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RIKEN Wako Branch


A CULTURAL ACTIVITIES visa is required for international researchers, interns or trainees who will not be employed by RIKEN but take part in unpaid research activities for three months or more at RIKEN in Japan. The visa application process can take three months or more. Please allow enough time to ensure it will be ready in time to start your research activities at RIKEN. The RIKEN laboratory that you work with will be able to assist with all the necessary paperwork.

VISA application procedures
  1. RIKEN will apply for the COE (Certificate of Eligibility) in lieu of you.
    Contact your RIKEN host laboratory for the application check sheet, fill it out completely (all applicable information), and return it with all the required items listed below.
    It may take about 2 months for it to be granted by the Japanese Immigration Bureau.
  2. RIKEN will send you the original COE as soon as it is granted.
  3. Please apply for the visa to enter Japan at the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate with the COE plus any other required items. For information about the other required items, please check the General visa (MOFA) website.
    It may take about 1 week for it to be granted.

  • The entire visa application process may take 3 months or more including mail delivery.
  • Please keep the original COE and bring it with you to Japan. It is a requirement to show it to the immigration officer when entering Japan, together with the visa in your passport.

RIKEN required items for COE (Certificate of Eligibility) application
  • Application check sheet (Sample)
  • A copy of your passport
  • A photo (4cm x 3cm, taken within the last 3 months to reflect your current appearance, full-face view, no hat, taken in front of a plain background)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • An original employment or school certificate
    English or Japanese translation is required if the original certificate is not in English.
  • Document to verify the ability to pay your living expenses during your stay in Japan
    In the case that the living expenses will be provided by yourself or organization other than RIKEN.
    Financial proof of funds example documents:
    • External funds: Certificate of provided by the external fund(s)
    • Personal: Certificate showing the balance of your bank account
    • Parent(s): Certificate showing the balance of parent’s bank account, official document verifying the relationship between you and your parent(s), parent’s employment certificate (or similar document from parent’s employer)
      English or Japanese translation is required if the original certificate is not in English. (Date, translator’s name and signature must be stated)
      All the documents must be issued within 3 months of the application.

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The Residence Card (RC) will be provided to you at the airport upon entering Japan. The RC is your ID while you live and work in Japan, and it is recommended that you always carry it with you. For RC information: Start of a new residency management system