Japan extended the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) eligibility just when the pandemic began and reinstated it earlier this year when both Sebastian (read more here) and I (read more here) applied and covered our processes.
The registered TTP users can use automated lanes when entering and exiting the country but need to apply for the program before entering Japan and then conduct the secondary inspection and issuance of the TTP card before leaving.
You can access Japan’s website for the TTP here.
The entire program has not been very clearly communicated to potential users, but the guide that previously was only available in Japanese has been translated into English, which allows you to review the requirements and process.
Download (PDF, 1.5MB)
Sebastian’s Application Experience in May:
Experience Report: Japan’s Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) Is Now Open For New Applications & Entry Via Automated Gates
And mine in June:
Japan’s Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) Application Experience
If everything goes as planned, I will enter Japan for the first time using the automated gates in less than three weeks.
The TTP doesn’t really make much sense for an infrequent visitor because the “Preliminary Inspection” takes weeks, and the secondary one, at least in my case, about an hour. Also, you must pay a fee of 2,200 yen in revenue stamps that you must purchase before the card issuance.
I consider this TTP as an “insurance” if there are extensive lines at the immigration upon entry.
My four or five entry experiences since Japan reopened last year have been smooth, but there have been reports of excessive wait time if you happen to arrive when multiple long-haul flights land simultaneously.