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From work visa straight into student visa: is it possible?

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  • From work visa straight into student visa: is it possible?

    I am going to take intensive Japanese lessons in Tokyo for at least one year from next summer onwards.
    The school which I will go to told me that they would deal with the paper-work relating to my obtaining a student visa.
    My first question is, how long will that take?

    My second concern is that I was wondering whether I would be able to work for a month or two (internship) prior to starting my language course. If I want to work, I will need to get a work visa.
    My concern is: can I obtain a work visa AND a student visa at the same time? (I will NOT be working while studying, I intend to work just before I start the course) Would these clash completely? Am I better off not bothering with the internship and sticking to getting the student visa, just to avoid any confusion or trouble?

    Many thanks in advance for your help.


  • #2
    Re: From work visa straight into student visa: is it possibl

    It can take from a few weeks to a few months, depending on having all the correct documents, and the school pushing the paperwork through.

    On a student visa you are not supposed to work, but in practice many students take casual jobs. Would depend on how demanding your course would be.

    Can only apply for one visa at a time, except in case of application for Permanent Resident.

    And if you have no degree (?), forget about a work visa.

    Better to keep it simple - visa issue is case by case, and you do not want to screw up your chances



    • #3
      Re: From work visa straight into student visa: is it possibl

      Have you found somebody willing to employ you for only one or two months? It is possible to apply for a working visa, and then change your status to that of a student. Your intership contract will have to show a full-time workload, and salary, and the company will have to apply for the certificate of eligiliby (for your working visa) on your behalf. You can then apply to change the visa type when you start studying.

      If your school is willing to apply for your visa and then accept a delay of a couple months in the starting date for your studies, or you change your mind and make the internship a longer term, part-time internship, you might want to simply apply for the student visa from the outset. Although the law states that students *cannot* work, there is a loophole that provides for up to 20 hours/week of legal employment.

      "Permission to engage in an activity other than that permitted by the status of residence previously granted" is what will usually allow you to work for up to 20 hours/week while in Japan as a student. Please note that you legally must apply for this permission (at immigration, after getting your "certificate of alien registration") to work, and have your supervisor's permission in writing for the application. Failure to do so is usually of no concern to anyone, but it *may* be held against you if other problems crop up. You can find more information at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website ( under visas.



      • #4
        Re: From work visa straight into student visa: is it possibl

        Thank you very much for your replies, TH and Hiyodori.

        I do not think that I would be able to wait one or two months to convert my visa status after my internship...

        So I guess that the best for me is to focus on getting my student visa, and forgetting about the internship.

        Thanks again.



        • #5
          Re: From work visa straight into student visa: is it possibl

          Once you are here on a valid visa, you don't have to then wait for a couple months. You simply go to the nearest immigration office with a letter of release from your employer, a letter of acceptance at your Japanese school, school information and whatever else immigration requires, and apply to change your visa type. It is fairly simple, it will be granted after a couple of weeks at most, and a stamp will be placed in your passport immediately showing that you have applied for the change. You can study as soon as you like!

          Actually, there is no rule that says you cannot study on a working visa, though you will have to do the changeover by the time you need to extend your period of stay. Assuming that the internship is sufficient to gain you a working visa in the first place, that's probably the easiest way to go.

          Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your time in Japan!