Japan on Friday began to accept online applications from sponsors, including universities and companies, looking to gain entry permission for foreign students and businesspeople ahead of Tuesday's loosening of the nation’s stringent entry restrictions.

The sponsors will be required to share the entrant’s information via the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS), which is overseen by the health ministry.

Notifications of successful applications will be sent to sponsors. Visa applicants will then be able to apply for a visa at their nearest Japanese embassy or consulate.