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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 Admissions Office (International) 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 in regard to the application and enrollment procedures due to COVID-19. If after reading through this FAQ, you are still uncertain or still have questions, please contact the Admissions Office (International) at welcome@apu.ac.jp.

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

*2021 prospective and admitted students are encouraged to visit this page regularly for the latest updates and information.

For 2020 Enrolled Students (Updated October 29, 2020)

Q101: I have received my COE from APU. When should I go to the Embassy/consulate to apply for a student visa?
Q102: The COE I received shows that it is valid for 3 months following its issue date. Can I use this COE to apply for a student visa?
Q103: I have decided to defer my enrollment from fall 2020 to spring 2021, but have already received the COE sent from APU. Should I go and apply for a student visa now? Do I need to apply for a COE again to enroll in spring 2021?
Q104: Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before leaving for Japan?
Q105: I have enrolled in fall 2020. Should I fly to Japan directly or by transit?
Q106: I am a September 2020 enrollee, but I have not been able to enter Japan as of yet. Until when will I be able to live in AP House upon my arrival to APU?

For Prospective Students for 2021 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: How should I ask my teachers to write the Letter of Recommendation or fill out the Language Proficiency Evaluation Form?
Q207: I can’t pay the application fee by bank transfer. What other payment options are available?
Q208: My date of graduation has been delayed. Can I still apply/enroll?

For Admitted Students for 2021 Enrollment

Q301: I can’t pay the enrollment fees by bank transfer. What other payment options are available?
Q302: I can’t obtain an original certificate of graduation/completion. What should I do?
Q303: How should I submit my enrollment documents (including Certificate of Eligibility documents)?
Q304: Can APU apply on my behalf for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) using the documents I submit online?
Q305: Can I obtain a visa for studying in Japan right now?
Q306: How should I prepare for traveling to Japan?
Q307: I live in a country/region that is currently subject to Japan’s entry restrictions. Can I still enroll in APU?
Q308: Can I change my enrollment period?

Other Questions (Updated September 28, 2020)

Q401: As an April/September 2020 enrollee, I plan to arrive at AP House during the November Arrival Assistance period. From which month will I have to start paying rent?
Q402: I have heard that I will need to quarantine for 2 weeks after entering Japan. Can I quarantine in AP House?
Q403: I enrolled in April 2020 but have not been able to enter Japan yet. Until when will I be able to live in AP House?
Q404: How is APU responding to COVID-19, such as student support?

For Enrolling Students for Fall 2020 (Updated October 26, 2020)

Q101: I have received my COE from APU. When should I go to the Embassy/consulate to apply for a student visa?
A: According to the Residence Track Framework under the Phased Measures for Resuming Cross-Border Travel, announced by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on September 30, 2020, regardless of whether your country/region of residence is on the Japanese government’s list of entry restrictions, you will need to submit the Residence Track Written Pledge issued by APU when you apply for your visa. However, the procedures for visa application and entry to Japan for those residing in a restricted country/region are different from the procedures for those residing in a non-restricted country/region. Please follow the specific procedures emailed to you from APU. Additionally, depending on the Japanese embassy/consulate, you may be required to make an appointment prior to applying for a visa. Therefore, please consult the Japanese embassy/consulate in your jurisdiction for steps as well as documents necessary to apply for your visa.
Q102: The COE I received shows that it is valid for 3 months following its issue date. Can I use this COE to apply for a student visa?
A: According to an announcement made by the Japanese Immigration Bureau on June 26, 2020, COEs issued between October 1, 2019 and January 29, 2021, will be valid for 6 months following the date on which the entry restriction is lifted or until April 30, 2021—whichever comes first. If you reside in a country/region which is on the Japanese government’s list of entry restrictions, you can use the COE during the periods stated above to apply for a student visa to enter Japan for either the fall 2020 semester or spring 2021 semester.

By contrast, if the country or region in which you reside is not on the Japanese government's list of entry restrictions, your COE, issued between October 1, 2019 and January 29, 2021, is valid until April 30, 2021. Therefore, you can use the COE to apply for a student visa to enter Japan for either the fall 2020 semester or spring 2021 semester.

Please note, that unlike the COE, a student visa will only be valid for three months from its issue date, and you need to enter Japan while both the COE and the student visa are valid.
Q103: I have decided to defer my enrollment from fall 2020 to spring 2021, but have already received the COE sent from APU. Should I go and apply for a student visa now? Do I need to apply for a COE again to enroll in spring 2021?
A: You can use the COE we have sent you to apply for your student visa at a later date. However, please wait until February 2021 to apply for your visa to enter Japan in April 2021, as the government may change their policies by then regarding entry restrictions, and your visa will only be valid for three months from its issue date.

