension of stay pending approval of your work visa.

If you spend a few days out of the country and return to Japan asking for a full stay as a visitor, I think the immigration officer will doubt your actual intention. Technically, you will not be there for sightseeing purpose anymore.

Of course if the worst comes and your employment visa application refused, you may have to return to America and submit your new employment visa application in a Japanese consulate.

Meanwhile, for a short stay as a visitor, you don't need any visa due to the visa-waiver program in force.

by TW rate this post as useful

Will look into the extension 2007/4/18 11:06
Thanks for all your answers. I will ask about wether I can get an extension on my temporary status visa when I submit all the stuff with my application for my work visa early next week. I will post what the immigration people say when I find out.
by Chris rate this post as useful

visas 2007/4/18 12:32
I know quite a lot of people who have stayed in Japan 90 days, then left for a few days and then come back without any trouble. My friend teaches English here and her husband also spends most of his time here but because he is self-employed is always here on a tourist visa. Every so often he goes to China, the States, Europe etc for a business trip, sometimes just for a few days, and when he comes back he has no trouble getting in, although he has been questioned a couple of times.

If you are really unlucky you could get a difficult immigration officer but as long as you come up with a good reason for the length of your stay (don't tell them you are going to be working, obviously) you should be fine.

by Sira rate this post as useful

business 2007/4/18 12:41
I know many people who have come in as a temporary visitor for 3 months.

It doesn't matter if you are a tourist or on business. as long as you are able to show that you are not being paid by a Japanese company, you can enter for 3 months on a business visit.

Many people I know have worked as contractors through a british contracting company, and declare that they are on business, and stay for 3 months. They usually leave again for a few days or a couple of weeks, then return on the same basis.

by Sandy rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/18 12:42
self-employed is always here on a tourist visa. He's working in Japan on a tourist visa? Not only is that illegal, but eventually one day it'll catch up with him.
by John rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/18 12:44
Why doesn't your friends husband go a head and get a dependent visa? Kind of wasteful leaving and coming back every few months.

Or you could be met with one of these:
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=101368676&size=l

by John rate this post as useful

... 2007/4/18 13:17
but because he is self-employed is always here on a tourist visa.

As mentioned by John, this is illegal.

It doesn't matter if you are a tourist or on business. as long as you are able to show that you are not being paid by a Japanese company, you can enter for 3 months on a business visit.

That is wrong! It does not matter whether you get paid by a Japanese or non-Japanese company or whether you are self-employed. It is illegal to stay in Japan on a tourist visa and pursue paid activities. The only exceptions are short business trips.

In case of some self-employed people, it can't be helped if they work a little bit while sightseeing or visiting relatives on a short time stay in Japan. But living and working as a self employed person on a tourist visa for an extended time period is illegal.

by Uji rate this post as useful

Internship 2007/4/18 22:57
A couple of years ago I went to Japan for a 3 months internship in a Japanese company. I was surprised to learn that I could go on a tourist visa as long as I earned less than 200'000 yen per month, as it is not considered as a "real" salary...
by Kali rate this post as useful

... 2007/4/19 10:19
A couple of years ago I went to Japan for a 3 months internship in a Japanese company. I was surprised to learn that I could go on a tourist visa as long as I earned less than 200'000 yen per month, as it is not considered as a "real" salary...

I think in this case it is considered a "stipend to cover food and living expenses" rather than "income". That is why some students seem to be able to do short internships on a tourist visa.

by Uji rate this post as useful

Why illegal? 2007/4/19 11:12
I think John and Uji have misunderstood my previous post.

My friend's husband (a lawyer who also trades in commodities) works using his phone and computer to contact his clients in various countries. He is not here all the time, but when he is here he is on a tourist visa. He spends as much time out of Japan as he does in it.

He also visits clients in Japan when he is here. I don't see how that is any more illegal than any businessperson coming here and sending emails and visiting clients. His wife just happens to work here.

