“College Student” VISA

Exchange students who are not Japanese citizens must obtain ‘college student’ or other suitable visa status in order to register for courses at Sophia University.
In order to apply for a College Student Visa, the student will need the Acceptance Letter from Sophia University and CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY (CoE) issued by the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau. ‘College student’ visa should be obtained in student’s home country.

Certificate of Eligibility (CoE)

The Application of CoE must be filled out properly by applicants and must be submitted on our Sophia Go Global Portal at the time of application.
Then Sophia University will apply the CoE for applicants.
The CoE will be issued by Tokyo Regional of Immigration Services Agency of Japan around early February for Spring Semester application / around early August for Autumn Semester application.
As soon as the CoE is issued, Sophia will forward the Certificate to the student’s home institution via courier.

Acceptance Letter

After you receive Acceptance E-mail from Sophia University, you can download your acceptance letter on Sophia Go Global Portal.

VISA Application

It is the applicant’s responsibility to apply for VISA.
The student must present the CoE, letter of acceptance, and a valid passport to a Japanese embassy or consulate either in the country of citizenship or in the country where the student’s home institution is located. The bureaucrat will issue the college student visa and students will receive their residence stamp it in the back of the student’s passport.
N.B: We do not allow exchange students to enter Japan with short-term visitor visa then change residence status to college student visa because it is not guaranteed that they will be able to obtain a student visa. In the past, there were many cases that the immigration office rejected the status change and students went back home country.

Resident Card

In exchange for the CoE and College Student VISA, all students with a “College Student” status of residence will be issued a resident card at Narita, Haneda, Chubu, and Kansai Airports, besides having a seal of landing verification stamped in your passports.
At other ports of entry/departure, a seal of landing verification will be stamped in the passport and the description which states “a resident card will be issued later” will be made near the stamp. In this case, after you follow the residency procedure at the municipal office of the city/town/village, a resident card will be mailed by the Regional Immigration Office to the reported place of residence.
You must carry the resident card all the time during your stay in Japan. For detailed information, please refer to THE HANDBOOK FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS.

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