社団法人東京都専修学校各種学校協会
I. International Student Acceptance Policies in Japan and the Current Status II. The Japanese Education System III. Study Abroad in Japan IV. Living in Japan V. Options after Graduation VI. Contact Information VII. List of Graduate Schools, Universities, Professional Training Colleges, 
and Japanese Language Institutes
  III. Study Abroad in Japan   
  Site Map   
 
 III. Study Abroad in Japan
1.  Requirements to Enter Institutions for Higher Education in Japan
  (1) Those Who Have Finished 12 Years of School Education
To be qualified to enter Japanese universities, junior colleges or professional training colleges in Japan, the applicants should have finished upper secondary schools or 12 years of school education.
It applies to international students as well. Only those who have finished 12 years of school education outside Japan or those who have had what is equivalent to it and have been approved by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology are considered to be equally or better qualified as the students who have graduated from upper secondary schools in Japan.

(2) Students without 12 Years of Education
As for those who have had school education for less than 12 years, their enrollment in institutions of higher education will be permitted only with either of the following conditions:

  a. Those who have passed the national examination of the relevant country (or pursuant to it) to qualify that the examinees have the attainments equal to or higher than those who have finished 12 years of school education. The applicants also need to have become 18 years old. Such examinations include Baccalaureat in France and Abitur in Germany.
  b. Those have finished the school system equivalent to upper secondary schools (including those who have passed the above mentioned examinations) abroad, have finished University Preparatory Course to enter Japanese professional training colleges and universities provided at the educational institutions in the chart below or prefectural settlement facilities or self-support facilities for returnees from China, and have become 18 years old
* University Preparatory Course refers to what is assigned by MEXT for students from countries where secondary education requires less than 12 years for graduation to obtain eligibility to apply for Japanese professional training colleges and universities.
[Basic Course to Start Studying in Japan]
   
 
2.  Admission Requirements for Japanese Institutions of Higher Education
  Admission requirements are as follows.
   
【1】 Admission Requirements for Professional Training Colleges
 

(1) Admission Requirements for Professional Training Colleges
Individuals must meet one of the following criteria to apply for admission to a Japanese professional training college. Be sure you meet the requirements indicated if you are thinking about studying abroad in Japan.

  1. Applicants must have completed 12 years of school education (which includes meeting the requirement for completing secondary education) in a foreign country.
    * Including individuals who are 18 years of age or older and have completed a secondary education program (12 years) at an educational facility in Japan that is positioned within the school education system of a foreign country

  2. If an applicant graduated after completing 10 or 11 years of secondary education, they must be 18 years of age or older and must have completed a program at an institution designated as a “preparatory educational institution.”

  3. Applicants must be recognized as possessing the equivalent or greater academic capabilities of a high school graduate with regard to admission of university or other institutions of higher education.

    a. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older and hold an International Baccalaureate degree or a German Abitur degree
    b. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older and have completed a 12-year program at an international school that has been certified by an international assessment organization organization (WASC, ACSI, ECIS)

(2) Japanese Language Skills
 Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Applicants who have received six or more months of Japanese language education at an institute for Japanese language education designated by the Ministry of Justice

  2. Applicants who have passed N1 or N2 of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) administered by Japan Educational Exchanges and Services and the Japan Foundation

  3. Applicants who have received education for one year or longer at a Japanese elementary school, junior high school, or high school

  4. Applicants who have scored 200 or more points (combined total for reading, comprehension, and listening) in Japanese on the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

  5. Applicants who have scored 400 or more points on the Japanese Listening and Reading Comprehension Test (JLRT) portion of the Business Japanese Proficiency Test (BJT) administered by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Association (administered by JETRO until 2008)

(3) Studying at a Professional Training College
Professional training colleges that want to accept international students are required by order of the Ministry of the Justice to have a full-time staff member responsible for providing guidance on everyday life issues to international students. Also, many professional training colleges have adopted a “homeroom teacher” system in which a specific teacher is assigned responsibility for providing guidance to international students on academic issues as well as on everyday issues outside of school.

1. Confirmation of School Rules and Procedures
An orientation session will be held soon after students are admitted. At this time, the school will introduce the student advisors, explain various procedures, discuss the school rules, and provide other tips and suggestions.
There are many procedures that must be completed by international students. Listen carefully to the school's explanations and be sure to remember what you are told. Changing student's visa status is particularly important and must be completed by the time the student enrolls. If you have not yet taken steps to change your status, you should do so promptly. Also, be sure you understand the school's rules regarding grade level promotion, graduation, expulsion, and fee payment systems.
Be sure to take notes when listening to information on these topics because these will help you understand the information better and may come in handy later when you need the information.

