The Japan Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) is a document issued by the Japanese government to foreign citizens as a requirement for obtaining a Japanese visa. In other words, the CoE is not a visa; it is a requirement for applying for a visa to Japan.
Typically, the Japanese government issues this certificate to foreign nationals who wish to study or work in Japan. It is also required for obtaining permanent residency in Japan.
There are several steps you must take if you want to apply for a Japan Certificate of Eligibility (CoE). Though the application process is time-consuming and requires some paperwork, it is doable with the right resources.
This article will outline the application process’s basics and provide tips on how to maximize your chances of success.
In this article
- Where is Japan Located?
- What is a Japan Certificate of Eligibility?
- Who is Eligible to Apply for the Japan Certificate of Eligibility?
- Where Do You Submit an Application for a Japan Certificate of Eligibility?
- What are the requirements for obtaining a Japan Certificate of Eligibility?
- Required documents for a Japan Certificate of Eligibility application
- Processing time for the Japan Certificate of Eligibility
- How to Apply for a Japan Visa?
- Japan Certificate of Eligibility Application Fee
- Following Arrival in Japan
- Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Japan Located?
Japan is often called the Land of the Rising Sun, but where exactly is it?
Japan is a country in East Asia, bordered by China to the north, Russia to the east, Korea to the south, Taiwan to the west, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The capital city is Tokyo.
Japan has a population of over 126 million people.
The country has a rich history dating back thousands of years. It was once known as the Empire of the East, and its culture and cuisine are influenced by China, Korea, India, Southeast Asia, and other Asian countries.
In addition, it is the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the third largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Its total GDP was USD 1.5 trillion in 2017.
What is a Japan Certificate of Eligibility?
As mentioned above, a Japan Certificate of Eligibility is a document issued by Japan’s Ministry of Justice to a foreign citizen who wishes to work and study in Japan.
To obtain a CoE, the applicant must have a Japanese sponsor, such as an employer, a school, or a relative. To apply for your certificate, your sponsor in Japan must contact the local Immigration Office to apply on your behalf.
Once the CoE is obtained, the sponsor will send it to you and other visa application documents for submission to the Japanese Consulate or Embassy abroad.
Who is Eligible to Apply for the Japan Certificate of Eligibility?
Seeing as you must have the Certificate of Eligibility before applying for a visa and entering Japan, you must have someone in Japan apply on your behalf.
It could be:
- Inform your employer if you intend to apply for a Japan work visa.
- Your school, if you want to apply for a Japan Student Visa.
- A relative or sponsor in Japan.
- Your spouse.
- A relative or sponsor who will pay for your stay or on whom you are dependent.
- A Lawyer.
Where Do You Submit an Application for a Japan Certificate of Eligibility?
The certificate of eligibility application can be submitted by your representative in Japan to the immigration bureau for the area of Japan where you will live or work.
On the website of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, you can find a list of the locations of the country’s immigration offices.
Your sponsor or representative must mail the certificate to you after processing the application so you can apply for a visa and enter Japan.
What are the requirements for obtaining a Japan Certificate of Eligibility?
To be eligible for a Japan Certificate of Eligibility, the purpose of your visit to Japan must meet the requirements specified by Japan’s relevant government bodies. As a result, you must enter Japan in one of the following categories:
- Someone who has gotten a job in a Japanese company.
- Professor or language instructor.
- An artist who will be working for pay.
- Someone who will participate in activities that will teach you about Japanese culture (Judo classes or studying tea ceremony).
- A member of the clergy (missionary, bishop, etc.).
- Journalist or newscaster.
- An employee assigned to work in a Japanese company who knows natural or human science.
- A company’s president, director, or division head.
- A student from another country.
- A student.
- A dependent of someone legally residing in Japan.
- A Japanese citizen’s spouse or child.
- A participant in the Working Holiday Program in Japan.
- A performer of entertainment (singer, model, etc.).
- Any other reason considered acceptable by Japan’s Immigration Services.
