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How to Acquire Student Visa While in Japan

Erik Tate

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Hi, I am a college student from America, who is now currently on vacation in Japan. I am going to start studying at Saitama University at the end of September. I was wondering how I would go about getting a student visa from a Japanese Embassy or Immigration Services. I already have my certificate of eligibility and my passport, but I am not sure where to go do apply for a visa. Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks a bunch!
 

Lawrence1

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Hi, I am a college student from America, who is now currently on vacation in Japan. I am going to start studying at Saitama University at the end of September. I was wondering how I would go about getting a student visa from a Japanese Embassy or Immigration Services. I already have my certificate of eligibility and my passport, but I am not sure where to go do apply for a visa. Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks a bunch!
This is what I could find online. Basically it appears that the government strongly opposes converting your tourist visa into a student visa while in Japan, but it may be allowed. Directly from the mofa (Frequently Asked Questions | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan) website:

Q5: Can I apply for a visa at the nearest Japanese Embassy / Consulate General while traveling in a foreign country?
A5: You can apply for the visa at the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General in your own country (region) or country (region) of residence (if there is more than one, apply to the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General nearest from where you live). In other words, you cannot apply for a visa at your travel destination; however, if there are unavoidable circumstances, consult with the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General where you would like to apply for the visa before making the application.

Another source from the temple university (Frequently Asked Questions about Student Visa - Visa Information, Undergraduate Program) mentions this:

I plan to enter Japan as a tourist. If I get accepted to TUJ and receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), can I change my visa status from tourist (temporary visitor) to student within Japan?
Students may not enter Japan as a tourist and switch to a student visa within Japan. Japanese Immigration does not recommend this method for those who will ultimately be under another visa type. In the event that Immigration denies your application for a student visa, you would have to leave Japan before your tourist status expires. This is one of the reasons why Japanese Immigration recommends people to only enter Japan with the appropriate visa for their stay. TUJ strongly encourages you to take care of COE/visa matters before entering Japan.

I guess this makes sense since they will need to temporarily take your passport in order to verify COE and give you your visa, and as a foreigner you are not allowed to be out in Japan without your passport until you get your alien registration card. Since you are already there, it won't hurt to try going to any immigration office but they may not allow it so be prepared to temporarily go back home. On bright side, since you are american, you will get your visa in less than a week if you do it in the states. Once you get your visa, you can go right back to Japan.
 
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Mike Cash

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I was wondering how I would go about getting a student visa from a Japanese Embassy or Immigration Services.
There are no Japanese embassies inside Japan. You need to go to the Immigration office responsible for your region. Have you talked to the Admissions Office and/or whatever office is responsible for foreign students at your university? They are there to help you and their advice is far more reliable and authoritative than anything any of us could tell you.

Out of curiosity, what will you be studying at Saitama University? Do they have the typical JLPT N1 requirement for foreign students?
 

Glenski

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I already have my certificate of eligibility and my passport, but I am not sure where to go do apply for a visa.
If you have the cert, you have already applied for the visa. You merely need to follow immigration procedures to exchange it for the visa. Your school should have explained the process to you, as should the immigration office (which is where you need to go, unless your school will handle things).
 

Rozal

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I can talk in japanese. I passed in N5.
Can i change tourist visa in student visa while i am in japan ?
If its possible what process to do sure student visa ?
Please help .
I want to change tourist visa in student visa .
 

Mike Cash

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I can talk in japanese. I passed in N5.
Can i change tourist visa in student visa while i am in japan ?
If its possible what process to do sure student visa ?
Please help .
I want to change tourist visa in student visa .
That was answered in the 2nd post in this thread.
 
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