2. When Taking Classes
Of course, it is better for students to have excellent Japanese language skills, but many international students achieve good grades even with lower levels of Japanese language skills. Do not hesitate to take classes that interest you.
If you don't understand the information presented in class, you are welcome to ask questions. If you cannot ask questions during class, you can meet up with the professor or your classmates to ask questions during breaks. It is important that you understand the material presented in class before attending the next class session.

   
【2】 Admission Requirements for University/Junior College
 

(1) Admission Requirements for University/Junior College
You have to satisfy one of the qualifications below, in order to be admitted to Japanese universities. Make sure to check these qualifications when you start considering studying in Japan.

  1. Applicants must have completed 12 years of school education overseas (including a necessary condition of having finished upper secondary education). This also applies to a person who has completed 12 years of secondary education at an international school system within Japan and is over 18 years old.

  2. Applicants must have completed 10 or 11 years of secondary education, including a graduation from an institution designated as a “Preparatory Education Program” by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and must be over 18 years old.

  3. Applicants must have passed an exam equivalent for the “Certificate for Students Achieving the Proficiency Level of Upper Secondary School Graduates” in each respective country.

  4. Individuals who can be certified of their scholastic ability equivalent to a high school graduate in the following categories:
    a) Individuals who have an International Baccalaureate or German Abitur and are over 18 years old
    b) Individuals who have completed 12 years of schooling and graduated from an international school certified by international evaluating organizations such as WASC, ACSI, and ECIS, and are over 18 years old

  5. Individuals who can be certified of their scholastic ability equivalent to a high school graduate by a university's entrance examinations and are over 18 years old

(2) Transferring to Japanese Universities
There are about 40 national, 10 public, and 170 private universities, which accept international transfer students. However, only about 70 of them offer special entrance examinations for international transfer students, and the number to be admitted is very limited. In most cases, international students wishing to transfer must take the same test as Japanese students.

(3) Graduating from Japanese Universities
If you acquire more than 124 credits at 4-year-universities, 188 credits at 6-year-programs in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy, or 182 credits at veterinary schools, you are approved to graduate from the university and receive a “bachelor's degree.” A Japanese degree is valid in most countries, generally speaking. Some countries have their own degree certification systems registered by their departments of education or research institutions, so please confirm with the institutions in your country.

(4) Short-Term Study Abroad
There are two kinds of short-term study abroad programs: one is an exchange program based on official exchange agreements between universities, and another is a program not based on such agreements. The contents of exchange programs vary depending on the subject.

 Short-Term Study Abroad Programs
 School level: 1) university, 2) graduate school
 Program language: 1) Japanese only, 2) English only, 3) Japanese and English
 Study subjects: 1) the Japanese language, 2) Japanese studies, 3) the humanities,
         4) the natural sciences, 5) engineering science
(Some universities offer special classes for short-term international students and some allow them to audit in regular lectures. Short-term international students may have varying status, including such titles as exchange students, auditors, subject registered students, and etc.)

(5) Entering a Junior College
Prerequisite qualifications and application documents necessary for entrance to junior colleges are the same as to universities. Entrance exams are administered as combinations of the following subjects: document evaluation, achievement test, interview, essay, and other aptitude tests. An acquisition of 62 credits in a 2-year-course or 93 credits in a 3-year-course is required for graduation. If you fulfill these conditions, you can receive an “associate’s degree.”

   
【3】 Admission Requirements for Graduate Schools
 

(1) Admission Requirements for Graduate Schools
Admission requirements differ depending on the program in which the student is enrolling, but applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Master’s program
    a. Applicants who have graduated from a four-year professional training college (from a department that grants the use of the “advanced diploma” title), have graduated from a four-year university, or are recognized as possessing the equivalent or greater academic capabilities of said graduates
    b. Applicantswho have completed 16 years of school education in a foreign country
    c. Applicants who have completed 15 years of school education in a foreign country and have earned the prescribed number of academic credits at a graduate school, with excellent grades
    d. Applicants who are 22 years of age or older and are recognized as possessing the equivalent or greater academic capabilities of a university graduate based on an individual admission qualification investigation by the graduate school

