student visa in japan from philippines

Travelling is an essential part of every individual’s life, but what if you want to travel to Japan? That is when the need for a student visa advantage. The same case applies for someone who is employed in any Japanese company. The visa that the employer of the applicant files on their behalf is the student visa. These are some steps you should follow when applying for a visa.

The process of obtaining a student visa in Japan is a little lengthy, but it is not as hard or expensive as many media outlets will make you believe. This article seeks to provide basic information on how to obtain a student visa in Japan from the Philippines, prepare documents and residence permit.

If you are planning to study in Japan, you might wonder what is your route to study in Japan. Here is important information about the student visa, as well as other options for studying in Japan.

The student visa in Japan is a special type of visa that allows you to study in Japan.

With this type of visa, you can study at any school or university in Japan, as long as they are accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education.

You can apply for your student visa from the Philippines if you are a citizen and have an address there.

It is important that you do not lose this document, because it will be required when applying for your residence permit after graduation.

How to get a student visa in Japan from the Philippines

There are many different types of student visas in Japan. The most common ones are:

  1. Student Visa (for studying at an educational institution)
  2. Training Visa (for training and work experience)
  3. Research Visa (for research purposes)
  4. Dependent Visa (for dependents of students/trainees/researchers)
  5. Short-Term Stay Visa (allows you to stay in Japan for up to 90 days, with multiple entries)

Japan Student Visa Requirements

When you apply for a Japanese Student Visa, you need several documents that support your application. The documents you need for a Japan Student Visa application include:

  • Student Visa Application Form, which you can download from
  • Your valid passport along with photocopies of it
  • Passport-size pictures with the following specifications:
    • Dimensions: 4cm x 3cm
    • Taken within the last three months
    • Plain white background, without any patterns and shadows
    • You must be starting straight ahead, with a neutral facial expression
    • Your face has to be fully visible
    • The picture must be good quality (focused, clear, and sharp)
  • The Certificate of Eligibility
  • Letter of Admission into the Japanese educational institution, indicating the duration and details of the course
  • Previous academic and/or professional qualifications, as applicable (diploma, transcripts, etc.)
  • Proof you can meet the financial requirements for the duration of your stay in Japan. The financial requirements for a Japanese Student Visa are about 2 Million Yen for one year. You can show that you meet the necessary financial requirements through:
    • Bank or income statements
    • Proof of a Scholarship
    • Proof you receive Financial Aid
    • Letter of Sponsorship, if someone is sponsoring you, along with your sponsor’s proof of income and bank statements
  • If required:
    • Letter of Invitation and Letter of Guarantee issued from your educational institution
    • A Motivational or Cover Letter, written by you stating the reason for your travel

You also have to send documents several of these documents to your school so they can apply for the Certificate of Eligibility.

Keep in mind:

  • The documents have to be printed on A4 paper
  • Consult with the Embassy or Consulate whether you should submit copies of the documents or the originals. In some cases, your documents will not be returned to you.
  • This is not an exhaustive list of requirements. The Embassy or Consulate in which you apply can request any additional documents, as per your specific case.

How to Apply for a Japan Student Visa?

The application process for applying for a Student Visa for Japan is divided into two parts:

  • Obtaining the Certificate of Eligibility
  • Submitting the Japan Student Visa application

Obtaining the Certificate of Eligibility in Japan

Every foreigner who enters Japan for non-temporary reasons needs to get a Certificate of Eligibility from the Immigration Services in Japan. However, since you have to get this before you enter Japan, it is your school that’s in charge of handling the COE application on your behalf. You have to send them the required documents.

Applying for the Japan Student Visa

After you receive the Certificate of Eligibility, your school has to send it to you so you can use it to apply for the Student Visa from a Japanese Consulate or Embassy in your country. You have to:

  1. Contact a Japanese Embassy or Consulate near you. Find a list of the Japanese Embassies, Consulates and Permanent Missions here. Some Embassies/Consulate don’t accept direct visa applications, in which case you need to apply through an accredited travel agency or visa application agency.
  2. Collect the required documents for a Japan Student Visa.
  3. Submit the Japan Student Visa application either directly at the Embassy/Consulate or at the travel agency or visa application agency. If the Consulate or Embassy considers it necessary, you may also have to go back for an interview or to submit additional documents.
  4. Collect the visa. Once your Japan Student Visa application has been processed, you have to go back to receive your passport. If the application was approved, you may enter Japan.

What is the Duration of the Japan Student Visa?

Japan Student Visas are issued for the following durations:

  • Six months
  • One year
  • One year and three months
  • Two years
  • Two years and three months

The duration that you are allowed to stay in Japan is stated on your Landing Permission as well as on your Residence Card.

However, regardless of the duration of your issued visa, you can apply for an extension of your stay before your current visa expires.

