Immigration Information for Exchange Students
It is very important for international students coming to study in Japan to be aware of immigration procedures and deadlines for obtaining a student Visa before arriving in Japan, as well as other immigration related policies and requirements while residing here. The sections below give basic information on immigration procedures required before and after you arrive in Japan. Please refer to information provided by the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your country, or contact the Student Exchange Division at TUFS for more detailed information.
Coming to Japan
Obtaining a Student Visa
International students require both a valid passport and a ‘Student’ Visa authorized by a Japanese Embassy or Consulate to enter Japan. In order to obtain the Visa, you must apply at your local Japanese Embassy or Consulate. You will be asked to submit an Acceptance Letter as well as a Certificate of Eligibility, both of which will be sent to you by the Student Exchange Division Office at TUFS. The Acceptance Letter is issued by the university to certify that you have been accepted as an exchange student at TUFS. The Certificate of Eligibility is your proof that you are indeed eligible to enter Japan. Therefore, inspections pertaining to visa issuance can be performed quickly.
You can get the application form for Certificate Eligibility from our web-site (Application Procedures for Exchange Programs). Once you have filled out and returned this form to us, we will apply on your behalf for the Certificate of Eligibility at the Immigration Bureau in Japan. This usually takes about one and a half month to be issued, but may take over two months in some cases. It is therefore important that you return the Application for Certificate of Eligibility form to us as early as possible and especially before any application deadlines we have listed.
Also, depending on the applicant, the Immigration Bureau may require other specific documents in order to issue the Certificate of Eligibility. If you receive a request from TUFS for such documents, please respond to the instructions that we send you as quickly as possible.
Once, we have received your Certificate of Eligibility from the Immigration Bureau we will send it by post to you or your university. You should then take it immediately to the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your home country, along with other required documents (e.g., Passport, Visa Application, Acceptance Letter, etc.), in order to apply for your Visa.
Please be aware that TUFS cannot guarantee the issuance of your Certificate of Eligibility or Visa, and therefore your entry into Japan, as these are the decisions of the Immigration Bureau, In general, however, only rarely are these documents not issued to students who wish to come study at TUFS and who have submitted all the required forms by their prescribed deadlines.
In addition, the Acceptance Letter and the Certificate of Eligibility are also necessary to disembark into Japan. Therefore, make sure to bring these documents with you when entering Japan in order to show them the Japanese immigration officer who will process you at the airport. You can get the residence card at the airport when you arrive at Japan.
All non-Japanese nationals (citizens of other countries) who intend to remain in the country for more than 90 days must register at their local town or city office within 14 days after you live in Japan. Once you are registered, your address is written on the back of your residence card. You are required to carry this card at all times during your stay in Japan, and you will be asked to show it when you open a bank account, or need to show an official form of identification. If you will reside in our dorm at TUFS, you will register at Fuchu City Hall together. Fuchu City Hall is 10-minute-walk from the Fuchu Station (Keio Line).
National Health Insurance
International students at TUFS should apply for National Health Insurance and the associated Foreign Student Discount at the same time as when applying for the Certificate of Resident Registration at the local town or city office. National Health Insurance costs about \1,000 per month for international students, and covers 70% of medical expenses in the event of illness or injury.
During Your Studies
Leaving and Re-Entering Japan
International students at TUFS who would like to leave Japan during their studies to travel abroad or visit their home countries must go through a Special Re-Entry Permit procedure at the airport when you leave Japan. If you leave Japan without a Special Re-Entry Permit, your Visa will become invalid and you will be required to repeat the entire process as described above to obtain a new Visa before you re-enter Japan to resume your studies here.
You will need to take your Passport and Residence Card with you when applying for a Special Re-entry Permit.
International students in Japan on a Student’ Visa are allowed to work part-time within 28 hours a week. However, you are required to apply for and obtain a Work Permit before beginning any part-time work. You should apply for a Work Permit at the airport when you arrive at Japan as well as the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau in Shinagawa or Tachikawa.
There are several other immigration related procedure relevant to international students living in Japan, such as Change of Address, Extension of Period of Stay, and Change of Visa Status, that have to be taken care of either at the local town or city office or at an immigration office. Please inquire about these procedures at the TUFS Student Exchange Division Office for more information.
3-11-1, Asahi-cho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo 183-8534, Japan