Information for International Researchers


Visas are issued by Japanese embassies and consulates abroad prior to entering Japan. These documents are required during landing procedures. "Status of residence" and "period of stay" refer respectively to the activities foreign citizens are permitted to engage in having entered and while staying in Japan, and the duration for which this status is authorized.

1. Certificate of Eligibility

When you have been offered a position as an employee of the University or a JSPS fellow, you will first need a Certificate of Eligibility. Submit documents after you have received the offer letter from the university staff. If your spouse and family members will accompany you, please let us know. Then the staff will apply for a Certificate of Eligibility on your behalf at the Immigration Bureau of Japan. It usually takes one month or two months to acquire a Certificate of Eligibility, and the University may request additional supporting documents as a part of this process.

  • One ID photo
    • length: 4cm
    • width: 3cm
  • A copy of your passport page showing a photo of your face
  • Your resume. An English CV is acceptable
Inquiries concerning status of residence
  • Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau
Address Konan 5-5-30, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-5796-7112

2. Obtaining your visa

A Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Immigration Bureau of Japan will be sent to you by the University. After receiving it from the University, please submit the documents at left to the Japanese embassy or consulate in your area to acquire a visa.

The University of Tokyo provides visa consulting services for foreign researchers throughout the university in order promptly to respond to questions about visa status. If you have any questions about your visa, please feel free to inquire by email or to have your host inquire on your behalf.

  • Your Certificate of Eligibility
  • Your passport
  • Two ID photos
  • Two visa application forms
  • Depending on the country, a Letter of Guarantee or a Schedule of Stay may be required
Free Consultation Services regarding Visa Status
Phone 03-5402-6191

3. Tax conventions

An income tax convention is a treaty concluded between two countries, where one is the withholding tax country and the other is your country of ordinary residence, to prevent the double taxation of income. If there is a tax convention between your country and Japan, the University can process an application at your request.

However, if the tax rate in your own country is higher than in Japan, you might prefer not to apply for the tax convention. Residents of the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Australia need a certificate of residence issued in their own country to apply for the tax convention. It usually takes about two to three months for this document to be issued, so we urge you to request it well before you leave for Japan.

4. Social security agreement

If you come to Japan from one of the social security agreement countries, and if you fulfill certain conditions, you can be exempt from coverage of the pension system of either your country or Japan. In some cases, you may add a coverage period under the Japanese system to a coverage period under your country's system. In order to apply for this, you need a Certificate of Coverage that proves your participation in the social security system of your country. Please request your employer in the agreement country to file an application with the organization that issues Certificates of Coverage. After coming to Japan, please submit the Certificate of Coverage to the General Affairs Division. Please note that the social security system for which the agreement was made differs for each agreement country.

5. Overseas travel accident insurance

Non-Japanese who plan to stay in Japan for less than one year with a visa period of stay of less than one year are not able to enroll in the National Health Insurance scheme. Thus it is strongly recommended to sign up for overseas travel accident insurance before coming to Japan. Be sure to read the terms of the insurance policy carefully, as there are illness and injuries that may not be covered by the insurance policy.

6. Prohibited imports

Items that cannot be brought into Japan range from drugs and guns to counterfeit goods, and include rare animals and plants protected by the Washington Convention. Violations are severely punished by law. For the list of prohibited goods and more detailed information, please see the Japan Customs website.

What to bring checklist

After receiving your visa, you will want to contact your supervisor or staff of your host institution and discuss what you are planning to bring. Don't try to bring everything you own — you can always buy it later. Not all residences have elevators, so it is better to pack a number of moderate-sized boxes that can be handled by one person rather than a few large ones.

  • Passport and Visa
  • Japanese Yen in cash if possible
  • Travel Insurance
  • Credit Cards
  • Photocopies of documents
  • Documents issued by the University/Institute
  • Small suitcase or extra bags
  • Camera
  • Umbrella
  • Small calculator
  • Dictionary (Japanese conversation book)
  • Guidebook
  • Walking shoes
  • First Aid Kit/Prescription/OTC Medicine
  • Alarm clock
  • Glasses and Contact lenses
  • Jackets/Night wear/Socks/Underwear
  • Shaver
  • Laptop (if you need one)
  • Plastic bags
  • Pens/Memo notebook
  • Cosmetics and amenities