Residence Status and Various Procedures

Notice

Extension of the Period of Stay (Renewal of Visa)

International students are permitted to stay in Japan for 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 1 year and 3 months, 2 years, 2 years and 3 months, 3 years, 3 years and 3 months, 4 years, or 4 years and 3 months, with the visa status of "Student." If you wish to remain in Japan with the same visa status beyond your authorized period, you need to apply for an extension of the period of stay at the Immigration Bureau no later than the expiration date of your current visa. The Immigration Bureau accepts applications for extension from 3 months prior to the visa expiration date. Please note that the Immigration Bureau is closed on weekends and public holidays. Anyone who stays in Japan beyond the authorized period is subjected to deportation under the Immigration Control Act. Therefore, please ensure that your period of stay does not expire during the summer, winter, or spring vacations.

The required documents and handling fee are as follows:

  1. Application for Extension of Period of Stay (This form is also available at the Immigration Bureau.)
    For the form that has to be completed by the university, please inquire at the Academic Affairs Division (Kyomu-ka) if you are an undergraduate student, or at your graduate school office if you are a graduate student.
  2. Photo (4 x 3 cm) taken within the last three months
  3. Certificate of Enrollment for:
  • Undergraduate Students (degree-seeking students): This is available at the certificate -issuing machine on the 1st floor of the Main Building of the West Campus.
  • Undergraduate Students (non-degree- seeking students): You should apply for the issuance of the certificate at the Educational Affairs Division Section 2.
  • Graduate Students (degree-seeking students): This is available at the certificate -issuing machine on the 1st floor of the Main Building of the West Campus.
  • Graduate Students (non-degree-seeking students): You should apply for the issuance of the certificate at the Admin Office of the Graduate School Admin Office in which you are enrolled.
  1. Transcript (as above)
  2. Passport
  3. Residence Card / Certificate of Alien Registration
  4. Student ID Card
  5. Handling fee of 4,000 yen
  6. Proof of Financial Support: Certificate of Receipt of Scholarship, Proof of Receipt of Support, Photocopy of bank book, etc.

*Additional documents may be required. Please follow the instructions provided by the Immigration Bureau.

Change of Visa Status

The usual visa status for international students who study and research at a university in Japan is "Student." If your visa status is not "Student," you will not be able to receive services provided to international students such as scholarships for international students and tutorial services.

The required documents and handling fee are as follows:

  1. Application for Change of Status of Residence(This form is also available at the Immigration Bureau.) For the form that has to be completed by the university, please inquire at the Academic Affairs Division (Kyomu-ka) if you are an undergraduate student, or at your graduate school office if you are a graduate student.
  2. Photo (4 x 3 cm)
  3. Passport
  4. Residence Card / Certificate of Alien Registration
  5. Proof of Acceptance (photocopy) or Certificate of Enrollment
  6. Handling fee of 4,000 yen
  7. Proof of Financial Support: Certificate of Receipt of Scholarship, Proof of Receipt of Support, Photocopy of bank book, etc.

*Additional documents may be required. Please follow the instructions provided by the Immigration Bureau.

Visa Status During a Leave of Absence

When a "Student" visa holder fails to fulfill his/her obligations as a student (i.e., study or research) for 3 consecutive months or more without a valid/good reason, his/her visa may be cancelled. If you take a leave of absence without a valid/good reason, you must leave Japan promptly or change your visa status.

Returning from a Leave of Absence

If you are returning from a leave of absence, apply for a "Student" visa again. Read the instructions below, and inform the Educational Affairs Division Section 2 at least 4 months before the date of your intended return to the school.


(Instructions) Certificate of Eligibility (COE) Proxy Application for returning from a Leave of Absence to HU (Japanese)

*Granting of residence status is generally a lengthy process. Application forms must be submitted at least 4 months before the date of your intended return to the school.

*Application forms for changing residence status can be downloaded from the "Download Center" menu on the CELS.

Visa Status for Seeking Employment after Graduation

You can stay in Japan and search for a job after graduating from a university for a maximum of 360 days (180 days ×x 2) with a visa status of "Designated Activities". To obtain an official letter of recommendation to change your visa status from "Student" to undertaking "Designated Activities," you first need to complete a request form, prepare the necessary documentation, and give an interview at the International Student and Study Abroad Advising Office (ISSAAO). For the application procedure itself, please contact the Immigration Bureau.

Re-entry Permit

If you have to leave Japan for a short period, you should report it to your academic advisor and submit a "Temporary Leave Form" to the Educational Affairs Division. You should also notify the office at the International House or International Village (or to the landlord of your apartment).


If your period of leave is 1 year or less and you re-enter Japan within your authorized period of stay, you do not need to obtain a "Re-entry permit." However, if you do not re-enter Japan within your authorized period of stay, you will lose your residence status. Further, please note that you cannot extend your period of stay outside Japan.

Bringing Family Members

Long-term Stay

If you want to bring your family to Japan, you need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility at the Immigration Bureau. It normally takes about a month to receive the Certificate of Eligibility after application, but it might take longer depending on individual circumstances, such as nationality or financial situations, and you are strongly advised to apply well in advance. For the required documents, please refer to the link below:

  1. Application for Certificate of Eligibility(1 sheet per family member. The form is available at the Immigration Bureau.)
  2. Photo of your family members (4 × 3 cm each)
  3. Return addressed envelope (with your name and address written on the front and affixed with 380 yen in stamps)
  4. Document that validates the relationship between you and your family (original marriage certificate, original birth certificate of the child, etc.)
  5. Photocopy of your Residence Card or passport (pages including your photo and a stamp)
  6. Proof of Financial Support: Certificate of Receipt of scholarship, Proof of Receipt of Support, Photocopy of bank book, etc.
  7. Certificate of Enrollment (available at the Educational Affairs Division (Kyomu-ka) for undergraduate students and at your respective graduate school office for graduate students)
  8. Document proving your residence (photocopy of a lease, etc.); if you are currently living alone, you also need a letter explaining that you are looking for a place where you can live with your family.

Additional documents may be required. Please follow the directionsinstructions from provided by the Immigration Bureau.

Short-term Stay

If the person you want to bring to Japan for a short period is a national of a country or area that has a visa exemption arrangement with Japan, it is not necessary to obtain a visa.

People from countries and regions that do not have visa exemption arrangements with Japan need to obtain a visa to enter Japan.

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