Japan Citizens ESTA Application: Apply for USA ESTA

ESTA for Japanese Citizens

  • Country: Japan
  • ESTA Required: Yes

The information listed below is of utmost importance for Japanese citizens traveling to the USA.

ESTA stands for Electronic System of Travel authorization. The ESTA is not a Visa, but is part of the Visa Waiver program. Japanese Citizens who want to travel to the USA should familiarize themselves with all aspects of the ESTA.

1. Can Japanese citizens visit the USA using ESTA?

Yes. Every country that is eligible for the VWP is eligible to use the ESTA for travel to the USA.

When traveling from Japan to the USA, for trips under 90 days, Japanese Citizens who meet ESTA requirements, must apply for ESTA instead of a Visa.

Note: If you already have a valid visa, the ESTA is not necessary.

Only citizens of VWP approved countries are eligible for ESTA, citizens of all other countries must have a Visa.

2. Is Japan considered a VWP (Visa Waiver Program) Country?

Yes. Japan is currently a VWP approved country.

There are currently about 39 approved countries, and approval could change at any time. To check current approval status, and find more information on the VWP program, click here.

3. How long does it take to get ESTA approval and when should I apply?

US Customs and Border Patrol recommends travelers apply 72 hours before traveling, but you may apply any time before you board your carrier.

Generally, you should look into applying for an ESTA while making your travel plans and before buying airplane tickets.

For most travelers, the application is processed and an approval made in under a minute.

4. What circumstances require a Visa instead of ESTA?

ESTA is only for citizens of Japan who are traveling by sea or air, staying in the USA 90 days or less, who currently have no valid visa, and who will be traveling within two years from the date they apply for the ESTA.

Japan Citizens will need a Visa instead of an ESTA if:

  • Their travel plans include staying longer than 90 days
  • Citizens of Japan who are dual citizens of Japan and Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.
  • You do not have a e-Passport with readable chip and digitally printed photo
  • Citizens of Japan who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria since March 1 2011, except for military duty and official government duties.
  • You commit a crime of moral turpitude
  • You contract a contagious disease

5. What Japanese citizens should know about passports and the ESTA system?

Two things Japanese citizens should know regarding their passport and the ESTA:

  • An approved ESTA is valid for two years, or until you passport expires if you passport expiration date is less than two years away.
  • Your passport must be an e-passport edition with a machine readable chip containing biometric info and digitally imprinted photo, in order to quality for the ESTA.

6. Can I correct or update my ESTA application?

You can change travel related information such as the airline you plan to use, specific travel dates provided the dates are before the ESTA application approval expires, and hotel.

You will need to re-apply for ESTA if:

  • You receive a new passport
  • You legally change your name, gender or citizenship


If you are a Japanese citizen planning to travel to the USA, apply for ESTA now!

Apply for USA ESTA Today

Further info on ESTA

The ESTA is a system put in place by the government of the United States of America, for use by citizens of VWP approved countries, which meet all ESTA requirements and wish to travel to the USA.

When is ESTA used for travel to the USA?

ESTA is used for travel for tourism or business, of 30 days or less.

ESTA can only be used by citizens of VWP countries who meet all other requirements.

You must have a valid e-passport in order to apply for the ESTA. If you passport will expire soon, it is best to first renew the passport before applying because an ESTA approval will expire if your passport expires.

How long is an ESTA approval good for?

An approval is generally good for two years.

Exceptions include:

  • Passport expiring in less than two years
  • You become ineligible for ESTA any time after being approved, check requirements carefully

You can check to see if your ESTA is valid by clicking here.

If your ESTA has expired you can reapply using this easy online form.

After you apply for the ESTA, you can expect an answer in three days or less.