Keystone logo

Study in Japan: Student Visas & Permits

Japan has a general visa exception arrangement with more than 50 countries around the world. You can see the list in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. If you are a citizen of one of these countries and you need to visit Japan for a short period of time, you are allowed to stay visa-free for a period of 90 days.

Feb 1, 2024

Japan has a general visa exception arrangement with more than 50 countries around the world. You can see the list in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. If you are a citizen of one of these countries and you need to visit Japan for a short period of time, you are allowed to stay visa-free for a period of 90 days. 

However, all international students need a Japanese student visa during their study stay in the country. In order to obtain a study visa, your admission university needs to be the sponsor. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to work during your studies unless you get permission from the university or immigration office and you are allowed work for a particular amount of hours per week.  

Find a program

Want to study in Japan? Find & compare programs

Japanese Student Visa: What steps you need to follow

The moment you get your admission results from your Japanese university, it is time to start gathering all the necessary documents and translations of the documents you will need for your student visa application.

The Japanese visa procedure is more complex than in some other countries and can take more time than expected, so make sure you are prepared. For more information, visit the nearest Japanese embassy or Consulate in your home country or navigate through the official website of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

One prerequisite for obtaining the Japanese student visa is the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Obtaining the certificate is only the first step of your application, note that it is not the visa itself. The second one is the actual submission of the application for the Japanese visa which includes other documents as well. 

As for the Certificate of Eligibility, it is your school that’s in charge of issuing the certificate’s application on your behalf. You have to send them the required documents before, though. The application process for a Japanese Certificate of Eligibility can take up to three months, but stay positive, it can take less time!

You will need the following documents for your Japanese Student Visa application:

  • The Student Visa Application Form, signed by you and the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate. 
  • A valid passport and photocopies of the passport. 
  • Passport sized pictures taken within the last three months. 
  • The Certificate of Eligibility (COE). 
  • A letter of admission, letter of invitation or letter of guarantee from your Japanese university, stating exactly the study objective and duration of the studies. 
  • Previous academic or professional qualifications such as transcripts and diplomas. 
  • A motivational letter.
  • Proof you can meet the financial requirements for the duration of your studies in Japan. You can prove this by providing bank or income statements, proof of scholarship or a letter of sponsorship of financial aid from a third party, in case someone is supporting you throughout your studies.

All documents must be printed on A4 paper. Ask your Embassy if more detailed documents are needed for your visa application and consult them in case you need to submit original documents or copies. For your Japanese student visa, you apply directly to the Japanese Embassy of your home country. 

After your arrival in Japan with a student visa, you will receive a Landing Permit and a Residence Card. These are very important documents and the moment you receive them upon entry, you have two weeks to report your stay at the local municipal offices. 

Study in Japan - Overview

Over 300,000 international students choose Japan as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.

Education System

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Japan? Japan is among the top study destinations for students, given its diverse programs, affordable education and its culture and history. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Japan!

Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Japan.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Japan may vary. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in Japan. To cover the rest of the costs, there’s plenty of scholarship opportunities available.

Language & Culture

Japan is a country rich in history and culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more!

Application Process

All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a university. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in Japan, and what you need to apply, depending on your citizenship.

Programs

Ready to look at education in Japan? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Japan today!

Keystone Team

Author

The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.