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Last Updated: January 24, 2024

Japan Student Visa

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' developed, and technology-driven educational infrastructure makes Japan one of the primary destinations for foreign students to pursue further studies in Japan. Japan maintains a very high education standard, with the maximum number of Nobel Prize Winners among the Asian countries.

Choosing a Course

There is a wide range of courses available to students in Japan. Japan's universities offer an extensive variety of courses in numerous academic subjects. The most popular of them all are as follows:

Types of Student Visas and Their Validity

Three distinct categories of student visas are available in Japan. To study in Japan, students must apply for any of the following visas.

Who Needs to Apply for the Student Visa

Japan has visa exemption agreements with over 70 countries/regions around the world. For short-term visits (less than 90 days), these nations do not require a visa. The visa-exempt countries are mentioned in the table below:
Andorra Austria Belgium
Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany
Greece Hungary Iceland
Ireland Italy Latvia
Liechtenstein Lithuania Malta
Monaco Netherlands North Macedonia
Norway Poland Portugal
Romania San Marino Serbia
Slovakia Slovenia Spain
Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom
Australia New Zealand Canada
United States Argentina Bahamas
Barbados Chile Costa Rica
Dominican Republic El Salvador Guatemala
Honduras Mexico Suriname
Uruguay Lesoth Mauritius
Tunisia Brunei (14 days) Indonesia (15 days)
Israel Malaysia Republic of Korea
Singapore Thailand (15 days) Hong Kong
Macao Taiwan Turkey
United Arab Emirates (30 days)
Except for Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates, citizens of all other nations listed are eligible for a 90-day visa-free entry into Japan. However, a valid visa is required for any individual from any nation who plans to enroll in a course lasting longer than 90 days.

Cost of Japanese Student Visas

For a student visa to be issued, certain fees must be paid. For a single-entry visa, the cost is ¥3000, for a double or multiple-entry visa, it is ¥6,000. However, depending on the country and kind of visa, the costs could vary slightly.

Steps to Applying for a Japanese Student Visa

A foreign student must first ascertain whether they need a visa to study in Japan. If so, they should start the process of applying for a Japanese visa. The following steps must be taken by interested candidates:

Applying to a Chosen Japanese School

The first step in obtaining a student visa is deciding which Japanese institution to attend. To be admitted into the institute, the applicant must then submit numerous application forms and supporting documentation. These are the following: Students must contact their institute's authorities to obtain proper knowledge of the documents required, as the required documents and forms may differ depending on the institute.

Obtaining the Japanese Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Upon the candidate's admission request being approved by the institute, the application for their visa will be sent to the Japanese Immigration authorities. After that, the institute will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the immigration authorities. Once the candidate has paid the first semester's fee, the institute will send the COE to them about a month before the course starts. 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 the candidate meets all the requirements set by the Japanese government for foreign students and hence the Japanese Immigration Service has approved their application to study in Japan.

Gathering the Documents and Beginning the Application Process

After obtaining the COE, the candidate must complete the application form and send it, together with the necessary paperwork and fees, to the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in their nation.
Documents Required While Applying for Japanese Student Visa:

Waiting for the Decision

The applicant must wait for the Japanese Embassy's decision after submitting their application. The length of the processing period varies based on the nation, kind of visa, application date, etc. If the candidate's application is approved, they can schedule their trip to Japan.

Upon Arrival in Japan

The students in Japan will receive a card known as a landing card or disembarkation card before they leave the airport. The student will fill out information about their identity. At the airport, an immigration officer will pick up this card. The officer will stamp the student's passport after they have confirmed the accuracy of all the information on the disembarkation card. After that, the students are free to depart from the airport.

Japanese Residence Card (Zairyu card)

The candidate must register their address at the local municipal office within 14 days of arriving in the nation. 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 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.

Japanese Social Security and Tax Number

The student will receive a card containing their 12-digit Social Security and tax number in addition to their residence card. This is a special number that can be used to send money overseas, apply for part-time jobs, or serve as official identification.

Steps to be Taken to Extend the Stay in Japan

International students studying in Japan can only stay for a maximum of 4 years and 3 months. If the student wishes to continue their studies in Japan, this time frame can be extended. The candidate must apply for a stay extension no later than three months before their current stay expires by paying a fee of ¥4,000. Submission of the following documents is required at the Immigration Services Bureau office:

Working while Studying in Japan

A foreign national studying and residing in Japan with a Japanese Student Visa has to apply for a work permit from Japan's Immigration Office. Even with a Japanese work permit, an international student cannot work more than 28 hours a week and is restricted from working at massage parlors, bars, adult business establishments, clubs, etc. During holidays, students can work up to 8 hours a day.
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 Japanese Student Visa to Work Visa

A student visa for Japan can be obtained for a maximum of four years and three months. If a student decides after completing their studies that they would like to work in the nation, they must visit the Regional Immigration Services Bureau or one of its branch offices to apply for a working visa. In addition to paying a fee of $4,000, they must submit the following documents:

Some Things to Remember

Student visa




Australia/New Zealand


Asian Countries