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How Do I Get a Japan English Teaching Visa?

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Interested in teaching English in Japan? You're in the right place! Visas are an important part of planning your adventure overseas, so you want to make sure you're familiar with the process before you head abroad. The following is the most common type of Japan teaching visa that can be obtained.

To teach English in Japan, you will be required to submit certain documents for your work visa to the Japanese consulate in your home country before departure (however, Japanese embassies in any country can process your visa). Please note you will be without a passport as they process your visa.

The type of visa you'll need in Japan (and how you get that visa) will depend on your nationality, teaching job and perhaps other factors like whether you get your job in advance of your arrival, or if you get hired locally in Japan. Be sure to speak to an International TEFL Academy Advisor by calling 773-634-9900 to discuss your specific questions and concerns about your Japan teaching visa.

Teach English in Japan TEFL visa

Facts About Japan Teaching Visas

Name: Highly Skilled Professional Visa

Cost: No cost, but there is a stamp fee/multiple-entry fee of 6,000 yen (approx. $55 USD).

Documents: You will need your passport, one completed visa application form, and one photograph (passport style). For additional document requirements, please see visa process below. 

Length: This depends on your teaching contract length, but typically 1 year and can be renewed in-country. Is also available in 3 and 5 years (based on your contract length). 

For more information, you can check out the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America website:

**Note that this is specific to US citizens applying for a Japan teaching visa, and that these visa laws can change, so please check out their website for more documents or fees needed.

The Process: How to Get an English Teaching Visa for Japan

Requirements for obtaining the Highly Skilled Professional Visa for working in Japan – for processing in the USA.

Necessary documents to obtain  (can take 4 business days to two weeks to be reviewed).

a. Documents the applicant needs to gather:

  1. Passport
  2. One visa application
  3. One photograph (passport style) 

b. Documents provided by the school

  • Contract;
  • Certificate of eligibility. An applicant who wishes to enter Japan under the visa categories of Employment /Working, General or Specified should obtain, in principle, a Certificate of Eligibility. The Certificate of Eligibility is a document issued by the Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice in Japan. To obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, you are required to have a sponsor in Japan such as an employer, a school, relative etc. The sponsor in Japan must contact the local immigration Office to apply for it on your behalf.
How to get a visa to teach English in Japan

c. If school does not provide the Certificate of eligibility (rare cases)

  • Applicant's valid passport, properly signed by bearer;
  • VISA APPLICATION FORM TO ENTER JAPAN (available here), completely filled out and signed by the applicant;
  • One photograph (2"x2") attached to application form;
  • Material showing the outline of the recipient organization: copies of the corporate registration (Tokibo Tohon, issued within last 3 months) and documents describing the its activities (e.g. an annual report);
  • Documents certifying the applicant's qualifications such as relevant degrees and/or educational license obtained by the applicant;
  • Documents certifying the professional history such as employment verification letters and/or applicant's CV;
  • Documents certifying the activity, its duration, the position, and the remuneration of the person concerned (e.g. a copy of a contract, a letter of acceptance);
  • One clear photocopy of all the documents you are submitting;
  • This process can take several months.

Visa Process  

  • Typically processed in home country, however visa can be processed in any country that has an Embassy. Please note you will be without a passport as they process your visa;

  • With Certificate of Eligibility – 4 business days to two weeks (depends on what consulate you go to and the country!!);

  • Without Certificate of Eligibility – several months.


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