Residency track: Checklist for travel to Japan during COVID-19

Japanese nationals: prepare these documents

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

2. Foreigners with residence status in Japan:

Before entering Japan:

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

This is mandatory even if the country you are from is in consultative mode 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 site set up by the Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry.

Upon arrival at the airport, submit:

  • Questionnaire “health report” providing details on the state of health during your trip
  • “Written commitment” by your company justifying your trip abroad (unless you enter as the spouse of a Japanese national)

When 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 return home directly. If the traveler has not taken a PCR test before leaving the host country, they should do so in Japan, using, for example, TeCOT make an appointment and stay home until they get a negative result.

Quarantine: Two-week quarantine at the entrance to the country for all travelers

Conditions: During the first two weeks after entering Japan, travelers must refrain from taking public transport, limit interactions with others to a minimum, respect the submitted schedule, collaborate with the company’s health monitoring, download LINE for health questionnaires and COCOA (the contact tracing application) and keep the GPS information.

To take with: Although officially known as the “Residency Track,” this immigration program has a lot of overlap in its focus 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 Status 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 performed in the host country 72 hours before the flight to Japan if required.
  • “Calendar of activities in Japan” – The form can be downloaded here.
  • Information specifying where you will spend your quarantine – downloadable form here in Japanese and here in English
  • Proof of valid health insurance in Japan, and one that covers you if necessary abroad.

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

The bottom line

After reviewing the requirements of the 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 businesses and individuals must overcome to allow their employees to move smoothly between countries.

One obstacle seems to be the PCR test, which on the whole 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 their return to Japan), it still requires companies to take responsibility for the health of their employees. their return to Japan.

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

When JAPAN Before Asked for comment on possible high barriers for businesses, Seiji Matano, deputy director of the Immigration Ministry, explained:

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

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

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

We’ll be following different aspects of this story, including how to take a PCR test in Japan, so be sure to follow us on JAPAN Before to learn more.

Author: Arielle Busetto

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