Student Life

How to Get a Student Visa to Japan 2023 | The Ultimate Guide

Are you a student seeking how to get a Japanese visa extension to study in Japan? Do you want to know how to get a student visa?

Is your student visa expiration near and you’re looking for ways to extend your stay in Japan? Do you want to know what the prerequisites for obtaining a student visa in Japan are? 

Just like any other immigration procedure, getting a visa is one of the most stressful processes. However, when it comes to Japan, the process is a little different and easier especially if you’re guided. 

In Japan, a student visa is required only if you have plans to study in Japan for more than 90 days.

In this article, I have carefully articulated a full guide on how you can get a student visa to study in Japan with little or no stress. 

Also, we have included the documents you will need to apply for a visa through your school to the Japanese Immigration Bureau.

Also, if you seek to know how to get a student visa extension in Japan, this guide answers the question as well.

This and many more you will find if only you sit tight and get informed!!!

How to Get a Student Visa to Japan
Japanese passport on a world map

Also Read: Japan Scholarships

What is a Student Visa?

A student visa is a visa students who go to a study abroad destination can use to travel. 

Most schools, universities, and vocational schools in Japan as well as other countries accept student visas.  For a student visa, the residency status must-read “Student.”

On the visa card is written a list of activities that you’re allowed to conduct. Also, on it, you can see whether you can work part-time for up to 28 hours per week.

Can I Go to Japan on a Student Visa?

Yes, all students willing to study in a Japanese school can go to Japan using a student visa. Using the student visa can enrol you for up to two years in any Japanese school.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Japanese Student Visa?

The application to get your student visa might take anything from 5 to 10 days. Before applying, you need to get the Certificate of Eligibility. This can take up to three months.

How Long Does a Student Visa Last?

A Student Visa will last based on the duration of study of the student. Usually, the expiration ranges between 6 months – 2 years from the date of arrival. You can get your Japanese student visa and they can last for different durations such as;

  • Six months.
  • One year.
  • One year and three months.
  • Two Years.
  • Two years and three months.

How long you will stay in Japan depends on your duration of study as well as your Landing Permission and Residence Card.

However, you can extend your stay and renew your visa depending on your enrollment time. Find out all about student visa extension in Japan below!!!

Also Read: How to Become A Medical Doctor in Japan 2023

How Can I Get a Student Visa To Study In Japan?

To study in Japan, you need a student visa if you’re going to stay more than three months.

Just like any other immigration procedure, getting a visa requires a lot of paperwork, processing, and visits to an uncomfortable embassy complex.

However, for a Japanese student visa, the process is quite straightforward. 

Here’s how to get a student visa to study in Japan;

#1. Figure Out The Kind of Visa You’ll Need To Study in Japan.

If you need a student visa, you will have to know how long you’ll be studying in Japan.

Here are some of the student visas in Japan

1. Visa For Short-term Courses

Short-term courses that last up to 90 days in Japan will just require a sticker on your passport indicating that you are permitted to stay in the country for 90 days. 

Not all countries are allowed to have this visa.

2. Visa For Courses More than 90 days But Less Than 20 Weeks.

This kind of Japanese student visa is for select countries, such as Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

3. Visa For Long-term Programs.

This visa is for studies lasting 20 weeks or more.

#2. Submit an application to a Japanese school.

Once you know how long you want to study in Japan, the next is to apply to a Japanese school. Students who want to enrol in a long-term course must apply through an institution.

When you apply to a Japanese school, you will be asked to download, fill and submit this paperwork;

  • Application form with details about yourself, course, educational and career history.
  • Also, you will fill out a form about your family members.
  • An essay of more than 1-2 phrases to demonstrate why you wish to study in Japan and how your education in Japan will help you advance in your job.
  • Your school’s diploma and transcript translated into English or Japanese.
  • Copy of the photo page of your passport
  • 8 passports or digital photos.
  • Medical history
  • Proof of financial capability.

If anything is missing, the school will contact you for more details.

#3. Complete the School’s Visa Application Materials.

Next on how to get a study visa in Japan is to complete the visa application provided by the school.

After you must have completed various visa application forms and sent them to your institution, the school reviews your application, rewrites it and submits it to Japan’s immigration officials.

Also Read: How to Apply for Student Visa Australia

#4. Get your Certificate of Eligibility CoE.

If the application sent by the school is approved by the immigration officials, they’ll send your Certificate of Enrollment.

Following this, you will have to pay your first semester fees, then the school will email you the details of your CoE.

This you will receive about a month before your course begins. Ensure the school has your right address.

#5. Submit An Application To The Japanese Embassy In Your Own Country.

The last step to get your student visa in Japan is to submit a visa application at the Japanese Embassy in your home country.

