Japan Visa and Immigration

Why was my visa declined?

Not everyone who applies for a visa is certain to receive it. Depending on many factors, it is possible that your visa gets declined. Here are some of the most common reasons why your visa application may get rejected.

Incomplete documents, questionable, or even false information

When you fill in your documents you should make sure that everything you write is correct. If you aren’t certain about some information, contact the immigration office or any other authorized entity to ask questions about the documents you’re struggling with. Do never write false or questionable information on your visa applications. Every visa application is being thoroughly examined and forgery of documents or falsified information will only get your application denied.

Make also sure that you write everything that is asked, and that you provide every necessary documents. Depending on the application, it is possible that they contact you to correct information or add documents. However, in certain cases your visa may be simply denied.

Always tell the truth if you need or are asked to do an interview. If you made an honest mistake by filling the forms and are asked about it, explain that it was just a blunder from your part and provide the right information.

Visa has been denied in the past

It is possible to have certain types of visa denied if you have been denied in the past. The reasons can be those that are listed on this page, or it can be because you have lied on past application. If you have submitted forged documents or written fake information on purpose, future applications (even for different visas) may be jeopardized.

Criminal Record

If you have a criminal history, whether in Japan or any other country, your visa application may be declined. Criminal activity can mean many different things. For example, one of the most common reasons for a permanent visa being declined is for having too many traffic infractions, or just one that was grave enough for the immigration office to decline your visa.

Being arrested in Japan may also be a factor, depending on how long ago and why you were arrested, and what happened after that. If you were arrested but afterwards deemed innocent, released, and cleared of all charges, it should not pose a problem for your visa.

Your criminal history in your own or other countries can play a role, such as a record for drug possession, assault, or even driving under influence. People who have been in prison before have usually little to no chance to get a visa granted in Japan.

Wrong type of visa

Before you apply for a visa, check whether is is the right type of visa for you. As you can see on this page there are many different types of visa for a variety of purposes. Applying for the wrong type of visa is a common reason to be denied.

Think about the exact reason why you want or need to go to Japan. Is it to study? Or for work? Or is it for specific activities? And how long do you need to stay? Asking to stay for longer than is required may be one of the reasons why your visa application can get rejected.

Insufficient funds, unstable employment or sponsor

Some types of visa require that you have a stable job for a certain amount of time. Others may require proof of having enough money to fund your visa and your trip. For example, the permanent residency visa requires a minimum income, which changes depending if you’re married or single, and on the amount of children you have.

If you constantly change jobs, or if you don’t make enough money (meaning you don’t pay enough taxes), your application may be declined. Having your own small company or being self-employed can be disadvantageous in some cases depending on how much you or your business make.

Another reason may be the financial situation of your sponsor. You can be denied if your sponsor has not enough funds, or doesn’t meet the salary requirement. The minimum salary requirement and funds depend on several things such as whether they live in Japan or overseas, and whether they’re retired or not, etc… . If they don’t think your sponsor is legitimate or can take the responsibilities they sign up for, your application is likely to be denied.

Reason of stay is dubious or poorly defined

Visa applications usually require you to fill in a reason for your application. If you ask for a student visa for example, they want to make sure you come here to study and not to do something else, such as going to Japan to work illegally. It is important to clearly explain why you want to study Japanese in Japan, and what you want to achieve with it. Writing that you want to learn Japanese in order to study in a Japanese University, or find work in Japan is fine though.

In order to get a permanent visa for instance would be harder for someone who is single than someone who is married to a Japanese national and have children, as the latter has already a valid reason to request permanent stay.

Unknown reasons

Outside of all the reasons listed above, there is always the unknown. Perhaps your visa was declined because of an administrative mistake, or because of your travel history, or maybe because of something totally different.

My visa application was denied. What to do now?

The good news is that in many cases you can reapply as soon as you get rejected. It is unwise to do so, however, unless you have a good idea of why your application was denied. Try to contact the immigration office and ask why it wasn’t accepted. In some cases, unlike credit card companies, they may give you one or several detailed reasons. It’s always worth to try and ask. Maybe they won’t answer your questions by e-mail or by phone, so it’s best to go there directly and just ask.

Once you know the reason, fix the problem and try again. Sometimes it can take a few tries to receive your visa. Good luck!

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