Application Process For Japan’s New Trusted Traveler Program Already Backlogged

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In January we reported that the The Government of Japan has opened the Online Registration Portal for their Trusted Traveler Program which appears to be severely backlogged in dealing with the applications.

Automated Entry was so far reserved for Japanese Passports and foreign nationals with Permanent Residence, Work Permit or other long term stay arrangement so this change was welcome news. 

Just before writing that last article about the new Trusted Traveler Program on January19th (access here) I enrolled myself and was wondering why nothing is moving in the application process.

You can periodically check your application status in the online account.

Since nothing was happening for over 5 weeks I decided to drop the help desk an email to ask what the issue is with the delay.

Thank you for your inquiry.
This is Trusted Traveler Program Information System help desk, Immigration Bureau of Japan.
Please find the answer to your inquiry.

<Inquiry>
Dear sir / madam,

I’d like to request an update in the processing of my application for the Trusted Traveler Program.

My application has been entered more than a month ago and until now nothing has been updated from the administrators side.

<Answer>
We regret to inform you but we cannot verify the status or content of the application at this helpdesk.

Since this is a new system and we are receiving much more applications than expected the inspection process is taking a lot longer.
We apologize for the inconvenience, however we kindly ask for your patience while the applications are verified in order.

Let’s see how long it will take to actually reach the stage of preliminary inspection for this new system. I’m planning to visit Japan for Sakura again at the end of this month but I’m not holding my breath anymore that anything is going to happen in the next 2-3 weeks.

Conclusion

When I applied I received an application number in the high 4000s. I’m not sure that has any specific meaning and neither does it give me any indication about my place in the queue but it sounds pretty high. I wouldn’t have expected Japanese authorities to take this long with the processing considering they are usually quite efficient.

We will keep you updated if anything is happening with this application and how it will progress. Did you sign up for the Japanese Trusted Traveler Program following our article?

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