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Before Leaving for Japan

Do I need a guarantor for entry into Japan?

The regulation that made a guarantor necessary to acquire entry and status of residence in Japan was abolished in December 1996. Therefore, you no longer need a guarantor to enter Japan as a foreign student.
However, please note that even if you are Japanese, guarantors are often required in many aspects of life in Japan. For example, you need a guarantor when you are renting an apartment, taking an entrance examination or gaining admission to a Japanese university or special training college. After admission, you may also need a guarantor when you are making an application for a scholarship or tuition subsidies. Guarantors are needed for both Japanese and foreign students alike in such cases. Therefore, although you no longer need a guarantor to gain entry into Japan, there will be many situations when they are needed after you arrive in Japan.

If you are considering studying in Japan, it is important that you inquire with the school you are planning to attend regarding the need for guarantors since policies differ depending on the school. For example, if you are enrolling in a Japanese-language institute, the school may become your guarantor while you are a student of the institute.
What kinds of information related to study in Japan are available at Japanese diplomatic establishments abroad?

  1. Informative materials regarding study in Japan for reading
    • Japanese diplomatic establishments overseas provide literature related to studying in Japan that you may read at the establishment. They include the following:
    • General information related to studying in Japan (i.e. necessary preparations, educational facilities, immigration procedures, living in Japan)
    • Literature concerning the Japanese system for foreign students
    • Literature related to scholarships
    • Information related to Japanese universities (university and undergraduate department guide), graduate schools, special training colleges and Japanese-language institutes)
    • Information regarding accommodations in Japan
    • Sample entrance examinations for foreign students
  2. Consultation by Foreign Student Advisors
    Japanese diplomatic establishments in countries where there are large numbers of students interested in studying in Japan have former foreign students and other people who are knowledgeable about Japan on hand to serve as foreign student advisors (please note, however, that they are not full-time staff). They provide assistance as well as consultation. Local explanatory meetings are held once to several times a year in areas that are located at a distance from such diplomatic establishments, so if this applies to you, we suggest that you attend such a meeting.
    Six Japanese embassies and consulates (located in Beijing and Shanghai, China; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Indonesia; Thailand) have special space set aside to provide information about studying in Japan. Full-time foreign student advisors are on hand at these embassies and consulates to provide information as well as consultation.