Entry to Japan under COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, different procedure is required to enter Japan.
This page explains what to prepare for entry to Japan under this situation.
Please read carefully and if you have questions, please contact gs-support@oist.jp


Latest updates

On February 24th, 2022, Japanese government announced new border control measures and starts allowing foreign nationals to enter Japan from March 1st, 2022. OIST Graduate School is working with the government to proceed your entry process following newly introduced procedures.

MOFA: Border measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

MHLW: Border Measures Japan


Border measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)  NEW!!!


  1. Timeline
  2. What to be Provided by OIST during relocation
  3. Visa application – Visa acquisition
  4. Required Process before/after arrival
  5. Information websites
  6. FAQs

  >>[PhD] Go for general Relocation Information (PhD)

[Picture] OIST at sunset

  • Passport (or Japanese Driver's License)
  • Residence card (if non-Japanese)
  • National pension book(if you have)
  • MY NUMBER card/notification
  • Inkan stamp (If you have. Required for Japanese.)
  • 転出証明書 (Certificate of Deregistration) (If issued)
  • 国保喪失証明書 (Loss of national health insurance Certificate)(If applicable)
  • 所得証明書 (Income certificate)

To be updated...

General relocation support


Special Research Student

Research Intern*

Visiting Research Student*

*One direct round-trip travel (If applicable. please see your agreement.)

Special Expenses

Accommodation for quarantine Accommodation for quarantine on arrival to Japan: Arranged and covered by OIST.


Medical insurance which is necessary upon arrival to Japan: Arranged and covered by OIST.

PCR test

  •     At your country (Pre-entry PCR test): On your own cost
  •     At the entry to Japan: Free of charge

Please check how to process of your visa application with your nearest embassy/consulate.

1. Apply Certificate of Eligibility (CoE)


Visa for International Students

Please submit the application form for CoE as OIST instructed.
OIST will mail it to you once it's been issued by Immigration Bureau.

FYI : What is CoE and VISA?

2. Obtain following documents from OIST


a.) Certification for completion of registration to Entrants and Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS)
     OIST registers you into the government system and send the certificate via email

b.)  ・CoE Declaration (IF your current CoE has been expired)

c.) Confirmation on foreign nationals regarding entry into Japan under the New Border Measures (27), etc./ Use of Fast Track and Visit Japan Web (Confirmation letter)

3. Obtain Visa at nearest embassy/consulate Japan.


Please consult with the embassy/consulate where you apply for your visa to obtain the information and apply visa. Required documents may vary.

       ---- What to bring-----
          ・CoE (Certificate of Eligibility)
          ・Visa Application form (Sample)
          ・Written pledge (If applicable)
          ・Certification for completion of registration to ERFS
       ・Confirmation letter (From OIST)
      ・Confirmation letter (Signed by you)
          ・CoE Declaration (IF your current CoE has been expired)

 After visa is issued, students send secured scanned copy to OIST via "GiGaCC" [For PhD / For Others] (Instruction)


Before Departure

Health monitoring

If any of common symptoms of COVID-19 including fever of 37.5°C or higher, respiratory symptoms, strong feeling of weariness (fatigue) are recognized within 14 days before departure, it is necessary that the trip to Japan be cancelled.

Please record your health

  • about 14 days before your departure
  • 10 days after your arrival

If you get sick, we maight ask you to submit this sheet.
Records of monitoring health before departure

*If any symptoms are recognized, please report immediately.

Pre-entry PCR test

Students are required to take pre-entry PCR test 72 hours before the departure. On the certificate, sampling time needs to be written. (72 hours will be start from the time of collection).

<NOTICE!!> Format of the certificate is very strict. Please ask the medical institution if they can fill out the official certificate. There is format available in multiple language.


Fast Track (NEW!!!)

This is an App that you can pre-register your necessary documents at least 16 hours prior to your flight’s scheduled arrival time to minimize airport quarantine procedures.

Please check HERE for detailed instructions.

Installation of necessary applications on your smartphone

You must bring a smartphone with the 3 required apps installed when you enter Japan.
 how to install and set up the applications 

  • My SOS (video calling apps)
    This is for answering video calls from government  to help them check your location. [Instruction]
  • COCOA (COVID-19 contact tracing application)
    This can notify you of the possibility of contact with COVID-19 infected persons. Your Bluetooth must be turned on before your departure.
  • Location Information App (e.g. Google map)
    Students must retain their location date through map application data for 14 days after entering to Japan.

In case the apps are not able to be downloaded in your phone or does not work properly, you will have to rent a smartphone at the airport in Japan for the quarantine.

Private medical insurance

At the time of entry, it is mandatory to have a medical insurance.
OIST will arrange it for you and send you Certificate of Insurance and instruction. Please bring a hard copy when you relocate.

