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COVID-19 Admissions FAQ | APU Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University International Undergraduate Admissions

COVID-19 Admissions FAQ

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has created various disruptions and challenges for students and families all around the world. We at the Office of International Admissions would like you to know that we are committed to supporting our prospective and admitted students as much as we can during these unprecedented times. This page covers frequently asked questions and concerns that you may have regarding the application, enrollment procedures, and immigration procedures (including visa application) due to COVID-19. If after reading through this FAQ, you are still uncertain or still have questions, please contact through our request form.

We also have a FAQ for general questions regarding applying to and studying at APU. You can find our general FAQ here.

COE, visa, and arrival related questions for both enrolled and enrolling students (Updated July 19, 2021)

Q101: I have received my COE from APU. When should I go to the Embassy/consulate to apply for a student visa?
Q102: Can I obtain my visa?
Q103: I am enrolling in Fall 2021 semester, and the COE that I received from APU states that it is valid for 3 months from its issue date. Should I go and apply for a student visa now?
Q104: I have deferred my enrollment from fall 2020 to fall 2021, and I have already received a COE sent from APU. Can I use this COE to apply for my visa? Do I need to apply for a COE again to enroll in fall 2021?
Q105: Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before leaving for Japan?
Q106: How should I arrange for my flight to Japan?
Q107: I heard that we must quarantine for 2 weeks upon our entry into Japan. Do we must quarantine in a location other than the AP House?

For Prospective Students for 2022 Enrollment

Q201: I can’t obtain official academic transcripts. Can I still apply?
Q202: My school has switched from letter grades to pass/fail grades. Will this affect my application?
Q203: My school-leaving exams/standardized tests (including the IB Diploma and GCE A Level) have been canceled. Can I still apply?
Q204: The language proficiency exam that I was planning to take has been canceled. What should I do?
Q205: I can’t obtain a certificate of graduation/certificate of expected graduation. Can I still apply?
Q206: My date of graduation has been delayed. Can I still apply/enroll?
Q207: I can’t pay the application fee by bank transfer. What other payment options are available?

For Admitted Students for 2022 Enrollment (Updated July 19, 2021)

Q301: I can’t pay the enrollment fees by bank transfer. What other payment options are available?
Q302: If I have any problems or wish to ask questions when paying my enrollment fees through the Western Union online payment system, where can I contact?
Q303: Due to a lockdown, I can’t obtain some of the enrollment documents (including the financial documents required for COE application). What should I do?
Q304: Can APU apply on my behalf for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) using the documents I submit online? I am currently unable to send my documents by post due to a lockdown.
Q305: I can’t obtain an original certificate* of graduation/completion because my school is currently closed due to a lockdown. What should I do?
Q306: We are currently unable to enter Japan due to the entry restrictions. Can I still enroll in APU?
Q307: Can I postpone my enrollment due to an effect by the COVID-19?
Q308: How should I prepare for traveling to Japan?

Other Questions (Updated July 19, 2021)

Q401: I have not been able to enter Japan yet, but I plan to arrive at AP House during the arrival period specified by APU. From which month will I have to start paying rent?
Q402: I enrolled in April 2021 but have not been able to enter Japan yet. Until when will I be able to live in AP House?
Q403: How is APU responding to COVID-19, such as student support?
Q404: How is APU responding to COVID-19 on campus?

COE, visa, and arrival related questions for both enrolled and enrolling students (Updated July 19, 2021)