  2. Doctoral program
    a. Applicantswho who have earned a master’s degree or are recognized as possessing the equivalent or greater academic capabilities of a master’s degree holder
    b. Applicants who have received a degree equivalent to a master's degree in a foreign country
    c. Applicants who are 24 years of age or older and are recognized as possessing the equivalent or greater academic capabilities of a master’s degree holder based on an individual admission qualification investigation by the graduate school

  3. Doctoral program (Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacology, and Veterinary Medicine)
    a. Individuals who have completed an undergraduate program (six years) in a university faculty of medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, or veterinary medicine
    b. Applicantswho were enrolled in a university for four or more years and are recognized as having earned the prescribed number of academic credits at a graduate school, with excellent grades
    c. Applicants who have completed 18 years of school education in a foreign country and are recognized as having earned the prescribed number of academic credits at a graduate school, with excellent grades
  4. Research students
    Admission requirements are the same as for full-time students.

(2) Graduating or Completing a Program
In a master’s program, students will be recognized as having completed their graduate school program and will be awarded a master's degree after being enrolled for two years or longer, earning 30 or more academic credits, and passing the review and exam on their master’s thesis.
In a professional degree program (master’s program), students will be awarded their master's degree (professional degree) after being enrolled for one to three years and earning 30 or more academic credits. However, those who complete a graduate school law program will be awarded a Juris Doctor (JD) degree.
In a doctoral program, students will be awarded a doctoral degree after being enrolled for five years or longer (including two years in a master's program), earning 30 or more academic credits (including credits earned in a master's program), and passing the review and exam on their doctoral dissertation.

   
【4】 Admission Requirements for Institutes for Japanese Language Education
 

(1) Admission Requirements for Institutes for Japanese Language Education

  1. To study in a Japanese language course at a professional training college or the Japanese language department of a university, students must have completed 12 years of secondary education.

  2. Students do not need to have completed 12 years of secondary education to enroll in other types of Japanese language schools.
    * Because students must have completed 12 years of secondary education to enroll in a professional training college or university, individuals who have completed 10 or 11 years of education in India, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, or Mongolia can meet the admission requirements of institution of higher education by fulfilling the following criteria: (a) must have been enrolled in a university or other institution of higher education in their home country for one or two years and complete 12 years of school education before coming to Japan, or (b) must have studied for one or two years in a course designated as a preparatory education course for university admission, as mentioned above.

(2) Term of Study
There are tudy abroad programs that last 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 1.5 years, and 2 years. Select a program that best suits your goals. International students may not study at a Japanese language school for more than two years.

   
 
3.  Tips for Selecting a School
【1】 Tips for Selecting a Professional Training College
  Professional training colleges are infinitely different from each other from the number of years required for graduation to contents of education. Therefore, it is important for you to choose a professional training college that is suitable for your purpose of studying in Japan. Here are seven tips for selecting a professional training college.

(1) Whether the Curriculum Allows You to Learn What You Wish to
Professional training colleges have many different courses with similar names. Furthermore, courses with the same names often have different curriculums at each college.
Therefore, tthe first step to select a professional training college is to inspect whether the course offers what you really want to learn or necessary training for you to take up the desired career after graduation.

(2) Whether the Contents of Education and Faculty Members are Fulfilling
The requirements for establishment of professional training college are not as strict as those of universities and junior colleges, which is one of the characteristics of professional training colleges. That allows each college to design unique curriculums, to develop unique facilities and equipments, and to offer unique classes with suitable teachers based on their own training policies and industrial needs. Therefore, it is important for you to study and compare the colleges with their brochures etc. on your own.

(3) Whether the College Have Enough Facilities and Equipments for Professional Training
Since classes at professional training colleges put more emphasis on practical trainings, it makes a lot of difference in the students’ skills depending on the facilities and equipments the college can offer.
When comparing facilities and equipments of professional training colleges, one of the biggest points is whether the students can utilize them in the classes with no difficulties, as well as whether they are up-to-date with the technological progress in the respective industries.

(4) How the Employment Records of the Graduates and Career Options for International Graduates Look
The employment situations of professional training colleges indicate how well the colleges’ education is accepted in the society. Not only the rate of employment but also how many of them got the job using the profession they learned in the college are important.
Many of the international students in professional training colleges wish to work in Japan after graduation. However, only those who have been awarded with the title of “Technical Associate” can obtain a work permit. Moreover, your application to change the status of residence to work visa will not be accepted, unless the expertise matches the status of residence eligible for work permit such as “Engineer”, “Specialist in Humanities / International Services” and so on, and the job contents matches the courses undertaken at the professional training college.
As a conclusion, please make sure that, if you wish to work in Japan in the future, whether the course can offer the title of technical associate and the desired career matches the eligible status of residence. Also, you should ask for the employment records of the former international students to judge the ratio of employment after graduating from the professional training college or the course.