Necessary items to carry during travel


  • Passport
  • Eligible Visa
  • CoE (Certificate of Eligibility)
  • Certificate of pre-entry PCR test results (original or copy)
  • Written Pledge (IF applicable)
  • A copy of Private Insurance Policy
  • Certification for completion of registration to ERFS
  • CoE Declaration (IF applicable)
  • Flight ticket
  • Hotel voucher (IF applicable)
  • Certificate of vaccination (IF applicable)
  • Smartphone (or other) with necessary Apps.

*Documents below will be provided during your flight to Japan

  • Health Card
  • (if any) other documents depending on the airport

*What to bring for entering Japan

  • Face masks
  • Japanese currency (Approximately JPY50,000 and exchanging at the airport is recommended.) 
  • Credit card
  • Thermometer (it is preferable to bring your own electronic one. Mercury ones cannot be checked in) 
  • Conversion plug (be sure your smartphone/tablet/PC charged during quarantine) 


It is required to fill out the questionnaire before entering Japan.
QR code will be created after answered, code will be required when you enter Japan at the quarantine station of the airport, so please do not forget to save it.

Questionnaire: https://arqs-qa.followup.mhlw.go.jp/#/

*Questionnaire is available in multi language.


At the airport

PCR test


Please follow the instruction given at the airport.

Please send *result kozue.higashionna@oist.jp so you will have a permission to enter OIST facility.

*Picture proof preferable but if you can't, you just can tell the result.

[Quarantine Plan]

If you are in following categories, you need to stay in the accommodation given by Japanese government for 3 days quarantine.
[Coming from or have stayed in the listed country within 14days prior to your flight to Japan and DO NOT HAVE the valid 3 vaccination certificate]

All the others who obtains a negative PCR result at the airport will be allowed to move to their home (your case, apartment at OIST campus) for self-quarantine.

For mor details, please check HERE.

On Arrival at OIST


Ground transportation from Naha airport to OIST

Please use public transport and OIST shuttle bus.
[Transportation form Naha airport]

  1. Take #111/117 highway bus. (timetable) *bus fare is JPY1400
  2. Get off the bus stop at Ishikawa Inter Change and take an OIST shuttle bus from there.

OIST shuttle bus will stop at auditorium on campus so please walk or switch to campus loop bus to accommodation. [MAP]


On campus apartment is prepared for you.
Housing section (student-housing@oist.jp) will contact you to share the information such as address, roommate information (if you have), how to check-in and so on, separately.

Regular Relocation FAQ, please visit HERE.

Q. Regarding to "written pledge", I need it when I apply for visa. I don't understand Japanese. I need a copy of it.
A. Please refer to 3. Visa application - Visa acquisition.


Q. Does OIST provide a place to stay for quarantine after arrival?
A. Yes, we arrange and provide accommodation for quarantine.


Q. Can I go shops to buy food while I'm on quarantine?
A. If you don't use public transport you can go food shopping.


Q. My quarantine hotel has pool and gym, can I use it?
A. No, you can't use hotel facilities because you are in quarantine.
  Please follow the rules of the hotel where you will stay. please also note that you will not allow to go out of the room.


Q.  I have problems for installing  “COVID-19 Contact-Confirming Application (COCOA)”.

  • Problem: I was able to install it, but I cannot accept the Terms of Use (My WiFi and 4G work fine but is says it’s a “Network connection error”) 
    Answer: You will be able to do so when you arrive. Please try to accept Terms of Use & activate the app when you arrive. If you are still unable to, try uninstalling the app and install it once again. 


  • Problem: Unfortunately, I cannot install the app. I have an iphone 6 (iOS12.4.8) and it does not fulfill the requirements to use the app.  The phone is still working fine so I would like to avoid buying a new phone.
    Answer: This app can only be used with an OS (Operating System) version of Android 6/iOS 13.5 or higher. If you are not able to install or use the app, you will need to rent a smart phone at the airport on arrival in Japan (OIST cannot cover the fee)
    Please contact gs-support@oist.jp for more information.


  • Problem: Unfortunately, I was not able to install it. It seems to be not available in my location.
    Answer: You will be able to do so when you arrive. Please make sure that your OS version is Android 6/iOS 13.5 or higher. 


Q. If the Gap Program is an option, is it possible that upcoming PhD students can receive a stipend or a little loan during this period? For covering accommodation, food, etc.
A. Yes, it is not the same amount as PhD but there are financial supports during the Gap program as well.

Regular inquiry (Weekdays 9:00-17:30)
Phone: 098-966-2271
E-mail: gs-support@oist.jp

Emergency  (Except above working hour/ when emergency)
OIST HELPLINE: 098-966-8989
Emergency email: gs-emergency@oist.jp