Certificate of Eligibility

Those who wish to enter Japan for purposes other than those described in Temporary Visitor Visas usually need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility before applying for their visa. The Certificate of Eligibility is issued by the Ministry of Justice in Japan and it is your sponsor in Japan who applies for it on your behalf at the local immigration bureau in Japan.

The time needed to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility is between one to three months, and we urge you make sure that your sponsor in Japan applies for the Certificate of Eligibility well in advance.

The certificate is valid for three months, and if the applicant has not applied for the visa and entered Japan before the certificate expires, then a new certificate must be obtained before entering Japan.

If the certificate is invalid at the time of entry to Japan, then the visa itself will also be invalid and you will be refused entry into Japan.

It is important to remember that when applying for a visa with a certificate, the original must be submitted to the embassy together with the other required documents. See How to Apply for a Visa.

The embassy is not involved in the application procedure, and all questions should be directed to the Immigration Bureau of Japan.