Student writing pen on paper answer sheet

How to get a student visa in Japan?

Ieva Miltina Ieva Miltina 30 June 2021
26 view 5 min. read

Japan is a place where a fusion of tradition and development truly manifests itself. There is no doubt why Japan has curbed the curiosity of countless travelers over the centuries. A timeless set of values and exciting culture, alongside world-renowned cuisine and breathtaking natural landscapes. For what it matters, also breathtaking human-made landscapes that are to be experienced just in this unique land of the rising sun. But when it comes to moving there for longer, quite many people consider Japan as the destination for great quality education, whether it may be pre-university or a degree program. Even though the living might be quite expensive there, and the learning program very demanding, it is worth it. A document about completing studies in Japan is a statement on its own and might be the key point for the speedy development of one's career.

Besides the very high level of education and attention to detail for this matter, Japan is often considered for studies in such fields as mechanics, science, and medicine. And there is no sense learning about Japanese culture anywhere else other than in the country itself, being surrounded by it daily. Should it be a short professional culinary course or an extended mechanics degree at the Tokyo Institute of Technology? Either way, you won’t be able to do it without obtaining a Japan student visa. And I guess you have found the right article to help you with that because I have done the research to save your time. Let me present the main aspects of how to get student visa in Japan and other important details like Japan student visa cost or processing time. Shall we kick it off? Let’s start with more general information.

What are the types of Japanese visas?

japan visa

Japan visa policy is quite organized and easy to understand. The classification displays two main categories - short and long-term visas. The former ones may be obtained if you travel for tourism, business, or family/friend visitation. The later ones, on the other hand, are usually connected to the immigration of highly skilled professionals, immigration for other types of employment, start-up ventures. And yes, there is also a category of general visas that includes visas for students. Further in the article, I will explain more about this category and everything concerning it.

What is there to know about a Japanese study visa?

filling japan visa application form

The main variable of this visa type is your intended studies in Japan. Depending on your chosen program (the duration, the subject, and the institution), the visa may be granted for a time from 3 months up to four years. You can be a pre-college student or aim for a degree, or even take part in short-term courses. All of these purposes fall under the category of studies, except if you are traveling for short cultural courses like flower arrangement or paper folding. Themes that revolve around very typical Japanese cultural practices will fit into the cultural visa category.

Generally, there is no such Japan student visa age limit. Because, as we all know - learning can take place in different parts of your lifespan. Nonetheless, some educational institutions might have an upper age limit for accepting students, and you will have to check the entry requirements of your chosen school yourself. But concerning the entry in the country, have no worries, as the Japan student visa age limit is not specified.

Contrary to the tourist visas, for longer stays, most nationals with very few exceptions will need to obtain a visa. Even if the list of visa-exempt countries for Japan is quite long, any exemptions apply to mostly short-term tourists.

What are the required student visa Japan documents?

page of passport

To complete your application, you will have to collect a row of documents, and it is better to have them ready ahead to speed up the process. The basic pack will include a passport (valid at least for 90 days after departure from Japan), a filled application form, and recent passport-type colored photographs. Quite a standard set of requirements indeed. But what sets apart applications for Japanese visas is the Certificate of Eligibility. What is it and how to get it, you will ask?

It is a document that you have to get issued before making the visa application. Even if technically it is not obligatory, it is always suggested to get it done. Doing the contrary will slow down the whole process, and you will be required to hand in a large number of documents to verify all the details about yourself. And what’s worse, due to the bureaucracy peculiarities of this procedure, your visa application might take months to get checked and approved. This certificate is usually submitted to a regional immigration authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice through your chosen school and proves that you meet the conditions to enter Japan. Other than this specific document, the requirements for applying do not seem too complicated.

How to get student visa in Japan?

The Japan student visa process is quite straightforward. You got to hear a bit of this in the previous paragraph already. Concerning educational activities, the basic procedure is as follows.

First, you have to decide where and what you would like to study. Take time to research the available schools and programs, as they might differ in length, tuition fee, and the offered benefits. Planning is half of the success already, and in this case, it is a way to invest time in mindfully planning your development. After you are sure what you want to study, apply to the chosen school and contact their student support service for obtaining the Certificate of Eligibility. Most schools accepting international students are experienced at arranging the formalities, and it is in your best interest to use their expertise to make the visa application easier on you. After all, you are not familiar with the local jurisdiction and bureaucracy, are you?

When the institution has arranged the certificate, you will take the necessary student visa Japan documents and arrange a visit to Japanese embassy to apply. This is where you will pay the fee and then get the (hopefully positive) answer.

Remember, if you ever get unsure about the particular steps to make your plan of moving to Japan true, there is a simple way to clarify all your concerns. The fastest and safest way is to directly contact the Japanese embassy that processes applications for nationals of your country! You can ask them everything you want to know, and they will be the most competent about the most updated procedures that are relevant to you in particular.

What is the Japan student visa processing time?

The Japan student visa process might take anywhere from 2-25 calendar days, depending on the information in your application, your nationality, and other aspects. Generally, it is said to be around five working days after your application has been accepted. Nevertheless, especially in the case of a study visa, never leave such formalities for the last moment as additional documents might be required, and this will hinder your chances at a timely arrival.

What does the Japan student visa cost?

dollar

Unfortunately, I can’t give a unanimous answer here. The fees depend on your country of origin and other aspects like the duration of the stay. Usually, the price ranges from 0-50 USD, but you can specify that in the Japanese embassy or other diplomatic mission that you intend to submit your application.

So, did you get some clarity after reading this all? I hope so, as learning something new is always an admirable plan. Especially when it allows you to travel to such exciting destinations as Japan. Combining education with cultural explorations is another bonus for studying abroad, and it raises your employability immensely. Especially if you can catch up on some of those language skills during your stay in a foreign country. But who am I to tell you this? You probably know it all and have your motivations for considering moving abroad for an amazing learning experience. Whatever your end goals are, my task is done here. I have presented the main bits of information that might aid in arranging a smooth Japan student visa process. Good luck with the studies, as well as submitting the visa application!

* Please take into consideration that at the moment, many countries reserve the right to change their immigration policies, and the situation changes day by day. Even if moving abroad for studies, the restrictions might be slightly different than for the ordinary tourists; please keep in mind that all of the above-mentioned information applies to the standard situation. With the ongoing health concerns throughout the world due to Covid-19, the processing times and other aspects of applying might be different. Additionally, there might be an ongoing immigration ban. It is something you should definitely check and keep in mind before submitting any documents or making any reservations. Better safe than sorry, right?

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Ieva Miltina
Ieva Miltina Activist and entrepreneur

Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday. 

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