Status of Residence

Status of Residence After Graduation or Program Completion

The status of residence of "Student" is only valid while you are at school. Even if the period of stay for your "Student" status of residence has not expired, your period of permitted stay and status of residence become invalid the moment you graduate or complete your program and you are generally required to return to your home country. 
Musashino University holds a guidance session every July (for fall graduates) and January (for spring graduates) for international students to explain the procedures for renewing visas and changing visa statuses after they graduate. All students who will be graduating in the current year are required to attend. Those who will be graduating will be informed about the guidance session through MUSCAT.

  Extending the Period of Stay and Changing the Status of Residence in Preparation for Returning Home

(1) If your status of residence as a student will expire just before your scheduled date to return home, you must complete a procedure to extend your period of stay. 
Documents required for the procedure:
Documents listed for the Extension of Period of Stay and the Certification of Expected Graduation or Program Completion
 
(2) International students whose period of stay will expire immediately after the (expected) date of graduation or program completion and who must remain in Japan for a brief time to prepare for their return home must change their status of residence as soon as they graduate or complete their program. Change from "Student" to "Short stay" or another appropriate status of residence. It is illegal to remain under the status of residence of "Student."
 
Important!
- If you change your status of residence to "Short stay" in preparation for your return home, you will no longer be considered a mid- to long-term resident. You will no longer be eligible for benefits, etc., from the City Hall. Please consult the City Hall beforehand for more information.
- You cannot do part-time work after changing your status of residence to "Short stay." You also cannot change your status of residence from "Short stay" to another status.
 
(3) If your period of stay does not expire after your graduation or program completion but you have no plans to continue studying, your period of permitted stay and status of residence will generally become invalid. Although you do not need to submit an Application for Change of Status of Residence, you must prepare to leave the country within one month or so.

  If Starting Work in Japan (Changing to a Status of Residence that Allows You to Work)

You are not allowed to work under the status of residence of "Student," so if you plan on starting your employment with a Japanese company or other organization in Japan, you must change your status of residence from "Student" to another one that permits work, such as "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services." The Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau accepts applications for changing the status of residence to another that permits work from December of the previous year. The screening process for changing the status of residence generally takes about one or two months. Check with your prospective employer in advance about the procedure for changing your status of residence before starting employment. 
If there is a period of time between your graduation and the start of employment, you can change your status of residence to "Designated Activities" (No. 14) for the period until you begin employment (indicating that you are waiting for an offered job to begin) with permission from the Immigration Services Bureau. You will need a written unofficial job offer or explanatory document (such as a pre-employment training schedule) from the prospective employer, so be sure to consult the prospective employer ahead of time.

  If Continuing Job Hunting Activities After Graduation or Program Completion

Please note that you cannot continue job hunting activities with a "Student" status of residence after graduation or program completion. (Even if the period of stay for your "Student" status of residence has not expired after graduation or program completion, your status of residence becomes invalid the moment you graduate or complete your program.) If you wish to continue job hunting activities after graduation, you can apply to change your status of residence to "Designated Activities" (180 days; only one extension possible) to allow you to remain in Japan for up to one year after graduating from university. (This is only for regular students. It is not available for students in special courses for foreign students, credited auditors, research students, special short-term international students, or other non-regular students.) 
You will need a letter of recommendation from the university to change your status of residence to "Designated Activities" (No. 9) for job hunting. To prepare the letter of recommendation, you will be interviewed. Contact the International Relations Office on your campus for information about the procedure for requesting an interview.

  Notification Concerning the Accepting Organization ("Student" Status of Residence)

When leaving a school (e.g., graduation) or when transferring to a new school (e.g., enrollment), you must submit a notification to the Immigration Services Bureau within 14 days of the change. For information on how to submit a notification, see [MUSCAT → My Tools → e-Cabinet → International Relations Office → 1. About visa renewal → (3) Notification of leaving (changing) the accepting organization] 
*The university (as the academic institution that accepted the international student) will also submit a mandatory report to the Immigration Services Bureau about the status of the international student and that information will be compared to the notification received from the international student. 
Reference (Immigration Services Agency of Japan)
(https://www.isa.go.jp/en/applications/procedures/nyuukokukanri10_00014.html