Relocation Information (PhD)

Welcome to OIST!

The Travel and Relocation Team will help you prepare for your relocation. Prior to your arrival in Japan (OIST), make sure you have organized crucial things like your visa, insurance and accommodation.

  1. Student Visa
  2. Health Info
  3. Flight
  4. Relocation
  5. Student Housing Information
  6. Documents to Bring (All Students)
  7. National Pension
  8. Student Buddy System

1. Student Visa 

If you are an international student coming to Japan, you will need a 'student' visa prior to your arrival in Japan.

Please follow the instruction on the visa for international students page and begin your application process immediately as it may take weeks and sometimes months to acquire a visa. 

If you are planning to bring your family, please contact

2. Health Info

OIST Medical Center provides health services to the OIST community.
Please read the health information thoroughly prior to coming to OIST.
If you will bring any medicine, including over-the-counter, and/or medical equipment, please contact our Health Center.

[For Student]
Students are strongly recommended to submit an immunization record to OIST health center.
The purposes of this record are
  1. to provide appropriate information in case of any infectious disease outbreak
  2. to understand your own vaccination history
  3. to help you when you go abroad in the future

Please fill out this form before entering OIST and submit it here, secured by Giga CC, file transfer system.
OIST health center appreciates your understanding and corporation in advance.

[For your child(ren)]
If you plan to relocate with your child(ren), they are entitled to medical support and some vaccinations by the local municipality after their registration. Please see here for detail. (Resource Center website).
Vaccination Record Form” is required to submit as one of the necessary information at the time of registration to the municipal office.

It is strongly recommended to prepare the English part of the form before your departure and please bring the filled form when you visit the municipal office.

For further inquiries about the Japanese vaccination system, please contact Health Center.

3. Flight

One-way ticket from the airport that is closest to your current place to Okinawa for you, your spouse and your child(ren) will be provided.  OIST Graduate School will arrange and purchase a flight ticket after your student visa is issued.

Graduate School sends you a survey for the flight arrangement and you must select a desired arrival date and nearest airport from your place. The Graduate School will arrange your flight accordingly by contacting individually.

For further information, please visit HERE.

4. Relocation

You may apply for "Transfer Allowance" and "Relocation Expense" after your arrival.
Please click the window below to check the detailed information on "Transfer Allowance" and "Relocation Expense", and submit the required documents by the deadline. This support refers to the OIST Graduate School "Student Support Policies, 3 Relocation".


Transfer Allowance Report and Relocation Expenses Report (Form)


This allowance is to help cover the various expenses you incur related to your move to Okinawa, such as your visa fee, ground transportation, customs and import taxes, etc.


Spouse & Child over 12years old

2/3 of student

Child under 12 years old

1/3 of student

International 62,800 JPY 41,866 JPY 20,933 JPY
Domestic 36,600 JPY 24,400 JPY 12,200 JPY

*Allowance amounts are fixed amounts.


Please arrange shipment by yourself after visa acquisition.
Relocation Expenses for the move of your household goods can be reimbursed up to the maximum level stipulated in the appended table below by turning in "Relocation travel and Expense Report".

Appended Table

The rate in the table for country of your residency immediately before your move to Okinawa will apply.

Any moving costs that exceed these limits or that are for items OIST cannot cover (listed below) will be at your own expense.


Relocation support is one time and good for one year. Submission deadlines vary depending on the time of enrollment. Please check the DEADLINE carefully.



Only following expenses will be reimburesed.

  1. Shipping fee only for normal household essential goods including clothing, books, stationary, PCs, light furniture, automobiles.
  2. Expenses for checked-in baggage. Please keep the receipt.


Not applicable
  1. Cost for upgrading class (ex. Economy to Premium enconomy/ Business)
  2. Customs and import taxes
  • Items related to your hobbies, pianos and other musical instruments, plants, pets.
  • Items that cannot be handled as normal household goods that requires special /additional care to ship.
  • Flora and fauna listed on the CITES (also known as the Washington Convention) list
  • Items and dangerous goods that are restricted by law.


Submission Documents
  1. Relocation Expenses Report
  2. Receipt(s) - Cost, Student's name, Date of payment need to be written
  3. WayBills or Descriptions of items of relocation shipment.
  1. Reimbursement of Relocation Expenses can only be provided ONCE by the deadline. Accumulated bills in different month and day are not acceptable.
  2. The delivery date is after your move-in date at OIST campus housing.
  3. Payer's name has to be you. (*)
  4. We only accept waybills that list your name as both the sender and recipient. (*)
  5. We cannot proceed in March due to Japanese fiscal year ending timing.
  6. Relocation Document Submission Period

*If you can only arrange relocation shipment payer / sender / receipient name as one of your family, please contact

<Note> Moving with your pets
If you bring pets to Okinawa, all related costs need to be borne by you and are not covered by OIST. Please refer to this website ( for detailed moving procedures. It may take up to 6 months or more to complete all the moving procedures for your pet(s) depending on where you plan to import your pet(s) from.
Please note that you must pay for any difference in cost between the most economical simple flight ticket for which OIST is responsible and the flight ticket you had to choose to bring your dogs.

