Visa and Certificate of Eligibility

Outline Dependent Internal Employment Process Steps of Certificate of Eligibility and Visa Application


Here is an outline of what needs to be done before IIR is able to officially begin your employment.

  1. In order to work and receive a salary in Japan, you must obtain an appropriate status of residence that gives you the right to live and work in this country. In this case, the appropriate status of residence falls under the visa category of “Professor.” This status of residence will be awarded when you enter Japan with your new visa.
  2.  The Tokyo Tech regulations state that you must obtain this status of residence at least one day before your official employment date. This means that you must enter Japan one day or more prior to your appointment date.
    Steps of Certificate of Eligibility and Visa Application

>Steps including registration in Japan

Please refer to the procedure chart
below for Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and visa application from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Following are the steps for obtaining a Professor visa that will give you the status of residence necessary to begin your appointment at WRHI:

Step 1

WRHI must submit an application for COE to the Immigration Bureau. In order for us to process this application, you must send us the items and information listed below. We will need these documents from you at least three months before the day you plan to enter Japan.

a.A copy of the photo page of your passport:

Many countries require a minimum of 6 months validity left on your passport. When applying for a Professor Visa, please make sure that there is a safe window of well over 6 months to avoid possible denial of entry.

b.Digital picture, meeting the following requirements:

◇Pictured alone, facing the front, no hats, caps or head coverings
◇Plain background, no shadows
◇Taken within the past three months


Please tell us the information below or look at the questions below and give us the answers we need for your COE application.

◇Current occupation
◇Hometown: City, State, Country
◇Intended place to apply for visa: City, State, Country
◇How many times have you come to Japan? Please tell us an approximate number.
◇Your latest visit to Japan: From YYYY/MM/DD to YYYY/MM/DD
◇Do you have any family members in Japan?
◇The graduation date (YYYY/MM/DD) of your doctoral degree
◇Mailing address at which you want to receive your COE

Step 2

When the Immigration Bureau issues this COE, which can take between four to six weeks, they will send it to WRHI. We will then send it to you by express mail.

Step 3

You take this COE to your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate to apply for your Professor visa. It is better to confirm the procedure, required documents, expected examination period, etc. directly with your embassy or consulate. Please go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan to find Professor visa application information and visa application documents.

Step 4

You send us a copy of your visa as soon as it is issued.

Step 5

Please keep in mind that the COE is valid for three months after its issue date. You must obtain your visa and enter Japan during this 3-month validity period. Both your COE and visa will automatically expire if you will not arrive in Japan by the expiration date of your COE. When you enter Japan on your Professor visa, the immigration officer will authorize your status of residence as Professor and you will receive your resident card at a Japanese airport.

Step 6

All foreign nationals staying in Japan for 90 days or more, regardless of whether you are staying in a hotel or temporary housing, are required to register information such as name, nationality, address, and others at your local city office within 14 days of entering Japan. You must carry your resident card at all times.
Please give yourself plenty of time to apply for your COE and your visa as there may be delays at each of the steps involved.

Salary and Benefit Information


If your employment starting date is on the 1st of the month, you will be paid your salary on the 17th
of the same month. Please note that if the 17th falls on a weekend or a national holiday, payment will shift by a few days forward or backwards.

If your employment starts after the 1st, your salary will be paid the following month on the 17th. This means that you will receive two months’ salary that month.

Income Tax & Tax Treaty (Tax Convention)
If non-residents (invited researchers from overseas) earn any income (such as a salary, travel expense and an honorarium) in Japan, it is subject to income tax. The tax withholding rate for non-residents is 20.42%.
If your home country and Japan have a tax treaty, however, you can apply for deduction from income tax in Japan.

An income tax convention is a treaty concluded between two countries, where one is the withholding tax country (in this case, Japan) and the other is your country of ordinary residence, to prevent the double taxation of income. Please see a map for Japan’s Tax Treaty Network . Click here

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, Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland 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.

