Student Visa to Japan

Visa to Japan

Easy to understand, a guide on Student Visa to Japan.

Visa is permission to enter the designated destination and is regulated by the Immigration control officials of that country. Every country has regulations regarding entry. Japan has its own law that applies to all foreign nationals when entering the country.

Due to occasional changes to the regulations, unfortunately, obtaining a Student Visa for Japan is not so straight forward. This is because these regulations change with Japanese government policy reviews.

Each topic explains the current requirements and procedures of visa application for your study in Japan.

Types of Visa for International Students

There are three types of visa which students can obtain for their study in Japan. Visa types vary by their course length and the purpose of coming to Japan.

  • Student Visa to Japan
  • Tourists Visa for a short stay in Japan
  • Working Holiday Visa

Student Visa to Japan

Student Visa applies to those with studying purpose in Japan. Students can apply for a visa from 6 months to a maximum of 2 years. The applicable period depends on the course length.

Application requirements

One of the requirements for the Student Visa application is proof of Financial Ability. Applicants must show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their entire stay in Japan. The funds include tuition fee, accommodation and living expenses.

  • Bank Statements in the name of the sponsor, which show the bank balance of at least ¥2,000,000. The amount varies by the course length and school policy.
  • Documents showing the income of the sponsor. For examples, tax returns and an employment certificate.

Student Visa is obtainable for studying purposes only.

How to apply for Japan Student Visa

In Japan, only those institutions qualified by the Japanese government can process the Student Visa applications.

Application process

Step 1. Application 
Pathway Japan submits application forms to the school.

Step 2. Acceptance 
The school reports the result of student acceptance to Pathway Japan.

Step 3. Application for a certificate 
The school applies for a Student Visa Certificate through the Immigration Service Agency of Japan.

Step 4. Grant a permission
The agency grants the school permission to issue a certificate. Pathway Japan ensures that the school posts student an original certificate and a letter of enrolment.

Step 5. Student visa application
The student applies for a visa at the embassy or Consulate of Japan in the home country.

Step 6. Registration card
On arrival into Japan, the Immigration officer issues a registration card.

Note: The whole process will take approximately 5 ~ 6 months. Pathway Japan will consider this time frame during the planning and advise the student appropriately.

Leaving Japan during school holidays

You may wish to travel abroad during the school holidays. The question is, what happens to acquired Student Visa? Your Student Visa becomes invalid when leaving Japan. It is then necessary to re-apply for a Student Visa to re-enter Japan.

Noooo, you wouldn’t want to go through all the hustle again!

There is an easy way to resolve this. You can avoid re-application by completing the Embarkation Card at the departure. You only need to √ a box, ‘I am leaving Japan temporary and will return’. Then submit it to the Immigration officer. Subsequently, you can re-enter Japan with the current Student Visa. Phew…
The condition on return is that the visa holder must re-enter Japan within 365 days from the departure date.

Can I work with Student Visa?

The primary purpose of a Student Visa is to study. Therefore, students cannot engage in employment in Japan. However, students can take a part-time job with permission.

To apply for permission, complete the form at the passport control on arrival. Alternatively, apply through the Immigration Service Agency during the school term.

However, there are restrictions on working hours.

  • During the school term, a maximum of 28 hours per week.
  • During the school holidays, a maximum of 8 hours per day.

What Courses can I take with Student Visa?

Long-term courses start in 4 separate semesters, April, July, October and January. Student Visa period depends on which semester the students enrolled. More details are in the long-term courses below.

Tourist Visa for a short stay in Japan

These visa holders can stay in Japan for up to 90 days.

Under the ‘Visa exemption arrangement’, visitors from 68 countries are visa waived. It means that visitors can enter Japan without a visa under certain conditions. The purpose of coming to Japan is travelling, tourism, relative visit and so on. Listing of countries is available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 

For visitors from non-listed countries, the visa application is necessary before arriving in Japan. Pathway Japan will advise you on this.

Visa waiver extension

The following nationals can extend their stay in Japan for an extra 90 days. These countries are:

  • The United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Mexico
  • Liechtenstein

Visitors must apply for an extension through the agency in Japan during the first 90-day period.

Working in Japan with Visitor Visa

The primary purpose of this visa is visiting. Therefore, visa holders and visa waived nationals cannot engage in employment nor part-time jobs.

Japanese Language Courses with Visitor Visa

A short-term course is perfect for a holiday in Japan. Fantastic courses from 2 to 12 weeks can make your holiday in Japan unforgettable!

Working Holiday Visa for Japan

This visa applies to foreign nationals aged 18 to 30 (differs by country and region). The purpose of this visa is to deepen mutual understanding of the 2 countries through cultural exchanges.

Visa is valid for one year, and there is no restriction to working hours. Obtaining a Working Holiday Visa before arriving in Japan is necessary. Students can apply for the visa at the Embassy or Consulate of Japan in their home country.

The nationals from the following 22 countries and regions are applicable.

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • The United Kingdom

Study Japanese with Working Holiday Visa

Take advantage of your visa privilege, learn Japanese and increase your possibilities in employment opportunities. Gaining Japanese language skills will give you extensive working experiences in Japan. Short or long-term, the choice is yours.

How Pathway Japan can assist you


  • Advice on the types of visa, which visa applies to you, and how to obtain.


  • Explain the procedure clearly by steps. Advise what documents to collect. There are many documents students will need to obtain for Student Visa application.


  • Prepare application forms using the information you provided. There are ways to fill in the forms. For example, students will require a short essay or a statement as to why you want to study in Japan. Pathway Japan knows how to put your message across to the school.


  • Ensure necessary forms and documents are all complete and are in order for submission. Preparation takes time and effort. The school may reject your applications if they are incomplete. Complete forms make it easier for the school to process your application. Hence, it gives a good impression of yourself.


  • Translate the scripts into Japanese. Mistakes are even more disaster! Student Visa may be rejected if those mistakes are converted into Japanese. You would definitely want to avoid such situations. Pathway Japan ensures documents are error-free and translates to reflect your words.
Let's learn Japanese and experience Japan!

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