(5) How Much Tuition You Should Pay
You should be aware how much you should pay for the tuition of the professional training college for the first year in total, how much of it to pay at admission procedure, and about after the second year. There might be some fees that are not written in the brochures. You should also research in advance how much to pay for what items.
The cheaper the tuition is, the better it might look. However, it is not recommended to select a school only for price of the tuition. The point is, whether you can receive what you pay for.
Recently, there are more scholarship programs for professional training college students. There are also more colleges that have their own scholarship programs. It would be a good idea for you to enquire colleges about it.

(6) Opinions from Teachers of Japanese Language School or Senior Students
It is important to decide which professional training college to attend after listening to as many people as possible. The best way for you is to combine what the teachers and administrative staff of your Japanese language school or senior students who have gone to professional training colleges should say, and to reconsider what you wish and what you are good at.

(7) Whether You Have Actually Seen the School and Convinced Yourself
In addition to he check points above, at the end, you should not forget that you must actually see the college and convince yourself before deciding to attend the college.
Most of the professional training colleges have a permanent desk for enrollment consultation and the staff will answer your questions. You can ask for a tour of the school to see the environment you are going to study in.

   
  <Reference>
List of Average Payments for Students at Private Professional Training Colleges
(FY2015 / Japanese Day students)

Course
Category Day/
Night
Admission
Fee
Tuition Practical Training Costs Facility Costs Others Total
Category #1
Engineering
Civil Engineering / Construction / Surveying Day 204

674

56

262 28 1,224
Night 128 349 18 84 12 591
Auto Mechanics Day 216 386 229 183 250 1,084
Night 150 250 219 116 54 789
Information Processing Day 167 613 120 272 25 1,197
Night 100 324 168 114 3 709
Electrics, Electronics, Machinery and Others Day 198 635 177 291 13 1,284
Night 100 324 168 114 3 709
Category #2  Agriculture Biotechnology, Others Day 180 542 112 351 23 1,208
Night 50 570 360 980
Category #3
Healthcare
Nursing Day 155 581 46 78 37 887
Night 250 480 730
Clinical laboratory techonology, Engineering and Radiology, Clinical Engineering Day 193 749 284 157 32 1,415
Night 205 574 133 179 30 1,120
Physical Therapy, Occupational therapy Day 367 877 232 227 2 1,704
Night 386 679 212 206 1,482
Judo Reposition Day 289 1,080 62 131 14 1,551
Night 250 926 102 142 26 1,446
Acupuncture / Moxacautery / Massage Day 399 1,048 43 164 16 1,731
Night 470 946 53 165 31 1,809
Dental health and Techniques Day 243 667 151 37 149 1,247
Night 176 574 103 33 155 1,071
Others Day 114 847 39 63 108 1,170
Night 50 587 67 60 763
Category #4
Hygienics
Cooking, Nutrition Day 185 578 296 198 81 1,358
Night 132 389 245 103 46 915
Confectionary Day 266 575 475 238 147 1,701
Night 150 400 600 270 1,420
Barber, Beautification Day 108 559 194 174 243 1,236
Night 81 417 124 111 216 949
Otehrs Day 123 556 223 190 440 1,533
Night
Category #5
Education / Social Welfare
Child-care, Education Day 181 626 68 176 93 1,137
Night 151 515 47 107 68 887
Nursing Welfare Day 142 638 111 151 33 1,074
Night 50 500 80 55 685
Social Welfare, Others Day 131 711 132 131 48 1,091
Night 113 808 205 80 48 1,253
Category #6
Business
Bookkeeping, Business, IT Day 140 627 39 151 53 961
Night 160 620 30 50 60 920
Practical Commercial Business Travel, Hotel, Tourism Day 139 770 88 187 50 1,254
Night 77 520 16 105 29 746
Medical Secretary, Medical Processing Day 112 648 82 173 39 1,054
Night 100 350 34 100 83 667
Others Day 151 771 52 103 73 1,150
Night
Category #7
Fashion, Home Economics
Fashion, Home Economics Day 177 576 27 162 52 1,002
Night 83 225 52 4 373
Category #8
Culture / General Educations
Language related Day 124 826 21 131 18 1,120
Night 50 530 30 34 644
Arts, Design, photography Day 177 760 105 196 38 1,282
Night 108 400 31 80 69 688
Music, Theater, Film, Broadcasting Day 179 728 122 338 5 1,372
Night
Law/Publice Servant Day 146 681 95 44 76 1,040
Night 160 620 30 50 60 920
Sports Instructor Day 154 655 62 206 144 1,222
Night 50 500 261 811
Animal Managemnet Day 203 496 238 230 106 1,273
Night
Animation, Voice Actor, Video Game Day 155 787 88 236 9 1,274
Night
Others Day 161 658 58 176 6 1,057
Night 50 636 110 796
Japanese Language Course Day 83 717 33 29 36 898
Night
Total Average Day 179 684 118 197 58 1,229
Night 173 554 89 104 53 989
  Note: Since they are sums of the average values of each course, the total values of horizontal lines would not match the actual total values. Costs are rounded to the nearest 1,000.
   
