Japan launches Trusted Traveler Program

21 Nov 16

JAPAN

IMPACT – LOW

What is the change? Japan has introduced a Trusted Traveler Program that allows qualified business visitors and other travelers to more quickly move through immigration upon arriving at four of Japan’s major airports.

What does the change mean? Those enrolled in the program will be permitted to use automated gates for expedited entry and exit into and out of Japan. The program is available at Chubu, Haneda, Kansai and Narita airports.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. Japan launched the program Nov. 1.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals, including business travelers, who travel frequently to Japan for short stays.  
  • Business impact: The program will make business travel easier and less time consuming for those who enroll.
  • Next steps: Travelers may submit applications and supporting documentation on the Immigration Bureau’s website. Upon first entry, travelers must submit fingerprints and other information as well as hard copies of the required supporting documentation. Once approved, travelers are then registered in the program and may use the automated gates on future trips.

Background: Previously, only Japanese nationals and residents could use automated gates that ease entry and exit procedures at select Japanese airports. The Trusted Traveler Program makes this option available to qualifying foreign nationals. To qualify, foreign nationals must be visa exempt, be able to meet certain travel criteria (e.g., having traveled to Japan at least two times in the past 12 months) and cannot have been subject to a deportation order, among other requirements. Additional information is available on this website.

B·A·L Analysis: The new Trusted Traveler Program may be a good option for foreign nationals who travel frequently to Japan, as it may save significant time for qualified travelers at Japanese airports by allowing them to more easily move through immigration.  

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Japan. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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