With Christmas around the corner, here’s an unexpected gift from the Japanese Minsitry of Justice: It’s now easier to get a student visa in Japan.
The rules for applying for a student visa to study at a Japanese language school in Japan are set by the Japanese Ministry of Justice. They recently contacted us to inform us about an update to the rules. Generally this means the rules are getting stricter, but this time it’s not so simple. They’ve made a few changes, but the biggest change for Japanese students is that they’ve removed the requirement to have already studied Japanese. So in effect, it’s now actually easier to get a student visa in Japan for most of our students.
In the past, to apply for a Japanese student visa, you had to show that you had already studied at least 150 hours of Japanese. While Immigration were willing to be flexible about this requirement for students from GenkiJACS, we’re happy to see that they’ve decided to drop it completely. So now, even if you haven’t studied Japanese before, you could still be eligible for a student visa.
Another big change is to which nationalities are allowed to use the “easy” application method, and which need the “full” application. The full application process requires a lot more documents to be provided to support the application. In the past, Japanese Immigration kept a list of the countries that were required to use the more complex application, and all other countries could use the easier application process. From now on, though, it’s been swapped around: Immigration provides a list of countries which are eligible for the easier process, and any countries not on the list have to use the tougher application. There have been a few changes to the specific countries too, the biggest of which is China, which was moved to the easy application list. This doesn’t have a big effect on Genki Japanese, but for the Japanese language schools that take in a lot of students from China, this will make things a lot simpler!
Applications for student visas to start studying Japanese at our Fukuoka Japanese school in April 2020 have closed already, but we’re now accepting applications for July 2020 student visas. There’s never been a better time to think about studying Japanese in Japan!