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Is this a sound plan? (student visa) 2023/3/11 11:39
Hi everyone,

My question seems rather complex so I'm hoping someone with some experience can advise me. I have asked my question to the schools I am applying to directly, but for some reason, they tend to go dark after I ask them ...

It may be easier to answer my question if you know first what my goals are. My plan is to stay in Japan for at least a year (fall 2023 to summer 2024), but possibly / probably longer. I will be applying to the MEXT program in a few months (for schools that would start in April 2024), and if that worked out then I definitely would be staying longer, however I may still stay longer regardless.

Anyway, the first thing I'm doing is to apply to non-degree japanese language programs at a couple of universities. I will be starting in the fall 2023--that much is certain. However, my primary question is: do I apply for one semester or for a full year? Because the MEXT is anything but certain, I cannot plan around it and I would not want to simply stay for one semester and then be forced to leave. On the other hand, if I *do* get it then I can only study for one semester at this first school before moving on to the next one.

Also, I have heard that I can apply for a visa extension of 6 months to a year after getting a student visa, but if I am only staying for one semester, I just want to confirm that I can still do this? This would probably be the safest route, however I am just a little skeptical that they would still allow me to extend it for 6 months if my student visa is only for 1 semester in the first place!

Let me know what you all think. Thanks a bunch!
by Jay (guest)  

Re: Is this a sound plan? (student visa) 2023/3/11 14:17
So you are saying that you:
(1) will be going to a language course for 1 semester (half year) from fall 2023, just pay for 1 semester and get a student visa to enter Japan to stay for a 6-months period,
(2)-a if you get accepted into MEXT from spring 2024 stay on in Japan, extend the student resident status
(2)-b if you donft get accepted into MEXT you want to stay on with the language course and have the student resident status extended accordingly?

- Check with the university that offers the language course how the payment and visa sponsorship works: I am assuming youfd pay for 1 semester then the university applies for you a visa to allow you to stay for 1 semester.

- If at the end of the 1 semester of language study,
(2)-a: if you get accepted with the MEXT program, then now the student resident status needed to be sponsored by the university with the MEXT course. That takes time and preparation.
(2)-b: if you donft get accepted for MEXT program and want to stay on for another semester, you need the school with the language course to sponsor you again to extend it - you sign up for another semester (I donft know what the acceptance criteria is), get accepted, pay the tuition, then get them to help you with the extension. If you register for just 1 semester, you donft get the resident status (what you are referring to as gvisah) extended for another semester that you are not studying there.

Also, I have heard that I can apply for a visa extension of 6 months to a year after getting a student visa, but if I am only staying for one semester, I just want to confirm that I can still do this?

So in response to this, i must say the answer is no.

From your questions, the school offering language course can tell that you arenft really into studying with them, so, well, I can understand why they might not get back to you.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Is this a sound plan? (student visa) 2023/3/11 16:51
what is your purpose? it seems to not "study in Japan", although you apply "student visa".
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is this a sound plan? (student visa) 2023/3/13 08:33
Yes, you are correct about my overall situation. To clarify: the program I am applying for at the first university is not a degree program, in fact, they only offer 1 & 2 semester long programs. I am not trying to take a full time load right off the bat because I have a family that I need to bring as well and since there is no degree, what's really the point of full time study?
I would like to think that I would get accepted for the MEXT, but because the application process for the first school is happening now and the MEXT application doesn't even begin, much less announce the results, until later in the year, I need to make sure I am going into this with some degree of forethought.
What then is the typical requirement to receive an extension to a student visa? Is it on a case by case basis, or are there requirements that a program must be X amount of length to receive certain extensions?
by Jay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is this a sound plan? (student visa) 2023/3/13 09:22
sounds like you're trying to apply for a student visa, not study but yet use it to try and achieve other goals that you have in mind, please don't do this.
by King of the World (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is this a sound plan? (student visa) 2023/3/13 10:20
Some people attend language courses simply to learn the language, so that they will have the language proficiency to pursue whatever they want to do, be it attending a Japanese university course or to help with their work.

Be it a language course offered by a university or by a Japanese language school, you donft get a gstudenth visa sponsorship unless you enroll in their gfull-timeh course, meaning at least 4 hours of classes each day for 5 days. (You are expected to study on your own to keep up with the classes outside those hours, so the study will keep you quite busy.)

If you want to sign up for a shorter-day (part-time) classes, you will not be eligible for a gstudenth visa, and gifh you happen to be from a country that has Temporary Visitor Visa waiver agreement with Japan, and if you take a 3-month course, the school is likely to ask you to just come on your Temporary Visitor visa, and will not sponsor you for a visa.

You get your student resident status extended as needed for you to complete your course (you need to evidence that you are/will be attending a such and such course).
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Is this a sound plan? (student visa) 2023/3/13 10:36
I apologize if I am not coming across clearly enough: I am fully intending to go under a student visa to be a student. I don't know exactly what I am saying that is giving the impression that I intend to go and not attend class or something. Yes I will still have a life outside of class. No I will not be registering for as many classes as humanly possible, only as much as is required to maintain my student status.
Besides that, if I am applying for a MEXT, what exactly about that sounds like I am trying to achieve other goals than pursuing a degree?

I am referring to specific programs (*at universities*) that I have already researched and am in the process of applying for. At least one of those programs has it clearly listed that the minimum weekly requirement (per japanese immigration) of class is 7 credits per semester for a total of 10 hours of class time per week (plus homework). I did attend a language school on a short term visa last year that was 4 hours per day, as you mentioned. It may be that these programs are different, much in the same way that the language schools' student visas do not allow me to bring dependents, while the university-issued visas do.

I appreciate the assistance AK--the last thing I am wondering is if I am able to change to the 'designated activities' status after I complete a six month term, if I do not end up getting the MEXT?
by Jay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is this a sound plan? (student visa) 2023/3/13 22:25
OK, thank you for telling me about the language courses at universities - I was not aware of how they were set up.

As far as I know, cases where the gdesignated activitiesh status has been granted were to fresh graduates from Japanese universities who have not had the time to complete their job hunting during their course time, which ends in March (or due to other reasons) want to stay a bit longer, like 3 months, beyond what the original gstudenth resident status allowed, specifically for job-hunting purposes.

Soc in your case, the purpose would be to find a university course with scholarship? I doubt that would be a good reason for that status :(
by AK rate this post as useful

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