Japan Certificate of Eligibility Application Guide

Are you planning to work or study in Japan? One essential step before applying for a Japanese visa is to obtain a Japan Certificate of Eligibility (CoE).

Read this guide to learn all about the Japan CoE. We will show you how to apply, what documents to prepare, and how to take the perfect CoE photo.

Table of contents

Japan Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) Explained

Do you need a CoE to enter Japan? If you are planning to enter Japan for work, study, or long-term stay, then yes, you will need one.

Simply put, a Certificate of Eligibility is a document that shows you've checked all the boxes for the visa category you're applying for. It's the Japanese government's way of pre-approving your stay for medium—to long-term visas. However, you will need a sponsor or representative in Japan to apply on your behalf, as the CoE is issued by the Immigration Bureau in Japan.

Once the Japanese authorities have reviewed your situation and approved your CoE, you can submit this document along with your visa application.

Certificate of Eligibility Application Process

Applying for a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) to visit Japan may seem a bit complicated, but it can be made easier with the right steps. Here's a guide to help you through the process:

  1. Complete the CoE application form and gather the required documents (listed below).
  2. Once your documents are ready, send them over to your representative (school, employer, or relative) in Japan. They'll take care of applying for your CoE at the Regional Immigration Bureau.
  3. The CoE will be emailed to you when the Immigration Bureau issues it.
  4. With your CoE — either the original document, a legible scanned copy, or a digital CoE printed from the email — in hand, your next step is to apply for a Japanese visa.

Documents Required to Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for Japan

Typically, you will need to submit the following documents according to Japan CoE requirements:

Certain organizations, such as the Kyoto University International Service Office (KUISO), provide a platform for a Japan CoE application online. They can serve as an intermediary for CoE applications for specific types of residency status, including “Professor,” “Cultural Activities,” “Student,” and “Dependent”.

Japan Certificate of Eligibility and Residence Card Photo Requirements

If you're applying for a COE or Residence Card in Japan, your photo must meet the following Japan CoE photo requirements:

Here is an example:

Japanese Certificate of Eligibility photo size

Get a Photo for a Japan Certificate of Eligibility Application Online!

Need a quick way to get your photo for a Japan CoE done? Check out Visafoto.com to make it super easy. Just take a picture with your phone or camera against a plain background to Visafoto.com.

With a few clicks, Visafoto fixes your photo to meet all the requirements — size, background, you name it. You'll get one digital photo for online use and another that's ready to print. And if there's a glitch and your photo is rejected, they offer a full refund — no worries.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
Additional options
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at visafoto.com


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

First, take a photo of yours under daylight like this one:

Visa photo original source

You will have two types of photos: a digital one for electronic applications and another one suitable for printing.

Here they are:

Example of a Japan CoE photo
Japanese Japan CoE photos for printing

Taking a Photo for Japanese Documents with a Phone: 7ID App

7ID App: Japan CoE Photo App
7ID App: Japan CoE Photo Size
7ID App: Japan CoE Photo Example

Another easy way to take a Japanese CoE photo is using the 7ID app, supported by Visafato. Say goodbye to the hassle of getting the perfect visa photo, whether for digital or physical submissions.

Upload your photo to the app, select your document type and country, and let 7ID work its magic. It automatically resizes your photo to fit the Japan CoE photo size of 30×40 mm, the Japan Visa application photo size of 45×45 mm, and any other document photo. 7ID also centers your face and eyes and changes the background color to match the official guidelines.

After editing your photo, 7ID provides a print-ready template for different paper sizes — 10×15 cm, A4, A5, and B5 — so you can print your passport photo virtually anywhere.

Use 7ID’s Expert feature for more advanced editing with AI technology to enhance your photo, make detailed corrections, and change a complicated background. The 7ID Expert tool also provides 24/7 tech support.

With 7ID, getting the right photo is easy, ensuring you meet the official photo guidelines.

Japan Certificate of Eligibility Processing Time and Status Tracking

It can take about 1 to 3 months to process your Certificate of Eligibility application.

How can I track my CoE status in Japan? Unfortunately, there is no dedicated website or digital service for checking Japan's CoE status online. The only way to get updates on your CoE status is to contact the Immigration Bureau directly.

Japan Certificate of Eligibility Entry Rules

Please note that you must enter Japan within 3 months of the date on your CoE, regardless of the actual visa time limit.

Certificate of Eligibility Validity

How long is Japan CoE valid? The certificate is valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

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