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Rules of Your JCMU Visa

As JCMU acts as the guarantor for all of our students’ visas, you are required to adhere to the following rules:

1. Visa Exclusivity

JCMU only sponsors visas for students participating in JCMU programs. Your visa from JCMU may not be used for personal travel (such as a family vacation), for job interviews overseas, or for programs hosted by other organizations. If you are planning to participate in a different study abroad program in Japan either before or after your JCMU program, the organization hosting that program will need to sponsor a separate visa for you, or take over as guarantor on an extended visa after your JCMU experience has concluded. 

2. Entrance Date

Your passport will be submitted to the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit (unless you make other arrangements with our office) for your visa to be issued and placed inside. While passports (and visas) are typically returned at least 1 week before the program start date, our office cannot say exactly when you will receive yours (especially if the consulate is very busy). Additionally, JCMU-sponsored visas are for participating in JCMU-sponsored activities and not for personal travel before the program.

For that reason:

  • Students traveling on a JCMU-sponsored Cultural Activities visa should NOT plan to depart more than 3 days before the move-in/arrival date of the program. This includes any pre-program travel that would require use of your passport.
    • If you will need your passport for non-JCMU travel during the 6 weeks before the program start date, contact the JCMU East Lansing office as soon as possible to see what arrangements can be made. Our primary goal is to have your Japanese visa issued in time for program participation, so we cannot guarantee that your passport will be available for personal travel during this period.
  • Students traveling on a Temporary Visitor Visa (TVV) MUST arrive on the scheduled arrival date for their program, and may not enter the country early due to restrictions in place from the Japanese immigrations authority.
    • It may be possible to add additional personal travel to your TVV before or after the program pending submission of additional documentation and approval from JCMU and the Japanese government.
  • After your entrance date has been provided to the consulate for final visa processing, that date may NOT be changed, as it will be embedded in your visa information. The only exception to this rule is flights that are delayed or canceled, causing a change in entry date.  

3. Forbidden to Work

No JCMU students are allowed to be employed or work for pay or gifts while in-country on a JCMU visa. However, you are allowed to serve as a volunteer or participate in an unpaid internship. 

4. Legal Compliance

JCMU requires that all visa holders maintain compliance with Japanese law, which includes following the rules regarding conduct, item importation (such as medicines or personal items), and alcohol and drugs. The Japanese government also reserves the legal right to challenge or decline visa applications, and to withdraw or cancel visas if and when they deem necessary. 

5. Post-Program Travel

JCMU typically allows students on a JCMU-sponsored Cultural Activities Visas to remain in Japan for up to two weeks after the move-out / departure date of their JCMU program(s), so long as they have been granted permission by the Resident Director in advance. In your request, you must provide information about your travel plans and the best method for contacting you.

Students traveling on a JCMU-sponsored Temporary Visitor Visa are not allowed to remain in-country post-program, and must depart Japan on their program’s move-out date (unless their visa was approved for additional travel at the time of issuance).

6. Visa End-Date

You must depart Japan by the end date of your visa. Students who overstay their visas risk deportation and potential legal action by the Japanese government. 

7. Visa Cancelation by the Student

If you are unable to attend your planned JCMU program and have already been issued a visa, you will need have that visa canceled by the Japanese consulate as soon as possible. Please contact the JCMU office in East Lansing for instructions on visa cancellation.