Coto School Finder | Study in Japan

FAQ About Visa and Studying in Japan​

Studying in Japan needs a lot of preparation, which can make the process overwhelming for some. We’re here to answer some common questions you might have if you are considering living in Japan as a foreign language student — or ryuugakusei.

Most schools prefer students to have at least 150 hours of Japanese studies or JLPT N5 to be eligible to apply. This requirement varies from school to school, so we highly recommend contacting us directly for further details.

The application process takes about 6 months to complete, with the first 3 months being used for processing your documents for your student visa, and the rest of the 3 months would be waiting for your COE to be issued by the Japanese immigration.  For example, if you are looking at applying for the fall term (October), the document processing window for this term usually takes place between March-May. From May to September, we will wait for your COE results. COEs are usually issued approximately a month prior to your chosen term.

Most schools prefer students to be of legal age (18 years old) to be able to join a language course. The reason for this is it is very difficult to apply for accommodation, sign up for essential things such as bank accounts, etc. as they may require you to be at least 18 years of age upon application.

Student visa holders are allowed to work part-time for 28 hours per week. Please make sure not to go past these hours as this will cause an issue for Japanese immigration. Always keep in mind that you are in Japan for studies, and not for work!

Language schools offer a maximum of 2 years of language education.

Most schools provide lessons in Japanese, it differs case by case.

The basic documents needed for your visa application will be the following:

  • High-resolution ID photo
  • Passport
  • Arrival and departure stamps received during your travel(s) to Japan 

These documents are only required if you have visited Japan before

  • Yours or your sponsor’s most recent bank statement to prove financial capabilities
  • Yours or your sponsor’s most recent income tax return

Other possible documents the schools and immigration might ask to be included in your application:

  • Birth certificate(s) *if parents/close relatives will be sponsoring your studies
  • Marriage certificate *if a spouse will be sponsoring your studies
  • Business certificate/license (if you or your sponsor owns a business)
  • The school’s additional forms (application forms, agreement forms, etc.)
  • Payslips/employment certificate to prove your or your sponsor’s current employment
  • Doctor’s note to confirm you are fit to live in Japan for a long period of time (if you have an ongoing medical condition, physical or mental)

It is definitely a lot of documentation, and the biggest reason why the schools and immigration ask for the above is for them to be able to confirm that an applicant is fit to study in a language school, especially in the financial aspect of things. Please also understand that applying for a student visa means you are asking for permission to live in Japan for a certain period of time–which is also why there are a lot of documents required.