Q101: I have received my COE from APU. When should I go to the Embassy/consulate to apply for a student visa?
A: Presently, the Japanese government does not permit foreign students on a newly issued visa to enter Japan. Additionally, student visas to enter Japan are currently not being issued at the Japanese embassies/consulate generals overseas. Once the Japanese government announces the lift of entry restrictions as well as the immigration procedures (including visa application) which will be in effect following the lift of the entry restrictions, we will be informing you through our website. Additionally, new students enrolling in Fall 2021 will be informed by email at their email address used at the time of their application and enrolled students will be informed through the Campus Terminal. Therefore, we ask you to check for our notices regularly. We have also been reported that our emails sometimes end up in the spam or junk mail folder, so please be sure to check your spam/junk mails periodically.
Q102: Can I obtain my visa?
A: Please inquire the Japanese embassy/consulate general in your area whether the visas are currently being issued. Due to COVID-19, visa processing may be temporarily suspended, or you may be asked to make a reservation in advance in order to apply for a visa.
I am enrolling in the Fall 2021 semester, and the COE that I received from APU states that it is valid for 3 months from its issue date. Should I go and apply for a student visa now?
A: COEs issued from January 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021 will be considered valid until January 31, 2022, and COEs issued from August 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022 will be considered valid for 6 months from its issue date (announced by the Japanese Immigration Bureau on July 5, 2021). However, the border is currently closed at the moment, and the visas will not be issued until the border reopens. Once the Japanese government opens its border, and if you are entering Japan for the Fall 2021 semester, then you can use the COE. Please note that you will need to enter Japan while both the COE and visa are valid.
Q104: I have deferred my enrollment from fall 2020 to fall 2021, and I have already received a COE sent from APU. Can I use this COE to apply for my visa? Do I need to apply for a COE again to enroll in fall 2021?
A: COEs issued from January 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021 will be considered valid until January 31, 2022 (announced by the Japanese Immigration Bureau on July 5, 2021). Once the border reopens and if you are entering Japan for the Fall 2021 semester, then you can use the COE to apply for your visa. Please note that you will need to enter Japan while both the COE and visa are valid.
Q105: Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before leaving for Japan?
A: Once the Japanese government announces the immigration procedures (including visa application) as well as the quarantine requirements (including the COVID-19 test requirements) which will be in effect following the lift of the entry restrictions, we will be informing you through our website. Additionally, new students enrolling in Fall 2021 will be informed by email at their email address used at the time of their application and enrolled students will be informed through the Campus Terminal. Therefore, we ask you to check for our notices regularly. We have also been reported that our emails sometimes end up in the spam or junk mail folder, so please be sure to check your spam/junk mails periodically.
Q106. How should I arrange for my flight to Japan?
A: Presently, due to COVID-19 and the travel restrictions specified by the governments of each country, it is difficult to determine exactly when you can travel to Japan. If you must purchase a flight ticket, then please be sure to obtain the latest information about travel restrictions and also inquire with the Japanese embassy/consulate in your area about whether visas are being issued. We also recommend purchasing a flight ticket that can be changed or canceled, APU will also work on providing information about how the classes will be conducted and whether the COEs are being issued. Note that APU cannot be responsible for fees incurred in arranging your flights
I heard that we must quarantine for 2 weeks upon our entry into Japan. Must we quarantine in a location other than the AP House?
A: Because Japan has its border closed at the moment, the location for quarantine has not been decided. However, you will likely have to quarantine in a place other than the AP House. We are currently waiting for the Japanese government to officially announce the detailed quarantine rules including where and how to quarantine. We plan to inform our students as soon as we find out the specifics.

For Prospective Students for 2022 Enrollment

Q201: I can’t obtain official academic transcripts. Can I still apply?
A: Yes. You can upload any documents that can be used to confirm your academic status instead. For example, even if it does not have an official stamp, we will accept photographs of grade reports or screenshots of grades that have been released online. However, once you have been admitted to APU, we will inform you of the date when you need to submit official transcript copies. We will try to be flexible with these dates according to your situation, but your application will be considered incomplete if you cannot submit them by the final deadline. Please note that the application deadline will not be extended if you cannot obtain and upload your academic documents
Q202: My school has switched from letter grades to pass/fail grades. Will this affect my application?
A: No, you will not be at a disadvantage even if your school’s grading method has changed. Please note that once we receive your application, we may contact you for further details regarding your grades.
Q203: My school-leaving exams/standardized tests (including the IB Diploma and GCE A Level) have been canceled. Can I still apply?
A: Even if you cannot take your school-leaving exams/standardized tests, you will be able to apply as long as you have completed or are expected to complete a 12-year standard education curriculum in the country/region of your residence. There may be other cases where you will still be able to apply. For details, please inquire through the request form.

If you will be completing an 11-year standard educational curriculum, please inquire through the request form before applying
Q204: The language proficiency exam that I was planning to take has been canceled. What should I do?
A:

For English-basis Applicants:
You can submit scores from the following online exams to prove your English proficiency.
 • IELTS Indicator
 • iBT® Special Home Edition
 • Duolingo English Test*

*If you wish to apply using Duolingo English Test scores, you are also required to submit an English Proficiency Evaluation Form. Visit our How to Apply page for details.

