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I'm an Indian national, and I want to visit Japan around the start of July for one or two weeks, but I am confused which type of visa would be best for me.

My scenario is that-

  • I am a recent graduate from one of the top Institutes of India.

  • I earn more than 1.5Lakhs (US$1800) a month, but I am a new earner so I don't have the latest ITR with me. I won't be able to get the form 16 from the company by then. I do have other documents though, such as a salary slip, bank statement, etc. This is the main issue!

  • My girlfriend stays there, and I just want to visit her actually.

I am deeply confused which visa would best suit to my case:

  1. "Single Entry Visa for Short Stay for Indian Students"

    • My college is an eligible college here, and it is a relaxation for cases when someone is a student/recent graduate and can't provide financial documents. Since I don't have an ITR acknowledgement with me, I am thinking of this type of visa.
    • I would need to book hotels and all that, while in actuality I plan to stay at my girlfriend's house.
  2. "Children of Individual with Sufficient financial capabilities"

    • Can build upon my father's financial documents?
    • Does anyone have any experience under this category?
  3. "Temporary Visitor Visa"

    • Here the issue is that in the ITR is clearly mentioned among the requirements, and also I would have to book hotels and all. Also, I am a solo traveller, so would it be an issue/suspicious for the embassy?
  4. "Visiting Friends/Acquaintance"

    • This seems nice and relevant, and it doesn't require me to book hotels and all. Does anyone have any (positive/negative) experience with this one?

Which of these types of visa should I apply for? I don't want to get rejected.

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    As a general rule of thumb, honesty is the best policy when dealing with immigration. The worst that can happen if you're honest is that your visa application will be declined. The worst that can happen if you're dishonest is that your visa application will be denied and you'll earn yourself a longtime if not lifelong ban.
    – nikhil
    Commented May 7 at 6:08
  • As an addition to @nikhil comment: We never know to which countries the visa refusal is shared, so if you are dishonest, you may get a stigma on further visa application on (western) countries: they may not trust your application. -- Just apply with the documents you have, and add a note about the reason you do not have ITR or other documents. Commented May 7 at 8:21
  • Yes, I understand this. I wasn't aware. Surely not gonna do anything dishonest or fake. Please can you guys suggest which visa category should I apply. I think my main question now is whether I should apply for tourist visa or visitor visa. I mean I can actually stay in hotels if acceptance there is high. I am very skeptical whether gf/bf relationship is considered under visitor visa(especially for Japan). Also, should I take my parents as guarantor, or should I keep it self sponsored only?
    – Yash Verma
    Commented May 7 at 10:16
  • @YashVerma Having a sponsor isn’t necessarily a positive. It indicates that the applicant doesn’t have sufficient resources of their own, which likely increases the visa issuer’s risk assessment of an application.See this graphic for an example of how that is likely to work
    – Traveller
    Commented May 7 at 11:30
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    @YashVerma TBH (as I am very risk averse with regards to Immigration matters), if I had no travel history, wasn’t sure I have the right paperwork available and/or whether I needed a sponsor, I would have my gf come visit me in India or meet in a country you can both enter. Try reading the Japanese MoFA FAQs for insight
    – Traveller
    Commented May 7 at 13:53

1 Answer 1

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Don’t risk a refusal by over-complicating things.

If the main purpose of your trip is to visit your gf, apply for the appropriate visa. Don’t be tempted to conceal the fact that you have a gf in Japan. Your relationship is a valid and credible reason for your trip - would you be going there at all if the relationship did not exist?

IDK about Japan specifically, but pretending you’re a regular tourist (ie no romantic links) staying in a hotel, when in reality you’re in a relationship with/staying in the home of a resident of the country, can lead to a world of immigration pain if discovered.

  • on arrival would you lie outright to the Immigration Officer if he/she asks where you’re staying? If Japanese hotels have to register foreign guests with the authorities, the hotel might report your booking no-show.
  • during your stay, your lie could come to light if for any reason you attract the attention of the Japanese authorities
  • after your visit, if eg you do want a visa to stay with your gf in future you won’t be able to tell the truth about your previous stay.

Best to tell the truth rather than risk being caught out in a lie that could result in a ban and/or come back to haunt you in the future. IDK about Japan specifically, however there are examples on TSE of approved visas having been revoked as a result of the authorities becoming aware that the visa holder cancelled the hotel booking after getting the visa ie intentionally misrepresented the visit plans. You can of course amend your travel plans but the arrangements should not be materially different.

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    @YashVerma - it sounds pretty dishonest to me, and I suspect to most people. Don't do it. "Visiting Friends/Acquaintance" sounds like the honest approach. Commented May 7 at 10:27
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    IDK about Japan, but IIRC there are questions on TSE about approved visas having been revoked as a result of the authorities becoming aware that the visa holder cancelled the hotel booking after getting the visa ie intentionally misrepresented the visit plans. You can of course amend your travel plans but the arrangements should remain broadly similar. Changing from a hotel to staying with a friend is materially different.
    – Traveller
    Commented May 7 at 11:21
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    @YashVerma if you have a travel history then you should apply the visa to visit your gf. Don’t feel bad about applying tourist visa or visitor it’s all the same as long as you have an honest intention to come back to India. Commented May 7 at 12:06
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    @Yash Japan doesn't particularly inquiry as to the specific relationship you have with that person. There's a spousal relationship, which is important, and anything else falls in the "friend/acquaintance" category. It doesn't matter whether it's a high school buddy or your possible future wife. If actually asked, sure, tell them she's your girlfriend. But it's not a separate visa category or different reason to visit.
    – deceze
    Commented May 7 at 12:20
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    @Yash I don't know what the situation is for Indians per se. If Japan does offer "visiting friends and relatives" as a viable visa category for you and you fit that definition, then go for it. No need to think about any other categories unless you somehow don't fulfil the requirements for that category and need to think about alternatives.
    – deceze
    Commented May 7 at 13:31

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