Japan Student Visa Guide 2021

One of our goals is to provide you with the easiest process to complete your application to study in Japan. With our student visa guide we hope to make the process more straightforward for you, especially during these times of COVID-19. If you have any specific questions outside of this guide, please feel free to contact us, and our friendly staff will be happy to help! 
Note: Depending on your home country and COVID regulations from the Japanese government, this information may change. We will update this guide periodically to help you have the most current information available.

Student Visa Application Process Guide

How long is the process?


To obtain a student visa, the process takes about 3-6 months from the time we receive your application, to the start of your first term. How long depends on when you want to enroll and the duration of your study in Japan. School terms start 4 times per year: January, April, July, October. 


If you want to study for 1 or 2 years, you would start in April 2022.

If you want to study for 1.5 years, you would start in October 2022.


You would need to apply by

December 15, 2021 for the April 2022 Term.

June 15, 2022 for the October 2022 Term,

Step 1: Check your eligibility

~ 6 months before arrival in Japan


First, we need to help you determine your eligibility to enter Japan with a student visa. In order to do so, please fill out our long term visa application form

With regards to your education, immigration generally requires a high school diploma or a minimum of 12 years of education. If you do not meet this requirement, please contact us. In some cases, we may be able to help you obtain a visa with some additional documents. 

The second part of the form concerns a financial guarantor. You can either list yourself, or someone with whom you have a close family relationship or immediate family member, such as a parent or siblings, uncles, and grandparents. Please fill out this information as accurately as you can, because you will then have to provide proof of your financial situation to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan. This information is kept strictly confidential within our office and is only transmitted to the Japanese immigration office.


Step 2: Submit your application

~ 5 to 3 months before arrival in Japan


Once we have verified your eligibility, we will need to gather the necessary documents for your student visa application. 

These are the necessary documents to submit:

  • Photo
  • Copy of your passport ID page  (and all your travel stamps to Japan)
  • Copy of your diploma (e.g. high school diploma, or other proof you have studied for a minimum of 12 years)*
  • Tax returns (from you or your financial guarantor)
  • Recent bank certificates with at least 1,500,000 yen in funds (from you or your financial guarantor)


We understand that everyone’s situation is different, so we are here to help you with any questions you may have that are specific to your circumstances. We can assist you with finding what specific kinds of documents you would need, or help you understand any alternative options available to you. Please contact us if you need assistance.

Once we receive your documents, then submit your processing fee. This secures your spot at our school and covers our additional administrative assistance for your case. We will take all the documents and submit them to the immigration on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about it.

The Japanese Immigration office ultimately makes the final decision whether to accept your documents and issue you a visa, but rest assured, with few exceptions, as long as the necessary requirements for a student visa are met, your visa application will most likely be approved. 


Step 3: Get your COE (Certificate of Eligibility)

~ 2 to 1 month before arrival in Japan


After we’ve submitted your application to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, they will typically respond and issue your Certificate of Eligibility within 1-3 months. Your COE will be sent to the school. After confirming that you have paid your school fees, we will send you this document by special certified mail along with your school admission certificate and the necessary welcome information for your arrival in Japan. 


Step 4: Get you Student Visa

~ 3 to 2 weeks before arrival in Japan


After you’ve received your COE from our school, you go to the Japanese Consulate or Embassy in your home country and they will issue your visa. In general, it takes about 1-2 weeks to receive your visa. 

Here are the necessary documents to change your COE into a student visa. Depending on the situation, some extra documents may be required. 

  1. Visa application form: https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000124525.pdf
  2. Your Passport
  3. Passport Photo
  4. COE (Certificate of Eligibility)


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some other specific documents are now required:

  1. Written Pledge / Residence Track

This is a declaration where you certify that you will follow the rules of testing before departure and quarantine upon arrival in Japan. This document is in Japanese, but we will provide you with an English translation.

      2. Certificate of attendance from the school providing that the student is enrolled. 

In addition, upon departure to Japan, you will need to provide at the airport:

      3. A body temperature history taken daily for the 14 days prior to departure. 

      4. A negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours prior to departure.


Move to Japan! 


You’re on your way to Japan! Before you arrive, you can also book your accommodations with our real estate partners in Shinjuku and Takadanobaba. 
If you have any questions, need help with any of the procedures, or would like to get the process started, please feel free to contact us at any time. Our staff can arrange a meeting with you online, by phone, or simply answer your questions through email correspondence. We’re here to help you have a smooth transition with your move and life in Japan! We look forward to seeing you in Tokyo!