questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

using jr pass before student visa starts

Using JR pass before student visa starts


I will be studying in Japan for a semester starting mid September. I would like to visit Japan two weeks before my classes start.

If my student visa were to start September 7th, can I enter the country two weeks prior (let's say August 24) as a tourist and therefore be eligible for a Jr pass ? Would I have to exit the country and re-enter it before my student visa start date? Or can I simply be considered a "temporary visitor" until my student visa starts (and therefore be a eligible for a Jr Pass during that 2 week period prior to my student visa start date) and stay in the country until the end date of my student visa?

Thank you for you help

Best regards,



Hi Johann,

This one is a bit tricky because you can only be in Japan under 1 Visa and if you would stay over the time of your tourist visa you would be registered as an illegal alien.

There are two things you could do:

1.) Exit the country on your Tourist Visa and re-enter it on your study Visa.

2.) Submit an Application for change of status of residence to immigration control. This has to be granted however and if it is not you would have to re-enter the country as in point 1. I am not sure on what grounds this may be granted or denied so I would recommend contacting immigration before.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

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