Required documents for a Japan Certificate of Eligibility application
When your sponsor or representative applies for your Japan Certificate of Eligibility, you must submit the following documents:
- Eligibility Certificate (original).
- A valid passport has been properly signed by the bearer (an original passport is required; please be sure your passport has available visa pages).
- Any additional documents are relevant to your travel purpose, such as: If you’re going to work for a Japanese company, you’ll need a work contract that specifies your salary, length of employment, and position. Documents proving the family relationship if you plan to visit a relative in Japan. If you are an international student, a letter of admission to a Japanese educational institution.
- Any document proving your sponsor’s status and that they are eligible to apply on your behalf.
Processing time for the Japan Certificate of Eligibility
The processing time for the CoE varies by embassy or consulate, but it typically takes 2-3 months from the time of application. The processing time may sometimes be shorter or longer depending on the circumstances.
After receiving the certificate, the applicant can apply for a visa at a Japanese embassy or consulate. The type of visa obtained will be determined by the purpose of their visit to Japan.
You cannot apply for the visa until you have received your certificate, so begin the application process as soon as possible.
How to Apply for a Japan Visa?
Once you have your Certificate of Eligibility, you can start planning your trip to Japan. But, first, you must submit it and the other necessary documents to your country’s Japan Embassy or Consulate.
If the Embassy or Consulate approves your visa application, you will have approximately three months to enter Japan.
To apply for a Japanese visa, you must provide the following documents:
- A completed visa application form
- Your passport (valid for at least six months)
- A recent passport-sized photo
- An itinerary or letter of invitation from your host in Japan
- Proof of financial resources, such as bank statements or a letter from your sponsor
If you’re visiting Japan for business, you’ll need to bring some extra paperwork, such as a letter of introduction from your company.
Japan Certificate of Eligibility Application Fee
The Japan Certificate of Eligibility is provided at no cost. As a result, your sponsor/representative is exempt from paying a processing fee for your certificate.
You must, however, pay a fee when you receive your Japan Visa before entering Japan. The current fee for a Japan visa is 3,000 yen, which can be paid in cash, by credit card, or by bank transfer.
All foreign nationals who wish to apply for a visa to enter Japan must first obtain a Japan Certificate of Eligibility. The Japanese Ministry of Justice issues the COE, which is valid for six months from the date of issue.
Finally, please remember that the application fee is non-refundable regardless of the application’s outcome.
Following Arrival in Japan
When you arrive in Japan with your visa, the immigration officers at the point of entry will review it, and if they believe you meet the entry requirements, they will issue you a Landing Permit. A single-entry visa becomes invalid once you obtain the Landing Permit. In contrast, a multiple-entry visa with a more extended validity period remains valid even after you receive the Landing Permit.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to process an application for the Japan Certificate of Eligibility?
A Japan Certificate of Eligibility takes about 2-3 months to process. However, if there is a backlog of applications, it may take longer.
Who issues a certificate of eligibility in Japan?
Typically, the Ministry of Justice issues the Certificate of Eligibility in Japan.
Where can I get a Certificate of eligibility?
You can get a Certificate of Eligibility from the Ministry of Justice in Japan. Your sponsor or representative must mail the certificate to you after processing the application so you can apply for a visa and enter Japan.
How do I process COE in Japan?
Generally, to obtain a COE, the applicant must have a Japanese sponsor, such as an employer, a school, or a relative, among others. To apply for your certificate, your sponsor in Japan must contact the local Immigration Office. We already outlined full details on how to process your COE above in this article.
Ultimately, when applying for your Japan Certificate of Eligibility, go through the following steps:
- Obtain your CoE.
- Gather the necessary documents.
- Fill out the application form.
- Send the application to the Japanese embassy or consulate.
- Receive and attach the certificate to your visa application.
- Finally, submit your visa application.
You’ll be on your way to receiving your Japan Certificate of Eligibility and, eventually, your visa in no time if you plan ahead of time.