I want to get a Japanese VISA! Learn how.
The first step to start your life in Japan is certainly a visa that will enable you to a long-term stay or to work full time. Through this brief educational article, I would like to try to help you orient yourself towards the visa application and the regulation related.
There are 6 categories that divide in total 27 distinct types of visa for work and long-term stay. They are so many, aren’t they?
Here a synthetic overview to get through the Japanese bureaucratic maze of visa categories, based on Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs’ website
|Highly Skilled Professional Visa||Working Visa||General Visa||Specified Visa||Diplomatic Visa||Official Visa|
|Highly skilled professional (i) (a)/(b)/(c)||Professor||Cultural activities||Spouse or child of Japanese national||Diplomat||Official|
|Highly skilled foreign professional||Artist||Student||Spouse of permanent resident|
|Religious activities||Training||Long-term resident|
|Journalist||Dependent (Family stays)||Designated activities (1)|
|Business Manager||Technical intern training (i)(a)/(b)||Designated activities (2)|
|Engineer/Specialist in humanities/International services|
It follows that the very initial step actually, is collecting all the necessary information; read carefully the official websites and check which type of visa suits your needs:
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan→ https://www.mofa.go.jp/
Immigration Bureau of Japan→ http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/
Don’t forget to consult the website of the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your country!
Q： Why checking all the proper websites is so important?
A: The regulation for a visa application reflects the bilateral partnership agreements between Japan and other countries. For this reason, application procedure is differentiated depending on applicant’s nationality.
In addition, the Government of Japan has recently received reports about fraud websites that try to extract payments from visa applicants, on behalf of the Japanese Embassy. The Government of Japan is not related with those websites, therefore be sure to consult official websites and accredited agencies. All visa applications must be submitted to the Embassies of Japan or Consulates directly or through accredited agencies. You can verify those agencies contacting your nearest Japanese diplomatic.
It’s a matter of primary importance and a duty for a visa applicant, to be well-informed in order to not be involved in troubles of any kind.
- 1) Valid Passport.
- 2) Visa application form from the Japanese Embassy or Consulate.
- 3) One photograph taken within the past 3 months.
- 4) Certificate of Eligibility (COE) – the original document and one copy.
Depending on the category of your visa, you will need to submit additional documents, because each type of visa has specific requirements that the applicant needs to match. Visa application may be also rejected, be sure to submit your application without mistakes or missing information.
Q: What is a COE?
A: A Certificate of Eligibility is issued, to obtain the visa, by a Japanese regional immigration authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice. It is the official evidence that the applicant meets the conditions for landing in Japan, including the necessary requirements for the activity in which the applicant would like to legally engage in Japan. In simple terms, the Certificate of Eligibility stands for an application to obtain a Status of Residence, a pre-visa application.
Q: How can I get a COE?
A: An application is required; as stated in the Immigration Bureau of Japan’s website, the application to obtain the COE may be completed directly by the applicant, a staff member of the organization who accepts the foreign national (in case of a student, the language school etc.), a member of a public interest corporation, an attorney or administrative scrivener.
If you are thinking about a short-term study programme in Japan, don’t worry: you won’t need to apply for a visa! A short-term stay, up to 90 days for study purpose, tourism, business, visiting friends or relatives and so on, doesn’t require any visa. The purpose of your short-term stay must not include any remuneration. However, as I mentioned before, the nationality of the applicant might determine a differentiating factor. Not all foreign nationals can apply for all types of visa: for instance, only 20 countries signed Working Holiday Programmes with Japan as well as not all countries can have a short-term stay in Japan without a visa (for example, Chinese nationals need to apply for a visa every time and even in case of short-term stay).
Work or long-term Visa application procedure
- 1. DETERMINE YOUR PURPOSE IN JAPAN
- 2. CHECK THE PROCEDURE ON THE OFFICIAL WEBSITES
- 3. PREPARE THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTS
- 4. APPLY AT THE JAPANESE EMBASSY OR CONSULATE WITH JURISDICTION
- 5. DOCUMENTS SCREENING
- 6. VISA ISSUED
- 7. FLY TO JAPAN
- 8. GET YOUR RESIDENCE CARD
There are many students that come to Japan with the purpose of finding an employment.
Q: Can I change my visa status once I am in Japan?
A: Yes, you can. While the procedure is conducted by the Immigration Bureau, the official permission to change status of residence is granted by the Minister of Justice. Even this new application like the former one is subjected to a screening process. Once again, be sure to collect all the necessary information!
It’s something obvious but there is a last advice for you: don’t provide in any case, for any reason false information to Japanese authorities: not only your application may be rejected, but you could also be blacklisted!
Good luck with visa application!
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