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Thread: Getting in Japan without return flight ticket

  1. #1
    ケビン Male
    Join Date Jan 2, 2007
    Location Antwerp, Belgium
    Posts 365
    Belgium

    Getting in Japan without return flight ticket


    国際交流パーティー
    Tokyo International Party

    Is it ok for me to enter Japan without a return flight ticket ? Or will they find this suspicious so they won't let me in ?
  2. #2
    Just me Male
    Join Date Aug 20, 2003
    Location Hokkaido, Japan (American)
    Posts 3,403
    Japan-Hokkaido
    Are you coming as a tourist or with a specific type of visa?

    Where are you coming from? Certain countries' airlines may be the barrier, not immigration or customs.
  3. #3
    Banned Male
    Join Date Dec 18, 2007
    Location Cairns, Tropical Queensland
    Posts 577
    Australia
    Is it ok for me to enter Japan without a return flight ticket ? Or will they find this suspicious so they won't let me in ?
    I think possibly the later.

    They are genrally suspicous of foreigners so don't feel like the odd one out if and when you arrive.
  4. #4
    ケビン Male
    Join Date Jan 2, 2007
    Location Antwerp, Belgium
    Posts 365
    Belgium
    I'll be coming as a tourist from Belgium.

    Anyway, I currently do have a return ticket for April 15th. I could just keep this ticket and while I'm in Japan receive my return ticket for 2 months later. It's not that I'm losing money with it cause someone else is paying for my new return ticket.

    Actually, I first tought that I could cancel the ticket and still receive some money but now I'm afraid I haven't chosen for a certain option at the time of order that allows me to do this.

    So this should work right ? My passport will have a stamp for 3 months anyway right ?
  5. #5
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Apr 2, 2007
    Posts 74
    Japan-Tokyo
    You might not have to go as far as loosing money just to be able to show a return ticket. I would check a little more to find out if there is another way. As far as I know there is no strict law saying that everyone without proof a return flight will be denied entry into Japan. The overall impression of the certain immigration officer is important. He might not even ask for a return flight. Definetly you should not tell him you don't have a ticket yet. Knowing the exact return date etc. is better.

    Maybe showing a printout of a reservation (which you would cancel free of charge after entering) would be enough.

    One more thing to consider, today most tickets are paperless e-tickets anyway. It's hard to believe they would refuse entry to whose who don't have a ticket to show them.
  6. #6
    Just me Male
    Join Date Aug 20, 2003
    Location Hokkaido, Japan (American)
    Posts 3,403
    Japan-Hokkaido
    3 months or 90 days, Homer. Depends on your nationality, and 3 months does not equal 90 days, so be careful about overstaying even one day.
  7. #7
    JREF Resident Alien Male
    Join Date Jan 19, 2005
    Location Goodlettsville, Tennessee
    Posts 1,831
    USA - Tennessee
    Glenski is right. Don't chance it or you'll be banned from the country. I have never been asked ro show a return flight ticket, but that could be because it is already in their computer by the airline I flew with. I don' know, but what I do know is DON"T overstay your visa.
    Do What You Love And You'll Never Work Another Day In Your Life!

  8. #8
    Male
    Join Date May 19, 2007
    Location Osaka
    Posts 1,648
    Japan
    There is no way you will be admitted into the country on a one way ticket, even if you have a three year visa. They simply won't let you in, end of story.
  9. #9
    Admin Male
    Join Date Feb 5, 2005
    Location Kobe, Rokko
    Posts 7,156
    Japan-Hyogo
    There is no way you will be admitted into the country on a one way ticket, even if you have a three year visa. They simply won't let you in, end of story.

    uuuh? Even if you have a three year visa... they won't let you in?

    I had a one year visa and a one way ticket.
  10. #10
    Male
    Join Date May 19, 2007
    Location Osaka
    Posts 1,648
    Japan
    uuuh? Even if you have a three year visa... they won't let you in?
    I had a one year visa and a one way ticket.
    I had a three year visa and they would not let me in. I had to then go out and buy a return ticket so it could be entered in to the system. It waas then explained to me that you could not enter with a one way ticket.
  11. #11
    気づいたらカッパだ Male
    Join Date Sep 17, 2005
    Location 南部
    Posts 4,884
    United States
    That might depend on the airport you enter.

    Although I don't remember specifically, I am pretty sure that I am here on a one-way ticket. At least I don't remember throwing out a return ticket (as it would have inevitably expired by the next time I went to visit my "home" country.

    At the time I had a three year visa. (Well, I still do, but it's not the same one.)
    -Insert signature here-
  12. #12
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Feb 19, 2008
    Location Sydney-Manila-Tokyo
    Posts 56
    Philippines

    Is this a problem?

    I cant see this being a problem, particularly if you are getting a Japan Rail Pass. You could argue you intend to exit via Fukuoka via ferry to Pusan Korea, though maybe Korea has that policy. I cant recall it ever being a problem, though I just say I have a Japanese girlfriend, but thenI tend to.
    If you have a Japanese relationship, you suddenly smell like roses.
  13. #13
    ケビン Male
    Join Date Jan 2, 2007
    Location Antwerp, Belgium
    Posts 365
    Belgium
    I've asked for the reference number of my return ticket to the person who's financing it just to be 100 % covered if they ask.

