We have an update concerning the new Trusted Traveler Program in Japan we previously reported on and it’s not exactly good news for many who wish to apply.
We at LoyaltyLobby ran a test with two ordinary European Passports, one of which is also registered with Global Entry and both got a denial from the Japanese Authorities.
When we reported about the newly opened registration back in January (see here) the process looked easy enough and relatively forthcoming. It also didn’t exactly specify on the website that you absolutely have to work with a local Japanese company for example.
In any case as we outlined in the article the registration steps also didn’t give much trouble as far as registration was concerned.
There is a field applying to U.S. Citizens who also participate in Global Entry and based on the comments some of our readers were able to register as ordinary travelers (non-business or diplomatic related matters).
Then 3 weeks ago I wrote about a backlog of the applications based on information of the program administrator (see here).
In the meanwhile both applications I oversaw received the email that the application has been rejected based on ‘Applicant Ineligible’.
The matter was again discussed at Haneda Airport and based on their information the enrollment of foreigners who can’t provide ties to a Japanese listed company is not possible with the exception of U.S. Nationals who participate in Global Entry.
In any case since there is no fee to pay upfront there is no real loss involved especially since the lines in Japan are usually rather short and processed efficiently.
The way the website is set up and the program is handled however is a complete disaster. If you can just apply for an APEC Card if you’re a national of a participating APEC nation or as a resident of Japan apply for the straight automated gate program which is much easier.
Again, the website itself offers very little explanation as of now of how the enrollment actually works once the background checks are completed. One example is the charge for U.S. citizens that isn’t displayed for other nationalities but applies to everyone. 2200 JPY have to be paid in revenue stamps purchased at a convenience store (Lawson, 7-11 inside the airport).