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Visitor visa

WonkoTheSane

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This year my mother and brother visited and used both of their 90-day temporary visitor visas, though they didn't stay 90 days (my mistakes). The visas are from Jan 1st, 2016 - Mar 31st, 2016 and Mar 4th, 2016 - Jun 2nd, 2016. Yes, I know, they are overlapping but that's where we are and what has been stamped in passports. Neither time did they actually stay the 90 days; however I'm going with the idea that we requested it, were given it, and have effectively used it.

They would like to come back in January to visit. I went to immigration today to check and make sure it was alright and I got some "I think it's alright" answers but no one would commit, nor did they know who I could speak to in order to get a definite answer. Everyone seemed pretty confident, though.

I'm just posting here in case someone knows anything different. The plan is for the family to arrive in Japan on January 1st. They won't have me to help them through immigration at the airport, so I want to make sure everything is as easy and airtight as possible.

Thanks for any info!
 

Glenski

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You're rarely going to get a direct answer from immigration about most questions.
What country are they from? If it's most places, they don't get a visitor visa; it's a visa waiver.

Yes, those dates are less than 90 days each, but just barely. Immigration could conceivably stop them from entering so frequently (three times in a year). They could also conceivably just let them in. If they come to different ports, it might help. If they can somehow prove just what they are planning to see and do, that would also help. There are no guarantees. Since it's been 6-7 months since the last visit, I'd say it's relatively safe. Might depend on their nationality, though.
 

WonkoTheSane

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You're rarely going to get a direct answer from immigration about most questions.
What country are they from? If it's most places, they don't get a visitor visa; it's a visa waiver.

Yes, those dates are less than 90 days each, but just barely. Immigration could conceivably stop them from entering so frequently (three times in a year). They could also conceivably just let them in. If they come to different ports, it might help. If they can somehow prove just what they are planning to see and do, that would also help. There are no guarantees. Since it's been 6-7 months since the last visit, I'd say it's relatively safe. Might depend on their nationality, though.
Thanks, good points, US citizens. Sorry for the incorrect term, likely a visa waiver I imagine.

They're mostly just planning on coming to see me. Mom is retired and disabled (70 years old, in a wheelchair) and my brother is disabled (though not noticeably physically) and only works part time so coming to Japan a couple times per year for three months or so at a time is the plan. I do client meetings three days per week and the other days I just do paperwork I can do from anywhere, so we can wander around and see some interesting things on my (essentially) four day weekends, but we don't have any set plans aside from possibly hopping down to Okinawa for a long weekend.

They'll come in through Narita most likely since it's closer to my apartment than Haneda.
 

nice gaijin

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So, their entry and exit stamps have overlapping dates? That sounds odd, it must be just the validity dates of the waivers...Did they come, leave, and return together?

And anything that seems off may kick off some alarms at the immigration booth. This year I was detained briefly and questioned (albeit in a friendly way) about my activities last year, because I stayed almost the whole 90 days, went to Korea for two weeks, then came back for a month before flying home.

I would try to nail down an answer to be sure that the clock resets on January 1st, so that their time in Japan within a year of this coming visit doesn't count against them. I believe that's how it works (keeps it simpler) but I'm not an authority.

Just make sure they know that because of their visits last year, they may have some extra questioning to deal with, but the purpose of this is to make sure they aren't working illegally. It would be helpful if they knew the exact dates they came and left last year, since it's likely they came BACK on March 4th, which is why the second waiver starts from that date.
 

WonkoTheSane

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So, their entry and exit stamps have overlapping dates? That sounds odd, it must be just the validity dates of the waivers...Did they come, leave, and return together?

And anything that seems off may kick off some alarms at the immigration booth. This year I was detained briefly and questioned (albeit in a friendly way) about my activities last year, because I stayed almost the whole 90 days, went to Korea for two weeks, then came back for a month before flying home.

I would try to nail down an answer to be sure that the clock resets on January 1st, so that their time in Japan within a year of this coming visit doesn't count against them. I believe that's how it works (keeps it simpler) but I'm not an authority.

Just make sure they know that because of their visits last year, they may have some extra questioning to deal with, but the purpose of this is to make sure they aren't working illegally. It would be helpful if they knew the exact dates they came and left last year, since it's likely they came BACK on March 4th, which is why the second waiver starts from that date.
Yes, they requested 90 days both entries, but only stayed about 30 days each time.

I'll have them print out last year's tickets and tell them how to explain it.

Thanks!
 

Petaris

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Hi WonkoTheSane,

On the visa waiver program you just get 90 days. You don't need to request it. They always ask how long you plan to stay but you have those 90 days regardless. I know I have made more than three trips in a year before and it was never any issue but I never stayed more than 20 days at a time.

Immigration will have their actual arrival and departure dates anyway so they will know how long they were in Japan on each of those trips. I doubt they will care about when the 90 days was up unless they went over the limit on one of their trips.
 
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