Student visa for study in Japan


Updated December 4th, 2018

Image from Genki JACS

Image from Genki JACS

What is a Student Visa?

It is for people who are wanting to study & stay in Japan for more than 6 months.

It allows you to stay in Japan for up to 2 years at a language school. You may stay longer, once you get into university, vocational college or graduate school in Japan.

The minimum duration is 6 months; most courses are minimum 1 year.

On a student visa (with permission, you can work part-time up to 28 hours a week. This will help you study in Japan long-term, by helping offset living expenses. 

To prepare, you must have funds for the first few months, to pay for school and accommodation. Please see the requirements below.

You can also work up to 8 hours a day during long school breaks (e.g. Summer holidays), with the school's permission. This is great as you get to practice your Japanese in real life situations, contribute to society and help cover living expenses.

Student visas are for people wanting to study in Japan, hence the name. It is not meant for people whose main purpose is to work in Japan. You can study while working part-time. Of course, you can get a student visa to learn the language, then get a work visa after you complete your studies. The language school can help in this process of finding an employer while you are still at school, depending on the school. We help recommend the best school for one's needs. It takes over 3 months to transition from a student visa to a full-time work visa, hence the minimum course being 6 months for study.

Please know that the tuition must be paid in advance to the school, once your initial visa application is accepted.

Since on a student visa, you can only work part-time up to 28 hours a week, it is not possible to pay for tuition, accommodation, living expenses(food +transport) with just a part-time job.


This is why the bank statement is required (see all requirements below).


If you cannot provide the bank statement yourself, you must ask a family member to support you. 

You can have more than 1 supporter (family member), to reach a bank balance statement of approximately 1,500,000 JPY, which is one of the requirements.


What does a Student Visa give me?

  • Ability to study longer than 6 months in Japan.

  • Can sign phone contracts, create a bank account, get National Health Insurance .

    • National Health Insurance, paid to the government is compulsory if living in Japan for over 3 months. In short, by paying approximately 2,000 JPY (equivalent to $20) per month, you only need to pay 30% of the cost of your medical bills).

  • After you fill in a form at the airport, you can work up to 28 hours a week with a student visa.

    • This will help in covering weekly living expenses (food + transport).

    • School fees must be paid before studying in Japan.

    • You are strictly not allowed to work in places such as adult entertainment.

    • If you get permission from your school, you can also work up to 8 hours a day during long school breaks (not national holidays).

  • You must keep your attendance high in order to keep your student visa. If you are wanting to travel and explore different schools and areas in Japan, a Working Holiday Visa (available for limited countries) may be more suitable for you.

How do I apply for a Student Visa for Japan?

  • If you haven't already, the first step is to make an inquiry. We will help you find the right school for you.

  • The school will go to the embassy for you! All you need to do is gather the right documents and fill in the forms.

Main Documents Required:

  • Proof of bank balance (i.e. a copy of the amount in savings; shown in a bank statement) of your financial supporter.

    • The financial supporter must be preferably a direct member of your family, such as your spouse, parent or sibling.

      • At least 1,500,000 JPY (or equivalent in your currency at the time; approx. $14,000 USD) shown in a bank statement for a 1 year student visa.

      • It is so that the school and immigration know that you can pay for living expenses, tuition and accommodation for a year.

  • Copy of photo page of passport.

  • Copy of your high school graduation certificate or equivalent, or diploma/degree, from your institution of highest completed education. Minimum junior high school graduation for a student visa.

(Please note that for studies of less than 6 months for most countries, a student visa is not required (however you will not be able to work part-time)).

Also, you may be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa, if 18+ and from an eligible country. This visa is for travelling around Japan, and allows part-time work. It requires a much lower bank statement.

Please send an inquiry to get personalised advice and make everything less confusing, ensuring you do not miss anything; as the process is strict!

Applications for student visas take approximately 6 months to go through the school and immigration; so you must begin to apply as soon as possible. It is recommended to begin at least 10 months in advance; as schools are filling up faster each year.

You should check out this brilliant blog about How To Move To Japan for USA students, you can ask your questions in the comment section or just send us a quick inquiry mail.

There are usually 4 intake periods for schools who offer student visas; 

January, April, July and October.

You can start a course on any month of the year if you have the right level of Japanese and don’t require a student visa.

If you are considering getting a student visa, we will find the school that best suits your needs before the deadline or courses become full.

Here is the full process below, if you wish to read now. Please do not be overwhelmed; you will be guided step by step after you inquire.

Student visa checklist->

We will also guide you in applying to the school, so you get the best chance of acceptance.

If you have inquired already; please reply to the email to continue your application and receive all the necessary information.

Sasuga Pty Ltd.Comment