Living in Japan


Bank Account

You have to open a Japanese bank account as soon as you arrive in Japan in order to receive your salary on time. WRHI recommends that our researchers open a bank account at one of the three banks below. Mizuho Bank and Japan Post Bank have a branch and ATMs really close to our campus and they are convenient in most big cities.

  • Mizuho Bank
  • Japan Post Bank
  • Citibank Japan

Citibank Japan and Citibank in other regions such as North America share a name, but are different entities. Thus, a Citibank NA account cannot be accessed from Citibank Japan.

Citibank Japan and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) announced that they have reached an agreement to sell Citibank Japan’s retail banking business to SMBC Trust Bank from October, 2015. Please refer to the Citibank Japan’s FAQ page and directly contact Citibank Japan for details.

Citibank Japan has a full-service branch in Gotanda which always has at least one English speaking teller, but there are not many Citibank ATMs (although you can use Seven-Eleven ATMs for deposits and withdrawals at no charge during normal business hours). Citibank has online banking in English, so once your wire transfer location is accepted into their system, it can be easy to transfer money to accounts outside of Japan although with transfer and exchange rate fees. Please directly contact Citibank Japan and ask for details.

Overseas Remittance

Japanese banks

Each Japanese bank provides its own overseas remittance service for their customers while customers pay quite a lot in transfer fees. At the Mizuho Bank and Japan Post Bank, it is necessary for you to go to their branch, fill out certain forms in Japanese, and interact with bank staff in Japanese.
Shinsei Bank “GoRemit”
Remitters simply use any bank ATM or internet banking in Japan to transfer funds domestically to a GoRemit
account designated by Shinsei Bank. GoRemit then completes the overseas remittance to pre-registered international banks.

You can apply for and use the overseas remittance service even if you do not have a regular bank account at Shinsei Bank. Transfer fee at GoRemit is 2,000 yen.

Transfer fee

If you make a wire transfer, it is highly likely that you will pay a wire transfer fee to the bank accepting a wire transfer and in some instances another bank which connects the Japanese and foreign bank. Japanese banks told us that the amount of the additional charge will depend on foreign banks.
Credit Card

Japanese banks
Credit card companies conduct a screening process at the time of application and their methods of screening are not disclosed. Japanese banks seem to have stricter screening compared to other places where you could make your credit card.

University Co-op
Researchers whose applications for a credit card were rejected by a Japanese bank have applied for a card from the University Co-op successfully. If you become a member of the Co-op, you will receive a discount on most books and magazines at our university bookstore. You can also place orders for items at the store or even online. Your membership charge will be refunded to you when you leave Tokyo Tech.


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Notification of change of address to Japan post (JP post)

Japan Post’s designated postcard for notification of change address is available at post office. Also notification of change of address can be done through the following URL:
e転居(e Tenkyo): (Japanese Only)

Notification of change of address is for forwarding mails to new address for 1 year. It strongly recommends notifying new address to Japan Post to avoid lost or undelivered mails. It takes at least 1 week to start forwarding mails, so please submit the notification of change of address as soon as possible once the date of moving in new apartment/house is fixed.

Emergency Care

Please note that the emergency telephone numbers in Japan are as follows:

For police: 110

For fire or ambulance: 119

Please program the following emergency number in your mobile in case of an emergency on Tokyo Tech’s Ookayama campus: (03) 5734-3119. It will connect you to the main gatehouse. Suzukakedai campus(045)924-5119

In the event of an Earthquake
  1. Hide under a desk to protect yourself from falling objects if the shaking is severe. If conditions allow, make sure that any sources of fire are put out or turned off. Open the door and plan for quick evacuation.
  2. When shaking subsides, quickly evacuate. If conditions allow, make sure again that the gas is turned off and any sources of fire are put out. Make a quick count of the number of people evacuating. Do not use lifts.
  3. When evacuating, please check for fires, for whether there are injured people that need assistance, and to take out any emergency bags/kits with you.

University Information

Tokyo Institute of Technology conducts an annual “disaster drill” in mid-November. All teachers, students and staff of the university must participate in this drill to prepare for quick and appropriate response in the event of an emergency or disaster.