Visas for Children and the Elderly

On this page:


In general, the following applicants do not require an appointment or personal appearance at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Japan.


  • Applicants of any nationality who are 0-13 years of age OR 80 years of age or older. 

    In addition, applicants in the following categories cannot apply for a visa by mail and must appear for an interview in person.

  • You are not in Japan
  • You have had an application for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) be denied.
  • You have traveled to Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011.
  • You are a national of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.
  • You have been arrested in Japan, the United States, or any other country.

All immigrant visa applicants and fiancé(e) visa applicants are required to have an interview with a consular official regardless of age or nationality. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan also reserve the right to call in any applicant for a visa interview based on the individual circumstances of the visa application.

Note for Children’s Applications
Parents may apply on behalf of their children who are 13-years-old and under, but they must submit their children’s applications at the time of the parent's visa interview. Furthermore, the child visa applicants must be physically present in Japan. Please note that their children’s information should be added as “Dependent” on the parent’s profile when scheduling an appointment. For visa application procedures, please follow the instruction at Apply for a Visa.

If one or both of the parents have already obtained their visas, they may send their children’s applications by mail. Please follow the steps below.

How to Apply

Step 1
Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully and complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes. The call center cannot help you complete your DS-160. You will need your DS-160 number to book your appointment.

Step 2
Once you have determined the correct visa type and completed the DS-160, you must pay the visa fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in US dollars and native currency.

To pay your visa fee, read the Bank and Payment Options page. This page explains how to make your visa fee payment.

You will create a profile and must keep your receipt number to submit their application via mail. If you already had your profile for your previous visa, login to your profile and click “New Application/Schedule Appointment.”

Note: Student and Exchange Visitor visa (F/M/J) applicants may be required to pay a SEVIS fee. Information here:

Step 3
Now you will need to login to your profile with the same credentials you used to pay your visa fee. Once you are in the system, you will see your dashboard.  Choose “Continue” and at the end of the steps, print out the “Mail-in/Renewal Confirmation Letter”.

Step 4
Please refer to your specific visa category page for additional required documents.

Step 5
Japan Post sends you a pre-addressed (to the Embassy or Consulate) envelope to submit your documentation. You should receive the envelope in a few days. Please contact here if you do not receive the envelope in a few days.

Step 6
Mail the documents shown below and this slip in the sealed, pre-addressed Letter Pack Light envelope to a Japan Post office.

Note: Although each family member will receive a separate letter-pack envelope, please put all family members’ visa applications in one envelope and enclose the unused letter-pack envelopes.

  1. Your DS-160 confirmation page
  2. One color photograph 2"x2" (5cmx5cm) taken within 6 month against white background (Please attach your photo upside down on the upper left corner of DS-160 confirmation page). This web page has information about the required photo format. *Please note applicants are not permitted to wear eyeglasses in photos.
  3. Your current and prior passports issued within the past 10 years (You must send the passport with the previous visa in it.)
  4. Required supporting documents for the type of your visa (See here for the Visa Types) 

Step 7
Japan Post will deliver your documents to the Embassy or Consulate.

Step 8
Japan Post will return your documents and your passport to you at your chosen document delivery address. If issued, your passport will contain your visa.

Important Note:

  • The use of the mail-in service does not guarantee visa issuance.
  • The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan also reserve the right to call in any applicant for a visa interview based on the individual circumstances of the visa application.
  • When additional documents are necessary or personal interview is required, you may be contacted by email or phone. Please check your email regularly after you mail the application.
  • Below are the average processing times; however, depending on the case, it may take additional time for processing.
    U.S. Embassy Tokyo: 7-10 business days
    Consulate General Osaka: 2-3 weeks

Track Visas for Children and the Elderly Documents

To track your document to the Embassy or Consulate, you must peel off the tracking sticker (Sender to Retain) on a pre-addressed envelope before mailing in your documents and keep it for your record.

You may track the location of Visas for Children and the Elderly Documents with the Track & Trace Service which can be found here.