The most common questions about Japanese student visa applications

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Richiesta del visto per studiare giapponese in Giappone: domande frequenti

It’s no secret to anyone that Japan loves paperwork. And the Japanese student visa application process is certainly no exception! So, when is the right time to apply? In this article, we give more information on the Japanese student visa application timeline why the term you choose and the deadline are so important.

This article will focus on long-term applications, as short-term applications are much more flexible.

6 steps to live and study in Japan

  1. One year up to 5 months before your intended term start, you send us an enquiry via our form found on our website. After picking a school, you will do your application using our secure online platform. That allows us to share information and documents, as well as process your application fee. You will have to pay the application fee to reserve a spot for your application. The application fee is part of the school tuition fee that the school requires in advance.
    No application is the same and the documents you need to provide change depending on the school, your situation, as well as on Japanese Immigration. In general, students need 2 weeks to get all their documents to us, assuming the student can access them easily.
  2. The school checks everything. We usually hear back within 1 week, but sometimes it takes a bit longer.
  3. If the school has any questions, we answer what we can (such as how education works in your country). We forward any questions that we can’t answer to you.
  4. Rinse and repeat the cycle, until finally the school give their OK! The toughest part of the process is now over. About 3-2 months before school starts, you will have to pay the tuition fee. After the school confirms the payment, they will send you the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). It is normally released about 1 month before your arrival to Japan and is sent to you by post.
  5. The COE normally takes about 5-7 days to reach you, depending on your country. It is sent by registered mail and requires a signature, so make sure you’re around when the COE is granted! Once you have it, it’s embassy time! There, you will convert your COE into your student visa. Once that’s over, there is only one step left.
  6. Pack your bags, it’s time to come to Japan!

New application timeline English

Frequently asked questions about the application process

Why do you ask so many questions?

Believe me, we do try to keep the questions to a minimum. However, schools need to make sure they are prepared to answer any questions that Japanese Immigration asks of them. Schools we partner with only give their approval once they are sure your application has an excellent chance of getting a visa. We know it can be a difficult part of the process, but it will help make your visa application solid.

Any questions usually relate to some sort of conflict or inconsistency of information provided in the application or documents.

If I send my application a few days before the deadline, I can still make it, right?

Maybe. If you submit your application close to the deadline, you may not have enough time to get the additional information or documents needed. In some cases, if the application is too complex or the information is inconsistent, you may have to postpone.

How long does the student visa process take in total?

From the document submission to actual arrival in Japan, it normally takes about 6 months to complete the process. This scenario assumes that the application submitted is more or less perfect. Go! Go! Nihon allows students to start their application one year in advance, which is something every long-term student should consider for the following reasons:

  1. You have more time to figure out which school is best for you.
  2. You have a better chance at getting a spot in your preferred school. If you enquire shortly before the deadline, the choice of school will be limited to those that still have spots.
  3. Some documents take time to obtain. Do you remember where your high school diploma is? Or maybe a relative’s birth certificate? Perhaps your company needs to write an employment certificate for you. No one knows exactly what will be needed for your application until we are able to get that first look.

Why is the bank statement requirement so high?

The bank statement is required in order to prove that you have, right now, the funds to support yourself in Japan for the duration of your studies. Japanese Immigration estimates that 1 year of full-time study in Japan costs about 2 million yen, so if you want to apply for 1 year, that’s how much you need to show.

Why are you asking for so many documents?

Each application is different and different circumstances add a layer of complexity to the application. Some of these might include the applicant’s age, whether they have had a Japanese visa in the past, or if they have relatives in Japan.

Everything stated on an application form will require an official document. Some schools are also stricter on average, and require additional documents that other schools don’t.

Can I study for 2 years regardless of the term I apply for?

The answer used to be yes. Now, it’s the good old “It depends on the school.” Some schools have very strict program durations and these cannot be extended beyond their maximum length. Here is how long you can expect to study for each term start:

January start: 1 year and 3 months
April start: 1 year or 2 years
July start: 1 year and 9 months
October: 1 year and 6 months

Maybe you’ve already noticed, but all of the above courses would end in late March. This is no coincidence: Japanese higher education usually only allows new students in April, so language courses tend to make it easy for their students to move on to university in Japan.

If you don’t want to go to higher education in Japan, then that’s no concern to you, and some schools will allow you to study for 2 years regardless of term start, but as this is subject to change, ask us to make sure!

Read our article for more information on how Japanese language school terms work.

Thinking of studying in Japan for the long-term? There are quite a few things to think about as you can see, so don’t wait! Get in touch with us today: we will provide you with the information you need for your Japanese student visa application.

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