 
4.  Enrollment Procedures, and Immigration and Visa Issues
【1】 Procedures for Immigration to Japan and for Enrolling in a Professional Training College or University
  In order to study at a professional training college or a university, you must obtain a “student” status of residence. If you wish to enter a professional training college or university directly from overseas, you must either apply for a Certificate of Eligibility or obtain a “student” status of residence.

Obtaining a “Student” Status of Residence by Applying for a Certificate of Eligibility
After receiving an issue of a Certificate of Eligibility for a “student” status of residence from a regional immigration bureau, obtain a “student” status of residence from the Japanese embassy or consulate office of your home country and apply for your entry permission for the “student” status of residence at the port of entry. This method can be completed by a representative (proxy applicant), such as the staff of the school you are planning to enter.
Please note that the Certificate of Eligibility becomes invalid unless you apply for an entry permission within three months of issue of the Certificate.
 
  Obtaining a “Student” Status of Residence by Applying for a Certificate of Eligibility
  Obtaining a “College Student” Status of Residence by Applying for a Certificate of Eligibility
   
  Documents to Submit at Application for Certificate of Eligibility
 

<For Studying at Professional Training Colleges>

  1. Application forms for Certificate of Eligibility
  2. One photograph (40mm x 30mm), a self-addressed envelope (standard-sized envelope with a stamp for registered mail)
  3. Photocopy of Admission (with the attending course written)
  4. One of the following documents (If receiving education other than that of Japanese language):

    (a) Certificate of completion, academic transcription and record of attendance from an institute of Japanese language education

    (b) Photocopy of a passing certificate for the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (N1 or N2), a certificate showing that the applicant received 200 or more points on the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU), or a certificate showing the applicant received 400 or more points on the Business Japanese Proficiency Test (BJT)

    (c) Document to clarify that the applicant has taken one or more years of education at a school specified in the Article 1 of School Education Law (except for a kindergarten)

    <For Studying at Universities>
     Documents (1), (2), and (3) above.
A.
Application by Personnel from Institute of Education
(1) and (2) (If the applicant is going to major in a course other than Japanese language and has not passed N1 or N2 in the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test, documents in (4) (a) or (c) might be required additionally.)
B.
Application by Anyone other than A above

If applying for a non-approved school and coming from countries / regions where a lot of overstayers are from, and planning to attend an institute with 3% or more of overstayers among the graduates, the following documents are required additionally:

(a) Certificate of the final institute of education such as certificate of graduation or a photocopy of it.

(b) Your curriculum vitae with school and career records and reasons of study

(c) Materials to show financial capability (bank statement, photocopy of your bank books, certificates of employment / income, etc.)

(d) Certificate of census registration or something equivalent to it.

   
  Obtaining a “Student” Status of Residence
Obtain a “student” visa directly from the Japanese embassy or consulate office of your home country and apply for your entry permission for the “student” status of residence at the port of entry. Application is filed upon receipt of an entrance permit issued by the professional training college or other institution where you have been accepted. Since there is no Certificate of Eligibility issued in advance, you will obtain a “student” status of residence upon landing in Japan. This procedure applies mainly to Japanese Government Scholarship students.
   
  Obtaining a “Student” Status of Residence by Directly Applying for the Visa
  Obtaining a “College Student” Status of Residence by Directly Applying for the Visa
  * It takes more than three months until the issuance of visa with this method. You might not be able
to get the visa in time unless there is enough time until beginning of the course.
   
