The Cultural Activities visa is for Applicants who wish to study Japanese culture, art, skills, or activities for the purpose of learning under the guidance of experts. This is a very broad category that could include study of such things as Taiko (Japanese drumming), Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), tea ceremony, judo, aikido, etc.
Cultural Activities is a non-work visa category, so the proposed activity in Japan should stay unpaid. However, you may have a part-time job if you acquire a Permission to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted from the Immigration Bureau of Japan first. Once the approval is issued, they are allowed to work up to 28 hours per week.
Criteria & Requirements
The permitted activities under a Cultural Activities visa are as follows:
- Academic or artistic activities that provide no income
- Activities for the purpose of pursuing specific studies of Japanese culture, arts and crafts
- Activities for the purpose of learning and acquiring Japanese culture or arts under the guidance of experts
Examples of activities permitted by the Cultural Activities visa:
Studying and learning of Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), Sadou (Japanese tea ceremony), Japanese architecture, Japanese painting, Japanese dancing, Japanese cuisine, Japanese music, Japanese penmanship/calligraphy, Zen (Buddhism), Judo, Karate, Mixed Martial Arts, etc.
Also, you shall be applied to the requirement below if you acquire this visa:
- You will not earn any income by engaging the activity in Japan.
- You can certify by supporting documents that you have an experience related to your desired activity in Japan.
- The curriculum which you are going to attend shall be acceptable as Cultural Activities.
- You are capable of living without pay during your stay in Japan.
Period of Stay
Period of Stay in each case shall be designated by the Immigration Office. The period must be either of 3 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months.
If you wish to stay more years under the same Status of Residence you already have, you can apply for renewing your visa 2 months before the expiration of the period of stay.
Necessary documents for the application
You are required to prepare supporting documents which can certify that the contents of the application are true and correct. Supporting documents varies depending on the situation of each applicant. However, the following items would definitely be necessary:
Evidence of the applicant’s activities in Japan
● Documents issued by the hosting person/company/school that certify the applicant’s activity and schedule of activity in Japan (schedule/curriculum of the training or lecture and so on, Letter of invitation/acceptance, etc.)
● Overview of the hosting person/company/school (pamphlet/leaflet/brochure, website, etc.)
● Letter explaning the reasons why the applicant wishes to engage in the activity in Japan
Evidence of the applicant’s experience
● Certificate of Graduation
● Certificate of Employment
● Any certificates which certify the applicant’s qualification
Evidence of Academic or Artistic achievements (either of the following)
● Letter of Recommendation from related organization
● News or articles regarding the past activities
● Results of awards and achivements
● Catalogues of the past essays or works
Evidence which shows the applicant’s ability to pay all the expenses during his/her stay in Japan
● Bank Balance Certificate of his/her own bank account
● Scholarship Certificate
● In case that an agent will pay all the expenses for the applicant: Certificate of Inhabitant Tax Payment, Withholding Slip, Tax Return, etc.
Evidence which certify the achievement and experience of the specialist/expert
(Only in case that the applicant wishes to be instructed by a specialist/expert)
● C/V of the specialist/expert
● A copy of license, essays or works of the specialist/expert
- Any certificate among supporting documents has to be issued within 3 months before the date of application.
- Additional documents may be required during the examination of Immigration Office.