According to statistics by JASSO, in 2017, 829 Bangladeshi students were studying in Japanese language institutions. For aspiring Bangladeshi students, Japan is becoming an increasingly popular destination to study abroad. A student visa in Japan is required if you plan to enter a Japanese language school, a vocational school, or a college/ university for longer than 90 days.

What Do You Need To Do for a Study Visa in Japan?

You need to find a Japanese language school or a university to enroll in. The reason is that most schools offer visa sponsorship in order to get your Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Ministry of Justice in Japan, which will help your visa application process to run more smoothly.

As you get accepted to a school or a university, the school will submit your application to the Immigration Bureau in Japan on your behalf. This process might take 2 to 3 months for the Immigration Bureau to approve your application, after which the school will send you a Certificate of Eligibility.

Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility through Your School 

In order to receive a Certificate of Eligibility, you will have to prepare the following documents and submit them to your school or university. All of these documents need to be in either English or Japanese, or have notarized translations attached to them.

  • Application form:
    • You will fill in the information of your personal information and the course you are to be enrolled in.
  • Personal history form:
    • You will fill in your educational and/or professional history in the form.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Original academic certificates:
    • Academic certificates include SSC Exam results, admit card, and testimonial of your exam results in Bangladesh.
  • Documents that show your financial ability:
    • All visa applicants need to be able to demonstrate to the Japanese Immigration Bureau that they are capable of supporting themselves, 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, your 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 – 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. 
  • 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. 

NOTE: The following financial documents are accepted to be evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself.
1. Bank statements
2. Income statements
3. Award letters of scholarship by your financial supporter
4. Letter of sponsorship by your financial supporter

After You Have Received the Certificate of Eligibility 

After you have received the Certificate of Eligibility sent from your school or university,  you will need to make an appointment at a Japanese Embassy in Bangladesh in order to apply for the official visa. The visa application fee is free for Bangladeshi nationals.

You are required to submit the following documents to the embassy in order to receive a student visa:

  • Application form
  • Passport and two photos (2 inch x 2 inch with white background)
  • Certificate of Eligibility (original copy)
  • Admission certificate from Japanese language school in Japan
  • Receipt for admission and/or tuition fees from a Japanese language school
  • Certificate of Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N1 – N5 (if applicable)
  • Language school certificate from language school in Bangladesh
  • Academic certificate, Registration card, Mark sheet of S.S.C. and H.S.C.
  • Valid airlines booking slip
  • Bank statement for six months from your financial supporter
  • Tax certificate & paid amount receipt for 3 years from your financial supporter
  • Family tree with necessary passport copy /NID card/ Nikahnama to prove your relationship with financial supporter (if the supporter is not your parent)
  • Information on language School in Bangladesh: school photo, representative name, contact number, address
  • Japanese textbook (original copy)

In addition to submitting your application documents, you will also be required to attend an interview at the same time with the embassy personnel. At the end of the interview, you will be instructed on the time and date and the method to collect your passport. This information is also written on the application receipt.

For further inquiries and appointments with the authorities, the following is the information of the Japanese Embassy in Bangladesh: 

Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh

Plot No. 5 & 7, Dutabash Road, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh

In order to maximize your chances of getting your visa, it is advisable that you fill in the application form carefully with no errors and submit sufficient proof to clearly show your intentions of studying and living in Japan. If the information in the application package is found to be falsified or fraudulent at any step, or that you have a serious criminal record, there is a possibility that your application will be denied. 

Getting Your Visa 

You can submit your visa application between 9:00 to 11:00 on every working day at the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh. Gates close at 10:50 for all visa applicants. Your application package needs to include your documents specified above. When you submit your application, you will receive an application receipt.

It typically takes a minimum of five working days to receive the visa after the interview at the Embassy. However, it is also important to remember that it might take longer if the Embassy finds issues with your application, such as missing documents or unclear information, in which you have to add or revise your documents to increase your credibility. In the event that there is a missing required document, or six months have not passed since your last visa refusal, the Embassy may deny your visa application. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to apply for a visa well in advance of your travel.

If your application process goes smoothly, you will be able to receive your passport and have all original documents returned between 14:30 to 15:30 on the instructed day. When you come to the embassy to pick up your passport and visa, you are required to submit the application receipt. In case you send another individual to pick your passport on behalf of you, you need to prepare the application receipt and authorization with your valid signature.

Arriving in Japan

Once you have a student visa in Japan, you are able to arrive in Japan now. When you arrive at the airport in Japan, you will need to fill in and submit a landing card. If you have a student visa, you can also apply for a work permit (Permission to Engage in Activity Other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted) at the airport, which will allow you to work part-time for 28 hours a week. Bear in mind that you are not allowed to work in the adult entertainment industry and illegal industries. 

At the passport control, you will also be given your Residence Card, which is an important ID card that you should always carry with you throughout your time in Japan. 

Conclusion

The process may seem tedious, but don’t let it discourage you from going after your dream of studying abroad. If you have a clear purpose and can demonstrate that you have the means and the ability to study in Japan, you will be able to acquire the coveted student visa in Japan in no time!

References 

“Visa Application” – Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh

https://www.bd.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/visa.htmlhttps://www.bd.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/visa.html

“International Students in Japan 2018” – JASSO

https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/about/statistics/intl_student/data2018.html