questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

dual citizenship kids - from south africa

Dual Citizenship Kids - from South Africa

Hi, there are 4 of us in the family, 1 South African (me), Wife (Japanese) and 2 kids (Dual citizenship) living in South Africa.

We have just ordered our rail passes, and expect to use them, however have just found out that there seems to be no solution for the kids.

Im easy, i get a temp visa to get into japan, so qualify. My wife can get the Zairyusyoumeisyo and get her JR Pass. (Proof she has permanent residence in South Africa)

The problem is the kids.
It says the easiest way to get it for the kids is to enter japan with a temp visa status, but this is impossible, because the Japanese embassy wont issue a visa for them, as they have Japanese passports. Also unlike USA and UK where you can just get a stamp at the airport when you arrive in Japan, South Africa has to actually apply for a visa in South Africa before you leave to go to Japan.

Do you think some kind of Zairyusyoumeisyo for the kids would work? School reports? Any ideas?

Thanks..

iceblademush
iceblademush

Hi there,

This may be a bit of a problem.
Have you read out our eligibility page?, as it always details options for children. Nevertheless it's a difficult situation and I can't answer the question right away.

Please contact us directly at support@jrpass.com so we can have our specialist team look at options for you.

Hope to hear from you!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel, thanks, ive been to the page:
and the page points out:

For dual nationality passengers
If the passenger holds dual nationality with Japan and another country they must enter Japan as a 'Temporary Visitor' using their non-Japanese passport in order to be eligible for the Japan Rail Pass.

But as I said, South Africans cant enter japan, they need a visa, and the embassy wont provide one as the kids have a japanese passport. This is ok for USA, UK citizens as they dont need a visa to enter Japan, they just get a 90 days temp visa when they arrive in japan, not so for South Africans.

We did use the JR pass about 4 years ago and it was fine, but seems as if the rule has changed. We have asked the embassy in Cape Town and they are also looking into it.

I have already spoken to Andia, and she has sent me the latest information you have, but it doesn't specifically answer my question about what we can do if we cant get a temp visa. So was asking in the forums for anyone with a similar problem. I think we are just going to try anyway, failing that, will have to go with the refund option, but we really want to find a solution.

Thanks

iceblademush
iceblademush

Hello again,

So basically your children will enter Japan with their Japanese passports. In that case you would be looking at the following.

If officially qualified to permanently reside in that country

1.) Proof of official permanent resident status (eg: green card or permanent visa equivalent)
2.) Proof of residence outside Japan (eg: letter issued by an official institution with name and address of passenger)

Now 1 is easy as you could show the passport from South Africa for this (if they are not allowed to travel carring 2 passports, bring a photo copy). However part 2 is harder, what you would need is some kind of proof that they are living in South Africa would work. For instance an equivalent of a Zairyusyoumeisyo or some kind of proof that they are registered at the local government / national population register.

This is the best I can give you in terms of advice. Activating a JR Pass under special conditions is always somewhat stressful and can involve a lot of questions. The best thing is to remain calm and explain the situation best you can. This will give the best chance of success.

Good luck with everything, it's also a learning moment for us and I would be grateful if you could give us feedback on how it went.
-Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel,

Yes that is what we will try to do, remain calm while the transaction takes place :P, and hopefully travel for 1 week.

Will let you know how it goes, and what was needed, or wasnt, or if successful. We are going around the 3rd July.

Thanks

iceblademush
iceblademush

Ok just to let you know, it all went through successfully, we went to the Ueno JR office, and showed all the documents, we first did my wife and showed the Zairyusyoumeisyo for her, then casually showed the same for the kids, The lady at reception looked very hard at the visas in the passports, but just say ok after a few seconds. In addition we did this yesterday on the 1st of July, but will activate the JR pass on the 8th, so we have them with the start dates.

So just to summarise, it seems as if a Zairyusyoumeisyo is good enough for kids too.

-Thanks

iceblademush
iceblademush

That's absolutely great to hear! I'm also very glad that it worked out so well. I'll certainly forward this to the rest of them team in case other people may have the same question!

Again many thanks and have a great time in Japan!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
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