Extending a Japan Student Visa

You can apply for a Japan Extension of Stay  up to 90 days before your visa is set to expire at the local Immigration Office. You need the following documents when you apply:

  • Application Form for Japan Visa Extension
  • Your passport
  • Passport-size pictures with the following specifications:
    • Dimensions: 4cm x 3cm
    • Taken within the last three months
    • Plain and light-colored background, without any patterns and shadows
    • You must be starting straight ahead, with a neutral facial expression
    • Your face has to be fully visible
    • The picture must be good quality (focused, clear, and sharp)
  • Your Residence Card
  • A copy of your Registration Certificate issued by your educational institution
  • A copy of your Results Certificate issued by your educational institution
  • Proof you can meet the financial requirements related to your stay

The application for Visa Extension is issued within two weeks to a month.

How Much is the Japan Student Visa Fee?

The fees for Japan Visas are as follows:

  • Single-entry visa: 3,000 Yen
  • Double-entry or multiple-entry visa: 6,000 Yen
  • Transit Visa: 700 Yen

However, you only have to pay the visa fee if the application is approved.

Keep in mind:

The fee for the visa can change depending on the country, the purpose of your visit, as well as the local currency.

Working With a Japan Student Visa

A Japanese Student Visa on its own does not authorize you to work. In order to work, you have to get a Work Permit from the local Immigration Office in Japan.

Additionally, as a Student Visa holder, you cannot work more than 28 hours a week and there are some restricted occupations, such as working in a bar, club, adult stores or hotels, massage parlours, etc.

Once you graduate, you can apply to change the category of your visa from student to work in order to be allowed to work. However, you need a work contract to be able to do so.

How to Change a Student Visa to a Work Visa in Japan?

If you are an international student in Japan and find employment while you are on a Student Visa or after you graduate, you have to apply to change the category into a Work Visa. You and your new employer can apply for a Japan Work Visa at one of the local Immigration Offices in Japan by submitting the following documents:

  • Application Form for permission to change the status of residence
  • Your passport and a copy of your passport
  • Your Residence Card
  • Your CV
  • Proof of Graduation (diploma)
  • Proof of the previous academic and/or professional history
  • Your school Transcripts
  • A copy of the Employment Contract, stating the details of your employment
  • Your employing company’s documents, such as:
    • Registration Documents
    • Financial statements of the latest Fiscal Year
    • Income statements


Japan has a general visa exception arrangement with more than 50 countries around the world. You can see the list in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. If you are a citizen of one of these countries and you need to visit Japan for a short period of time, you are allowed to stay visa-free for a period of 90 days. 

However, all international students need a Japanese student visa during their study stay in the country. In order to obtain a study visa, your admission university needs to be the sponsor. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to work during your studies unless you get permission from the university or immigration office and you are allowed work for a particular amount of hours per week.  

Japanese Student Visa: What steps you need to follow

The moment you get your admission results from your Japanese university, it is time to start gathering all the necessary documents and translations of the documents you will need for your student visa application.

The Japanese visa procedure is more complex than in some other countries and can take more time than expected, so make sure you are prepared. For more information, visit the nearest Japanese embassy or Consulate in your home country or navigate through the official website of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

One prerequisite for obtaining the Japanese student visa is the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Obtaining the certificate is only the first step of your application, note that it is not the visa itself. The second one is the actual submission of the application for the Japanese visa which includes other documents as well. 

As for the Certificate of Eligibility, it is your school that’s in charge of issuing the certificate’s application on your behalf. You have to send them the required documents before, though. The application process for a Japanese Certificate of Eligibility can take up to three months, but stay positive, it can take less time!

You will need the following documents for your Japanese Student Visa application:

  • The Student Visa Application Form, signed by you and the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate. 
  • A valid passport and photocopies of the passport. 
  • Passport sized pictures taken within the last three months. 
  • The Certificate of Eligibility (COE). 
  • A letter of admission, letter of invitation or letter of guarantee from your Japanese university, stating exactly the study objective and duration of the studies. 
  • Previous academic or professional qualifications such as transcripts and diplomas. 
  • A motivational letter.
  • Proof you can meet the financial requirements for the duration of your studies in Japan. You can prove this by providing bank or income statements, proof of scholarship or a letter of sponsorship of financial aid from a third party, in case someone is supporting you throughout your studies.

All documents must be printed on A4 paper. Ask your Embassy if more detailed documents are needed for your visa application and consult them in case you need to submit original documents or copies. For your Japanese student visa, you apply directly to the Japanese Embassy of your home country. 

After your arrival in Japan with a student visa, you will receive a Landing Permit and a Residence Card. These are very important documents and the moment you receive them upon entry, you have two weeks to report your stay at the local municipal offices. 

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