Last Updated: February 09, 2021
According to a survey conducted by the Global Partnership for Education, Japan’s Education System is ranked among the top 10 countries. With 100% enrollment in primary education and zero illiteracy, Japan’s developed and technology-driven educational infrastructure makes Japan one of the primary destinations for foreign students to pursue their further studies in Japan.
Foreign nationals willing to live and study for long-term (more than 3 months), have to apply for the Japanese Student Visa. To be eligible for the Japan Student Visa, the applicant has to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility (COE), upon receiving the COE, one can proceed with the visa application procedure.
Obtaining the Japanese Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Foreign nationals willing to live and study in Japan for the long term have to produce the Eligibility Certificate while applying for the Japan Student Visa. One needs to send their documents to the education provider to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on their behalf. The COE doesn’t replace the student visa, it is a mere prerequisite to be eligible to apply for the Japan Student Visa. The COE shows that you meet all the requirements set by the Japanese government for foreign students and hence the Japanese Immigration Service has approved your application to study in Japan.
Japan Student Visa Application Procedure
- On getting the Certificate of Eligibility (COE), your school/university/education provider must send it to you so that you can apply for your Japan Student Visa at the Japanese Diplomatic Representative Office (Consulate or Embassy) in your country of origin.
- Some representative offices don’t accept direct visa applications, in that case, one has to contact a registered and accredited visa application agency.
- Submit all your documents along with the visa application to the Consulate or the agency dealing with your visa application. If required, the Consulate officers might call you for an interview or to submit some additional documents.
- Once your student visa application gets approved, you have to go back to the consulate to collect your passport which will make way for your entry to Japan.
Documents required for Japan Student Visa
- The Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
- Valid passport with its photocopies.
- Duly signed copy of Japan’s Visa Application form. One can download a copy of Japan’s Visa Application form from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
- Good quality recent passport-sized photographs with a white background within the dimension of 4cm x 3cm with neutral expression facing straight at the camera.
- Provide proof of past educational qualification or any professional experience relevant to one’s preferred study program.
- International students must provide proof of their financial solvency to live and study in Japan. An international student studying in Japan has to meet the financial requirement of 2 Million Yen for one year. To provide proof of one’s financial stability, documents like a bank statement, letter of scholarship, proof of government financial aid have to be submitted while applying for the Japanese Student Visa.
- Letter of Admission indicating one has been accepted in a Japanese School/University which also includes details and duration of the course.
- In some cases, the Japanese Embassy or Consulate might ask the international students to provide a Letter of Guarantee and a Letter of Invitation issued by one’s education provider.
- One might also have to submit a Letter of Motivation or Cover Letter stating one’s genuine intent for their visit to Japan.
- Japan’s single entry student visa fee is 3,000 Yen.
What is a Japanese Residence Card?
Japanese Residence Card is issued to those foreign nationals who are legally residing in the Japanese Province and have resident status under the Immigration Control Act of Japan. International students carrying a Residence Card while living and studying in Japan are included in the Basic Resident Register of Japan like the Japanese nationals. With a Japanese Residence Card, a foreign student can change their residence status and can also apply for extending their period of stay.
The Japanese Residence Card contains the following information:
- Address of primary residence in Japan.
- Sex, name, D.O.B, country one belongs to.
- Status of residence, duration of stay, and the expiration of the duration of stay.
- Date of issuance and expiration of the Residence Card.
- Permission to engage in activities according to the residence card.
Duration of Japan Work Visa
The duration of a Japanese Student Visa depends on one’s study program and also the duration of the course program.
- Six months
- One year
- One year and three months
- Two years
- Two years and three months
However, one can extend their stay in Japan for 90 days, by applying for the Japan Visa Extension (Extension of the Period of Stay) at the Immigration Office.
Applying for Japan Student Visa Extension
- Duly signed copy of the Japan Visa Extension Application Form.
- Passport and Residence Card.
- Good quality recent passport-sized photographs with a white background within the dimension of 4cm x 3cm with neutral expression facing straight at the camera
- Proof of financial solvency required to continue living in Japan.
- Copy of Registration Card provided by your educational institute.
- Copy of Result Certificate provided by one’s education provider or institute.
Work while Studying in Japan
A foreign national studying and residing in Japan with the Japanese Student Visa has to apply for a work permit from Japan’s Immigration Office. Even with the Japanese work permit, an international student cannot work more than 28 hours a week and is also restricted from working at massage parlors, bars, adult business establishments, clubs, etc.
On graduating and completing the study program, one can change their visa status from student to work. To be eligible for a Japanese Work Visa, one has to obtain a work contract.
Changing of Japanese Study Visa to Work Visa
An international student willing to work in Japan after completion of their study program can change the student visa to a work visa by submitting the following documents at the local Immigration Office in Japan.
- Duly signed application form for permission to change the status of residence.
- Copy of Passport and Residence Card.
- Proof of previous educational qualification or any professional experience.
- Updated CV.
- Proof of graduation.
- School Transcripts.
- Copy of employment contract with all the details.
- Details of employer and the company’s registration number, income statements, and financial statements of the latest Fiscal year.
Types of Japanese Student Visa
- Short-term visa: Foreign nationals who intend to study at Japanese language school can apply for this form of visa. The duration of this visa is 3 months (90 days). Under this form of visa, one cannot engage in any kind of paid work, neither full-time nor part-time. This short-term visa is eligible for those foreign countries that have signed a visa exemption agreement with Japan. Foreign nationals with temporary Japanese visas can also apply for this visa to study in Japan. However, the Japanese language school will not provide any supporting documents for visa applicants to the Japanese Embassy or Consulate.
- Working Holiday Visa: This is one of the popular forms of visa for foreign nationals willing to study in Japan while their visit to Japan. This visa is valid for one year. Before applying for this visa, one has to make sure that their country of origin has signed a Working Holiday Agreement with Japan, hence, one’s eligibility depends on their nationality. Under this form of visa, one has to maintain financial stability along with valid travel and health insurance during their stay in Japan.
- Japan Student Visa: To be eligible for a Japan Student Visa, one has to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the education provider and then apply for the Student Visa. The duration of this student visa depends on the duration of the chosen study program. With this visa, one can change the type of their visa from student to work and is also eligible to work 28 hours a week.
Benefits of Japanese Student Visa
- Financial aid for students: Japanese Universities provide wide variety of Scholarship Programs for international students which makes the education affordable for foreign nationals living and studying in Japan.
- Remarkable Education Standard: Japan maintains a very high education standard, with maximum number of Noble Prize Winners among the Asian countries, Japan does provide world-class education.
- Advanced Healthcare: Japan’s advanced public healthcare sector provides tax free treatments and check-ups, which makes it easier for international students to afford their stay in Japan with minimal expenditure.
- Economically Developed: Being ranked as World’s second largest economy, Japan provides great employment opportunities which help the international students to join the technologically driven economy right after completing their education.