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The basics
Japan: Visa Guides - Must read

Applying for a student visa in Japan

All set to study abroad in Japan but not sure what to do about your student visa? Here’s everything you need to know about visas in Japan...

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So, you've got your heart set on studying in Japan, but before you can embark on that journey, you'll need to get your student visa sorted. The process might seem complicated, but we've broken it down into easy steps. 


Do I need a visa to study in Japan?

  • Every international student planning on studying in Japan for more than 90 days will need a visa in order to remain in the country.
  • Certain foreign students that are not nationals of a country included in the 68 Countries and Regions for Visa Exemption will need to acquire a visa before entering Japan.


How do I get a student visa for Japan?

  • Visas can be acquired in two ways:
    1. Contacting your country’s Japanese embassy or consulate general and filling out an application
    2. Applying through the institution you have been accepted to study at in Japan
      • Usually, your university will help you to obtain a visa. Make sure to check with them for specific requirements and instructions!


What will I need to get a visa?

  • A passport that is valid for the entirety of your stay in Japan
  • A passport photograph taken within the last 3 months
  • Proof of sufficient finances for the entirety of your stay in Japan
  • A Certificate of Eligibility
  • A certificate of admission


Certificate of Eligibility

This form is issued to students by the Ministry of Justice in Japan. You can acquire one of these through your institution and it is the reason why you should apply for a visa through your programme. A Certificate of Eligibility will make it a lot easier and faster to get a visa.


How much will my visa cost?

Visa fees depend on your home country, but many countries do not have to pay any visa fees at all! Click here to see how much you will have to pay for a Japanese visa.


Obtaining a visa should be done after acceptance to a specific programme, through that programme. While Japanese visas are not the most complicated visas to obtain, it is important that you have a valid visa in order to study. Always speak to your institution’s international office in order to make sure they are assisting you in your visa process. They should be able to lead you through the process and get your Certificate of Eligibility, but always speak to someone at the university to be sure!


Make sure to begin the visa process immediately after acceptance into a programme. It usually takes up to three months to get a visa, so don’t wait!