UAE nationals will soon be able to travel visa-free to Japan once they pre-register their passport, the Japanese Embassy in Abu Dhabi has announced.
Under the new rules, Emiratis will be able to stay in Japan for up to 30 days once they complete the registration process – for free.
“Obtaining a visa for short-term stay (for sightseeing, business, visit to relatives/friends, etc) will be waived for UAE nationals who possess valid ordinary e-passports issued by the
government of the UAE after the pre-registration of their e-passports at diplomatic missions of Japan (embassies, consulates-general or consular offices) in any country,” the embassy announced.
A certificate of registry will be attached to the passport, which will be returned after one working day.
“Although an e-passport needs to be submitted to a consulate or a diplomatic mission of Japan for pre-registration, the procedure has been much simplified and accelerated,” the statement said.
The registration can be made without any specific travel plans to Japan and can be done by any person designated by the passport holder such as a relative or a driver.
The passport holders can also travel to Japan as many times as they want during a three-year period.
The new rules will be implemented from July 1, after which entry into Japan will be denied unless the visitor has completed the registration of the e-passport in advance.
Emiratis who wish to stay for longer than 30 days will still require to go through the regular visa process, the embassy said.
The new visa programme was announced following the official visit of the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Japan.
Emirati citizens face the least amount of travel restrictions among their peers in the MENA region and have visa-waiver agreements with several nations.
In November, it was announced that UAE citizens will be exempt from an entry visa when travelling to the Bahamas.