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Humanitarian Visa Process for Non-SOFA Family Members Visiting SOFA Members in Japan
Due to ongoing safety and mitigation measures, individuals who are not residents of Japan or stationed in Japan under Status of Forces Agreement orders are not permitted travel entry into the country. However, for SOFA personnel with non-SOFA family members, an exception to travel may be made to permit entry for hardship/humanitarian reasons, such as childcare assistance or deployment support from family.
As such, substantiating reasons as to the exception must be made when applying for a Japan travel visa, and below are the steps/information for doing so.
Visa Information - Embassy of Japan in the United States
Visa Information - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
FOR VISITING RELATIVES OF SOFA MEMBER STATIONED IN JAPAN: SHORT-TERM TRIP
*Relatives planning to visit a U.S. military family in Japan must first apply to the nearest Japanese consulate for a temporary visa
between six and 12 weeks prior to their planned departure date. Temporary visas are valid for three months.*
o 1x Visa application form (sample)
o 1x Photo (2” x 2”)
o Statement of Reasons: why you need to go to Japan now (Any form)
o 1x Invitation letter & Written Pledge
- Japanese: Invitation Letter & Written Pledge
- English: Invitation Letter & Written Pledge
*Inviter must reside in Japan.
*You can bring a copy (printed paper), no signature required. You do not need to submit a written pledge.
*Please write full information of your inviter; do not write “same as guarantor” on a section of “Inviting person.”
o 1x Copy of inviter’s Photo ID (e.g., Passport, Driver’s License)
o Proof of your relationship with inviter (e.g., Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate etc.)
o 1x Copy of inviter’s PCS orders
Embassy of Japan Visa Application Procedures