1. Send parcels through any international delivery service of your choice. Please make sure the delivery date is after your arrival date. We cannot receive parcels on your behalf nor store them before your arrival.

Your address in Japan
OIST, 1919-1 Tancha, Onnason, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa 904-0495 Japan
*Building name and Room #: you will be given this information from Student Housing Section by 2 weeks prior to your arrival.

2. Keep the original receipts and waybills with you.

*Payer's name has to be you.
*We only accept waybills that list your name as both the sender and recipient.

3. Submit your receipts and waybills to Registrar Section upon your arrival.

4. Reimbursement will be made to your bank account directly. The reimbursement process takes about a few months after the submission of the necessary documents.

  • Everything besides baggage you fly with is categorised as unaccompanied baggage and you could send it as Duty-free/Tax-free. To do so, you must understand the Duty-free/Tax-free Allowance regulations, the amount of expected customs/taxes, and what items are prohibited, and follow all the necesary procedure. Please make sure to refer to the links below.
  • Personal effects and unaccompanied baggage for personal use are free of duties and/or taxes within the allowance. Items such as liquor and tobacco are still subject to duties and/or taxes. Please refer to the link below for details.
  • Be sure to clearly write “unaccompanied baggage” on the parcels before you send them.
  • 2 copies of the Customs declaration forms( must be submitted for customs clearance at your arrival airport in Japan. Please have them stamped and keep one of the two copies.
  • After receiving the Arrival Notification Form from the airline company, shipping company, carrier, or other company, please follow their instructions.
  • After completing the customs clearance procedures, you can take possession of your baggage.
  • Unaccompanied baggage must be in your custody within six months after your arrival.

Procedures for Passenger Clearance:

Procedures for Declaring Unaccompanied Articles to Customs:

5. Student Housing Information


Housing arrangement requires 1 month notice to start/end your housing contract. 

OIST will make room allocations based on the roommate requests from the students. If no request is submitted, OIST will match up the student with others with the basic information like gender, and assign a bedroom. Room information and allocation will usually be announced 2 to 4 weeks before your arrival date.

Please arrange the housing through here:  Student Housing Information (For New Students).

For inquiries, please contact OIST Housing Management Section. (Click HERE.)

6. Documents to Bring

1. Original Driver's license (Must)
2. Either of following documents is required:
  2-1. Drive in Japan with your original driver's license.
 - If your license issuance country listed here Obtain International Driving Permit(IDP) before your departure. *Make sure that the IDP is based on 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic
 - If your license issuance country listed here Have JAF translate your license after the arrival.
   *2-3 months before your IDP or/and your original driver's license expires, please start the process to exchange your license to a Japanese one.

  2-2. Drive in Japan with Japanese license.
If your country is not listed on either lists in section 2-1. and wish to drive in Japan, you need to have valid Japanese Lisesne. Please contact and start making arrangement as necessary.

Please visit this webpage here for more details about converting your license.
Contact: Resource Center

Additional documents

Health Insurance

After enrolling at OIST, you will need to join the National Health Insurance system independently. If you joined the Health Insurance system under your parents, please ask your parents to get a “Soshitsu Shomeisho” and send it to you after you have started the gap program or OIST enrollment.

Tenshutsu Todoke

Before you come to OIST, please submit a Tenshutsu-todoke to your current municipal office. Then, you will obtain a Tenshutu-shoumeisho (Certificate of Moving-out) which is required to register at your new address (Onna Village).

You will need to bring:

  • Passport
  • Residence Card
  • Name Stamp (or signature)
  • National Health Insurance Certificate
  • Certificate of Moving-out (when you arrive in Okinawa)


Shotoku Shomeish

Please obtain this at your municipal office. Whether or not you have worked before, you will need to bring a Shotoku Shomeisho (Income Certificate) to the municipal office. This is to calculate how much you must pay for National Health Insurance.

Nenkin Techo

If you have a Nenkin Techo (Japanese pension book), please bring it with you. You will need your Nenkin Number.


It will be required when you register at the municipal office.
Signature is available for Non-Japanese.

Bank Passbook

If you have a bank account that you would like your benefits or payments to be paid into, please bring it with you. You can also open a new bank account at local banks in Okinawa.

My Number Card (Individual Number Card)

If you have not applied, please bring the notice. You might need it in some situations.

JASSO Student Loan

If you received a scholarship/student loan from Jasso and you would like to request an exemption from payment while studying at OIST, please inform Student Affairs Section after you have enrolled to PhD program with the degignated form from JASSO.

7. National Pension

Please check the link below especialy about "Social security agreements"and decide wheather you pay or apply for exemption of the payment before municipal office visit.
*We do not accept any inquiries about Social security agreements. Please check with the pension office of your country.

8. Student Buddy System

The Student Council launched the Student Buddy System in 2015 as A) a way for new students to get to know existing students and B) an easy way for new students to ask questions about what life is really like at OIST and in Okinawa. Buddies are paired with new students based on country, language, field of study, hobbies, etc. If you would like to participate, please fill out this short form so that a Buddy can contact you.

[ Student Buddy System Application ]
A message from Student Council

If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us:
We are looking forward to meeting you @ OIST soon!