For Japanese-basis Applicants:
You can submit scores from the following online exam to prove your Japanese proficiency.
 • Japanese Computerized Adaptive Test (J-CAT)

Visit our How to Apply page for details.
Q205: I can’t obtain a certificate of graduation/certificate of expected graduation. Can I still apply?
A: If you have already graduated from your school, upload a copy of your diploma or a similar document. It can be an official letter issued by your school on school letterhead. It must show your name, your graduation (or expected graduation) date, and the name of your high school principal, signed by the principal and sealed with an official school seal. If you have yet to graduate and it will be difficult to submit a certificate of expected graduation at the time of application, please submit the official graduation certificate by the document submission deadline after you have been admitted.
Q206: My date of graduation has been delayed. Can I still apply/enroll?
A: You will be required to submit documents to prove that you have completed a 12-year standard education curriculum in the country/region of your residence by March 31, 2021 for April enrollees and by September 20, 2021 for September enrollees. If your date of graduation has changed and you will not be able to graduate by these dates, please let us know through the request form.

If you will be completing a 11-year standard educational curriculum, please inquire through the request form.
Q207: I can’t pay the application fee by bank transfer. What other payment options are available?
A: You can also pay the application fee by credit card. Please note that the fee is different when paying by credit card. If it will be difficult to make the payment using a credit card, For details, please let us know through the request form.

For Admitted Students for 2022 Enrollment (Updated July 19, 2021)

Q301: I can’t pay the enrollment fees by bank transfer. What other payment options are available?
A: You can make your payments online using a credit card through Western Union GlobalPay for Students. Please note that the processing fee will differ depending on the payment method you select within this service.
Q302: If I have any problems or wish to ask questions when paying my enrollment fees through the Western Union online payment system, where can I contact?
A: You may reach the Western Union contacts below for English assistance.

  •  24-hour online chat service: Chat With Us
  •  Email: gpstudents@westernunion.com
  •  Telephone: +61 2 8585 7999
Q303: Due to a lockdown, I can't obtain some of the enrollment documents (including the financial documents required for the COE application). What should I do?
A: Please first submit the Financial Plan, Statement of Financial Support, Documents to prove the financial sponsor's income and/or financial sponsor's bank account balance statement, and two identical photographs listed under the Enrollment Documents for All Admitted Applicants shown on the Enrollment Procedures Checklist. As these documents are required for the COE application, a delay in submitting these documents could result in a delay in your COE application. Please first upload them to the Online Enrollment Procedures System, then send the original documents by post to the Admissions Office. If you obtain other documents, please also upload them to the Online Enrollment Procedures System, then send them by post to the Admissions Office.

Once you are done uploading all of the documents you are able to obtain, please change your registration status to "Complete" in the Online Enrollment Procedures System by your document submission deadline. We will not start processing your COE application if you do not change your status to "Complete". Please be sure to change your status to "Complete" once you are done uploading all of the documents you are able to obtain.

If you are unable to obtain or send the original documents by your document submission deadline, please email applied@apu.ac.jp with the following information: 1. Application number, 2. Full name, 3. Country/region of residence, 4. Citizenship, 5. Reason it will be difficult to obtain/send the document.

However, note that you must submit the original documents by your enrollment date.
Q304: Can APU apply on my behalf for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) using the documents I submit online? I am currently unable to send my documents by post due to a lockdown.
A: In principle, all documents where originals are required must be sent by post. However, if you have no way of sending us the documents by post by your specified document submission deadline, we will begin preparing your COE application using the financial documents required for the COE application that you had submitted online. As soon as you can send the documents, please send them to the Admissions Office by a traceable international delivery service. Please be sure to email applied@apu.ac.jp with the tracking number of your delivery. Upon receiving your tracking number, we will apply for your COE on your behalf. Once your COE is issued, we will send it to you by post upon receiving your original documents by post, so please send them to the Admissions Office as soon as possible. If you are unable to send the financial documents required for the COE application by post, please email applied@apu.ac.jp with the following information: 1. Application number, 2. Full name, 3. Country/region of residence, 4. Citizenship, 5. Reason it will be difficult to send the documents.
Q305: I can’t obtain an original certificate* of graduation/completion because my school is currently closed due to a lockdown. What should I do?
A: Please first upload in the Online Application System the same documents you had submitted at the time of your application (such as the certificate of expected graduation or an official letter issued by your school certifying that you had graduated from the school). Once you have obtained the official graduation certificate, please send us the original document* as soon as possible. If you are unable to send it, please email applied@apu.ac.jp with the following information: 1. Application number, 2. Full name, 3. Country/region of residence, 4. Citizenship, 5. Reason it will be difficult to send the document. Please note that you will still be required to submit the original certificate to APU before the date of your enrollment.

