I am an Indian citizen and currently staying in United States on J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. I will be traveling from Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) to New Delhi (India) on 19th July. I have a layover of 22 hours at Narita Airport. I do not plan leave the terminal, both my incoming and departure flight are from Terminal 2 at Narita airport. I have booked the flights through Japan Airlines.

Will I be requiring a transit visa?

I have heard of some rules change at Narita Airport, hence asking this as a separate question.

Also, if the visa is required is it possible to get it at on arrival at NRT or do I need to apply for visa at the Japanese Embassy at Houston?

  • I have already tried asking the Narita Airport staff, but they don't have information regarding it. I have heard rules are changed recently, that is why I have posted this as a new question.
    – bonacci
    Jul 7, 2016 at 18:07
  • Hi David, Thanks for your comment, but that answer seems to be 5 year old, and I have heard about some recent rules change. I asked the question again, hoping that any one who traveled recently will be able to help.
    – bonacci
    Jul 7, 2016 at 19:39
  • I have not heard of any recent change.
    – fkraiem
    Jul 7, 2016 at 20:44
  • @fkraiem Well, I called Japan Airlines to ask about the transit visa requirements, they told me that the rules been changed so it would be better to confirm with Narita Airport Staff, and when I emailed the airport officials they replied that you need to confirm with embassy. I haven't yet received a response from embassy of japan.
    – bonacci
    Jul 7, 2016 at 21:21
  • 1
    Not a duplicate. This one is about transit with the intention to stay airside, the suggested dupe is about venturing landside. Voted to leave open.
    – mts
    Jul 12, 2016 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


No, you will not need a transit visa to connect at Narita.

However, the transit area closes at night, so if your flight departs the next day you will Need to enter Japan and spend the night there.

This should be no Problem, because by presenting your passport and boarding pass you will get an entry sticker allowing you to stay for 72 hours (this is called a Shore pass, and is for People with connections that are not possible on the same day).

This is the information that the airlines have (it's a database called Timatic).

Don't trust embassies: they often have outdated info, or sometimes outright don't know what they're talking about. An example is the Japanese embassy in Delhi, which doesn't even mention the existance of the Shore Pass on its website, instead saying all Indians Need a Transit visa

  • ,Thanks a lot for the information. Yes, my flight departs on the next day and will have to get a shore pass if that's case. I would like to confirm one more thing, do I need to apply beforehand somewhere(embassy) for a getting a shore pass? Thanks!
    – bonacci
    Jul 7, 2016 at 21:34
  • 3
    I'm very surprised by your advice not to trust embassies. The ultimate, near-irrefutable source on who can or cannot enter Japan is the Japanese government. The Japanese embassy is an agency of the Japanese government. In contrast, airlines and airports are not authoritative and may be expected to give overly cautious advice (e.g., telling you that you need a visa when, actually, you don't), to cover their own asses. Do you have any evidence for your claim that embassies are unreliable in this regard? Jul 7, 2016 at 21:39
  • @bonacci Nope, a shore pass is not a visa, just a temporary visa exemption for Transit passengers. So just show your passport, Boarding pass, and be ready to answer some questions (they may want to see that you have enough Money to cover your stay), and it's pasted into the passport. It's similar to the Stickers I (being Swedish) get, only it's called a Shore Pass, is only valid for 72 hours and is only for your Kind of case
    – Crazydre
    Jul 7, 2016 at 21:51
  • 1
    @Crazydre, Thanks man! for your help, I was really confused, but now I don't have worry about all this. Just to reconfirm, Indian citizen can get this shore pass right?, It is not necessary to be a citizen of the country with which Japan has signed VISA waiver program?
    – bonacci
    Jul 9, 2016 at 18:16
  • 1
    @bonacci Shore passes are for People who do Need a visa to actually visit Japan. I, being Swedish (we do not Need visas to visit Japan), automatically get an entry sticker valid for 90 days; the Shore pass is a Special sticker for only 72 hours, only for People like you who do Need a visa to visit Japan but who only Needs to stay overnight for a Connection.
    – Crazydre
    Jul 9, 2016 at 19:18

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