Most GenkiJACS students use a visa waiver to come to Japan. In general, the longest you can stay without a special visa is 6 months out of a year (depending on your nationality). If you try to stay for longer than 6 months, for example by leaving Japan and re-entering twice, there is a very high chance that you will be refused entry, so we do not allow our students to do this. When you arrive in Japan, the Immigration official will check your passport and visa status, and will usually give you a 90-day landing permit.
Students staying for less than 3 months
- If you are from a country with a visa waiver, no action at all is required before coming to Japan. Your visa waiver is automatic.
- If you are from a country without a visa waiver, you must apply for a tourist visa. Procedures, documents required, and application deadlines vary from country to country. Contact your country's Japanese Embassy or Consulate for more details, as early as you can.
Students staying for more than 6 months
A special visa is required for stays of more than 6 months within a single year. Working holiday visas can be used to study at all GenkiJACS branches. Student visas are available at our Fukuoka branch only.
Students staying for 3-6 months
- If you are from a country with a 6-month visa waiver, no action at all is required before coming to Japan. Your visa waiver is automatic. When you arrive in Japan, you will receive a 90-day landing permission. At least a week before this expires, you must go to the Immigration Office to renew your landing permission.
- If you are from a country with a 3-month visa waiver, you generally will have to leave Japan before 3 months. Upon coming back to Japan, you will receive a new visa waiver. See below for more information.
- If you are from a country without a visa waiver, you must apply for a tourist visa. Procedures, documents required, and application deadlines vary from country to country. Contact your country's Japanese Embassy or Consulate for more details. Receiving a tourist visa to stay for longer than 3 months is quite rare.
Types of visa available
- Student visa
- Available for study of 12 months, extendable to 18 months. GenkiJACS will apply on your behalf.
- Visa waiver
- Available automatically for stays of up to 3 or 6 months for students of most EU countries, the US, Australia, etc
- Working holiday visa
- 1-year visa, allows you to work and study.
- Tourist visa
- Available for students from countries without visa waivers, usually up to 3 months.
Eligibility Requirements:The specific documents you need to provide depend on your situation, but in general you will need:
- Must be at Pre-intermediate or lower level
- You or a family member must be able to show funds to pay for tuition and living expenses (minimum roughly 1,900,000 yen)
- Proof of identification
- Proof of graduation from school (junior high or higher) or equivalent
- Proof of employment (if working)
- Proof of bank balance and income (either yours or your financial sponsor’s)
The above information is valid as of 2018.
Current info available here
If the period of stay is 90 days or less, you can leave Japan once, then come back, to receive a new visa waiver. The closest country to Japan is South Korea - only 40 minutes by plane from Fukuoka. GenkiJACS has confirmed with the Immigration Office that it is legal to leave Japan once before your visa waiver expires and then return to Japan, receiving a second 3-month visa waiver. No GenkiJACS student has ever been refused re-entry in these circumstances.
However, the immigration authorities are responsible for making sure that people are not committing crime or fraud, so if you do re-enter Japan, they may select you for extra questioning to assure themselves that you are not doing anything illegal. GenkiJACS can provide documentation for full-time students to prove that you are studying with Genki Japanese School. Immigration may ask you for details about where you are staying, what you study, why you came to Japan, why you chose GenkiJACS, how you pay for your study and expenses in Japan, etc. The main reason they ask is to make sure you are not working illegally in Japan or overstaying, but they may ask about other things too. Answer them completely truthfully and you should have no problems!
We generally recommend that you purchase your plane ticket to leave Japan for purposes of renewing your waiver before you start your study with us, so that you can provide this as additional proof to show to the Immigration officers.
Please note that it is not possible to stay for longer than 6 months on a visa waiver, so we do not accept students on visa waivers to study for longer than 6 months.
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Working holiday visa
The working holiday visa is a one-year visa designed to give young people the chance to experience life in Japan. It gives them the right to work almost any job, as long as the job itself is not seen as the main purpose of their stay. The visa is only open to people up to 30 years old (or 35 in some countries), and you have to be able to show proof of minimum funds - usually about $2000 USD - as well as the money to buy a plane ticket back to your home country.
While it's definitely more work than receiving an automatic 3-month visa waiver, the Working Holiday visa has the advantage of giving you more economic freedom during your stay in Japan, so we would definitely recommend it for students from eligible countries. We also recommend the working holiday visa over the student visa for long-term study, for the following reasons:
- You can apply any time, whereas you have to apply for the student visa at least 5 months in advance.
- You can do whatever you want on the working holiday visa, whereas on the student visa, you have to study full-time (at least 20 lessons per week) for the duration of the visa.
- You can attend class when you want on the working holiday visa. On the student visa, if you don't attend 80% of classes or more, the visa may be cancelled.
- The application for a student visa is quite hard, takes some time, and requires additional documents, whereas the application for a working holiday visa is very easy and quick.
If you need more information, ask the Japanese Embassy in your country, as application procedures vary by country.Read more
Students coming to learn Japanese from countries not listed above can apply for a tourist visa from the Japanese Embassy in your home country. In limited cases, GenkiJACS is able to aid you in the application process. However, we only provide visa documentation AFTER receiving full payment of tuition and accommodation fees. If there is a problem with receiving a visa after payment has been made, we are happy to refund fees as per the terms and conditions.
In general, it is not possible to receive a tourist visa for periods of longer than 3 months.
We recommend applying to the Japanese Embassy as early as possible, as in some cases the application process can take some time.
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