Relocation Information (Special Research Student)

Welcome to OIST!

The Student Support staff 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.

!Important Information!


Travel Infomation!






Useful Info!


  1. Student Visa
  2. Flight
  3. Relocation
  4. Housing Information
  5. Documents to Bring (All Students)
  6. Additional Documents (For Residents of Japan or Japanese Citizens)
  7. Health Info
  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. 

2. Flight

Special Research Students (SRS) normally receive support for round trip travel and no relocation expenses. However, a Special Research Student may alternatively choose to receive a one-way ticket and actual relocation expenses, which can be reimbursed up to the maximum level stipulated in the appended table. (Special Student Policies 1.5.2 Relocation Expenses)

OIST will provide following flight ticket:
  -The most economical simple direct flight
  -Economy class
  -Ticket between the nearest airport from home Institution or student’s home and Naha airport
  -Any personal requests (such as preferred airline, itinerary…) are not acceptable.
  -Arrival date (and departure date) to(/from) Okinawa are set by OIST to be as close as possible to your registration period and will be confirmed prior to flight arrangement. As such, student must leave Okinawa after your student status ends and you may not extend you stay in Okinawa nor arrive earlier than set date.

OIST will arrange and purchase a flight ticket in order to obtain your visa for you, your spouse and your child(ren) to be issued. You must select a desired flight arrangement and other flight information such as nearest airport in "Incoming Student Survey" and OIST will arrange your flight accordingly.

3. Relocation

Please arrange the shipment yourself after visa acquisition and get reimbursed the cost after your arrival by claiming Relocation Expenses. Please make sure the delivery date is after your move-in date at OIST campus housing.

For payment/reimbursement, please submit a "Relocation Travel & Expense Report" ("Relocation Expense Report") to Student Affairs Section.

You can download the form below↓

Relocation Expenses Report (For AY2020 , AY2021)


Please contact to to get Relocation Travel & Expense Report.

3.1 Transfer allowance (applicable for all SRS)

After your arrival, you will receive a transfer allowance directly to your bank account upon your submission of the Relocation Travel & Expense Report. It is a fixed amount. 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.





Family transfer allowance:
Spouse & Child 12 years of age or older = 2/3
Child under 12 years of age = 1/3

3.2 Relocation Expenses (applicable when you choose "one-way flight" to OIST)

Reimbursement of Relocation Expenses can only be provided ONCE for goods received WITHIN ONE YEAR from the date of relocating in Okinawa.

Only for those meet the following conditions below.
*Payer's name has to be you.
**We only accept waybills that list your name as both the sender and recipient.
***Must submit receipts that includes descriptions of items will be send.

Relocation Expenses for the move of your household goods can be reimbursed up to the maximum level stipulated in the 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.



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. Cost for upgrading class (ex. Economy to Premium enconomy/ Business) is not acceptable.

Not applicable

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.

<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 if there is 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 Graduate Univerity, 1919-1 Tancha, Onnason, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa 904-0495 Japan
    *Building name and Room will be given this information by 2 weeks before of your arrival from
  • 2.Keep the original receipts and waybills with you.
    *We only accept waybills that list your name as both the sender and recipient.
  • 3.Submit your receipts and waybills to us upon your arrival. (we will request them).
  • 4.The reimbursement will be made to your bank account directly. The reimbursement process takes about a month after the submission of the necessary documents.
  • *It is your responsibility to understand the unaccompanied baggage procedures, the Duty-free/Tax-free Allowance regulations, the amount of expected customs/taxes, and what items are prohibited. 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:

4. Housing Information

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 allocation will usually be announced 2 to 4 weeks before your arrival date.
You will be contacted by Housing management section about Room Allocation Schedule and procedure about 2 months prior to your enrollment. 

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

5. Documents to Bring


All students must complete their enrollment with the following documentation:
1. Original Transcript (in English)
2. Original  Diploma (in English) or  Original certificate of graduation (in English)
*All documents submitted to OIST should be in English otherwise an English translation (unofficial one is acceptable) is required.

1. Original Driver's license (must)
2. Either of following documents is required:
  - 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 with Resource Center.
Please visit this webpage HERE for more details about converting your license and if you find any inquires please contact Resource Center

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

Whether or not you have worked before, you will need to submit a Shotoku Shomeisho (Income Certificate) to us. Please obtain this at your 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.


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.

Bank Passbook


Copy of "My Number Card (Individual Number Card)”


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.

6. 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.
If you will not apply for exemption, please let us know.
*we will apply for the exemption automatically if no declaration.
*we do not accept any inquiries about Social security agreements. Please check with the pension office of your country.


7. 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 make sure to contact our Health Center.

Students are recommended to submit the immunization record to OIST health center after entering OIST. Please check our “Immunization Form” in advance and keep a note of your immunization history if it is kept at your home.

Health center will contact you about how to submit it after your OIST email address is issued.

8. Student Buddy System

We received the message below from the OIST Student Assembly .
We think the student buddy system is beneficial for you.
Please sign up if you are interested in the system.


The Student Assembly 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


If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us: Student Support Team <>.

We are looking forward to meeting you @ OIST soon!