    Thanks for the help.
  14. #14
    後輩 Male
    Join Date Apr 8, 2008
    Location Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Posts 2
    Japan-Hokkaido
    Seems like everyone has a different opinion about the "return ticket". My question is, I'm a Canadian with a 1 year working holiday visa that is due to expire May 19. I will be flying to Australia May 4 and returning May 24. My visa will have expired by then along with my return flight to Canada which I have already extended once. I plan on entering on a 90 day tourist visa. Will I be required to show a return ticket when returning to Japan (Narita)? Is there some sort of card or form I can request at an Immigration office that will allow me to re-enter before I leave? Any help would be appreciated.
  15. #15
    Economist in Residence Male
    Join Date Jul 1, 2005
    Location Chofu
    Posts 200
    Japan-Tokyo
    I'm going to be entering Japan in September with a 1yr "Cultural Activities" visa, and form what I heard, pretty much everyone who enters my program enters with only a one-way ticket.
  16. #16
    Seven Times To Japan Male
    Join Date Oct 18, 2004
    Location Tarzana, California
    Posts 2,394
    United States
    I really don't remember Immigration or Customs asking for my plane tickets to confirm that I have a return flight home. All they wanted was my passport and the card that was completed with the declarations.

    Armand's Rancho del Cielo
  17. #17
    Just me Male
    Join Date Aug 20, 2003
    Location Hokkaido, Japan (American)
    Posts 3,403
    Japan-Hokkaido
    Seems like everyone has a different opinion about the "return ticket". My question is, I'm a Canadian with a 1 year working holiday visa that is due to expire May 19. I will be flying to Australia May 4 and returning May 24. My visa will have expired by then along with my return flight to Canada which I have already extended once. I plan on entering on a 90 day tourist visa. Will I be required to show a return ticket when returning to Japan (Narita)?
    Probably.

    Is there some sort of card or form I can request at an Immigration office that will allow me to re-enter before I leave?
    Not in your circumstances.

    I really don't remember Immigration or Customs asking for my plane tickets to confirm that I have a return flight home. All they wanted was my passport and the card that was completed with the declarations.
    It's the airline you have be concerned about. Unless you have a valid reason (ie, visa) which allows you to stay longer than a tourist, then the airline assumes you are a tourist. Tourists don't stay; they leave, and airlines will often want to see proof of that.

    Japan is also paranoid these days. I wouldn't be surprised if immigration looks more carefully.
    Last edited by Glenski; Apr 9, 2008 at 22:15. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless... Male
    Join Date Apr 20, 2008
    Location Klaukkala
    Posts 57
    Finland
    I have gotten into Japan with a tourist Visa, without having a specific return ticket. I had a return ticket, which I would have to use within a year, I only need to give the airline a call to get a return ticket reserved. They even let me in, even though I clearly stated I would be staying longer than just 90 days(as I did not really know what should I put into the paper for the tourist Visa application as I knew I would be staying there longer than that). The officer just said me to put 90 days in it.

    Before anyone says anything, I stayed there legally that one year I received my pre-college studen Visa few weeks later after the entry. The best was when I left, and of course they looked at the canceled tourist Visa first. The face of the working officer was unforgettable.
  19. #19
    後輩 Male
    Join Date Apr 8, 2008
    Location Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Posts 2
    Japan-Hokkaido
    I'm back in Japan and thought I would share my new found knowledge about the "one-way ticket issue".
    It is the responsibility of the AIRLINE in the country you are departing from to ensure that you have a ticket out of Japan. If you do not have a departing ticket out of Japan, the airline will not let you check in. The airline is at risk of being heavily fined if they allow you to fly to Japan without an exiting ticket.
    Immigration at Narita did not check to see if I had a return ticket.
    When checking in at Brisbane Airport in Australia, they did ask to see my ticket out of Japan, (which I had purchased the day before).
  20. #20
    後輩 Male
    Join Date Aug 28, 2008
    Posts 3
    Canada-British Columbia
    I am a Canadian and leaving to Osaka in 2 days with tourist visa.

    Just phoned Air Canada and they told that you do not need a return ticket to check-in. You just need to explain it to the customs if they ask you.



    ..and you can always say that you are going to book a ferry to Korea at Fukuoka.
  21. #21
    My dirty underwear 900¥!! Male
    Join Date Sep 20, 2003
    Location Tokyo
    Posts 1,762
    Japan-Tokyo
    Contact the consulate near you for a more accurate answer. Also, as everyone recommended above, don't play guessing games with immigration issues.
    -Emoni
    "Been there, done that, came back, going again."
  22. #22
    後輩 Male
    Join Date Aug 28, 2008
    Posts 3
    Canada-British Columbia
    I got in fine last Sunday w/o returning ticket
    again only with a tourist visa

    I even had a desktop computer and LCD monitor with me and had extra luggages coming in by ship which I had to report at the customs even told the customs girl that I came to Japan to marry my gf.
    No question asked regaring returning ticket nor visa
  23. #23
    ケビン Male
    Join Date Jan 2, 2007
    Location Antwerp, Belgium
    Posts 365
    Belgium
    I also came here again with no return flight-ticket and on a temporary visa. They didn't ask a thing.

    It's all about your appearance I've noticed, if you look suspicious they might check you. When I was waiting to pass the immigration booth, I saw one young black guy with rasta hair taken to the office for further investigation. He was probably perfectly ok, but he just looked "suspicious".

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