How to Get "Student" VISA of Japan
Application procedure / Documents / Legal requirements
- Application Procedure of "Student" VISA (COE) of Japan
- Application Documents for Certificate of Eligibility (COE) of "Student"
- Legal Requirements for Certificate of Eligibility (COE) of "Student"
- Extension of Period of Stay
- Change of Status of Residence
- Frequently Asked Question
- Q. Can I apply for COE of "Student" from foreign country?
- Q. Must foreign student change status of residence to engage in part-time job?
- Q. Can I change my status of residence from "Student" to another one when I join a Japanese company?
- Q. I failed to get a notice of offer from Japanese company while in school. Can I continue job hunting in Japan even after graduation?
Application Procedure of "Student" VISA (COE) of Japan
Foreign student has to go through 5 steps for getting "Student" VISA (COE) and starting to stay in Japan.
- STEP1. Pass the entrance exam of the school in Japan
- Firstly, it is necessary to get the entrance permission by a school in Japan.
This is because copy of entrance permission letter issued by a school in Japan is required in the application for getting Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in STEP2.
- STEP2. Get Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
- COE is, in short, the document proving that there would be no problem if the applicant get into Japanese society.
COE smoothens the process of visa issuance at Japanese embassy / consulate and entrance inspection to enter Japan.
➡ What is Certificate of Eligibility (COE)? (ENG. ver. coming soon!)
- STEP3. Get visa at Japanese embassy or Consulate in applicant's country
- Foreigner must apply for visa at Japanese embassy / consulate in his/her home country before going to Japan.
It shall be noted that Japanese visa cannot be issued at the arrival and in the middle of stay in Japan.
➡ What is VISA? (ENG. ver. coming soon!)
- STEP4. Pass immigration check at airport in Japan, then enter Japan
- Foreigner must enter Japan within 3 months from the next day of visa issuance.
On arriving at airport in Japan, entrance inspection is carried out.
Those who passed this inspection are given following 3 items.
・Status of residence of "Student"
・Staying period (4 years and 3 months at longest)
- STEP5. Start the life in Japan!
- After going through STEPS1 ~ 4, you can start to stay in Japan. Congratulations!
It is recommended to check beforehand the procedures to take in the middle of your stay in Japan. The major examples are as follows.
・Extension of staying period
・Getting permission for working as a part-timer
・Re-entrance application for temporarily going to home country
➡ Procedures for Foreigners Residing in Japan
It must be noted that the most important and most difficult step in the above 5 steps is getting Certificate of Eligibility. This is because:
- Result of visa application is firmly related to result of COE application;
- COE application can be made only in Japan (online application is available, however, IP addresses out of Japan are prohibited by the server); and
- In many cases, Immigration Services Agency of Japan requires the documents that are not officially announced in the law.
For the above reasons, many students ask Gyousei-shoshi (Certified Administrative Scrivener / Immigration Lawyer) to support their application for COE.
Application Documents for Certificate of Eligibility (COE) of "Student"
- Sheet of application for certificate of eligibility
➡ External Link: Format
- Photo of applicant
➡ External Link: Photograph requirements
- Copy of permission of entrance issued by the organization where the applicant will study
- Document proving the applicant's ability to pay all the expenses during his/her stay in Japan
Letter of financial support(in case other person pays expenses on behalf of the applicant)
⇒ Reference form (Japanese)
- Copy of lecture registration
Document from the organization proving the content of research, the subjects, and the number of hours (in case the applicant studies as a research student or audit student)
- Certificate of graduation and document proving the applicant's personal history (in case the applicant studies in high school or junior high school in Japan)
- Materials demonstrating the overview of the place of accommodation where the applicant is to lead their daily life (in case the applicant studies in junior high school or elementary school in Japan)
* The above listed documents are the ones announced in Regulation for Enforcement of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, however, there might be additionally required documents in the practical procedure. In addition, the content of documents to be submitted differs according to the circumstances of each applicant.
* Japanese translation shall be accompanied to the documents written in non-Japanese languages.
