General Information

There are many ways for you to come and study at Meiji Academy, and we will be more than happy to assist you in every possible way. However, we strongly do suggest you to have a look at the Ministry of Foreign Affair Website first. Many countries are part of the Visa Waiver Program, which automatically grants nationals from these countries with a tourist visa on arrival to Japan for up to 90 days. All other nationals would have to get in contact with the Japanese Embassy in their respective countries before coming to Japan first. Under general terms the longest you can stay in Japan, without applying for a special visa beforehand, is up to 6 months within one year.

Types of Visase

Visa Waiver Program If your country is part of the list of countries, which have “Visa Exemption Arrangements” with Japan, you will automatically get a tourist visa on arrival to Japan. No prearrangements required! Some countries are eligible extending their stay for an additional 90 days; equal to 6 months in total.
No Visa Waiver Students from countries, which are not falling into the visa waiver program, have to apply for tourist visas at their local Japanese Embassy before travelling to Japan. Tourist Visas are up to 90 days. Early visa application is strongly recommended!
Working Holiday Visa Certain countries have special agreements with Japan for applying for a one-year visa, allowing you to work and study in Japan with almost no restrictions. If you are eligible for it, you can only apply for it once in a lifetime!
Cultural Activities Visa This is a very specialized visa for people who wish to study Japanese culture, arts and skills. Applicants have to study the respective art under the surveillance of a qualified expert in the art and cannot engage in work or any paid activities. The visa period ranges between 90 days to 3 years.

Visa Waiver Countries

Students from these countries can travel to Japan without applying for any visa beforehand. Check here for the latest information

Note

It is possible and completely legal, to leave Japan once and return immediately again, if you have stayed 90 days or less from a visa waiver country. Immigration will ask you several questions, if you have engaged in criminal activities, drug offenses or illegal work. As long as you answer the questions honestly and abide by all the rules explained to you by the immigration officer, you should not have any trouble to re-enter Japan. Nevertheless in the very rare case of being refused entry into Japan, Meiji Academy cannot be made responsible for any additional charges or costs that occur in this situation. Further, we won’t be able to refund your study expenses. Therefore we strongly recommend checking with your local Japanese Embassy first for any further advice.

Non-Visa Waiver Countries

Students coming to study at Meiji Academy from other countries than listed above should consult directly with their local Japanese Embassy. Meiji Academy can assist with School Admission Letters to help speed up the visa application process, yet we cannot act as a guarantor for the student. Applying for a visa can in some cases take more than a month, so we do advice to apply as early as possible. Further information can be found here.

Working Holiday Visa

This visa enables you to engage in most job activities, organize your study schedule and also enter Japan multiple times. The applicant would have to meet certain criteria to be accepted:

  • Age between 18 and 30 years old
  • No criminal record
  • Being in good health condition
  • Not accompanied by children or a spouse
  • Minimum funds covering living expenses; roughly about $2,000

Unfortunately it is only available for a handful of countries and applicant numbers are limited depending on the country:

Further information is available here.

Cultural Activities Visa

Applicants coming on this visa to Japan are determined to learn about a traditional Japanese art in depth for a longer period of time. The visa covers a very broad category that could include studies such as Judo, Karate, Taiko (Japanese Drumming), Ikebana (Flower Arranging), Sadō (Tea Ceremony), etc. The process of application should be done with applying for a “Certificate of Eligibility” at your regional Japanese Embassy. We do not recommend this visa for young students, who want to focus just on Japanese Language and engage in a lot of leisure activities, as it is bound to many restrictions, time- and money consuming. Further information is available here.

In Summary

The following options are available for studying at Meiji Academy:

Students staying for less than 3 months

If your country falls under the visa waiver program, you do not have to do anything and can come to Japan directly. If your country does not fall under the visa waiver category, you would have to apply for a tourist or short stay visa prior to your arrival in Japan at your local Japanese Embassy. The procedures, deadlines and documents required vary by country, hence we do recommend consulting directly with the Japanese Embassy in your country.

Students staying between 3-6 months

If you are from a country with 6-months visa waiver, such as Germany, no actions at all are required before coming to Japan. You will first be issued with a 90-days visa upon your arrival. At least one week before your visa expires, you should go to the local immigration bureau, where it will be extended for another 90 days.
If you are from a country falling under the 3-months visa waiver, you would have to leave Japan, once before your 90-days visa expires and then reenter Japan on a new 90-days visa.
If you from a non-visa waiver country your chances of being issued a visa extension above the 90-days tourist visa are very unlikely.

Students staying for more than 6 months

Special Visas are required for long stays in Japan. If you are eligible, your best bet is to apply for the working holiday visa as it grants you most freedom in your studies and work in Japan. Cultural Activities Visa is another option, yet it is very difficult to apply for. In addition, you would have to sort out all necessary documents, e.g. find a Japanese Arts Expert who would be willing to take you as a student. Nevertheless we might be able to help you with finding a Japanese Arts teacher, if your profile fits their criteria.