Article originally published March 19, 2020. Updated August 3, 2020.
Due to the constantly changing nature of events, please see here for the latest information on Japan’s travel advisories.
Visit here for the latest visa restrictions.
As corona virus cases rise worldwide, Japan has put in place new policies that affect students from many regions who are due to enter Japan this year.
However, while Japan has these temporary travel restrictions in place, we have been advised by our language schools and immigration that the Certificate of Eligibility process is still happening as normal.
Updates in Japan happen regularly and we will do our best to keep you informed of any changes that affect your application.
From August 5, foreign residents of Japan who left Japan before their destination countries were added to the list of banned countries will be able to apply to return to Japan. They will need to apply for a re-entry confirmation letter from their local Japanese embassy as well as submit evidence of a negative Covid-19 test conducted within 72 hours of their flight to Japan.
Foreigners who have visited this list of countries within the last 14 days are banned from entry into Japan, unless there are special circumstances. This ban is in place until further notice.
Single or multiple-entry visas issued at Japanese embassies or consulate generals in several countries are suspended until the end of July. Please see here for the updated list.
What does this mean for students already in Japan?
If you are already in Japan, these measures will only impact you if you choose to leave Japan to go home and try to return during this time frame. If you do this, your visa may also be invalidated and you will be unable to return to Japan.
Extended COE timeframe
You must enter Japan before the end of time frame available after your start date on your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), regardless of any dates printed on your visa in your passport.
However during this time of travel uncertainty, foreign nationals who have been issued with a COE will have longer than normal to be able to use it. COEs issued between October 1st 2019 and January 29th 2021, which are normally only valid for 3 months, will be extended for 6 months from the date of the entry ban restrictions being lifted, or until April 30, 2021, whichever comes first.
This means that if for some reason you are unable to travel to Japan for your chosen term, during this time it is possible to use your COE for the next term.
Please let us know what you would like to do as soon as possible, so can will help you with the process for your specific case.
Delayed term start
With an agreement from your chosen school, as long as you enter Japan before the date of expiry connected to your COE, including the additional extension, you can start at a later date. Some schools are additionally offering online lessons of their courses for students unable to attend from day one, so you will be able to join at any point and be up to date with the course.
These additional measures have been brought in to help foreign students who would still like to come to Japan to study but are unable to come during this difficult time.
Please contact us directly for more details on how these changes affect you, your current COE or your visa process.