In order to study in Japan, students must generally get a Student Visa – unless the students intend to study short term 1-3 months with visitor visa or come to Japan with Working Holiday Visa.

Short-term: Applicants who enter Japan with temporary visitor visa and intend to study to a Japanese language school during their residence period (90 days). This type of visa has restrictions, such as they are not eligible to do any paid work part-time or full-time while in Japan. This visa is not changeable from temporary visitor to student. This short-term course are suitable for students from countries who signed a visa exemption agreement with Japan or students who already have Japanese temporary visitor visa and are already inside the country.

Please note that Japanese language school will not provide any supporting documents for applying visitor visa at the Japanese Embassy.
Working Holiday Visa: Working Holiday visa is one of the popular options for young people to stay in Japan up to one year. If you want to do more with less money than you might consider a working holiday visa. Working Holiday Visa allows you to visit Japan for longer than the usual tourist visa, with an opportunity to work and study while traveling. Though there are several restrictions, such as age restrictions (usually age between 18 and 30), type and length of employment, have sufficient funds to live and have health or travel insurance for the duration. At first you need to check if your country have a Working Holiday Agreement with Japan (Working Holiday Visas are offered under mutual agreements between a numbers of countries. So one’s eligibility depends on his/her nationality). For Working Holiday Programs in Japan please visit The Working Holiday Programmes in Japan at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website. Then you need to visit Embassy or Consulates- General of Japan nearest you in your own country for specific more information and advice.

If you are planning to go to Japanese language school with Working Holiday Visa to learn or brush-up your Japanese language skill before starting work or traveling inside Japan, you need to contact us at least 2 to 3 months ahead of your arrival so that we can take care of your school admission and housing accordingly.

For Japan student visa, applicants need to submit visa applications at the Embassy or Consulate in their home country. But before that, applicant must apply for COE (Certificate of Eligibility, it’s an official document issued by the Immigration Bureau of Japan. It’s not a visa, obtaining a COE is not a guarantee that one will receive his/her visa for Japan) at chosen school, once the admission process is completed then the school submit student application with other relevant documents to the regional immigration office for COE approval. It takes 2-3 months for immigration to approve the COE (some application might get rejected for various reason such as wrongly filled, incorrect education history, sponsor is not financially sound or lack of documents). The process is lengthy and bit complicated. This is where Motivist Japan can help you to find   right/suitable school and take care all of your paper works, answer all your questions and assist you with others needs such as housing etc.



Prospective students must be 18 years old or more, and have completed high School or above with higher education. Exceptions apply for some countries, especially students from OECD or other developed country. Please contact us to know more.

Note: Japan’s educational system consists of 12 years (6-3-3) of studies. Then students advance to higher education like college or university. Educational system of some countries doesn’t fulfill 12 years before higher education.

Applicants from these countries high school graduate as their final educational background, cannot apply for student visa or higher education in Japan.

Besides above, there are a few other requirements which applicants need comply and  submit to the school for consideration of their application for student visa. Following are a list of documents:

Passport copy (bio-page)
Passport pages copy with Japan entry and exit stamps.
6 pics photo (4X 3cm)
Highest education certificate
An essay of why you want to study in Japan
JLPT/NAT/GNK/Japanese language knowledge skill certificate
Sponsor documents (if sponsor is family member then proof of relationship):
Bank balance certificate (approx. $20,000 or above)
Employment certificate
Tax certificate/Pay slips

Please note that the above are general list of documents, based on applicant’s age, background and nationality school might ask for additional documents or interview. Basically the application are process on case by case.

For more information, please click our student guide.


Before a student can get their student visa, they must first get a COE in Japan. Your chosen language school will apply for your COE to the Immigration Bureau in Japan on your behalf. The documents listed above are the same documents to be submitted to Immigration. COE result date is not fixed and it varies. If you and your sponsor’s document are good, the chances of getting your COE approved is higher. This is why having a school agent is advantageous. We can review your documents and make sure it is clear, understandable and have a great chance of approval. 


Once the result of the COE has been released (usually 5-6 weeks before the course start date), school will send you a copy of your COE, an invoice for tuition and other fees if requested with acceptance letter. You need to make the payment within the due date to receive your original COE by mail.

After receiving the original COE, you need to apply for your student visa at the nearest Japanese embassy in your country. To apply student visa you need to submit Original COE
Acceptance letter
Valid Passport
Passport size photo taken with in last 6 months
Student visa application

(Embassy might ask for other documents, please check Embassy website in your country.)

*The visa process could take 3-7 days depends on where you are applying but we recommend you to apply at least two weeks before your travel plan.

For some instances that the COE has been denied, Immigration will normally include a short reason why your application was rejected. If you want to reapply, please consult with us first. In re-application, the documents you previously submitted cannot be reused. You have to provide a new copy of your sponsor’s documents, as well as new signed application forms. Your school of choice (the school processed your application) might not accept your reapplication, so please expect that you will have less school option once you have a history of rejected COE.

Note: It is crucial to submit application and other supporting documents accordingly set by school and immigration.  


Japanese language student visa length vary, it usually 6 months 2 years a maximum, depends on the study period. The study periods are preset. Such as

Course Duration
April   2 years
July  1 year and 9 months
October 1 year and 6 months
January 1 year and 3 months

Student can renew their Student Visa and extend the period of stay depending on their enrollment period.

After completion of their Japanese language course, student can proceed to study at higher educational institute (such as vocational school, Junior college, university) or look for employment opportunity if they meet the criteria.