• Hello Tokyo Couchsurfing community!

    Towards the end of this month, a friend & I will be traveling to Tokyo for an internship/volunteer opportunity. The organization we're working with is a wonderful cause (animal rescue/shelter) and, of course, having the privilege & honor to experience this incredible city has us very excited!

    Regarding visas, we enquired at the US embassy, who said we'd be awarded a 90-day visitor visa automatically upon entry into the country. This poses an issue, as the program we are working with has a mandatory commitment of 6 months! The organizations says we can apply for an extension while in the country, but I've not been able to find confirmation of this online. So, we're wondering if any fellow couchsurfers can point us in the right direction = )

    Any info is welcome, thanks in advance for your time!

    -Abbey
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    Hi Abbey,

    I'm afraid I don't know anything about applying for a visa within the country, but as I am also doing an (unpaid) internship in Tokyo and can tell you that I am doing so on a 'cultural activities visa' which is actually valid for 5 years with a maximum single stay of 1 year. So if you can get one of those you will be fine. By the way, don't waste your time with the US embassy, its the Japanese one you want to be dealing with! Only issue I can foresee is that to get that visa, you need a certificate of eligibility which your host organization would probably apply for on your behalf. That can take a while. You might also need to leave the country and re-enter (I know people on other visas who did so by making a trip to Korea or Hong Kong).

    Hope that helps. Good luck with your internship, as one of the few vegetarians in Tokyo I like the sound of an animal shelter :)
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    Mugi, thank you very much for that link, it yielded much useful info!


    Robert, I've read about the 'cultural activities' type visa, it seems that may be an ideal option. I'll get in touch with the Japanese embassy, hopefully they'll be able to provide some additional info on it.

    I saw from your profile that you're studying in Amsterdam at the moment, I just spent 6 months there, amazing city! Thanks for the helpful info, cheers!
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    Ah that's out of date, I get around too! You're very welcome.

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