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Your Roadmap to Securing Student Visa for Japan

Updated on 08 November, 2023

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

Study in Japan

Japan plans to boost its international student population to pre-pandemic levels, targeting 300,000 students by 2027. According to the Japan Student Services Organization, there were 312,214 foreign students in Japan in May 2019. If you are keen to study in the Land of the Rising Sun to broaden your horizons through academic pursuits, it necessitates a thorough understanding of the student visa for Japan process. 


How to Get a Study Visa for Japan

Let's walk through the step-by-step process of applying for a student visa in Japan:

Choose Your Institution and Course

Research and select the Japanese institution where you intend to study. Ensure the Japanese government recognizes it and offers the course you wish to pursue.

Receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Your chosen institution or a proxy in Japan (such as a relative or friend) should apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on your behalf from the regional immigration office or the Tokyo Immigration Bureau. The COE confirms your eligibility to apply for a student visa for Japan. The applicant can then use the COE to apply for a student visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in their home country. The COE is generally valid for three months, and the applicant must enter Japan within that time period. Once in Japan, the applicant must exchange the COE for a student residence card.

Gather Required Documents

Collect all necessary documents, including:

  • A valid passport
  • A completed visa application form
  • One passport-size photo
  • The COE (Certificate of Eligibility) issued by the immigration office
  • Proof of financial means to support your stay in Japan (e.g., bank statements, scholarship certificates)
  • Transcripts, diplomas, or certificates from previous educational institutions
  • A statement of purpose explaining your academic goals and intentions in Japan
  • Any additional documents required by your chosen institution

Submit Your Student Visa Japan Application Form

Submit your visa application and all supporting documents to the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country. Visa application fees may apply. Single or Multiple entry visa fee is Rs 500. VFS Service Fee will also be charged.

Attend an Interview (if required)

Certain candidates may receive an invitation for an interview at the embassy or consulate, so it's advisable to be ready to engage in a conversation regarding your academic aspirations and financial standing.

Wait for Visa Processing

The visa processing time can vary, but it typically takes several weeks to a couple of months. Monitor the status of your application through the embassy or consulate.

Receive Your Visa

Once approved, you will receive a visa sticker affixed to your passport.

Cost of Living: Cost of living in Japan

Student Visa for Japan Requirements

Before applying for a student visa to Japan, you must understand the specific documentation and eligibility criteria you must meet. 

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

To be eligible for a student visa for Japan, you must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) issued by the Japanese immigration authorities. This document confirms that you can apply for a student visa based on your intended course of study and the institution you plan to attend.

Acceptance by a Japanese Institution

You must have an official acceptance letter or admission certificate from a recognized Japanese educational institution. This includes universities, language schools, junior colleges, vocational schools, and other accredited institutions.

Valid Passport

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Japan. Ensure it's in good condition and has blank pages for the visa sticker.

Visa Application Form

Complete the visa application form provided by the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country. Be accurate and honest in your responses.

Passport-Size Photo

Provide one passport-sized photo that adheres to the specific size and format requirements for a student visa in Japan outlined by the Japanese embassy or consulate.

Transcripts and Certificates

Include academic transcripts, diplomas, certificates, or relevant educational documents from your previous institutions. These documents should demonstrate your academic background and qualifications.

Statement of Purpose

Write a clear and concise statement of purpose explaining your academic goals, reasons for choosing Japan, and how your studies align with your plans.

Financial Documentation

Provide evidence of your financial means to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs during your stay in Japan. This may include:

  • Bank statements or a sponsorship letter from a guarantor in Japan
  • Scholarship certificates, if applicable
  • Proof of income or financial support from family members

Health Certificate

Some applicants may need to submit a health certificate, including a medical examination, to ensure they are healthy.

Bank Statements

You should provide recent bank statements demonstrating that you have enough funds to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, accommodation, and other associated costs. 

Sponsorship Letter

If you have a sponsor or guarantor in Japan, they should provide a letter indicating their willingness and ability to support you financially during your stay. This letter should include details of their relationship with you, their financial situation, and a commitment to covering your expenses.

Scholarship Certificates

If you have been awarded a scholarship, include the certificate in your financial documentation. Scholarships can significantly enhance your visa application, as they demonstrate your ability to finance your studies.

