Immigration Procedures
Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice 
What you need
(1) The admission approval from the Japanese educational institution you have been accepted into
(Japanese language institution, university or others)
(2) A valid passport
(3) Visa from Japanese Embassy or Consulate from your home country
(4) Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence (If already issued)

Applicable status of residence
Status of residence is categorized according to types of activities, statuses and positions that foreign residents are allowed to undertake in Japan. There are 30 types of statuses of residence and the one applicable to international students for study in Japan is “College Student”. In case of a status of residence other than “College Student”, this may limit the applications for scholarships and availability of entrance examination.
Type of educational institution Period of stay
Universities 4 years and 3 months, 4 years,
3 years and 3 months, 3 years,
2 years and 3 months, 2 years,
1 year and 3 months, 1 year
6 months, 3 months
Junior colleges
Colleges of technology
Professional training colleges
Preparatory Japanese language courses offered at private universities and junior colleges
Exchange programs (within 1 year) 1 year and 3 months, 1 year,
6 months, 3 months
Japanese language institutions
(not including professional training colleges)

Applying for visas
Visas can be applied through either one of the procedures outlined below.
When there is no “Certificate of Eligibility for a Status of Residence” issued
Visa application is personally submitted by students intending to study in Japan at the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in their home country. The time required to process this visa application will take longer as the application documents will have to be sent back and forth between the student’s home country and Japan.
When there is a “Certificate of Eligibility for a Status of Residence” issued
Before applying for a visa, students intending to study in Japan or their proxies will apply for the “Certificate of Eligibility for a Status of Residence” and have it issued to them at Regional Immigration Bureaus in Japan. With this “Certificate of Eligibility” in hand, students will then personally apply for visas at the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in their home country. Unlike visa application without the “Certificate of Eligibility for a Status of Residence”, this alternative has a shorter processing time.

Although applicants may personally apply for the Certificate of Eligibility for a Status of Residence, most of the time it is delegated to their proxy (institution etc.). Please check with your school on documentation requirements when applying as each school may have its own requirements.

Immigration procedures for exam purpose
A “Temporary Visitor” visa is required when entering Japan to take an exam. When applying for this visa, the exam slip from the concerned school must be presented to the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your home country. This visa allows the applicant 15, 30 or 90 days stay in Japan. If the applicant is admitted into a school during this period, the applicant may allow to change his/her status to “College Student” in Japan.

Guarantor for immigration procedures
When the applicant is unable to finance his/her expenses in Japan, a guarantor providing means to support the applicant is required. Please refer to imageGuarantor for guarantor requirements when enrolling in a school.

Residence Card
A “Residence Card” will be issued for foreigners residing in Japan for more than 3 months. It is important that this resident card is carried at all times and presented to authorized officers such as immigration officers or police officers when requested. If there is any changes by changing or leaving school and the place you live, you need to report to a government office, such as a local Immigration Bureau.
Procedural flow
(1) When entering Japan via Narita, Haneda, Chubu or Kansai Airports
During the immigration process, "LANDING PERMISSION" will be stamped on your passport and a residence card will be issued. Persons who have been issued a residence card must give notification of the address at the municipal office of their address within 14 days.
(2) When entering Japan via any airport other than Narita, Haneda, Chubu and Kansai Airports
During the immigration process, "LANDING PERMISSION" will be stamped on your passport, and near the landing permit there will be another stamp indicates the later delivery of a residence card. After the notification of the address, the residence card will be sent to the notified address by mail.

Permission to Engage in Activities other than that Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted
The “College Student” status of residence granted for the sole purpose of studying in Japan and as such do not permit work. When planning to work part-time, the “activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted” must be obtained from the Regional Immigration Bureau (refer to imagePart-time Work ).
Foreigners who have graduated from graduate schools, universities, junior colleges, colleges of technology and professional training colleges who are holding “Designated Activities Visa” status of residence for the purpose of employment seeking activities, can now apply for permission to engage in activities outside of the visa scope.

Procedures for temporary exit from Japan
Foreigners in Japan planning to return to their home countries or visit other countries for a short period during their period of stay must apply for a re-entry permit at Regional Immigration Bureaus before leaving Japan. Pay attention to this requirement because failure to do so will necessitate you to apply for another visa at an oversea Japanese Embassy or Consulate. Foreign nationals residing legally in Japan for mid- to long-term in possession of a valid passport and residence card who indicated their intention of re-entry and will be re-entering Japan within 1 year of their departure (or before expiration of the period of stay if the period of stay expires within 1 year after the departure) will, in principle, not be required to apply for a re-entry permit.
image When you leave Japan, be sure to present your residence card and tick the column indicating your intention of departure by the Special Re-entry Permit System on an ED card for Special Re-entry Permit.

Extention of period of stay
Period of stay must be extended at Regional Immigration Bureaus when planning to stay in Japan longer than the period of stay granted at the time of entry into Japan. (Usually, applications are received 3 months before its expiration). Illegally remaining in Japan will result in punishment and deportation.

10 Changing status of residence
Status of residence must be changed to a different type when activities initially applied for is discontinued to engage in other activities. The application must be filed at Regional Immigration Bureaus.
image Engaging in income-generating businesses or activities without proper approval will result in punishment and deportation.

11 Revocation of the status of residence
Status of residence can be revoked in cases where activities engaged in were falsely declared and/or submission of false personal history documents.
image Status of residence may also be revoked if activities specified in the status of residence have not been performed for 3 months or more, unless with valid reasons.

12 Bringing dependents to Japan
Spouses and children of “College Student” holders who study in a university, junior college, college of technology or professional training college can reside in Japan under the “Dependent” status of residence. Its period is based on the period of stay of the person supporting the dependent. It is recommended that international students bring their dependents once they are familiar with life in Japan and are economically stable.

13 Notification to the Immigration Bureau
Any change in the name, date of birth, sex, nationality/region or the organization the foreign national belongs (such as a change of school) to is required to be notified to a Regional Immigration Bureau within 14 days after the change is made.



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For Prospective Students

For International Students in Japan

For Former International Students

For Student Advisers