Student Visa Process for Japan


Please DO NOT plan any international travel during the 3 months before the start of your program. You will need to attend an in-person consulate/embassy appointment as part of the visa process. 

Passport Requirements

  • If you do not already have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your planned return date, start the passport renewal process immediately. Expedited processing is recommended. Airlines will not allow you to board your flight if your passport expires within 6 months after your return date.
  • Students need a passport to apply for a visa, so make sure there is plenty of time to apply for both, if necessary! 

Who Needs a Visa? 

If you do not have resident status in Japan, you need to apply for a student visa. LUJ will apply for your Certificate of Eligibility (CoE), which you will need to take to a Japanese consulate or embassy in your home country to obtain your student visa. Please continue reading for additional instructions. 

Complete and submit the following documents: 

  1. Please complete the Visa Application Information Sheet for a student visa by downloading the PDF file (
  2. Complete the Confidential Financial Certification Form. This document pertains to the person/organization who is financially supporting your education. It will include the approximate annual income, amount of estimated financial support and relationship of the sponsor to you. You must use the form provided, and you must write it in English. 
  3. A bank statement of the person providing financial support is required. They must have approximately ¥3,000,000  or more in the account. The currency may be that of your home country, but it must be equivalent to ¥3,000,000. One original copy is required. Additionally, financial aid award documents are also acceptable.
  4. Two driver’s license-sized photos or jpeg photos of yourself are required. They must be 4cmx3cm, well lit (no shadows), on a plain white background, and must have been taken within the last 6 months. Glasses, hats, or other headgear are not permitted. Copies from printouts are also not acceptable. 
  5. Make a copy of the pages of your passport that include your photo, legal name, birth date, and passport number. The expiration date needs to be more than 6 months after the program ends in order to apply for a student visa. 

Visa Application Process

  1. Submit the documents listed above to your Program Coordinator during step 1 of the onboarding process with API. API will compile these documents to share with LUJ for processing. 
  2. LUJ will submit the student COE documents to the Immigration Bureau in Japan, and then API will add the application charge to your API account.
  3. The Immigration Bureau takes approximately 6-8 weeks to approve the visa application and issue a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE), therefore, it is crucial to apply early. 
  4. After receiving the approved CoE, API will send it via mail to your current address.  
  5. You must take the CoE and your passport to the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for final processing, which takes approximately 1-8 days depending on the embassy or consulate. No appointment is necessary. Each consulate has specific drop-off times. Some consulates are accepting mail-in. Please check the rules for the consulate in their jurisdiction (
  6. Your passport will be stamped with the student visa and returned to you. 
  7. You may now enter Japan for your API program! 

*Additional documents may be required by the consulate/embassy (ex. Driver’s License), so please confirm what is needed before visiting the embassy/consulate for your appointment. You may be turned away if you do not have the correct documents on hand.  


  • Chat with us using the chat feature on our website,
  • Email your Program Coordinator, or if you don’t have one yet, email [email protected]
  • Call the API main line at (512) 600-8900

DISCLAIMER: Consulates may change their rules, fees, and regulations at any time.  Be advised that API does not have any control over consular procedures, and requirements vary greatly between consulates.  For this reason, your primary source of information regarding visas should be your local consulate. API can offer advice based upon our past experiences working with participants, but please be aware that each situation is unique and immigration rules are constantly evolving. The ultimate authority on the visa process will be representatives of the consulate for your jurisdiction. 

The information outlined here pertains specifically to participants who are U.S. citizens. Participants who are not U.S. citizens are advised to consult with their local consulate for requirements. API can only offer limited advice for students who are not U.S. citizens, but in many cases, non- U.S. citizens will have additional requirements for visas in terms of required documentation and locations where they are eligible to apply for their visa. Additionally, students who plan on traveling outside of their host country during their study abroad session may require additional documentation beyond the student visa for travel. 

To summarize, 

  1. You are solely responsible for obtaining the proper documentation for your study period program. 
  2. The university you will be attending requires that all students have the proper documentation for their period of study. Students who do not follow the correct procedures may not be eligible to complete their semester or obtain credit for courses taken abroad.