You can complete your visa application form digitally or by hand in block letters. In the form, it’s ideal that you write your school as a guarantor “Guarantor or reference in Japan.”

During the application, you’ll need to submit the following documents;

  • Travel document
  • Certificate of Excellence
  • Photograph for a passport

#6. Get Your Visa.

Now, that’s it!!! You have completed your task! The Japanese Embassy will issue you a visa as long as your application is in sync.

However, you may be refused a visa if the information you provided is inadequate or if you have a major criminal background.

Also Read: Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program 2023

How Can I Extend the Duration Of a Student Visa in Japan?

Just like I earlier stated, you can extend the duration of your Japanese student visa. Students who would want to take this option are often advised to seek a stay extension before their existing Japanese visa expires.

So how do you do that? Here is how to extend your visa to study in Japan;

#1. Apply For a Japanese Student Visa Extension.

To embark on this process of student visa extension in Japan, first, you’ll have to apply for a Japan Extension of Stay at the local Immigration Office.

You have to send in your application 90 days before your issued visa expires. 

#2. Gather the Right Documents For Visa Extension.

The requirements or application documents to apply for student visa extension in Japan include;

  • Application Form for Japan Visa Extension
  • Your passport
  • Residence Card
  • Photocopy of educational institution’s Registration Certificate.
  • A photocopy of the educational institution’s certificate of completion.
  • Proof that you can meet the financial obligations associated with your stay.
  • Passport-size pictures
    • 4cm x 3cm in dimension.
    • Must be taken within the last 3 months.
    • Plain, light-colored background and without patterns and shadows.
    • You must be starting straight ahead, with a neutral facial expression.
    • Your face must be fully visible.
    • Picture must be of good quality (focused, clear, and sharp)

With these requirements, your application for a Japanese student Visa Extension will be processed within two weeks to a month.

What is the Cost of a Student Visa in Japan?

The cost of a Japanese student visa depends on the kind of visa you are applying for, nationality, the reason for your visit, and the local currency.

Here is the cost of visa fees for Japan:

  • 700 yen for a transit visa
  • 3,000 Yen for a single-entry visa
  • 6,000 Yen for a double-entry or multiple-entry visa.

This fee is only paid when your application is approved.

Also Read: How to Apply for a Canadian Study Permit and Visa

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting a Student Visa to Study in Japan.

Below are some of the FAQs about this topic that will aid your progressive understanding of this topic. Read them, and also come back to them anytime you need to refer to them.

What’s the Longest Duration a Student Can Stay in Japan With a Student Visa?

International students are permitted to stay in Japan for a wide range of duration.

However, the longest a student can stay in Japan with a visa is 4 years and 3 months.

To extend your stay, you can Apu for a Japanese student visa extension following the steps we have outlined above.

Can I Work in Japan with a Student Visa?

No, you cannot work in Japan with a student visa. 

Unlike in Canada and the USA where students are allowed to study and work for 20 hours in a week, a student visa does not qualify you to work in Japan.

If you would like to work in Japan as a student, you’re required to get a Work Permit from the local Immigration Office.

This permit allows a Student Visa holder to work no more than 28 hours a week.

Also, there is a limitation to the kind of occupations you’re allowed to do such as working in a bar, club, adult stores or hotels, massage parlours, and so on.

However, once you graduate, you can apply to modify the category of your visa from student to work.

This will allow you to work wherever.

How Can I Change a Japanese Student Visa to a Work Visa in Japan?

If you were working as a student in Japan, you will need to alter your visa type to a Work Visa after graduation.

All you need to do to convert your student visa to a work permit in Japan is to submit the necessary paperwork to Japan’s local Immigration Office.

The documents you need for such include;

  • Identity Card
  • College or university Transcripts
  • Original and Copy your passport.
  • Copy of your Employment Contract.
  • Proof of Graduation on your CV (diploma)
  • Form requesting authorization to change one’s resident status.
  • Proof of prior academic or professional experience
  • Documents from your previous employer, such as:
    • Income statements
    • Registration Documents
    • Financial statements of the latest Fiscal Year

Is There an Age Requirement To Obtaining A Student Visa in Japan?

Yes, there is an age criterion to apply and get a visa to study in Japan.

To get a visa to study in Japan, applicants must be at least 18 years old and must have completed high school or its equivalent with a minimum of 12 years of schooling.

When is the Application Deadline For Visa Application?

The visa application deadline in Japan is usually about five months before the course begins.

Also Read: ADB-Japan Scholarship Program for International Students 2021


Applying for a Japanese student visa is one of the most straightforward visa application processes. 

However, this process is made easy only if you have the necessary documents and follow the instructions we have outlined above.

Also, you can apply for a Japanese student visa extension if you are hoping to extend your study in Japan.

Keep in mind that your Japanese student visa will be issued only based on the duration of your study.


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