How to Apply for a Dependent Visa in Japan? | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
Apply for dependent visa in japan

How to Apply for a Dependent Visa in Japan?

By Vincent Michaels Aug 10, 2022

A dependent visa in Japan is necessary for any international student who plans to bring his or her family members to Japan after arriving in Japan. A dependent visa allows a spouse and children to travel to another country in order to join or accompany a family member who has a corresponding visa and has lived in that country for a period of time. If the family plans to stay for more than 90 days, then it is necessary to apply for a dependent visa in Japan. So how do we apply for a dependent visa in Japan while studying?

The Necessary Steps to Apply for a Dependent Visa in Japan

Before bringing your family to Japan, you need to be acquainted with Japan’s culture, particularly the weather, and academic and financial needs. However, beyond that, there are immigration rules that must be followed in order to help with your family’s transition. The process of applying for a dependent visa is in fact vested solely in getting the Certificate of Eligibility done, and then the eventual dependent visa is processed. 

visa application in japan

Photo credit: Canva

1. The Certification of Eligibility (CoE)

What is a Certificate of Eligibility? A Certificate of Eligibility is an official document usually issued by the Ministry of Justice in the case of Japan. This is for all applicants who intend to apply for a stay of more than 90 days in Japan. They can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility in order to obtain their visas. 

Furthermore, we ask ourselves this question: so why is a Certificate of Eligibility important? The main purpose of the Certificate of Eligibility is to facilitate the visa application process. It serves as proof that you fulfill the admission requirements imposed by the Japanese government on behalf of the Japanese Immigration Services.

With that in mind, the criteria require that you have your resident card, My Number—a unique number given to all Japanese residents that is required for procedures at their local city office—and a registered local address. If you do secure a local address, applying for a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) would not pose many issues. Therefore, to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility, the following documents must be produced and submitted together with the completed Certificate of Eligibility application form to your local immigration office:

Documents  Attachments Sourced from
A photo of the applicant (s) (4×3 cm) Background white or blue. Photo booth/You should provide
Proof of relationship  Original family registration 

Original Marriage Certificate

Copies of passports (you and family members)

A Copy of Your Resident Record

You have to provide



City Office  

Guarantee Letter You should provide
Explanation Letter  You should provide
4 Certificates  Certificate of enrollment at your university

An Official Transcript in Japanese

Scholarship Certificate 

Bank statement or a copy of bank book 



Scholarship Provider (eg. JICA)

You should provide 

Return envelope and stamp  Stamp

Less than 25g: ¥392

Less than 50g: ¥402

Less than 100g: ¥450 

You should provide 

Points to note

  • A photo of applicants taken within the last 6 months
  • Proof of relationship
  • Guarantor Letter – To indicate that you will cover all expenses borne. The letter has to be addressed to the Immigration Office
  • Explanation Letter – How long will your family stay with you?
  • The Scholarship Certificate is provided for those sponsored by their sponsor. 
  • Bank Statement – Prove that you can support your family. 

The following mandated documents, along with the completed CoE application form, must satisfy the local immigration requirements in order for processing to begin. After you submit the application, it usually takes 2-4 months for the Immigration Office to issue the CoE. Upon receiving the CoE, you then send the CoE to your family back home so that they can use it to apply for their visa at the local Japanese Embassy.

checklist for dependent visa in japan

Photo credit: Canva

2. A Dependent Visa in Japan Will Reunite You and Your Family

While it may seem the process of applying for a dependent visa in Japan takes longer, the final stage allows you to courier mail the original Certificate of Eligibility received from the immigration to your family back home. At this stage, the three following documents are required to fully fill out a visa application process: 

  • Original Certificate of Eligibility (courier to your family)
  • Travel itinerary (booking of air tickets)
  • Completed visa application form for each family member.

Once the above documents have been submitted to the local Japanese embassy, it will take a few weeks for the visa to be formally ready. At this point, after all the trouble of going through this tedious process for about 3–4 months in total, imagine how wonderful it is that in a few days’ time you will soon be reunited with your family in the land of the rising sun.

Disclaimer note: this information is correct at the time of publishing (12th July 2022), we recommend you check the official website for updated information.   

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