To apply for a student visa for Japan, you do not need to attend an interview, but you will need to gather and send the following documentation. If the documentation is not already in Japanese, or not in English, then you will need to attach a Japanese or English language translation. You don’t need to hire a translator. If you are able to translate it yourself to a level where are staff can then translate into Japanese, that is sufficient.
All of the following are needed for a successful application for the Certificate of Eligibility.
If you have not already done so, you will need to complete the Application Form. This is only part of the process that can be completed online.
Copies of ALL pages of your current passport:
Copy all pages, including the front and back cover.
If you don’t have a passport, include a typed letter stating that you will be applying for one. If you have been to Japan before, on an earlier passport, and still have that passport, include that as well. If your previous passport was lost or destroyed, write a letter stating that it was lost or destroyed and include that. The letter needs to be in English or Japanese.
The essay needs to be in English or Japanese. It can be fairly short, about 150-200 words in total. The essay needs to answer the following four questions.
1. Why are you interested in studying Japanese? (for example what motivated you to start learning the language)
2. Why are you interested in studying Japanese in Japan? (and not for example at a university outside Japan)?
3. Why are you interested in studying Japanese Aichi (and not for example Tokyo)?
4. What plans and future goals do you have for after you graduate from your Japanese language studies? (for example enrolling in a Japanese university, working as a translator etc)
Evidence of Occupation:
If you are student, then a copy of your student ID card and a letter from your school/college/university stating that you are enrolled.
If you are working, a letter from your employer stating what you do. If you would prefer your employer to NOT suspect that you are planning to leave, then a copy of the contract, and maybe a pay slip or tax return.
If you are working and are self-employed, then copies of business licenses, professional qualifications, tax returns and so on are useful.
This is the easiest one. There are specific tests, vaccinations, x-ray or anything special required. You just a medical doctor to issue a note stating that you are physically and mentally healthy and would have no problems studying abroad.
Original Degree / Diploma & Academic Transcripts:
One of the minimum requirements for obtaining a student visa is to have proof that you have a reached a level of education that is at least comparable to a Japanese high school graduate. So you need to show proof of graduation (from the last school, college or university attended).
It is usually best not to send the original document. Make a color photocopy, and then have it certified as a true copy of the original by a public official (for example a Public Notary or Justice of the Peace). Do the same with your transcripts, which are very useful if you have studied Japanese before (see below).
Proof of Funds:
The student visa will not be issued if the authorities worry that you will be short of funds while in Japan. You need to have enough funds to pay for a minimum of one year of tuition, and at least 6 months of accommodation and living expenses. About 1,500,000 yen is normally enough. It doesn’t matter if you are planning to stay longer.
If you are paying for your studies with your own savings, then the process is fairly easy. You need a letter from you bank stating your account balance, or a letter that at least says your balance is higher the equivalent of 1,500,000 yen. If you have other assets (a share/stock portfolio for example, or have received a loan), it doesn’t hurt to include the information as well.
If your studies are being paid for by someone else, (for example a parent), then it is slightly more complicated. Your sponsor (there can be more than one) will need to provide proof of funds, proof of income, proof of occupation, and proof of some relationship with you (for example a birth certificate). They will also need to complete a document guaranteeing that your expenses will be covered. We can send it to you (including a sample) on request.
Proof of Japanese Studies:
One of the relatively new requirements is that you have already completed 150 hours or more of Japanese language studies. If you exceeded this requirement during previous studies, include some kind of proof. A certificate, a letter from your Japanese tutor, copies of JLPT certificates (regardless of level), Japanese courses on your college transcript etc.
If you are self-taught, it is still possible. Include a letter stating that you can read and write hiragana and katakana, how many kanji you can read and know the ON/KUN readings of, how many you can write, which textbooks and resources you have been using (name of textbook with ISBN number, websites, applications, software etc).
A third option is to start 3 months early, in January or April, by applying to do a 3 month preparation course. You can do this by entering Japan on a tanki-taizai (temporary visitor/tourist) visa. You can then include the copy of the Letter of Acceptance as proof that by the time the visa is issued, you will have comfortably exceeded the 150 hour requirement.
Six passport photos:
You will need to send six photos, 35mm by 45mm. Do not smile, do not wear a hat. Wearing glasses is OK. A very standard head and shoulders photo, the kind you use when you apply for a passport. Please write your name and date of birth on the back of each photo.
Once you have all of the documentation prepared, please courier it to the address below. Do not use the post office, use a courier with full traceability such as FedEx or UPS. Once sent, please email us the tracking number.
Aichi Language Center
〒444-0827 Aichi-ken Okazaki-shi Harisaki Aza Gotanda 19-2 OH 101