ROSCon 2022 Schedule & Visa Information

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are starting to plan your trip to Kyoto this fall. ROSCon speaker notices went out on Friday and I just posted the preliminary talk schedule. Planning this year was extremely difficult as the program committee had a large number of wonderful talks to choose from and only a limited number of slots. We ended up only being able to accept 34% of all talks submitted; a significantly lower acceptance rate than IROS 2022 or ICRA 2022. As it stands we have planned:

  • Three days of talks and workshops
  • Fifty-Two Talks
  • Four workshops
  • Two rounds of lightning talks
  • One panel
  • One group picture

The following link will take you directly to the ROSCon 2022 schedule. We’ll be updating the website over the next weeks with additional information about the talks and other events as we get closer to the event.

Visas

We have also posted updated Visa information to the ROSCon website. If you are planning to attend ROSCon 2022 in Kyoto, and you are not a Japanese citizen, you will need a visa. Visas are available to foreign business travelers and students can enter Japan as long as they have the proper visa issued by an embassy, consulate, or consular office of Japan.

To make this process easier for attendees the ROSCon organizers have contracted with the JTB Agency. JTB Agency will provide the necessary materials and support for both ROSCon and IROS registrants for a one time fee of 18,000 JPY (~$132 / ~€130) . If you are also attending IROS and have already paid for this support during the IROS registration process, you do not need to purchase it again as the visa will cover a period of 90 days.

To apply for a visa, you must submit the required documents for visa application and your hosting organization’s certificate for ERFS registration to the Japanese overseas establishments in your country/region. The JTB Agency will provide the necessary materials and support to conference registrants if VISA (including ERFS) application fee is paid. Please choose the “require VISA and ERFS support” when registering for the conference to pay the visa application fee. JTB will contact you for further requests afterward.

What is ERFS (Enters, Returnees Follow-up System)?

ERFS is a system used for “online application for foreign nationals,” which is necessary for travelers to enter Japan.

What kind of visa will I receive?

After payment, JTB Agency will help you apply for a business visa. The visa allows you and your accompanying persons to stay in Japan for 90 days, fully covering the conference period. Please contact JTB if you have other requests about visa applications.

Please refer to the following pages for more information.

What does the cost cover?

The visa application costs 18,000 JPY (~$132 / ~€130), which is a standard value charged by JTB. The cost includes paperwork and ERFS registration carried out by JTB staff. They will contact you (by email) for basic information, examine and update your data, and return a list of materials ready to be submitted to your local Japanese oversea establishments. Your duty will be to submit those materials and wait for the visa to be issued. Note that you no longer need to pay visa processing fees to the Japanese overseas establishments in your country/region when submitting your materials. JTB will NOT submit these materials for you. You must submit these materials and wait for the visa to be issued.

What is the process to apply for a visa?

  1. Register for ROSCon 2022
  2. During registration, indicate that you need visa support, and acknowledge the additional cost of 18,000 JPY (~$132 / ~€130).
  3. A representative from JTB will reach out via email to provide support for the Visa process.
  4. Gather all documentation provided by JTB, and return it to JTB so they can review your information and ensure it is ready for processing.
  5. Submit the documents at the Japanese Embassy/Consulate that is local to you; you will need to bring your passport with you and leave it during the processing time.
  6. The suggested Visa processing time is 5 business days, but please allow additional time prior to travel.

How to get in touch with the JTB Agency:

JTB Corp., Western Japan MICE Branch
JTB Bldg. 6F, 2-1-25, Kyutaromachi
Chuo-ku Osaka 541-0056
TEL: +81-6-6210-5405 FAX: +81-6-6210-5423
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Thank you very much for the information @Katherine_Scott! For IROS they’ve provided an email to contact JTB, in addition to their phone number. E-mail might be more convenient for most people living outside Japan. Will there be such an e-mail for people only attending ROSCon?

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Thank you for this information, @Katherine_Scott! I have two more questions that might be interesting also for others:

  1. How can the support by JTB be added to existing registrations?
  2. We have a company-internal service for visas. Is it possible to obtain the necessary letter of invitation independent of JTB’s service? Can it perhaps even provided automatically to all registrees?
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Thanks to everyone for bearing with us through this unusual visa & travel process! Please keep the questions coming and we’ll provide you with all the information that we have.

We’re working on this now and will update everyone here as soon as we have new information.

Each already-registered person will receive an email shortly with instructions for how to add JTB visa support to their existing registration.

At the present time, to receive an entry visa for Japan everyone needs an ERFS certificate, which can only be issued by an organization in Japan. That’s what JTB is helping us with. Depending on the combination of your citizenship and country of residence, you may also need a letter of invitation, which JTB can also provide. Unless your company-internal service is able to issue the ERFS certificate, then I think that you will need to engage JTB’s services, as a letter of invitation on its own is insufficient.

An anecdote from my own recent experience, as I prepared for travel to Japan next week: I obtained a visa from the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco by following their application procedure. I sent them my passport, application form, and ERFS certificate, and I received my passport back, with visa, the following week.

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Hello,

I’ve been going through the ROSCon 2022 Webpage. I’ve a question in the “Hotel Information” section. It is mentioned that “rooms MUST be booked directly through the JTB booking form and are valid only from October 17-21, 2022”.

I would like to know if its mandatory to book the rooms through JTB? or are we open to choose?

It’s not mandatory, you can choose. You can head directly to the website of any of the suggested (or any other) hotels and interface directly with the hotel itself.

Note that booking directly with the hotel may not get you in the room block organised by ROSCon 2022, which can impact the finances of ROSCon. It will also not get you the discounted price.

I have a brief update on the visa application system. As stated above, JTB will be handling the application for the ERFS certificate that attendees will use to apply for their visa. JTB will begin processing these on the 15th of August. If you have applied for visa assistance, you should expect to hear from JTB one or two days after the 15th of August.

Following that, we expect JTB to process applications regularly, taking no more than 5 business days to process an application for visa assistance (probably much less for most people). To ensure you get your certificate on time, please respond quickly when JTB asks for information.

Also note that the certificate from JTB is not a visa! You will need to use it to apply for a visa from your local Japanese consulate or embassy. The time required to issue a visa varies considerably around the world, with a minimum of 5 working days in countries like the USA and considerably longer if you are from a country that does not normally have a visa arrangement with Japan. Apply for your certificate and your visa as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Wilson at kate@meetgreen.com. Please do not contact the JTB office by phone or email directly, as they will not be able to help you.

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