Residence Track: Checklist for Traveling to Japan During COVID-19


Japanese nationals: prepare these documents

  • An attestation of a valid negative PCR test carried out in the host country 72 hours before the flight to Japan, unless you fall into one of the exceptions. If your trips are less than seven days, a PCR test on return booked through TeCOT is possible, for example.
  • “Health Report” – A sample can be found here in Japanese, and here in English.

2. Foreigners with residency status in Japan:

Before entering Japan:

  • Monitor your health for 14 days before returning to Japan.
  • Have a valid negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding your return flight to Japan.

This is necessary even if the country you come from is under surveillance level two.

If the trip is less than seven days, travelers are allowed to take the PCR test after returning to Japan at their own expense using, for example, TeCOT, the PCR reservation website set up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Upon arrival at the airport, submit:

  • ‘Health report’ questionnaire providing details of health during your trip
  • “Written commitment” by your company justifying your trip abroad (unless you are entering as the spouse of a Japanese national)

Upon entering Japan:

  • Of level three country: you must take a PCR test at the airport upon arrival.
  • Of level two country: For a trip of less than seven days, travelers can go directly home. If the traveler has not taken a PCR test before leaving the host country, they must do so in Japan, using, for example, TeCOT make an appointment and stay home until they test negative.

Quarantine: Two-week quarantine upon entering the country for all travelers

Conditions: During the first two weeks after entering Japan, travelers should refrain from taking public transportation, keep interactions with others to a minimum, adhere to the submitted schedule, cooperate with the health monitors of the business, download LINE for health questionnaires and COCOA (the contact tracing app) and keep GPS information.

To take with: Although officially known as the “Residence Track”, this immigration program has many overlaps in purpose and practice with the Business Track. However, the residency track is applicable to more countries. It has fewer requirements, especially for Japanese citizens, and therefore allows more flexibility for the traveler.

Non-Japanese: prepare these documents

  • “Health Report” – A sample can be found here in Japanese, and here in English.
  • “Written Commitment” – The form for regular business trips is here; for short business trips, here.
  • A certificate of a valid negative PCR test carried out in the host country 72 hours before the flight to Japan if necessary.
  • “Japan Activity Schedule” – The form can be downloaded here.
  • Information on where you will spend your quarantine – downloadable form here in Japanese, and here in English
  • Proof of health insurance valid in Japan and which covers you if necessary abroad.

You must have a smartphone to download two apps: LINE (for the Ministry of Health health questionnaire) and COCOA, the contact tracing app. You must keep the phone’s GPS information for 14 days.

The essential

After reviewing the requirements for new travel programs in Japan – whether your trip is Business Track or Residence Track – what conclusions can we draw?

While some of the new standards are designed to encourage business travel, there are several hurdles companies and individuals must overcome to ensure employees move smoothly from country to country.

One obstacle seems to be the PCR test, which overall is still expensive in Japan.

Additionally, although the Business Track allows travelers to waive certain requirements (such as quarantine and the second PCR test upon re-entry to Japan), it still requires companies to take responsibility for the health of their employees at their return to Japan.

For foreigners with resident status in Japan, all three itineraries require a written commitment from the company to justify the trip, unless the traveler resides in Japan or is the spouse of a Japanese national.

When JAPAN Striker Asked for a comment on possible high hurdles for businesses, Seiji Matano, the deputy director of the immigration department’s prosecutor, explained:

Along with the restoration of international exchanges of people inside and outside the country, we must take precautions to avoid the rise of [COVID-19] infections inside Japan. To achieve this, we believe that it is necessary to apply new infection prevention measures (such as 2-week quarantine, PCR tests and written undertakings from companies).

There are signs that travel may become easier over the next few months as Japan is currently negotiating the introduction of the Business Track and Residence Track with Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Macao and Mongolia, according to Mr. Matano.

At present, there is no readily available data on how many companies have used this program, and only time will tell if business travel will become easier with practice and flexibility. additional standards.

We will be following different aspects related to this story, including how to take a PCR test in Japan, so be sure to follow us on JAPAN Striker to learn more.

Author: Arielle Busetto


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