The Pre-College Student Visa is for Applicants who wish to come to Japan for the purpose of attending high school, school for the blind, a special needs children's school, or certain other educational institutions.
SEVEN STEPS TO OBTAIN A JAPAN PRE-COLLEGE STUDENT VISA
In order to obtain a Pre-College Student Visa to study in Japan, an Applicant will need to complete the following seven steps:
Confirm that the Applicant satisfies the preliminary requirements for obtaining a Japan Pre-College Student Visa.
The applicable requirements vary depending upon the type of educational institution and subjects to be studied.
1. Where the Applicant will study at a Senior High School
- The Applicant must show sufficient assets to support herself while in Japan.
- The Applicant must be 20 years of age or younger.
- The Applicant must have spent at least one year studying Japanese language (unless she is coming to Japan as part of an official international student exchange program.)
2. Where the Applicant will study at a Vocational School or Miscellaneous School
- The Applicant needs to demonstrate a certain level of Japanese language ability unless she will be studying at an institution that provides education to foreign nationals in a foreign language.
- The school must have a full-time adviser to assist foreign students.
3. Where the Applicant plans solely to study Japanese Language
- The institution needs to be one that is designated by the Minister of Justice.
Confirm that the proposed activities in Japan are consistent with those permitted for the holder of a Japan Pre-College Student Visa.
Once the preliminary items in Step 1 have been confirmed, the actual activities the Applicant will undertake in Japan need to be considered.
The permitted activities for the holder of a Pre-College Student Visa are receiving an education at one of the following institutions:
- Upper secondary school.
- Special needs education high school.
- Higher or general courses at an advanced vocational school.
- A vocational school.
- Other educational institutions which are equivalent to a vocational school.
Assemble the documents required to support a Japan Pre-College Student Student Visa application.
Once an Applicant has confirmed that her proposed activities in Japan are consistent with those outlined above in Step 2, supporting documentation needs to be prepared.
In the case of a Pre-College Student Visa, the authorities require the following documents:
- A copy of the Applicants certificate of admission from the educational institution where she will study.
- Diplomas and other documentation that certify the Applicants personal history.
- Documents certifying that the Applicant can meet her expenses during her stay in Japan.
Although not technically required, our experience is that providing Japanese translations enhances the quality of an application. This may minimize delays in obtaining final approval.
Japan Visa’s certified immigration professionals are able to assist in the preparation and translation of all documentation required for a Pre-College Student Visa.
Submit an application for a Japan Pre-College Student Visa Certificate of Eligibility (“COE”).
Once the Applicant’s activities have been confirmed and the appropriate documents assembled per steps 2 and 3 above, the next step in most cases will be to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (abbreviated as “COE”).
A COE is a document issued by the Japanese immigration authorities. It certifies an Applicant’s eligibility to undertake specific employment in Japan – in this case, the job associated with the Pre-College Student Visa application.
An application for a Pre-College Student Visa COE must be submitted in person at a regional immigration office in Japan. The COE application cannot be submitted by mail or at a Japanese embassy outside Japan.
Where the Applicant is not personally available (for example because she is not in Japan or due to a busy schedule) Japanese law allows a certified immigration specialist to submit a Pre-College Student Visa COE application on behalf of the Applicant.
Japan Visa’s certified immigration specialists are able to handle all the procedures associated with preparing and submitting an application for a Pre-College Student Visa COE.
Await Approval of the Pre-College Student Visa COE.
The processing time for a Pre-College Student Visa COE is generally four to six weeks.
Once approved, a notice is sent to an address in Japan advising that the COE is ready for collection at the regional immigration office where the COE application was originally submitted.
Where Japan Visa’s certified immigration professionals are handling the Pre-College Student Visa application, the notification from the immigration authorities is sent to our office. Japan Visa then collects the COE from the regional immigration office and either forwards it to the Applicant or prepares a change of status application (see Step 6 below).
Obtain Pre-College Student Status of Residence (SOR).
Once an Applicant has the Pre-College Student Visa COE in hand, the next step is for her to exchange the COE for Pre-College Student “Status of Residence” (usually abbreviated as “SOR”).
Technically speaking, it is the Pre-College Student SOR that will form the basis of the Applicant actually living and working in Japan.
There are two methods for converting the COE to Pre-College Student SOR:
1. Exchange the Pre-College Student COE at a Japanese embassy or Consul outside Japan.
This is the traditional route for obtaining Pre-College Student SOR.
The Applicant first exchanges the Pre-College Student Visa COE for a Pre-College Student Visa at a Japanese embassy or consul outside Japan. The process generally takes two to three business days.
The Applicant then travels to Japan and is granted Pre-College Student SOR at the port of entry.
2. Undertake a Change of Status to Pre-College Student SOR in Japan.
In some cases, an alternative may be for the holder of a Pre-College Student COE to enter Japan under the Japan Visa Waiver Program or some other form of short-term entry. The Applicant then applies for Pre-College Student SOR via a change of status at a regional immigration office in Japan.
A change of status takes approximately two weeks. During that time, it is not possible for the Applicant to travel outside Japan.
Where the change of status route is utilized, Japan Visa’s certified immigration professionals can undertake the necessary procedures at the regional immigration office in Japan.
Japan Residence Card
Whether you receive your Pre-College Student SOR at the airport upon entering Japan or via a change of status application filed at a regional immigration office in Japan (see Step 6 above), you will receive a Japan Residence Card.
This is an official identification card that includes an IC chip. The Residence Card contains personal information such as your name, address, birth date, residence status (in this case, Pre-College Student SOR), period of stay, etc.
You are required to carry your Residence Card at all times.
Consider applying for a Japan Re-entry Permit.
Up until July 2012, if you held Pre-College Student SOR and wished to temporarily leave Japan (e.g., for vacation, business, etc.) it was necessary to obtain a Re-entry Permit for Japan in advance of travelling.
However, it is now possible to leave Japan for up to 12 months without a Re-Entry Permit.
If there is any possibility that a trip outside Japan will last for more than 12 months, an individual holding Pre-College Student SOR should ensure that they have a Re-entry Permit. This can be obtained at regional immigration office in Japan.