Applying for dependent visa in Japan

If you are holding a working visa or student visa in Japan, you can bring your family(wife/children) to join you. For that, you have to get a dependent visa for each of them.


For obtaining the dependent visa in Japan, you have to apply for the certificate of eligibility or VOE which will be issued by the immigration bureau on submitting the required documents. This COE should be submitted along with the passports of your dependents and other required documents at the Japanese consulate of your nation to get the visa stamped on their passport. Once they enter Japan within the time limit specified on the visa, they will be issued a residence card at the airport where they are arriving.

How to get COE?

COE(Certificate of Eligibility) could be applied by yourselves(visa holder) along with other documents. The details are given here. The documents to be submitted along with the application form varies for the type of visa you are holding.

  1. Application form. (Filled application form in A4 size should be submitted)
  2. Photo (Please note that the size is 4 cm x 3 cm).
  3. A stamp(392 yen) affixed return-mail envelope.
  4. Supporting documents.(It varies according to the type of visa you are holding. Please check this official table to see what all documents you have to submit).
  5. Letter of guarantee

Please take care not to submit original documents. Copies are enough unless otherwise originals are asked to be submitted(already mentioned on the official site).

Guide to fill the application form

Fill the details of the applicant(to whom you are applying for COE) on page 1 and 2. Page 3 is for the supporter(the one holding Japan visa). Fill the details and affix a photograph of size 4cm x 3 cm of the applicant inside the specified column of Page 1.

Chances for further document requests

When you submit the application form at the Immigration Bureau, ask the information counter to verify your entries. They will help to correct your application form and other documents and give directions. It takes about 2 to 3 months to get the COE mailed to you. Getting COE is free of cost. Within this 2-3 months, there are chances that they ask for further documents than those submitted. It depends on various other factors, like the company you are working, your previous job changes or other matters. You must have to submit those documents within the deadline by mail enclosed in the envelopes that you receive along with the document request from the Immigration Bureau.  There is no need of visiting the Immigration office in that case.

After getting COE

Certificate of eligibility-Japan

After getting the COE in your mail, send it by post to your home country or where the applicant is residing. COE is valid for 3 months only, within which the applicant should apply for the visa at the nearest Japanese Embassy/ Japan consulate. He/She has to submit his/her passport along with the COE to the Japan consulate. pay some specified amount for getting the visa stamped on your passport.

Japan visa

After getting the visa

There will be some expiry date(usually after three months of visa issue) on the visa, within which the applicant should enter Japan. Otherwise, the currently issued visa will be cancelled.

Residence card(在留カード – Zairyuu card)

Residence card – Japan

Once the applicant enters Japan, he/she will be issued with his/her residence card at the airport immigration. Now the process is completed.

For those dependents who want to work part-time jobs.

Those who wish to do some part-time jobs have to seek special permission. You have to go in-person to the immigration office and submit a filled “Application for Permission to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted”. Please read the instructions here before proceeding. If you have already found some jobs, you can fill the fields asking for the ‘Place of employment’. Else leave it blank or better fill it as ‘Not yet found’.

You should take your residence card and passport along with this filled form. If your application is genuine, you will get the permission on the same day itself. They will paste a stamp in your passport which allows you to permit engaging in activities other than that permitted by a dependant visa. You can work up to 28 hours a week with this permission.

Permission to engage in activities other than permitted – Japan

Read this post to know more about obtaining permission for working part-time in Japan.