Pre arrival / Pre departure

Visa and status of residence

What is the “status of residence”?

All foreign people who intend to enter Japan must have a valid passport with, in principle, a visa already stamped on it. When entering Japan, they are examined by immigration officers to determine the Status of Residence and duration of residence, which are stamped on the passport. It is only after these procedures that foreign people can enter Japan. Status of Residence is a permit to stay in Japan. If you intend to study / research at Tohoku University, you need to obtain the appropriate Status of Residence. To obtain the Status of Residence, you need a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE). When you have obtained one, go to your nearest Embassy of Japan or Consulate-General of Japan to undergo procedures to obtain a visa.

Which status of residence applies to me?

Researchers who work at Tohoku University and receive compensation from Tohoku University or JSPS.
Cultural Activities
Researchers who do not receive compensation and whose period of stay is over 90 days.
Point-based System for Highly-Skilled Foreign Professionals (i) (a)
Points are set to each item, such as “academic background”, “professional career”, “annual salary” and if the total points reach a certain number, professional immigration control and residency management treatment will be granted to the relevant person. (e.g. Grant of 5 years of stay)
  • *Application for Family Stays:
    Spouses or children of international researchers whose period of stay is over 90 days need to apply for CoE application for them.
  • *Visas for Short-Term Stays:
    Some countries and areas are exempt from visas for a short stay. Researchers who do not receive compensation/salary from Tohoku University and international students and research students whose period of stay is within 90 days are required to apply for Visa for Short-Term. (Unnecessary to obtain CoE).

Where can I receive my residence card?

For foreign nationals arriving at Narita, Haneda, Chubu, Kansai, Shin-Chitose, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka Airports the residence card will be issued after the immigration examination in principle. For those arriving at other airports including Sendai, the residence card will be sent to the registered address after your procedures in the Ward Office in Sendai.

This is issued by the Ministry of Justice in Japan for foreign nationals who are on mid- and long-term residence with permission for residence granted when landing, or when applying for a change in Status of Residence or Renewal of Residency. To prevent forgery, it has an embedded IC chip that contains all or part of the information stated on the card. Foreign nationals who are older than 16 years old have to carry their Residence cards all the time.

Overseas travel insurance

Do I need to join travel insurance when going to Japan?

International researchers whose duration of residence will exceed three months must enrol in Japanese public medical insurance. However, when your stay is three months or less, we recommend enrolling in the overseas traveller’s accident insurance of your home country before coming to Japan. If you do not enrol in an insurance program, you will bear the full cost of any medical expenses and will have to pay higher fees as a result. Please be aware that, in principle, you cannot enrol in an overseas travel insurance program after coming to Japan.

Housing arrangements

Is there staff accommodation available?

Yes. The eligible accommodation differs depending on your status at Tohoku University.
For details, please visit “Accommodation”.

Before returning to the home country

What procedures are necessary before leaving from Japan?

Tohoku University International Support Center (ISC) is available to assist with necessary procedures. For more information, visit the ISC webspage for procedures for departing (including temporary departures) (will open in a new tab).