Leave of Absence / Withdrawal

Saying “I didn’t know” is not an excuse for disobeying rules and the law.
Should you violate them, you will be severely disadvantaged.
It is necessary that you have a proper understanding of your residence status and the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act of Japan, and that you take responsible action even during leaves of absence from APU
or after you have withdrawn from the university.

While you are taking a leave of absence from APU or after you have withdrawn from the university,
you must promptly return to your home country even if your period of stay has not yet expired.
You may not work part-time either.

*When anything is unclear, please make sure to check with the Student Office before you leave Japan. Do not jump to conclusions on your own.

■Visa during a leave of absence or following withdrawal

→You may not remain in Japan with your student visa when you have taken a leave of absence or withdrawn from the university, and must promptly return to your home country.

The student visa currently in your possession has been granted to you expressly for the purpose of studying at APU.
When you do not take any classes at APU for a continuous period of at least three months, you need to cancel your visa.
If you continue to stay in Japan after one month has passed since you began your leave absence or withdrew from APU, you will be considered an illegal overstayer.
(This excludes cases involving unavoidable circumstances, such as childbirth or prolonged hospital stays.)

When leaving Japan, please ensure to cancel your student visa in accordance with the below guidelines.

[ATTENTION!]
While you are taking a leave of absence from APU or after you have withdrawn from the university, you are prohibited from doing part-time work using the “PERMISSION TO ENGAGE IN ACTIVITY OTHER THAN THAT PERMITTED UNDER THE STATUS OF RESIDENCE PREVIOUSLY GRANTED” under your student visa.
(Part-time work is forbidden even if you are in the middle of applying for readmission.)
If you engage in part-time work nonetheless, you will be considered an illegal worker.

The introduction of the “My Number” system as of January 2016 has made it especially easy to keep track of income generated by foreigners, which apparently has made checks on illegal labor stricter as a result.
Engaging in part-time work while on a leave of absence from APU or after withdrawing from the university will make you subject to deportation and other penalties under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act of Japan. Please absolutely refrain from doing so.

*Please refer below if you will enroll in a language school or take part in an internship in Japan during your leave of absence from APU.

■How to cancel your visa

If you return to your home country without cancelling your student visa at the airport, you may be subject to penalties under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act of Japan.
Please go here for details.

Upon leaving Japan, please make sure to request to have your visa canceled at the Immigration counter at the airport.
*When anything is unclear, please make sure to check with the Student Office before you leave Japan. Do not jump to conclusions on your own.

[Cancellation procedures]


  • 1. Obtaining and filling out an ED Card
  • When going through Immigration at the airport, you will need to submit an ED Card.
    (ED Cards can be obtained at the airport or at the APU Student Office.)
    Place a checkmark in the box on the ED Card that reads: “2. I do not plan to re-enter Japan while my re-entry permit is valid.”
    Please go here for details.

    *Do not apply for a re-entry permit! If you do, your visa will not be cancelled!

  • 2. Immigration
  • When conducting procedures at the Student Office to take a leave of absence or withdraw from APU, a tag addressed to the Immigration Bureau of Japan will be attached to your residence card.
    Please present your residence card to the Immigration officer at the airport upon leaving Japan as is without detaching the tag, and properly state to the officer that you would like to cancel your visa due to taking a leave of absence/withdrawing from the university.

    The Immigration officer may ask you whether you plan on reentering Japan in the future.
    Even if you are for purposes of being reinstated in or readmitted to APU, you need to cancel the visa currently in your possession.
    Please ensure to request to the Immigration officer that you wish to cancel your visa due to taking a leave of absence/withdrawing from the university.

  • 3. Verifying the perforation on your residence card
  • When the cancellation of your visa is complete, your residence card will invariably be perforated on the spot.
    However, if it has not been perforated for some reason, please ask the Immigration officer to perforate it. No perforation may mean that your visa has not been properly cancelled.

    If your residence card has been perforated, your visa has been successfully canceled!

■When you want to re-enter Japan during your leave of absence or after your withdrawal

Because your student visa will be cancelled, if you want to re-enter Japan during your leave of absence or after your withdrawal from APU, you will need to personally acquire a new, different visa, such as a short-term stay visa. You may not apply for a visa through APU.

■When you want to be reinstated in/readmitted to APU

After your application for reinstatement/readmission has been granted, you will need to apply for a new student visa.
Even in cases where you will only take a leave of absence or withdraw from the university for a short period of time, such as one semester, you must make sure to cancel your student visa upon leaving Japan after taking that leave of absence/withdrawing.

If you have been found to have not cancelled your student visa or have used that visa to reenter Japan during your leave of absence or after having withdrawn from APU, not only will visa-related procedures become extremely complex for you, but you also may be subject to penalties.
Additionally, renewing, etc. your visa after being reinstated in/readmitted to APU may also cause problems.

For the secondary reason of keeping yourself out of a disadvantageous situation, please make sure to cancel your visa when you leave Japan.

■When you want to enroll in a school, etc. or take part in an internship, etc. in Japan during your leave of absence or after your withdrawal

The “Student visa” residence status currently in your possession was granted to you expressly for the purpose of studying at APU.
After your leave of absence or withdrawal from the university has been granted, you will be required to promptly cancel your student visa and leave Japan.

In the event that you will not be returning to your home country and will instead enroll in a school, etc. or take part in an internship, etc. without leaving Japan,
please carry out procedures to (1) change your residence status or (2) change your host (affiliated) school, company or other institution after consulting with that institution.
Staying in Japan on the “student visa” currently in your possession without carrying out the procedures for (1) or (2) above is a violation of Japanese law,
and will subject you to penalties under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.
Once your host (affiliated) institution has changed, you will need to report that change to the Immigration Bureau of Japan within fourteen days.
(You may carry out the above procedures either online, through regular email, or in person.)

Submitting via the online system.
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