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News & Events: Client Advisories

Japan Closes Border in Response to Omicron Variant

Practices: Immigration

In response to the new Coronavirus Omicron variant, Japan is once again limiting entry into Japan to Japanese citizens, their spouses and children, and certain essential workers until December 31, 2021.

Accordingly, Japanese Consulates abroad have ceased issuing visas, except under limited circumstances. The Japanese government has also returned to a 14-day quarantine period, moving away from the previously announced 3-day quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers. A COVID test taken 72 hours prior to arrival, as well as a second COVID test taken upon arrival will still be required.

In response to complaints and criticism from Japanese citizens living outside of Japan, on December 2, 2021 the Japanese government retracted its request to airlines to halt booking new reservations. This retraction comes 24 hours after the Government first requested all airlines to halt new bookings in an effort to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. However, the Government will work with the airlines to limit the number of daily arriving passengers, and may implement further measures.

As a result, for persons who were planning on returning to Japan to renew their visas, an alternative may be to file an application to extend their stay with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, if they are eligible.

We will provide additional information on travel to Japan as updates becomes available from the Japanese government.

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