If an applicant wishes to work, study, or live in Japan, he or she should in principle first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. The Certificate of Eligibility is issued by the Ministry of Justice in Japan. To obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, the applicant must ask a sponsor in Japan (an employer, spouse, school, etc.) to contact the local immigration office and make an application on his or her behalf. The application must be made by a sponsor in Japan, and cannot be made by the applicant himself.
There are two processes for acquiring a Certificate of Eligibility: An application is usually made by a proxy in Japan at the nearest regional immigration authority to the proxy's place of residence in Japan. The other process is limited to special cases, such as applicants who happen to be residing in Japan and are prepared to leave the country to apply for a visa.
Once a Certificate of Eligibility has been obtained, the applicant should bring in his or her passport, two passport-sized photographs, the Japanese sponsor's name, address and phone number, the original Certificate of Eligibility, and one photocopy of the Certificate of Eligibility. In the case of applicants who are applying for visas to work in Japan as dancers, the applicant should also bring a copy of the contract between the applicant and the Japanese organisation, a curriculum vitae, and information regarding the venue in Japan (either a brochure or a floor plan)
Please note that a Certificate of Eligibility expires after three months. An applicant must obtain his or her visa and arrive in Japan within three months of the issue date of the Certificate of Eligibility. If an applicant has not travelled to Japan before the expiry date, then a new Certificate of Eligibility must be obtained before applying for the visa and travelling to Japan.