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US Embassies, US Consulates General in Foreign Countries
Processing US Visas

US Consulate General at Osaka/Kobe, Japan
US Embassy at Tokyo, Japan

Non-Immigrant Visa
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. If you can answer YES to ALL of the following questions you may travel to the U.S. without a visa:

  • Do you hold an individual, machine-readable, passport from a Country which is part of the Visa Waiver Program? Visa Waiver Program Countries are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and The United Kingdom.
  • Was your passport issued or renewed before October 26, 2005, OR, if your passport was issued on or after October 26, 2005, does it have a digital photograph? To enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program all visitors need to have an individual, machine-readable passport. Visa Waiver Program travelers with passports issued on or after October 26, 2005 have an additional requirement: their machine-readable passport must contain a digitized photo. A digital photo is printed on the page, not glued or laminated onto the passport. Attention: Machine-readable passports issued or renewed before October 26, 2005 are still valid for travel under the Visa Waiver Program. Passports renewed (at the end of the five-year validity) on or after October 26, 2005 will need a visa.
  • Are you traveling for tourism and/or business only?

  • Are you planning to stay in the U.S. for less than 90 days and have a return ticket? Maximum length of stay of 90 days may not be extended. Failure to depart within 90 days may result in loss of Visa Waiver Program privileges.

If you answer NO to ANY of the questions above, you must apply for a visa.


NIV applicants must bring to the interview appointment the following documents:

  • Pssport: Current and previous passports issued in the past ten years
  • Completed Application Form DS-156. Please complete the on-line version of this form, print it out, and bring all three pages to your interview. Please do not staple your forms together.
  • One photograph. A 5cm x 5cm photo with a white background, taken within the last six months. The head (measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin) should measure between 25 to 35mm with the head centered in the frame facing straight ahead. Glue it to the DS-156. Do not staple the photo to the DS 156.
  • Original Receipt of $100 payable in Japanese Yen. The processing fee is not refundable. Internet banking payments are not acceptable. Please attach the receipt to the back of the third page (the page with the barcode) of the DS-156.
  • Completed Form DS-157. This form is required for all applicants 16 and older.
  • One Self-addressed  "EXPACK 500" envelope.  Since visas are not issued on the same day as your interview, your passport and documents will be mailed to you. The "ExPack 500" is widely available in convenience stores and post offices throughout Japan.
  • Court and/or Police Records. Applicants with an arrest or criminal records must provide a copy of their court and/or arrest record (including cases that ended with an acquittal or pardon) and an English translation of those documents. In the event that there was no trial please bring a letter in English that explains, in detail, the circumstances surrounding the arrest. NOTE: Those who do not have arrest or criminal records do not need to provide any such documents.
  • Clear Plastic Folder. Put all of the documents listed above in a clear plastic folder. If you are submitting an I-20, DS-2019 or I-797 please also place this in the folder. Non-Japanese citizens should also include the copy of their Japanese Alien Registration Card in this folder.
  • Non-Japanese applicants must also include: Valid Japanese Re-entry Permit, Photocopy of Japanese Alien Registration Card (if applicable), Family member passport, evidence of marital status (if applicable).
  • Depending on your nationality, you may be subject to additional fees or requirements.

Additional documents required for specific visa types:

B-1/B-2 Visa
  • Proof of employment or enrollment in school (if applicable)
  • Conference Questionnaire.  If you are a non-Japanese citizen and are attending a conference in the US you must complete the "Conference Questionnaire"
Student Visa (F, M), Exchange Visitor Visa (J)
  • Completed DS-158 application form
  • I-20: For F1 and M1 students the original SEVIS I-20 form must be included. Family members seeking F2 and M2 status need their own I-20 form.
  • DS-2019: For J1 status you must include the original SEVIS DS-2019 form. Family members seeking J2 status must submit their own copies of the DS-2019 form.
  • I-901 fee confirmation.  Students and Exchange Visitors visa applicants need to pay the SEVIS fee before applying for visas.
  • Proof of funds to cover all expenses. This could include bank statements or pay receipts. If you are applying for an F1 visa and planning to study for more than one year, you must bring proof of funds to cover the first year's expenses.
  • School Transcripts.  If you have already studied in the United States you are required to bring transcripts from the schools you attended for the past five years or less in the United States. If you have not attended school in the U.S. yet, you must provide transcripts that cover the most recent three years of studying here in Japan or abroad.
  • Science and technology-related programs or study. Those applicants who are going to the U.S. to follow a science or technology-related course of study must bring a complete CV or resume, a complete list of publications (if applicable), a completed conference questionnaire and a letter of acceptance/invitation to the school or program.
  • If you are applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) you should to bring the original Employment Authorization card together with your I-20 form.
Temporary Worker Visa (E, H, L), Athletes and Artists Visas (O, P)
  • Original  I-797 approval notice: Applicants for H, L, O or P visas need to submit the Notice of Action.
  • Photocopy of I-129 petition (if applicable)
  • Blanket L
  • Proof of employment. Letter of job offer or contract and most recent pay statement from US Company.
  • Form DS-156E: E-visa applicants need to submit an original DS-156E.
  • Dependents of work visa applicants need to submit a copy of the I-797, together with a copy of the principal applicant's visa and birth or marriage records showing relation to principal applicant, if applying separately.
 C1/D Crew Member/Transit Visa
  • A detailed travel plan. Route and approximate dates.
  • Visa: A valid visa for your destination country, if required.
I Visa
  • Employment letter.  Stating employment status, whether the position is permanent or temporary, your purpose of travel and length of stay. The applicant must also bring proof of membership in a professional journalistic organization (such as a press card). Freelance media workers must also submit a valid contract of employment.

Immigrant Visa
Apply in Tokyo

Attorney Representation
Osaka/Kobe: Attorneys should communicate with the consulate via fax or letter. To speak with a consular officer, attorney should send fax the day prior to speaking with an officer. The following day the consular officer will be available to take a telephone call form the attorney between 2:00 and 4:00 pm.

Tokyo: Applicants are not allowed to bring additional people to visa interview appointments. In exceptionally complex cases, attorneys are welcome to request an appointment to discuss issues. Attorneys can inquire into the status of cases by fax: (+81) (3) 5570-5041. If an attorney wishes to appear at the interview, the Embassy should be notified in advance by fax to arrange an appointment time.

Contact Information:

U.S. Consulate General Osaka/Kobe
11-5 Nishitenma 2-chome
Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8543 Japan

Direct: (+81) (6) 6315-5909
24-hr Recorded information: (+81) (6) 6315-5900
Fax: (+81) (6) 6315-5914
NIV Fax: (+81) (6) 6315-5930
24-hr Recorded Information/Appointment Line: (+81) (3) 5354-4033 

American Embassy Tokyo
1-10-5 Akasaka, 1-chome
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420 Japan

General Switchboard: (+81) (3) 3224-5000
Visa Information (24-hr): (+81) (3) 5354-4033
In Japan: 0990-52-6160
Fax: (+81) (3) 3505-1862



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