How a visa sponsor for Japan works

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Is one of your goals in life to move to Japan to study or work? If that is the case, you will need a visa and a visa sponsor for Japan.

This can be quite a hurdle if you don’t know how to approach the task correctly. To get you started, we cover basic information about what a visa sponsor is, and their responsibilities in this article.

Read on to learn more about getting a visa sponsor for Japan.

Person reading a Go Go Nihon catalogue with info about visa sponsor for Japan and accommodation.

What is a visa sponsor for Japan and why do you need one?

To complete your student visa application, you need a sponsor for financial reasons. This person ensures that you have adequate money to live and study in Japan.

For full-time work, your visa sponsor for Japan would usually be the company that you’re employed by. 

For a student visa, you have two options: self-sponsor, or have someone else sponsor you, preferably a close family member.

For self-sponsorship to study in Japan, you typically need to meet the following three conditions. Self-sponsors should have been working full-time for the past two years, without large gaps of unemployment and your annual income should be at least 2 million yen (the higher the better). As well as show a bank statement balance equivalent to at least 1.2 million yen for 6 months of study.

If you have someone else sponsoring your visa, similar to self-sponsorship, that person typically should meet the above three requirements. You may also be requested to submit additional documents, such as a birth certificate. If your visa sponsor for Japan is retired, you will need to provide their retirement date and pension statements which should be at least 2 million yen annually.

Some language schools may accept double sponsorship, for example from two close relatives. Please contact us about this if you would like more information.

Note: schools have varying requirements and the above is always subject to change depending on Immigration rules

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What does the sponsor have to do?

Aside from providing money, a student visa sponsor will also need to provide documents to prove their financial viability. 

Included in your student visa application should be a tax return document that shows the sponsor’s personal income. Some schools also ask for a payslip or income tax document that states the sponsor’s current company so they can confirm their employment details.

If you apply for a student visa through Go! Go! Nihon, our team will advise you during the process on all the necessary documentation.

For a work visa, your company needs to provide documents such as:

  • Company registry certificate
  • Financial statements, including recent tax returns
  • Proof of employment with salary
  • Letter of acknowledgement 
  • Official seal (判子, hanko)

Many companies will complete the visa application process for employees, but some do not. In the latter situation, it’s always best to hire an immigration lawyer in Japan to help with the visa process to make sure you have all the right documentation and correctly fill in the forms.

Self-sponsorship for work visas

As mentioned, it’s possible to self-sponsor your student visa. But what about a work visa? 

There isn’t technically a self-sponsorship visa category for working in Japan. If you are a freelancer with several clients in Japan, you would need to ask one of your Japan-based clients to sponsor your visa for an ordinary work visa. This should be a client that is both stable and high-paying. You will also need to show you already have signed and stable contracts with different clients in Japan.

In essence, you need to show that you earn enough money to support yourself, which is about a minimum of 200,000 yen per month. Ideally, this amount should be as high as possible, especially if you plan to live in Tokyo.

Your visa sponsor for Japan will also need to fill in a registry certificate, provide financial statements and tax-reports, and you need to get their official seal stamp on your application.

If your other contracts with clients don’t fall under the same work category that you’re applying for, you will need to apply for “Permission to engage in activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted” (資格外活動の許可, shikakugaikatsudō no kyoka). 

This will allow you to do work that is not specified in your work visa category. Visit the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for information on the different visa categories.

Make Japan student visa applications easy with Go! Go! Nihon

Now you have a basic understanding of what a visa sponsor for Japan is and what their responsibilities are. Again, if you’re applying for a student visa with Go! Go! Nihon, our team will help you through the process and explain all the documentation and forms that you need. We have more than 10 years of experience helping students live and study in Japan, so we know a thing or two about student visa requirements! Contact us if you have any questions.

If you are interested in Japanese culture, history, language, or life, feel free to follow our blog!

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