Japanese Student Visa
So you decided to study on a Japanese Student Visa Course in Japan, but the prospect of applying for a visa is daunting. You have heard horror stories of people applying for Japanese visas and the process taking ages, with piles of documents required. Or are you not familiar with the whole visa system and never had to apply for one? This article is the one you were looking for all your life! Take my proverbial hand, let’s go and explore the fun world of student visa application!
Student Visa Courses – an Overview
Our student courses have four intakes per year – January, April, July/August and October. We have two courses available at the moment of our writing this post:
The cool part is that the application process for either course is almost the same, but the required amount in the bank account upon application is different. (We will cover this part a little later).
Another cool thing is that there is an option of extending the 1-year course, so it becomes the 18 Month course. However, in this case, the extension is not a guarantee, as your attendance and goals may be taken into account.
These courses are not all straight-up classes for the whole year, it would be exhausting for you. We have scheduled regular holidays so that you could spend some time exploring Japan and potentially practising your Japanese in the real world! The longest holiday is usually six weeks during summer, so plenty of time to see some places you have always wanted. Because of the holidays, the actual number of weeks you will be studying goes as follows:
- 1-Year Japanese Student Visa Course – 40 weeks of classes and 7-11 weeks of holidays.
- 18-Month Japanese Student Visa Course – 60 weeks of classes and 20 weeks of holidays.
*Please note that sometimes the number of holiday weeks will vary to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.
The above should give you some basic idea about the two student visa courses we have on offer! So let’s look at the dreaded visa application process.
The Application Process
If you have ever emailed us you will have received the following:
1) We need to receive all the application documents from you before the deadline
2) We will then submit all your documents on your behalf to Japanese immigration to apply for the student visa. This process takes about 3 months.
3) Once your visa application has gone through, the immigration will send GenkiJACS a certificate of eligibility (COE). If you have paid already, we will send you the COE. If not, you will need to make the payment right away.
4) We will then send you the physical copy of the COE.
5) You will then have to take this COE to the Japanese embassy nearest to you to apply for a student visa. They will require you to leave your passport with them, so please note that you will not be able to leave the country during this time. This process usually takes about 10 to 15 working days.
After you have received your student visa entry on your passport, you can then enter Japan and start your study with GenkiJACS.
You will also have the choice of receiving the COE via EMS or DHL. DHL delivery will cost about 6500 Yen, but it is faster. EMS delivery is covered already.
This basically summarises the process, but it may be best to look at the documents required in a bit more detail:
- Digital Photograph (Compulsory)
It has to be a passport-style photograph, where you would face the camera, standing against a white plain background. Your shoulders and face must be clearly visible. This is the photograph we will use for your Visa and Student ID
- Passport Scan (front page only) (Compulsory)
To travel abroad you will need a travel document that allows you to do so. Vast majority of countries require you to have a passport. The best way is to have your passport that is valid for the whole duration of your stay in Japan. If it is not, we may ask you to apply for a new passport, or you might have to apply for the passport renewal when you are in Japan.
When photographing or scanning the passport, it is always best to have all of the information to be as clear as possible.
- Previous Japanese Travel (Optional)
Only required if you travelled to Japan previously! If you have had any Japanese Visas issued previously, a scan or a photograph of them would be required. If you have not travelled to Japan previously, or do not have any Japanese visas in your passport, then skip this part!
We realise that a number of countries have a bunch of different systems of education and not all countries have clearly defined primary, secondary and high schools. If you are homeschooled or attended a special academy, please do not worry! Upon finishing school, no matter what form it takes, you will receive a graduation certificate.
- Graduation Certificate
This should be for the highest education institution you finished. As an example, if you graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, that is the certificate we will ask. However, if you finished high school and decided to work after a couple of years of studying at a college or university, we will ask for your high school graduation papers only.
If you are currently studying still, a current transcript from your education institution is required.
If you are in High School, a letter from your high school is required.
- Japanese Study History (Optional)
If you studied Japanese at an institution, a graduation certificate, exam results or enrollment certificates will be required.
Unfortunately, citizens of some countries are required to have studied Japanese before even applying for the course. The minimum number of completed hours is 150. It can be done at any certified Japanese language institution and it can be done online! For that, we actually have a special offer.
Fees and bank balance requirements
- 1-Year Japanese Student Visa Course
The course is 990,000 Yen (9,000 US dollars), so we ask for 1,900,000 Yen of available resources upon application.
- 18-Month Japanese Student Visa Course
Is the more expensive out of the two choices with the price of 1,390,000 Yen (12,700 US dollars). Because of that, we ask our students to have at least 2,000,000 Yen in their bank accounts.
*Our prices are in Yen, so please take into account the current conversion rates.
These are calculated with the course fee in mind, and the living expenses as well.
The good news is that you don’t have to have it in your own bank account, but it could be provided by your financial sponsor who could be anyone who agrees to provide financial support for you. But in this case, we would need proof of your relations to them, and the best documents for that:
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- Adoption Documents
If you are related in any other ways, the best way is to check with us first! Either way, it has to be a document issued by the government.
Proof of finances can only be provided by submitting Bank Balance statement(s) that displays the following:
- Available balance
- Bank Name
- Bank Logo
- Account Holder’s name
It has to be issued no more than 2 months before the application deadline.
You will be happy to learn that we do not charge any additional fees for the visa application and there is no need to send us translated documents! (We are very international and will translate the documents as needed!)
Understandably, the whole process seems complicated, but we guide all our applicants through the process and most of the time it is relatively painless. It is always better to check the requirements carefully before submitting any documents, as our eagle-eyed visa coordinators will find some issues and we will have to contact you for additional documents or updates.
So far, we have had a 100% success rate (when the documents were all in order) in visa applictions and we hope to keep it that way!
See you in Japan!