Legal Requirements for Certificate of Eligibility (COE) of "Student"
- Applicability of status of residence
"Applicability of status of residence" is satisfied when the following activities match each other:
- the activity that the applicant will conduct while in Japan; and
- the activity that is designated in the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act for the status of residence the applicant applies for.
Student is recognized to satisfy applicability of status of residence if his/her purpose of stay in Japan is "to study in a school in Japan as a student". More specifically, the activity designated to the status of "Student" is shown in Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act as follows;
Activities to receive an education at a university, technical college, senior high school (including the second semester course at a school for secondary education), senior high school course of a special-needs school, junior high school (including the second semester course at a compulsory education school and the first semester course of at a school for secondary education) or a junior high school course of a special-needs school, elementary school (including the first semester course at a compulsory education school) or an elementary school course of a special-needs school, advanced vocational school, miscellaneous school or an equivalent educational institution in terms of facilities and organization in Japan.Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act
- Satisfying landing permission criteria
"Landing permission criteria" is satisfied when the applicant satisfies the conditions that are required to enter Japan. Each status of residence has unique conditions. Landing permission criteria of each status of residence is set forth in the Ministerial Order.
Please refer to the following Word file to check the landing permission criteria.
- Not to fall under reasons of refusal to land
Foreigner who falls under any one of reasons of refusal to land is denied to enter Japan.
Reasons of refusal to land are classified into 5 groups and each group has detailed reasons. The detail is shown in the following page.
Extension of Period of Stay
The period of stay given to "Student" is 4 years and 3 months at longest.
Application for extension of period of stay shall be made if a student would like to continue to stay in Japan with status of "Student" even after the original period of stay has passed for any reasons (for example, when failing to graduate the school).
Change of Status of Residence
Application for change of status of residence shall be made when a student would like to continue to stay in Japan even after graduation.
The major cases where a student (a person who stays in Japan with status of residence of "Student") must change the status of residence are as follows.
- In case a student is employed by company after graduation
In this case, status of residence must be changed to the one suiting the job description.
- In case a student continues to stay in Japan for job hunting after graduation
In this case, status of residence must be changed to "Designated Activities".
If a student continues to stay in Japan without changing the status of residence, it is recognized illegal stay and it would be harder to get the permission for change of status of residence thereafter.
Frequently Asked Question
Q. Can I apply for COE of "Student" from foreign country?
A. The application can be made only in Japan.
The application must be made at the office of Immigration Services Agency of Japan, in principle, by applicant, applicant's agent set forth in Japanese law or certified administrative scrivener (called "Gyousei-shoshi" in Japanese).
Online application is available, however, it is available only in Japan. This is because IP addresses out of Japan are regulated to access the WEB page of online application.
Q. Must foreign student change status of residence to engage in part-time job?
A. No, however, "Permission to engage in activities other than permitted under the status of residence" is necessary.
When foreign student engages in part-time job without above permission, it is illegal working and thus penalty would be applied. You can check the detail of the permission for engaging in the activities that are not permitted to the current status of residence.
Q. Can I change my status of residence from "Student" to another one when I join a Japanese company?
A. You have to change your status of residence to the one that suits the contents of the job you will engage in.
Application for change of status of residence must be made after the reason for change is fixed. When joining a Japanese company, a notice of offer from a Japanese company is generally recognized as the reason for change of status of residence.
Additionally, application for change of status of residence is accepted, in general, only when remaining period of time until the start of employment contract is about 3 months or less. The application made earlier than this timing can be refused.
Q. I failed to get a notice of offer from Japanese company while in school. Can I continue job hunting in Japan even after graduation?
A. You have to change your status of residence to continue job hunting in Japan.
More specifically, your status of residence has to be changed to "Designated Activities" for continuous job hunting.
For this status of residence, 1 year additional stay is permitted at longest. Additionally, part-time job within 28 hours/week might be permitted by making designated application.
If you have some questions or points to be more deeply explained, please feel free to ask us through the contact form!
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