They are planning on getting him a dependent visa very soon anyway.

by Sira rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/19 11:17
Where does he base his business in? Where is his business registered?
by John rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/19 11:25
Because a businessman say from the United States coming to Japan for a short stay is not making his residence, nor his income based in Japan. If your friends husband is working out of a home in Japan a lot, dealing with a lot of Japanese clients and is essentially working in Japan all under the scaise of a Temporary Visitor, then its borderline illegal I think.

Even Journalists who come over to report on stories or based in Tokyo have Journalist visas.

If his company transfered him to a branch in Japan, the branch would be legally setup as a company in Japan and the businessman would come over on a work-visa, usually a intercompany transferee visa, or investor visa. If he was doing a short term business deal such as signing a contract that again isn't illegal, as the businessman isn't living in japan in long periods of times, he's just in and out.

But in the case you described it slightly different.

by John rate this post as useful

Visitor 2007/4/20 11:09
Uji said: "That is wrong! It does not matter whether you get paid by a Japanese or non-Japanese company or whether you are self-employed. It is illegal to stay in Japan on a tourist visa and pursue paid activities. The only exceptions are short business trips."


I DIDN'T say "tourist Visa", I said "temporary visitor".

I work for a foreign company in Japan. We get foreign contractors here all the time. They are employed by a British contracting company, and are paid outside of Japan. They come in as 3 month temporary visitor. They declare on arrival that they are on business(NOT tourist), and stay for 3 months. If they are required to work for longer, they leave for a week or two, and then come back on the SAME basis.

I asked one of them if this was legal, and they said that is what they had been told to do by the company, and that this was the correct procedure.

by Sandy rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/20 11:22
Sandy essentially a tourist visa and temporary visitor permit is essentially the same thing, one is just harder to get if you aren't visa waiver.

A temporary visitor is allowed to engage in the following acitivites:

Sightseeing; recreation; sports; visiting relatives, friends, or acquaintances; visiting a sick person; attending a wedding or funeral ceremony; participating in athletic tournaments, contests, etc. as an amateur; business purposes (such as market research, business liaison, business consultations, signing a contract, or providing after-sale service for imported machinery); inspecting or visiting plants, trade fairs, etc.; attending lectures, explanatory meetings, etc.; academic surveys or research presentations; religious pilgrimages or visits; friendship visits to sister cities, sister schools, etc.; or other similar activities during a short period of stay in Japan.

Ie. Temporary visitor. However if one is staying continuously by leaving and coming back (ie running the full 90 days, leaving for a few days and coming back for a full 90 days) to Japan while working in Japan, then thats skirting the grey line, doesn't matter if you're paid by a company in Japan or elsewhere.

Also in the other posters case, not your case which I refer to most, if he's doing his sales etc out of Japan then that is probably illegal as well.

There are work visas that allow companies to transfer employees into Japan and work for extended periods of times.

Your original post was essentially incorrect/incomplete because it depends on what type of business and the business manner they are engaged in.

by John rate this post as useful

Consultations 2007/4/20 12:02
I think that the contractors employed by the British contractor company, might be using the "business consultants" part of that clause, which is why they need to be employed by a foreign company.

In any case, I have asked questions here, and those are the responses I have received. I've seen contractors doing this for 6 months or more.....

by Sandy rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/20 12:19
A better way to put it is, lets say I was employed by a company in the United States, I can go to Japan to consult/give advice, or sign a contract, or be there to take part in a business meeting. Thats perfectly legal business.

What would be illegal is if I came over and started working, like building a skyscraper, or doing other services, ie, as a laborer, doing sales etc. or opening my own shop in Japan and conducting business out of japan, That would be outside the scope of a temporary visitor, and again, it doesn't matter if its a Japanese or some other countries company paying me.

by John rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/20 12:27
Also note that if these are British Citizens they are allowed to have an extention up to six months as a temporary visitor.

Many other nationalities are usually not privledged to this. THough people sometimes do a visa run, as the OP was thinking of doing.

by John rate this post as useful

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