For Employees

Visa and Certificate of Eligibility


Here is an outline of what needs to be done before ELSI is able to officially begin your employment.

  • 1) In order to work and receive a salary in Japan, you must obtain an appropriate status of residence that gives you the right to live and work in this country. In this case, the appropriate status of residence falls under the visa category of "Professor." This status of residence will be awarded when you enter Japan with your new visa.
  • 2) The Tokyo Tech regulations state that you must obtain this status of residence at least one day before your official employment date. This means that you must enter Japan one day or more prior to your appointment date.

Steps of Certificate of Eligibility and Visa Application

Steps including registration in Japan

Please refer to the procedure chart below for Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and visa application from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Following are the steps for obtaining a Professor visa that will give you the status of residence necessary to begin your appointment at ELSI:

Please give yourself plenty of time to apply for your COE and your visa as there may be delays at each of the steps involved.


If you will have family members accompanying you to live in Japan, your family will need to obtain a status of residence called "Dependent". Besides the items and information above, the official copy of your marriage certificate will be required to apply for your spouse's COE and the official copy of birth certificate/s will be required to apply for your child/children. Please discuss this matter with us as early as possible to ensure that enough time is available to process their visas.

Internal Employment Process


You will need to do paper work with regards to your contract, school ID card, health insurance, pension, unemployment benefit, taxes, etc. and submit those documents as soon as possible to our university HR.

Personal Seal Hanko/Inkan

You will also need to make a hanko/inkan, a personal seal that is used in place of a signature on various documents. There are a few procedures that require a personal seal instead of a signature. A last name in katakana, one of the Japanese alphabets, is usually carved on ELSI foreign researchers' seals. It may be your first name if your last name in katakana is too long to fit on a seal. If you have your last/first name in kanji, Chinese characters, you could have the kanji on your personal seal. We will assist you in ordering a personal seal with your name carved on it. The cost will be approximately 1,000 yen for the most basic seal with a foreigner's name in katakana depending on how many letters there are.

Employment Starting Date

You must enter the country on your Professor visa and have an immigration officer authorize your status of residence as a "Professor" at least one day before your employment starting date. Provided you do this, your employment at ELSI will start on the 1st of the month.

Given that it is required by Japanese law that you must obtain your status of residence (in short, enter Japan on your Professor visa) at least one day before your employment date, we advise you to add an extra day or two to prevent the risk of delaying your employment date by a whole month. If for any reason your arrival in Japan will be delayed and you will miss the 1st-of-the-month employment starting cycle, please notify us immediately and we will see what we can do. We may be able to shift it by a day or two but please understand that in the worst case, you may not be able to begin your employment until the 1st of the following month.

Re-entry Permit

The re-entry permit system has been changed from July, 2012. You can leave and re-enter Japan multiple times as long as you come back to Japan before the expiration date of your residence card.

Leaving Japan

Detailed description can be found in ELSI Redmine.