Japanese language school in Tokyo + being your own supporter/sponsor?

Hi everyone,

Questions regarding to Japanese Language schools seem to pop up here once in a while and after checking out the existing topics about the subject I´d still like to try my luck and ask your advice and opinions. : )

Me and my boyfriend would like to apply for a language school in Tokyo for 12 months (one school recommended us to apply for a 12 month Visa just in case even if we decided to study shorter time to save time and effort with the Visa extension application). It seems like there is always someone who had an bad experience of a school that others highly recommend so it has been difficult for us to choose between the different schools. Right now ISI and KAI are our top 2 options but we still have trouble while trying to choose between these two... If you happen to have something good or bad to say about these schools please feel free to, I´d love to hear about your experience! Other language school recommendations in Tokyo are also welcome. 

My other questions is about the sponsor/supporter that you need for the Visa application process. One school told me that to be your own sponsor while applying for one year student Visa you´d need bank balance of about 2,000,000 yen. I wonder if this is really the total balance needed including the price of the studies? At the moment both me and my boyfriend would likely be our own sponsors as we should have enough savings. However we started to wonder if being your own sponsor/supporter could be seen more risky when applying for Visa. In some example Visa application form I saw they had written that it would be good for you to name someone from your family as your supporter. Does anyone have experience about applying for a Visa for a language school while paying your own studies and not naming a supporter from your family? Can being your own sponsor make the process more complicated? How did you have to prove that you bank balance is enough: do you need to provide a document that states how much the balance of your bank balance is exactly? Unfortunately I had trouble while trying to find more specific information about the subject.

Sorry for the long message!
The visa authorities don't care about how much you're paying for your studies -- they want to see that you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay, and they aren't going to change the amount they want you to have based on the cost of classes. If you're a mature student then I don't think there should be a problem with being your own financial guarantor (it's what I did, though over a decade ago now). IIRC I had to provide bank statements indicating I had enough savings -- the application info included the details of exactly what they needed to see, both amount and what sort of document.

One criteria you might rank schools on is whether they're clear about how the process of applying for the school and the visa works, and whether they're helpful if you have questions...

Regarding the suggestion about a family member being the financial guarantor, I suspect what the government might be wary of is the guarantor being some apparently unrelated third party.
How the hell do you self sponsor for a student visa? I was under the impression that this was something that schools really had to do because immigration holds the school somewhat accountable. Immigration has requirements on attending classes and what not so they could check in on the school and demand attendance records.

EDIT: @OP, really, all those visa questions are probably only going to be easily answered by a Visa lawyer. This is why having a school do the visa process is best, because they pay for the visa lawyer.
Edited: 2017-04-17, 3:41 am
(2017-04-17, 3:39 am)vix86 Wrote: How the hell do you self sponsor for a student visa?
I think there's some terminology confusion here. For a student visa the school must do the application for you and tell the government there's definitely a place for you (just as for a work visa your employer has to say they're employing you). But the government also wants confirmation that a student visa applicant has enough money to live in Japan without needing to work -- and you can do that by providing your own financial info or that of eg a family member who's going to be supporting the student. I don't know what the official terms are, but this question is clearly about the latter, not the former.

You definitely do not need a visa lawyer for a straightforward student (pre-college) visa via a reputable language school!
Edited: 2017-04-17, 4:17 am
Thanks for your comments! And yes, sorry as pm215 said the term I used was probably wrong... With "self sponsor for a student visa" I meant that while applying for the visa you won`t name a supporter/sponsor from your family (this would mean that your family pays your studies at least partly) butt you are responsible for all the expenses yourself. The language school where I apply naturally helps me with the visa application so I tried to say exactly what pm215 assumed. Sorry for the confusion!

The language school asked us first some basic questions before sending the actual visa application forms but now I finally received the forms and some of the things were explained there much better. Finally things are starting to look clearer to me, the main problem was that things were explained quite well in the application forms but before receiving them I felt quite unsure about several details.
I've been a lurker on this forum for a while and figured it's time to start posting.

I studied at KAI for a year back in 2010. I also had problems with sponsors but the requirement for a sponsor was non-negotiable. Probably because the government required it to issue visas. What I had to do was transfer some of my money to my brother's account so he could get a signed account statement. Then he signed the forms to be my sponsor and transferred the money back to me. Of course he never sent me any money while I was in Japan (he is always broke) but doing it that way seemed to be the only way.

I don't have much negative to say about KAI. It was one of the most expensive schools back then and the other schools might be just as good but I don't know anything about that.