【2-1】 Procedures for Enrolling in an Institutes for Japanese Language Education
 

(1) Requesting Brochures and Selecting a School
If you wish exclusively study the Japanese language in an institute for Japanese language education, you should first inspect the purpose of the courses, levels, and the number of class hours per year for each institution, in consideration of every condition such as your purpose of learning Japanese language and choose what is suitable for you. For example, if you wish to enter a university or a professional training school, it is recommended that you choose an institute with university preparatory courses to prepare for the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students. On the other hand, if you would like to go home with conversational skills in Japanese or learn Japanese expressions that are necessary for business, an institute with such courses and classes is good for you. It is also possible that you choose a school from the location close to one of your relatives, friends or acquaintances who will be able to support your daily life as your financial supporter for tuition or living expenses, as well as in consideration of the location of the school you wish to go after learning the language.
Prospective applicants should compare the programs different institutes of Japanese language education offer and obtain information regarding their educational policies and practices, the courses and programs offered, and information on student life. You can do this by selecting several institutions that interest you and requesting copies of their brochures, application guidelines, and application forms, or by attending Japan Education Fairs in which those institutes participate. Please consider which institute of Japanese language education is best suited to your needs before you decide on the one you want to enter.

(2) Application to a School
You will submit the application forms and other required documents according to the instructions given by the institute of Japanese language education you wish to attend. Your health certificate, the graduation certificate from the last school you attended, and/or academic transcript might be required as part of the documents.
As for the the payment, the payment method for the application fee, admission fee, tuition, facility costs etc. is written in the recruitment brochure.

(3) Financial Capability and Financial Supporter
In order to get an entry permit to Japan, the applicant is basically required to have enough financial backgrounds such as your own financial resource, support from your home country, a scholarship, etc. to live and study in Japan.
The financial supporter is required to have enough financial capability so that the applicant can continuously and stably study in Japan, and must be approved to be able to complete the responsibility to support the applicant’s all the costs such as tuition and living expenses based on the relationship with the applicant. Documents verifying the financial supporter’s financial capability must be submitted.

(4) Admission to a School
The institute of Japanese language education that has received your application forms will inform you the result (permit or rejection) after considering your application form, interview, and at times conducting scholastic tests, according to their regulations.
If you cannot enter the school because your application for the entry visa has been rejected, basically the paid cost such as tuition fees (excluding screening fees and entrance fees) will be sent back to you. As for the other payments, you will need to study the recruitment brochure of each institute.

   
【2-2】 Immigration Procedures to Enter Japan
 

(1) Obtaining a Passport
You should obtain a passport according to the procedures stipulated by your country.
A visa cannot be issued without a valid passport, but you cannot always obtain a visa even though you have a passport.

(2) Application for “Certificate of Eligibility”
If you wish to study at an institute for Japanese language education, you must have a “student” visa when entering Japan. To apply for a visa, you are usually required to submit a “Certificate of Eligibility.”
To apply for a a “Certificate of Eligibility,” the institute of Japanese language education in Japan will usually apply for the Certificate with the regional immigration bureau or office of the Ministry of Justice on behalf of the applicant.
The immigration office will examine if your purpose is truly to study in Japan, if the educational institute is eligible, or if you have enough financial capability to support your tuition and living expenses, etc. The “Certificate of Eligibility” will not be issued if your will to study cannot be recognized, such as if your actual purpose is to work, or if it cannot be recognized that you have enough financial capability to support your expenses during your stay.
Furthermore, it may take two or three months before the “Certificate of Eligibility” is issued.
In addition, if you obtain this “Certificate of Eligibility” in advance and fail to submit it at visa application, it may take longer to issue the visa.
The required documents to apply for the “Certificate of Eligibility” are listed below.

i) Application forms for “Certificate of Eligibility”
ii) A photograph (4cm x 3cm)
iii) A photocopy of certificate of admission (with the name of attending course)
iv) Certificate of the final institute of education
v) Your curriculum vitae with school and career records and reasons of study
vi) Materials to show financial capability
vii) Certificate of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (over the N5 grade) or materials to prove the equivalent ability of Japanese language
viii) Certificate of census registration or the equivalent document
Note: Other documents of proof than the ones mentioned above might be also required. Please enquire the institute of Japanese language education you will attend for more details.
The Certificate of Eligibility is valid for three months from the date of issue. Please note that it will become invalid unless you actually arrive in Japan within the period.