Japan Student Visa Processing Time

The duration from the submission of your visa application to the issuance of the visa is typically estimated at 5 working days, starting from the day following the receipt of your application. This swift process is contingent upon the application content meeting all necessary criteria without issues. However, it's important to note that when a high volume of visa applications are received in a short span, processing times may extend beyond this standard duration.

In cases where the application content raises concerns or requires further examination, the Embassy/Consulate General will forward the application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo for a more detailed review. In such instances, the visa issuance may extend for over a month, depending on the situation's complexity.

Read More About Why Japan: Reasons-to-study-in-japan

Working in Japan on a Student Visa

Japan recognizes the importance of allowing international students to gain practical experience while studying there. However, there are specific regulations, opportunities, and limitations regarding part-time work for students holding a Japanese student visa. 

Maximum Working Hours

Under a Japanese student visa, you can work part-time for up to 28 hours per week during regular academic periods. This includes both paid employment and unpaid internships. 

Full-Time Work During Breaks

During designated school vacation periods, students can work full-time without seeking additional permission from immigration authorities.

What to Do if Your Visa Application is Rejected

Receiving a rejection for your Japan student visa application can be disheartening. Here are the common reasons for visa rejections: 

Incomplete Documentation

One of the most common reasons for visa rejection is missing or incomplete documentation. Ensure that you have submitted all required documents. 

Insufficient Financial Proof

Your application may be rejected if your financial documentation does not demonstrate that you have the necessary funds to cover your tuition and living expenses in Japan.

Questionable Intentions

If immigration officials suspect that your primary intention is not to study in Japan but rather to work illegally or engage in other activities, your visa may be denied.

Inaccurate or Incomplete Information

Providing false or inaccurate information on your visa application can lead to rejection. 

Criminal Record

Certain criminal convictions or a history of visa violations can result in visa denials.

Health Issues

Medical conditions that could risk public health may sometimes lead to a visa rejection.

Past Immigration Violations

If you have previously violated immigration laws in Japan, such as overstaying a previous visa, this may negatively affect your current application.

Reapplication and Appeals for Student Visas

For re-application and appeals for a student visa in Japan, follow these steps:

Review the Rejection Letter

When your visa application is rejected, you will typically receive a rejection letter that outlines the reasons for the denial. Carefully review this letter to understand the specific grounds for rejection.

Consult with the Institution

Speak with the educational institution in Japan where you were accepted. They can guide or assist in addressing the issues that led to the rejection.


If the rejection is due to missing documents or minor errors, you can correct these issues and reapply for a student visa for Japan. Ensure that you address the specific reasons for rejection in your new application.

Appeal (if applicable)

In some cases, you may have the option to appeal the rejection. The process for appeals varies by country and may involve providing additional evidence or documentation to address the reasons for the rejection.

Seek Professional Assistance

If you encounter difficulties with the reapplication or appeal process, consider seeking assistance from an immigration attorney or consultant specializing in Japanese visa matters. They can provide expert guidance and increase your chances of a successful outcome.


The path to studying in Japan may have its challenges, but it is undoubtedly a rewarding and transformative experience. With determination, preparation, and the knowledge gained from this guide, you can navigate the student visa for Japan process and set yourself on a path to success in the Land of the Rising Sun. Embrace this opportunity with enthusiasm, and may your educational journey in Japan be filled with growth, discovery, and achievement.

Related Articles:


How much money do I need for a Japan student visa?

When you're applying for a student visa to Japan, you'll need to pay certain fees for the visa itself. Here's a breakdown of those Japan study visa costs:

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

Is obtaining a Japan visa difficult?

Obtaining a Japanese student visa is a well-defined process. Many students successfully obtain their visas each year. However, the difficulty can vary depending on factors such as your nationality, the completeness of your application, and your adherence to Japanese study visa requirements. 

Is Japan expensive for Indian students?

Japan is often perceived as an expensive country for international students, including those from India. The cost of living can be relatively high, especially in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. However, expenses vary widely based on location, lifestyle choices, and financial support level. 

Who is eligible to study in Japan?

Eligibility to study in Japan depends on several factors, including the specific educational institution and program you wish to attend. The eligibility criteria can vary based on the type of student visa you are applying for and your chosen institution. 

Can I work in Japan with a student visa?

You can work part-time in Japan with a student visa. Under normal circumstances, you can work up to 28 hours per week during regular academic periods. 

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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