If you intend to study in Japan, you will need a student visa. A Japanese student visa is a long-term visa that requires an Eligibility Certificate. Although Japan exempts some countries from obtaining short-term visas, there are no exceptions for long-term visas. In the following, we will learn about student visa information such as application form, processing time, costs, validity period, extension, and other details.

What are the Japan student visa requirements?

Applicants for Japanese student visas must provide the following documents:

  • Applicant’s valid passport with its photocopy
  • Photo of the applicant: it should be 4 * 3 cm, on a white background, and without any shadows. The applicant’s photo should be taken within the last three months. The person’s face must be perfectly visible, and the image quality must be clear.
  • The Eligibility Certificate
  • A letter containing information related to the applicant’s educational institution in Japan, length of study, and other details
  • Applicant’s previous qualifications must also be provided.
  • Applicants must prove that they can cover their living expenses in Japan. On average, a student in Japan spends about two million yen within a year. To determine your financial ability, you must provide the following documents:
    • Bank statement
    • Scholarship documents
    • If you receive financial assistance, you must provide the relevant documents.
    • If someone is financially supporting you, you must prove your financial viability through a bank statement.
  • Provide a cover letter explaining your motivation for the travel to Japan
  • If necessary, an invitation issued by an educational institution in Japan may also be required.
  • You will also need to submit some of your documents to your school so that they can apply for an Eligibility Certificate.

Keep in mind that the applicant for Japan student visa is not allowed to send documents online. Your documents must be printed on A4 paper. This list is not comprehensive. You should consult with the Japanese consulate or embassy to find out more about the documents to be submitted.

How is the Japan student visa application process done?

The student visa application process is done in two general steps:

Step 1: Receive a Certificate of Eligibility

Step 2: Submit the student visa application

First step:

Any foreigner who intends to enter Japan for non-temporary reasons needs an Eligibility Certificate. The Japanese Immigration Service issues this certificate. Applicants will need this document before entering Japan. Therefore, the educational institution in Japan will apply for it on behalf of the applicant. To do this, you must provide the required documents to the institution.

Obtaining this certificate shows that the Japanese Immigration Service has approved you. But having this certificate does not mean having a visa. In principle, an Eligibility Certificate is a prerequisite for obtaining a visa. The purpose of issuing an Eligibility Certificate is explained in another section of this website.  After the issuance of this certificate, it is still necessary to take steps by the applicant in his country to issue a visa. On average, the process of the Eligibility Certificate application takes 1 to 3 months.

Second step:

After the certificate is issued, the school sends it to the applicant, and he can begin the Japan student visa process. You must first visit the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate. In some cases, the Japanese embassy does not accept direct applications from individuals. In this case, you have to apply through accredited travel agencies. You can send the documents directly or through travel agencies. You may also need to submit more documents or be interviewed by the consulate.

After processing your visa application, you may have to go back and receive your passport. If your application is approved, a Japanese student visa will be issued then you can enter the country.

Wish to immigrate to Japan as an English teacher? Read our article.

What steps are taken when entering Japan?

If you enter Japan with a student visa, the immigration officer will issue a landing permit. If you have a single-entry visa, your validity will be revoked upon receipt of this permit. However, if you have a multi-entry visa with more validity, your visa will remain valid even after you have received your landing permit. A landing Permit allows you to reside in Japan legally.

If you arrive in Japan vsia Narita, Haneda, Kansai, or Chubu airports, you will receive a Japanese residence card as soon as you arrive. If you enter the country through other airports, you must go to the local municipal offices in Japan to receive a residence card.

You must provide your address to local municipal offices within 14 days of your arrival in Japan to be printed on your residence card. If you want to be allowed to enter and leave Japan during your stay in Japan, you must apply for a re-entry permit.

How long does it take to assess the documents and issue a Japanese student visa?

The Japan student visa processing time is around 5 to 10 working days. You should keep in mind that issuing an Eligibility Certificate also takes 1 to 3 months.

How long can you stay in Japan under a student visa?

The validity period of a Japanese student visa is:

  • six months
  • One year
  • One year and three months
  • Two years
  • Two years and three months

The length of your authorized stay is recorded on your landing permit and residence card. If you plan to stay in Japan for a more extended period, you must renew your visa before it expires.

How to renew a Japan student visa?

You must apply for a visa through the local immigration office 90 days before the visa expires. To renew your visa, you must provide the following documents:

  • Visa renewal application form
  • Passport
  • Applicant Photo
  • A copy of the certificate of registration that is issued by the educational institution
  • residency card
  • A copy of your results certificate issued by your educational institution
  • Provide sufficient financial evidence to show that you can cover your living expenses.

Visa renewal is done within two weeks to a month.

How much does it cost to apply for a Japanese student visa?

Japan student visa costs are as follows:

  • A single-entry visa is 3,000 Yen.
  • A double-entry or multiple-entry visa is 6,000 Yen.
  • A transit Visa is 700 Yen.

The visa application fee is paid after the visa is approved and issued.

Is a Japan student visa holder allowed to work?

Having a student visa does not allow you to work. To work, you must obtain a work permit from the local Japanese immigration office. Working hours of the holders of Japanese student visas should not be more than 28 hours a week. They are also allowed to do a limited number of jobs, such as working in a bar, shop, or hotel.

Can a Japan student visa holder change his visa to a work visa?

If you find a job during or after your studying, you will need to change your visa status from student to Japan work visa. You and your employer must apply through the same local immigration office. For this purpose, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Application Form to change the status of the visa
  • Passport with a copy of it
  • Residency Card
  • Your CV
  • Graduation documents
  • Past academic and professional experiences
  • The school Transcripts
  • Details of the employment contract and job description
  • Documents related to the company, including Registration Documents, a financial statement for the last fiscal year, and income statement

You can also apply for permanent residency if you have lived in Japan for at least 10 years.

Let’s sum up …

In previous paragraphs, we answered the most common questions about the application process of Japan student visa. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other Japanese visas as well as ways to immigrate to other countries. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.

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  1. Adam says:

    I have dyed my hair, should I take a new photo?

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