Pre-Departure

Japanese Student Visa

On Friday, July 31 after a lot of stress at the post office I sent off my visa application. I waited impatiently and feared the worst the whole time but now I am able to relax because my passport with visa and Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) attached arrived at my front door! The picture for my visa is horrible but at least everything has arrived safely back to me!

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Though the visa application wasn’t really complicated at all it seemed terrifying at the time. First of all, if you go to the website for the Japanese Embassy in Ottawa, it’s going to tell you that you have to go in person to your nearest embassy or consulate to apply for your visa. This was basically impossible for me because Halifax is find of far from Montreal and travelling is expensive. My friends and I are evidence that you can apply a different way if you really have to. You can only send your application via mail if you have a legitimate excuse though. Sickness that makes you unable to come doesn’t seem like it is a valid reason but luckily for me financial burden IS a valid excuse.

Mailing your visa application:

  1. To send your visa application in the mail, you need to contact the Consulate or Embassy where you will apply for your visa and ask for a Release Form; it has to be the Consulate or Embassy that is the closest to you. This form is basically saying that if they lose your passport it’s your problem. I applied through the Consulate in Montreal so I had to contact this address: consul@mt.mofa.go.jp. In the e-mail to them, explain your circumstances and also tell them that you have a CoE if you have one. If you are applying at the Embassy in Ottawa or at other one of the Consulates, you will have to use a different address.
  2. They’ll e-mail you back with a list of requirements in order to apply for your visa via mail (the only difference between this method and applying in person is the release form and the need for registered envelopes). You’ll need a medium sized envelope to send everything but I think a small envelope would work for the return because the only thing they send back is your passport.
  3. Send it off and hope for the best because it it’s rejected you cannot reapply!

For the actual application itself there are a few parts that I found a little confusing. First of all, if you are a Canadian citizen applying in Canada, you do not need to put an ID number but if you have an Driver’s License or a Provincial ID you can put this if you wish. Since I have a Driver’s License I put my Master Number on my application just to be safe. If you choose not to put anything in the ID number section or you don’t have one, it is important to note that you should put “N/A” or “Not applicable”. They might call you to ask about the blank spaces if you are mailing the application.This also applies to any other blank spaces you leave within the application excluding optional portions of the application. For the address where you will stay, if you don’t know the address or you will stay in the university dormitory, just put the university address and name or the dormitory address if you know it. For the occupation section, if you do not have a full-time job, just say that you are a student. Then for the guarantor section, you will also put the university and whoever you have been in contact with in their international office. For the rest, everything else should be self-explanatory.

More information on getting  a visa for Japan in Canada can be found here: http://www.ca.emb-japan.go.jp/canada_e/Visa/index.html



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