The school that you’re applying for would typically guide you on what you need to provide them with in order to apply for a student visa. But i can’t say for certain.
I applied to Yamasa Institute in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture. So I can only tell you the procedure of this school. Applications require you to send original copies of your certificates such as a Bachelor’s degree or diploma with transcripts and proof of your Japanese studies experience. Your Bachelor’s degree or diploma may not be returned to you, so instead of sending the ones you have on hand, request for proof of graduation and extra transcripts from your school. You may be required to pay some administrative fees but that’s better than not getting back your certs.
When your visa application is approved, the school would require you to pay tuition and accomodation fees before they courier over your Certificate of Eligibility (CoE), which is required for you to get your visa stamps at your local Japanese embassy.
I don’t know about other countries but for Singaporeans, the following is important. The school tells you to bring the CoE to the Japanese embassy to get your visa stamp. But that is NOT all you have to bring! I was fortunate I had my passport photo in my wallet when i went there in the morning. First, submission can only be done before 12 noon. So if you forget anything important, you probably don’t have enough time to head back home to get it.
Here are the things you need to bring:
1) CoE (1 original + 1 photocopy)
2) passport (with at least 6 months validity and at least one full blank page)
3) application form (you can get it at the embassy and fill it in there)
4) passport photograph (1 to be attached to the application form)
Be sure to fill in the application form before you get a queue number. If not, you’d have to queue again. The most crucial thing here is the passport photograph. If you didn’t photocopy the CoE, they can still do it for you, albeit with a pissed off look.
Collection of the passport is from 1:30pm~4:00pm, 3 working days from your date of application. As for guys who need to apply for exit permit, if you’re an nsman already, documentation proof is usually not required though sometimes they do random checks.
In the application for exit permit page, there’s this field that requires you to select the level of study. The minimum is a diploma, and that is what you should select because every certificate is a diploma. Don’t get confused with the Singapore context.