Student Visa In Japan

Student Visa In Japan: The Ultimate Guide 

Embarking on a journey to study in Japan begins with navigating the student visa process. Are you looking for assistance to kickoff your Japan journey? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered!

This guide is your first step towards understanding the essentials of securing your gateway to a world-class education in the Land of the Rising Sun. From paperwork to procedures, we cover all you need to know to make your dream of studying in Japan a reality.

Let’s dive in!

What Are The General Conditions And Eligibility Criteria For A Japanese Student Visa?

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Japan has a general visa exception arrangement with approximately 50 countries worldwide. 

If you are a citizen of one of those countries and need to visit Japan for a short period, you can stay visa-free for 90 days

However, all international students need a Japanese student visa during their stay in the country. To obtain a study visa, your admission university needs to be the sponsor.

Remember that you are not allowed to work during your studies unless you get permission from the university or immigration office, and you are allowed to work for a particular amount of hours per week.

Students should have one of the following assets:

  • International students must have a 10+2/Diploma or equivalent education from a recognized board with at least 60% of marks.
  • Passing the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)
  • IELTS – 6.5
  • TOEFL iBT – 85

There is a general criterion that an applicant to get a student visa and study in a Japanese university must be 18 and under 30 years old, except for the teaching course. 

In general, anyone wishing to study in Japan for an extended period may apply for a student visa. The requirements for eligibility can change based on the kind of school and the particular course. 

Who Can Apply For A Study Visa In Japan?

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The following are the main groups of people who can apply for a study visa to Japan:

  • College Students: Those granted admission to a postgraduate or undergraduate program at a Japanese institution.
  • Students At Language Schools: Those who intend to enroll in a Japanese language school in Japan.
  • Students In Vocational Schools: Those who want to study in Japan for a technical or vocational education program.
  • Students At The College Of Technology: Students admitted to a Japanese college of technology.
  • Students At Professional Training Colleges: People who were enrolled in a Japanese professional training college.
  • Learners Of Japanese Language: Persons participating in a Japanese language training program.
  • Pre-College Students: Students enrolled in a pre-college program to prepare for university entrance.

Do You Need A “PR” For Studying In Japan?

You can study in Japan on a student visa without having permanent residency (PR). Most international students in Japan hold a student visa.

After arriving in Japan, you will receive a residence card, a crucial identification document for your stay.

It’s crucial to remember that a student visa is usually issued for the length of your academic program. 

Suppose you intend to continue in Japan after finishing your studies. In that case, you are to apply for a new visa or an extension based on your circumstances, such as obtaining a job or continuing your education.

What Are The Types Of Visa That Allow You To Study In Japan?

Listed below are the visas that allow you to study in Japan:

Short-Term Visa

Language school students may obtain a short-term student visa (for the purpose of learning the Japanese language. 

If your country is part of the visa exemption agreement with Japan, students can come to Japan without a visa (for 90 or 180 days). 

Those wishing to stay in Japan temporarily may apply for this visa or come without one. 

Also, those students who could not file for a regular student visa by the deadline may apply for this visa (or come without a visa) and stay in Japan until the next enrollment period. 

Exempt Countries

Japan has taken measures concerning visa exemption with a number of countries and regions. As a result, students from most countries can take regular courses without a visa.

However, those from countries not on the agreement must obtain a short-term permit.

Student Visa

The student visa in Japan is a long-term visa. It facilitates international students to pursue education in the country. All the higher educational institutions in Japan accept visas, like schools, universities, and vocational institutions.

Anyone who wants to study at an educational institution in Japan has to have a student visa.

Those wishing to study in Japan will stay under “student visa” status. With a student visa, you can stay for 1 year, with the option of extending up to 2 years

Students studying Japanese for more than 20 hours per week and over 6 months may apply for a student visa.

Part-Time Jobs

After the issuance of a work permit by the immigration service, a person possessing a student visa can find work not exceeding 28 hours per week (you can work up to 8 hours a day during school-long vacations.

Working-Holiday Visa

Some countries can receive a working holiday visa for 1-year to come to Japan. This allows you to work in Japan without any time limit and receive it to study. 

To know if you can obtain this visa, consult the home page of the Japanese Embassy of your country. Joining the school with this kind of permit doesn’t require a lot of documents.

General Visa

This visa allows attending study-related institutions for college students, pre-college students, etc.

This visa also allows cultural activities such as unpaid internships, people studying the tea ceremony, Japanese flower arranging, etc.

It also allows training, such as trainees in a local government, etc.

Other types of visas will allow you to study in Japan without restriction, such as a working visa, spouse visa, and dependent visa.

