In 2018, there were 397 Pakistani students studying in Japan according to the statistics of JASSO. As more people from Pakistan are interested in pursuing their studies in Japan, it is important for them to understand the process of obtaining a student visa.

Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from Your University

First of all, you need to be enrolled into your universities of choice or in their college. You must apply to the said university in order to receive a notification of acceptance for admission into the university. 

You will have to prepare the following documents and submit them to your school or university so that they can apply on your behalf for the Certificate of Eligibility to the Immigration Bureau in Japan. All of these documents need to be either in English, in Japanese, or have notarized translations attached to them. 

  1. Application form 

You will fill in the form with your personal information and the course you are to be enrolled in, as well as your educational and/or professional background. 

  1. Eight identical ID Photos (3 cm x 4 cm)

Photos must show a clear and full front view of your face from the bottom of the chin to the top of the hair against a plain background. You must not wear sunglasses or hats and your eyes and ears must be clearly visible.

The photo can be either passport photos or taken at an ID photo booth and must be taken within 3 months prior to your application submission. 

  1. Passport photocopy

Copy of the Photo/ID and Signature page of your passport. If you have been to Japan in the past, then you should also copy any previous entry and exit stamps.

  1. Original academic certificates

Academic certificates include SSC Exam results, admit card, and testimonial of your exam results in Bangladesh.

  1. Documents that show your financial ability

All visa applicants need to be able to demonstrate to the Japanese Immigration Bureau that you are capable of supporting yourself, including paying for tuition, living costs, school fees and other expenses while in Japan, or having guarantors who can cover these costs. 

The actual amount can vary depending on your school’s tuition fees, period of stay in Japan, and your living circumstances after arriving in Japan. It is recommended that you show that you have access to 2,000,000 JPY ~ 3,000,000 JPY or more in order to live and study in Japan for the first few months. 

If you self-finance the expenses for your studies and living costs, all documents should be provided under your official name in the passport. In case your stay is supported by another person, it is necessary to have a letter that clearly explains the situation, and financial documents should bear that person’s name. 

Financial documents as follows are accepted as evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself.

  • Bank statements
  • Income statements
  • Award letters of scholarships or financial aids
  • Letter of sponsorship by your financial supporter
  1. Medical check-up results

While many schools do not require you to submit your medical history check-up, some may ask for this, and you would need to undergo a health check-up in order to receive a health certificate. 

It usually takes the Immigration Bureau of Japan 60 to 90 days to issue the Certificate of Eligibility and send this to your school or university in Japan, which they will in turn forward to you. Once you receive the acceptance letter and the Certificate of Eligibility from the university, you will be able to apply for a student visa to study in Japan as an international student. 

After You Have Received the Certificate of Eligibility 

Once the Certificate of Eligibility is sent from your school or university,  you will need to make an appointment at a Japanese Embassy in Pakistan in order to apply for the official visa on your own as an international student. The fee to apply is 3,000 JPY for a single-entry visa or 6,000 JPY for a double entry visa. 

  • Passport with a valid period up to more than six months
  • Original copy of Certificate of Eligibility 
  • Two 45mm x 45mm passport size portrait photographs with no hat or sunglasses
  • Two visa application forms for the verification purpose, available at the Embassy
  • A copy of the certificate of admission from a university
  • All graduation certificates from relevant high school and university and mark sheets
  • Bank balance certificates of applicant and/or financial supporter to verify that the student can bear all the expenses during their studies in Japan 
  • Income and tax certificates of the applicant and/or financial supporter
  • Relationship certificate between the applicant and financial supporter
  • Letter of scholarship award and/or sponsorship (if applicable)
  • Employment certificate of the financial supporter
  • Visa application fee payment receipt

Things to Remember 

The time to process an application for visas might be different depending on the applicant’s circumstances. No visas are issued on the same day of application. When documentation is in order, the minimum processing time is at least five business days to a week. If there is an issue with the application, including but not limited to lacking necessary documents or insufficient and/or inaccurate information, the process can take over a few weeks or more as needed. Applicants are highly recommended to apply for a visa well before their planned departure date.

Visa application submission is accepted between 09:00 AM and 11:00 AM from Monday to Friday except for national and public holidays. 

Passports can be collected between 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM from Monday to Friday except public holidays. During Ramazan (Ramadan), the time window is changed to 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM from Monday to Friday. 

Residents of Sindh & Baluchistan have to apply for Japanese visa at the Consulate General of Japan, Karachi.

If the embassy refuses to grant a visa, an explanation will not be provided. However, a visa application can be submitted again after 6 months after the refusal.

For further inquiries, you can directly contact the Embassy of Japan in Pakistani through the following address:

High Commission of Japan in Pakistan

Address: 53 – 70, Ramna 5/4, Diplomatic Enclave 1 Islamabad 44000, Pakistan / PO Box 1119, Islamabad, Pakistan

Email: culture@ib.mofa.go.jp

Telephone/Fax: +92-51-9072500 / +92-51-9072352

Conclusion

The process of applying and waiting for a visa can be time-consuming and tedious, but if you prepare well in advance, you will be able to obtain a visa and start your studies in Japan in no time!

References 

“How to Get Student Visa for Japan from Pakistan 2020” – JobsAlert

“Japan Visa Requirements for Pakistani Students” – Pak StudyAbroad

“General Information to the Applicants Applying for Visa to Japan at the Embassy of Japan, Islamabad” – Embassy of Japan in Pakistan

https://www.pk.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/VisaInfo.html

“Result of an Annual survey of International Students in Japan 2018” – JASSO

https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/about/statistics/intl_student_e/2018/index.html