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Japan to scale back “exemption” visas for foreign entrants

  • December 3, 2021
  • , Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Nikkei wrote that the GOJ will temporarily invalidate special visas issued to foreign nationals who meet certain conditions to curb the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Japan halted new foreign arrivals on Nov. 30 but has issued visas to people with “special circumstances.” However, the government announced on Wednesday that it will tighten its definition of “special circumstances,” narrowing the scope to those traveling for diplomatic or other special purposes. Visas issued under the previous criteria will be temporarily invalidated and foreigners wishing to enter the country during the one-month suspension will be asked to reapply. The refiled applications will be processed according to the new criteria. Around 10,000 people were admitted to Japan under “special circumstances” in October. Under the new criteria, visas will only be issued to family members of Japanese nationals, diplomats, and those entering Japan for humanitarian or public interest reasons, and the government is planning to tighten restrictions for the entry of people involved in music, sports, and art events, which were included under the previous criteria.

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