From October 1, 2020 Japan opened up its borders again to long-term visa applicants from overseas. However, with the reopening of borders has come additional entry requirements into Japan that you need to meet before you’re allowed into the country.

Some countries also have additional restrictions in place about their residents leaving the country. There are also situations where you will be required to show extra certificates and documents too.

As of February 2021, a state of emergency has been declared for some parts of the country including Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka regions. This primarily affects restaurants and bars, which have an earlier closing time, while people are encouraged to work from home and going out unnecessarily. The state of emergency is in place until March 7.

So what do you need to do if you’re coming to Japan on a student visa? Read on to learn more and how Go! Go! Nihon can help.

First things first

Before checking off any entry requirements to Japan, double check first that you are actually able to leave your country and fly to Japan. Your country may have its own restrictions in terms of movement in and out of its borders during this time.

Additionally, there are limits on the number of people who are allowed to arrive in Japan each day, so flights may not be as available to you.

We recommend you check with your local embassy, as well as airlines.

Filling in documents for student visa

COEs and documentation

Before you receive your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), you need to pay your tuition so make sure you do that on time.

Once your school confirms your payment and you receive your COE, you would normally take the COE to your nearest embassy so they can issue you with your student visa. However, we recommend calling your closest embassy first to confirm whether they have resumed issuing visas or not.

Depending on your embassy, there could be fewer appointment times available and longer wait times, so we recommend you confirm this as soon as possible.

In order to convert your COE to a student visa, you need:

  • The original COE
  • A good quality and recent portrait photo
  • Your passport
  • Visa application form
  • School guarantor information – our team will share this with you if you apply through Go! Go! Nihon
  • Pledge – this is a new document required by the Japanese government that sets out the rules that students must follow in order to enter Japan. We will send our students a copy as soon as it is confirmed they will be coming to Japan.

If you have already converted your COE to a student visa, double check with your embassy to see if you need to complete any extra steps. Remember, different countries may have different processes and some countries may require their citizens to produce additional certificates before allowing them to leave. If you are in this situation, please contact us and we can assist you with that.

*The most common questions about Japanese student visa applications
*Study in Japan for 6 months: planning and timeline
*10 articles that will help you prepare to study in Japan

Health check & PCR test

You must present a printed copy or original of a negative PCR test that you have taken within 72 hours before flying. You must also provide a document that has been filled in and signed by a medical institution. The result must be written as “Negative”. No other response or words will be accepted.

In addition to your PCR test, you must also monitor your health in the 14 days prior to your flight. Most of our partner schools require the results of this to be submitted. If you apply to study in Japan through our services, we will instruct you how to proceed.

If any symptoms of COVID-19 appear, including fever of 37.5°C or higher, respiratory symptoms, strong feeling of weariness, you must cancel your trip to Japan. 

A room at a sharehouse

Organise accommodation

You must confirm your accommodation before arriving in Japan as you will need the address for the official forms you fill out when you arrive. This will be the place where you will quarantine after arriving in Japan, so it must be accurate. Read more about those forms here.

Note that some schools and accommodation providers have their own quarantine rules. Therefore, they may require you to quarantine at a specific place before you can move into your long-term accommodation. Contact us for more information!

Make sure to also read our articles on accommodation options in Japan:
*Where to live – accommodation options in Japan
*Finding accommodation in Japan with Go! Go! Nihon

Confirm arrival transport

Due to quarantine requirements, you will not be able to use public transport after arriving in Japan. You can hire a car if you have a Japanese license or an International Drivers Permit. Or you can organise a private driver ahead of time.

Our team will share with you the best transport options and recommendations for your case.

Some schools may also be able to offer pick-up services, so please contact us about this if you are interested.

Go! Go! Nihon is here to help

The above are the main updates to the entry requirements for Japan. For full details and information, please visit Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

If you’re unsure of anything, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your coordinator so that you have everything you need to enter Japan smoothly.

Note that these new requirements came into effect on Oct 1, 2020 and there may be future updates and changes. We will endeavour to bring those updates to you as soon as information about them is available.