(3) Obtaining a Visa
You should visit your nearest Embassy of Japan, Consulate-General of Japan, Consulate Office of Japan (hereinafter called “Japanese diplomatic offices”) or the offices of Interchange Association, Japan (in Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan) and submit or indicate your passport, visa application forms, one photograph (4.5cm long x 4.5cm wide), the Certificate of Eligibility, and other required documents to apply for a visa.
In case you have not had the Certificate of Eligibility issued, you need to submit the documents written in the above (2) (except for i) application forms for this certificate and ii) photographs) that are required to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility in addition to your passport, visa application forms and two photographs (4.5cm long x 4.5cm wide) at visa application. In that case, it may take more than three months before the visa is issued, so it is recommended to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility before visa application.
Please note that a visa is not always issued even though you apply. If there is any false information in your application forms or there is any other concerned problem, the visa may not be issued as the result of examination.

(4) Arrival in Japan (Entry)
When you arrive in Japan, you should show (or submit) your passport with a valid visa, the Certificate of Eligibility and other documents at the port of entry to apply for entry permission. Your status of residence and period of stay in Japan is officially determined when you are granted entry permission (an entry permission stamp) by an immigration officer there. If you are studying at an institute for Japanese language education, the period of stay is determined for two years and three months, two years, one year and three months, one year, or six months, depending on the scheduled length of the course of study. (The period of stay can be extended if necessary by applying for a renewal of your period of stay.)
Onceyou enter, please go to the institute you are going to attend immediately and report that your entry is permitted.

(5) Residence Card
A new residency management system was introduced on July 9, 2012, and resident cards are now being issued to all individuals entering Japan on a student visa.
At present, residende cards are being issued at the time the landing permit is stamped in the foreign national’s passport upon entry into Japan through Narita, Haneda, Chubu, and Kansai airports. It will also be available for issue at New Chitose, Hiroshima and Fukuoka airports by the end of FY2016. If you enter through another regional airport, the residence card will be mailed to your home address by the regional immigration bureau after that address has been registered.
New arrivals must register their home address at their local municipal office within 14 days of their arrival in Japan.

   
5.  The Immigaration Control and Residence and Registration Procedures
【1】 The Immigration Control Act and Status of Residence

(1) Immigration Control Act
The Immigration and Refugee Recognition Act (hereinafter shortened as “the Immigration Control Act”) provides for details of the activities which foreigners may engage in and procedures necessary for them during their stay in Japan. Even if your life and studying in Japan go well, you may not be able to stay here any longer if you should neglect or fail to follow the procedures and rules stipulated by the Immigration Control Act. Therefore care must be taken to follow the regulations.

(2) Categories of Status of Residence
For oreigners who are permitted to stay in Japan, the status of residence and the period of stay are determined according to their purposes of stay. The scope of activities in which you may engage is limited by your status of residence. If you engage in an activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted (i.e. an income or remuneration involving activity) without permission, you may be subject to forced repatriation or rejection of your application for change of status of residence or extension of period of stay.
The followings are the different categories of status of residence and activity set forth by the Immigration Control Act. For further details, please contact Immigration Information Centers. (See VI. Contact Information)

   
  Major Status of Residence and Permitted Activities
Status of Residence  Permitted Activities
Diplomat  Diplomatic activities
Official  Official activities of an international organization
Professor Research and educational activities at Japanese universities and colleges of technology, etc.
Artist Activities for the arts that produce income
Religious activity Religious and missionary activities
Journalist News coverage and other journalistic activities of foreign journalistic organizations
Investor and business manager Management of business, foreign trade or capital investment activities
Legal and accounting services Legal and accounting activities by qualified persons
Medical services Medical activities by qualified persons
Researcher Research based on contract with Japanese organizations
Instructor Educational activities at Japanese elementary, junior high and high schools, specialized training colleges and other miscellaneous schools or educational institutions equivalent to these schools
Engineer / specialist in humanities / international services Activities requiring knowledge of the natural sciences or other sciences and technology, or law, economics, sociology or other fields in the humanities, or activities requiring thinking and perception rooted in international culture
Intra-company transferee Activities by personnel transferred from an overseas office to Japan
Entertainer Business or entertainment activities by actors, entertainers, musicians, athletes, etc.
Skilled labor Business activities requiring specific skills in specialized fields
Skilled labor training Activities involving skills training or activities involving the performance of business tasks that require those skills
Cultural activities Academic or artistic activities, research into Japanese culture and art, or activities for the purpose of learning and acquiring skills in Japanese culture or arts
Temporary visitor Activities for the purpose of sightseeing, recreation, visiting family members, business meeting, etc. during the stay in a short period
Student Activities involving the reception of education from a university, junior college, college of technology, high school, professional school, or equivalent educational institute
Trainee Activities to learn and acquire technology, skills, or knowledge at public or private organizations in Japan 
Dependent (Family) Everyday activities of spouses and children financially supported by foreign nationals who live in Japan 
Special activities  Activities designated for individual foreigners by the Minister of Justice
Highly skilled professiona Activities involving advanced academic research, technology, or business administration
(Starting from July 1, 2010)
   
  (3) Location of Immigration Offices
1) Go to the immigration bureau
In principal, foreigners who conduct residence and registration procedures are personally required to go to the regional immigration bureau, its district immigration office or its branch office in the municipality where they are registered as foreign residents. Some kinds of applications concerning these procedures are not accepted at branch offices.
See VI. Contact Information of immigration offices.
   