*Note: The documents you have submitted to APU will not be returned. If you wish to retain your documents that are not re-issuable (such as your graduation certificate), please have a copy of it certified by its issuing organization (which is your school) or a notary public (certifying that it is a true copy of the original document) and submit it to the Admissions Office. (Please note that you must submit the original financial documents such as the bank account balance statements or income statements. We do not accept certified copies of financial documents).
Q306: We are currently unable to enter Japan due to the entry restrictions. Can I still enroll in APU?
A: Yes. Admitted applicants enrolling in 2021 may take classes both online and in person. Details will be announced at a later date after monitoring the latest COVID-19 situation and guidelines issued by the Japanese government.
Q307: Can I postpone my enrollment due to an effect of COVID-19?
A: We will accept consultations to defer your enrollment because of COVID-19 on a case by case basis (for example, because you are not able to enter Japan due to travel restrictions). If your request is approved, you will be able to request a deferral of up to 2 semesters. To request a deferral, please email applied@apu.ac.jp with the following information: 1. Application number, 2. Full name, 3. Country/region of residence, 4. Citizenship, 5.A statement requesting for a deferral, 6. Reason you wish to defer. To be eligible to defer your enrollment, you must complete both Enrollment Fee 1 and Enrollment Fee 2 payments by the payment deadlines. Please note that depending on the circumstances, your deferral request may not be approved.
Q308: How should I prepare for traveling to Japan?
A: Due to the COVID-19 situation as well as the travel restrictions specified by the government of each country, it may be difficult to determine exactly when you will be able to travel to Japan. If you must arrange for a plane ticket, please be sure to obtain the necessary information in advance by checking the travel restrictions and also consulting the Japanese embassy/consulate general in your area regarding the visa processing status. Only then, we recommend that you purchase a ticket that can be changed or canceled. APU will also work on updating you with the latest information about how classes will be held as well as the status o Certificate of Eligibility (COE) processing. Please note that APU will not be responsible for any costs or expenses that you incur in relation to your travel preparations.

Other Questions (Updated July 19, 2021)

Q401: I have not been able to enter Japan yet, but I plan to arrive at AP House during the arrival period specified by APU. From which month will I have to start paying rent?
A: You will not be billed for rent before you move into AP House. Additionally, because the move-in schedule may be affected in the future by the COVID-19 situation, you will not be charged the rent for the month you moved in. You will be billed for the rent from the month after the actual month you moved in, and the rent will be deducted from the enrollment fee you had paid.
Q402: I enrolled in April 2021 but have not been able to enter Japan yet. Until when will I be able to live in AP House?
A: Students who enrolled in April 2021 will be able to live in AP House until the end of February 2022. If you have not been able to enter Japan yet and move into AP House from the Fall 2021 semester, you will be able to live in AP House until the end of February 2022.

Those who wish to continue living in the AP House past their original stay may apply to extend their residence for one semester. Information regarding this application will be announced both online and via bulletin boards located in the on-campus housing itself. As the number of rooms available varies each semester, we encourage you to check the announcements directly with the AP House Office once you arrive at APU for the latest information.

Although we wish that we could extend residence indefinitely, AP House was established to ensure that incoming students have the necessary support to help them adapt to their new lives in Japan. After students become familiar with life here by learning Japanese and developing their life skills, their initial need for AP House disappears, and they move to downtown Beppu to make space for incoming students.
Q403: How is APU responding to COVID-19, such as student support?
A: APU provides entry support when our new international students (on a newly issued student visa) enter Japan. Specifically, if those students are required not to use public transportation and to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks upon their entry to Japan, APU covers the hotel accommodation fees on behalf of the students. Currently, the Japanese government restricts foreigners on a newly issued student visa from entering Japan. Therefore, once the entry restrictions are lifted, we plan to inform you of the detailed immigration procedures through our website. We also plan to inform our Fall 2021 enrollees by email at their email address used at the time of their application, and our enrolled students, through the Campus Terminal. Therefore, please look out for our announcements regularly. Additionally, we have been reported that our emails somehow end up in the junk mail folder for some of our students. Therefore, please also check your junk email periodically.
Q.404: How is APU responding to COVID-19 on campus?
A: Please check the APU’s official website from the links below for the latest details and updates.

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