What is the change? Japan has implemented a visa waiver for United Arab Emirates citizens who preregister their e-passports with the Japanese Embassy or a consulate.

What does the change mean? Once a passport is registered, a “Visa Waiver Registration” seal will be attached to it, enabling the individual to travel to Japan without a visa for stays of up to 30 days for business or leisure. The registration stamp is valid for three years or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate. The program was implemented July 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visa waivers.
  • Who is affected: UAE citizens holding e-passports and traveling to Japan for business or leisure for up to 30 days.
  • Impact on processing times: Preregistration takes about two business days; the applicant’s passport is returned the following day.
  • Business impact: Business travelers making short trips and conducting appropriate non-work activities are permitted to use the visa waiver.

Background: The visa waiver agreement was announced in April and was implemented in July to improve business, trade and tourism between the two countries.

BAL Analysis: The visa waiver is intended to boost tourism and business travel. Travelers are reminded that work activities are prohibited on a visa waiver and instead require applying for and obtaining an appropriate work permit.