【2】 Extension of Stay and Change of Status of Residence
 

(1) Before Applying for Extension of Stay or Change of Status of Residence
Students who obtain “student” visas are permitted to stay for a period of six months, one year, one year and three months, two years, two years and three months, three years, three years and three months, four years, or four years and three months, from the time of arrival. If you wish to extend your stay, you are required to apply for an extension of stay or a change of residence of status.
If your period of stay expires due to carelessness without renewing your period of stay or changing your status of residence, you are regarded as “illegal resident” whether or not it is intentional. It is possible for you to apply for an extension of stay two months prior to the expiration date of authorized period of stay, therefore it would be better for you to make application for an extension of stay two weeks to one month prior to the expiration.

(2) Applying for Extension of Stay or Change of Status of Residence
1) Necessary documents and application fee
In applying, you are required to submit your passport and alien registration certificate (or residence card) to the Immigration Bureau as well as the necessary documents. Application fee is 4,000 yen.

2) Going to the Immigration Bureau Twice for One Application
When you apply, a regional immigration bureau or its branch office once receives your application and later give you the result of your application by postcard. After receiving the postcard, you have to go there again in order to obtain permission. When your application is accepted, you will receive a stamp on your passport. Later the Immigration Bureau will send you a notification. If your permission of stay expires while you are waiting for the notification, you are not considered as “illegal resident.” If you need the result at the same day of the application for some special reasons, please ask about it at the application desk.

3) “Final Extension” Does Not Mean “the Last Time.”
When you receive an extension permit one year before the graduation of professional training colleges or six months before the graduation of Japanese language schools, there might be another stamp in red below the stamp of permission, which says “Final Extension.” This indicates that this will be the last approval of the extension under the current status of residence. If you need to continue your studying or wish to stay in Japan under a different status of residence, you are able to apply for an extension of stay or a change of status of residence with the submission of a reason. If you wish to change your status of residence and stay here, “Final Extension” stamp does not affect your extension of stay.

4) Changing from “Temporay Visitor” Status to “Student” Status
It is impossible in principle to change from “temporary visitor” status to “student.” Therefore you have to apply for certificate of eligibility and leave Japan to acquire a new visa at overseas Japanese embassies or consulates and then return to Japan. However, if your "temporary visitor visa" has a proof verifying that the purpose of coming to Japan is for taking entrance examinations, you are able to complete procedures for changing your visa status without leaving Japan.

(3) Re-entry Permit
A new re-entry permit system started in July 2012. Mid- to long-term residents who want to re-enter Japan within one year of their departure are no longer required to complete procedures to obtain a re-entry permit, as was required in the past. Instead, simply show your residence card at the time of departure and return to Japan within one year.

(4) Visa Revocation
Changes made to the Immigration Control Act enacted in December 2004 created a system for the revocation of an individual’s visa. A visa will be revoked if the holder provides false information regarding the activities they intend to conduct or their background or submits falsified documents. Also, if the individual has not performed the activities allowed under their visa status for three months or longer, their visa status will be revoked except in cases where justifiable reasons exist for their situation.

(5) Bringing Family Members
Spouses and children who are dependents of a person holding a “student” visa may receive permission to reside in Japan under a “dependent” visa for one or two years, depending on the length of stay of the visa holder on whom they are dependent.
Be aware that if a dependent family member enters Japan on a “temporary visitor” visa, it will be difficult to change their visa status to “dependent” while they are in Japan.

(6) Activities Other Than Those Authorized
Students with a “student” visa are permitted to stay in Japan for the purpose of receiving education in Japan; therefore, basically you are not allowed to work. If you wish to work part time, after you are used to the life in Japan, and as long as it does not disturb your study and the purpose is to cover your tuition or other necessary costs, you can obtain a permit to engage in activities other than those authorized with your status of residence at the local immigration office etc.

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