How To Apply For A Japanese Student Visa?

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The application process for applying for a Student Visa in Japan is divided into two parts:

  • Obtaining the Certificate of Eligibility
  • Submitting the Japan Student Visa application

Obtaining the Certificate of Eligibility in Japan:

Every foreigner entering Japan for non-temporary reasons must get a Certificate of Eligibility from the Immigration Services in Japan. 

Since you have to get this before you enter Japan, your school handles the COE application on your behalf. 

The purpose of the Japan Certificate of Eligibility is to show that you have the approval of the Japanese Immigration Services and that you meet the entry requirements set by the Japanese government for international students.

After you receive the Certificate of Eligibility, your school has to send it to you so you can use it to apply for a Student Visa from a Japanese Consulate or Embassy in your country. 

You are obliged to follow the steps listed below:

  • Contact a Japanese Embassy or Consulate near you. 
  • Collect the required documents for a Japan Student Visa:
    1. Student Visa Application Form
    2. Your valid passport, along with photocopies of it
    3. Passport-size pictures with dimensions of 4cm x 3cm, taken within the last three months, and have a plain white background without any patterns and shadows.
    4. The Certificate of Eligibility
    5. Letter of Admission into the Japanese educational institution, indicating the duration and details of the course
    6. Previous academic and/or professional qualifications, as applicable (diploma, transcripts, etc.)
    7. Proof you can meet the financial requirements for your stay in Japan. The financial requirements for a Japanese Student Visa are about 2 Million Yen for one year
    8. You can show that you meet the necessary financial requirements through bank or income statements, proof of a scholarship, or financial aid.
  • You can also show a Sponsorship letter, your sponsor’s proof of income, and bank statements.
  • Submit the Japan Student Visa application directly at the Embassy/Consulate or the travel or visa application agency. 
  • If the Consulate or Embassy considers it necessary, you may also have to go back for an interview or to submit additional documents. The interview with a consular officer typically lasts just a few minutes. However, You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours. 
  • Collect the visa. 
  • Once your Japan Student Visa application has been processed, you must return to receive your passport. If the application is approved, you may enter Japan.
  • The Japanese Certificate of Eligibility application process takes one to three months. Accordingly, it’s suggested that you apply for this visa beforehand.

If required:

  • Letter of Invitation and Letter of Guarantee issued from your educational institution
  • A Motivational or Cover Letter, written by you stating the reason for your travel

What Are The Essential Things To Know As A Japanese Visa Applicant And/Or Holder?

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Here is some additional information that may prove to be helpful:

  • Be cautious about your passport validity as it needs to be valid for your entire period of stay, including the expected extended period
  • Bear in mind that an incomplete visa application can be refused
  • Don’t take anyone with you to the Embassy or Consulate during a visa interview
  • Every applicant is authorized to take legal actions against the embassy or consulate’s decision on her/his visa application
  • Getting your Visa For Study Purposes is more important, than a Tourist Visa, as you have the opportunity to get a residence permit once in Japan as a Tourist Visa cannot be extended further in case you need to stay longer
  • Make sure for your trip to Japan to be scheduled early enough so you will have the needed time to enroll in university
  • Original documents can be required upon arrival at the airport
  • The Landing Permit replaces the visa and facilitates the candidate’s legal stay in Japan.
  • If the candidate enters specific airports, they will receive a Japan Residence Card upon entry. If the candidate enters through other airports, they can obtain the Residence Card at the municipal offices of Japan.
  • If the candidate wants to leave and re-enter Japan during the validity of their visa, they can apply for a Re-Entry Permit of Japan at the local Immigration Office in Japan.
  • The application form can be downloaded freely on the website of the Embassy or Consulate in your country
  • The passport remains at the Embassy / Consulate during the entire process of visa proceeding
  • Visa Fee will not be reimbursed in case of visa refusal

What Is The Student Visa Fee And Processing Time?

A Japanese single-entry visa costs around 3,000 5,000 yen, a double-entry or multiple-entry visa costs around 6,000 yen, and a transit visa costs around 700 1000 yen.

A Japanese study visa is issued within 2 to 4 weeks. Japan welcomes international students to study various courses like graduate degrees, postgraduate degrees, and master’s degree courses. 

As the visa success rate is up to 95%, there is less chance of rejection.


As we conclude our guide to obtaining a student visa for Japan, remember that this is just the beginning of an enriching educational adventure. Armed with the right information and preparation, your journey to Japan is within reach.

Embrace the process, anticipate the cultural richness, and get ready to step into a world of academic excellence. Your Japanese educational odyssey awaits!

Education Awaits!

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