Important Notice: Easing of Restrictions on Re-Entry to Japan for Foreign Nationals Due to COVID-19/Coronavirus

Newsletter (August 2020) │LAW Practice

“Important Notice: Easing of Restrictions on Re-Entry to Japan for Foreign Nationals Due to COVID-19/Coronavirus”


In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Justice (“MOJ”) had denied foreigners re-entry to Japan regardless of their residence status. However, on September 1, 2020, the Japanese Government announced that it eased restrictions on re-entry to Japan for foreign nationals with a valid status of residence. All foreign nationals with a status of residence who departed from Japan up until August 31, 2020 with a valid re-entry permit and are in possession of a letter of confirmation issued by the Japanese embassy in the country of stay, or who departed from Japan with a re-entry permit on or after September 1, 2020, and are in possession of a Letter of Confirmation of Submitting Required Documentation or a Receipt for Request of Re-entry into Japan issued by the Japanese embassy or consulate in the country or region of stay. In addition, foreign nationals who wish to re-enter Japan must comply with additional epidemic prevention and control measures, which is to take a PCR test to prove a negative test result and present it to the immigration officer in Japan. The PCR test must be performed within 72 hours before leaving the country or region of stay (for detailed procedures, please see this link).


There are also other special exceptional circumstances where foreigners are allowed re-entry such as: when special exceptional circumstances are recognized for individual cases, such as when there are special humanitarian considerations to be made, such as:


  1. It was necessary to leave Japan in order to visit a relative living abroad who was in a critical health condition or to attend the funeral of a deceased relative.
  2. It was necessary to leave Japan for medical treatment at a foreign medical institution such as surgery (including re-examination) or childbirth.
  3. It was necessary to leave Japan after receiving a summons from a foreign court to appear as a witness.
  4. It was necessary to leave Japan for a child or student receiving elementary or secondary education in Japan in order to take entrance examinations or carry out other necessary procedures for admission to further education in their home country or another country, and to re-enter Japan in order to continue to receive such education at the same educational institution in Japan towards graduation (this would apply for accompanying parent(s) or guardians).


Specific examples of cases where permission for entry or re-entry may be granted due to being special exceptional circumstances cases corresponding to individual situation in relation to the measures for denial of landing relating to prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).


Although restrictions on the entry and departure of Japan by foreign residents have been eased, the restrictions remain stricter than for Japanese nationals, as the aforementioned requirements not imposed on Japanese nationals. Company representatives should keep monitoring developments by the Japanese Government to ensure that appropriate action is taken when their foreign employees enter or leave Japan.

Please contact us for an individual assessment.

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