Please refer to Q102/A102 above for information about the expiration date of a COE that has been issued between October 1, 2019 and January 29, 2021.
Q104: Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before leaving for Japan?
A: According to the Residence Track Framework under the Phased Measures for Resuming Cross-Border Travel, announced by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on September 30, 2020, those traveling to Japan from a country/region of residence included in the Japanese government’s list of entry restrictions must undergo COVID-19 testing. The test must be done within 72 hours of your departure time from your country/region of residence, and a certificate of pre-entry testing result showing “negative” must be obtained using a format specified by the Japanese government. If any information is missing on the certificate, you will be denied of entry to Japan. Additionally, if your government has a list of designated medical institution to perform the COVID-19 tests, you must take the test at one of these medical institutions and obtain the pre-entry testing result showing “negative”.

Please refer to the link below for countries/regions that are included in the Japanese government’s list of entry restrictions. Additionally, please note that the countries/regions included in the Japanese government’s list of entry restrictions may change in the future as the Japanese government makes changes in their policies. Therefore, please be sure to refer to the latest list.

Check here for the latest list
Q105: I have enrolled in fall 2020. Should I fly to Japan directly or by transit?
A: You are strongly advised to fly directly from your country/region of residence to Japan. However, if you must travel through a third country/region which is on the Japanese government's list of entry restrictions, do not go through the entry procedures at the immigration checkpoint for entering the country you traveled through.

If you are planning to travel through a third county/region which is on the Japanese government’s list of entry restrictions and you are required to go through the entry procedures at the immigration checkpoint in that country, be sure to contact the Admissions Office at applied@apu.ac.jp before you book your flights.
Q106: I am a September 2020 enrollee, but I have not been able to enter Japan as of yet. Until when will I be able to live in AP House upon my arrival to APU?
To help them transition to their new lives here, September 2020 enrollees are able to live in AP House until the end of August 2021.

However, we recognize that some September 2020 enrollees may not be able to move in until later. For these students who will move in after September 2021, residence in AP House will be extended until February 2022.

Those who wish to continue living in the dormitory 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 dormitory itself. As the number of rooms available varies each semester, we encourage you to check the announcements directly 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 own life skills, their initial need for AP House disappears, and they move to downtown Beppu to make space for incoming students.

For Prospective Students for 2021 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 screen shots 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 email welcome@apu.ac.jp.

*If you will be completing a 11-year standard educational curriculum, please email welcome@apu.ac.jp 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. 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 one by the document submission deadline after you have been admitted.
Q206: How should I ask my teachers to write the Letter of Recommendation or fill out the Language Proficiency Evaluation Form?
A: Please provide the forms found in the online application system to your teacher to fill out and send to us directly using Adobe Sign.
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, please send an email to welcome@apu.ac.jp before the application deadline.
Q208: 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 contact welcome@apu.ac.jp.

*If you will be completing a 11-year standard educational curriculum, please email welcome@apu.ac.jp before applying.

For Admitted Students for 2021 Enrollment

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: I can’t obtain an original certificate of graduation/completion. What should I do?
A: Please upload a copy of your diploma or similar document you have to prove you have graduated in the Online Application System. Once you have obtained the original certificate, please send it to as soon as possible. If it will not be possible 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. Nationality, 5. Reason why 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.
Q303: How should I submit my enrollment documents (including Certificate of Eligibility documents)?
A: You can upload and submit digital copies of your documents through the Online Enrollment Procedures System. Please send the original versions of the documents to the APU Admissions Office as soon as you are able to do so. If it will be difficult to obtain or send your original documents by the document submission deadline, please email applied@apu.ac.jp with the following information: 1. Your application number, 2. Name, 3. Country/region of residence, 4. Nationality, 5. Reasons why you cannot obtain/send your original documents. Please note that you will still be required to submit the original documents to APU before the date of your enrollment.
Q304: Can APU apply on my behalf for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) using the documents I submit online?
A: In principle, all documents where originals are required must be sent by post. However, in consideration of COVID-19, we will proceed with applying for the COE on your behalf using the documents you submit online. We will send you your COE only after we receive the originals of your documents, so please send them to us as soon as possible. If it will not be possible to send the documents by post, please email applied@apu.ac.jp with the following information: 1. Application number, 2. Full name, 3. Country/region of residence, 4. Nationality, 5. Reason why it will be difficult to send the documents.
Q305: Can I obtain a visa for studying in Japan right now?
A: Please contact your local Japanese embassy or consulate for details regarding whether visas are being issued.
Q306: How should I prepare for traveling to Japan?
A: Depending on the plane ticket, it may not be possible to change or cancel your flight, so make sure to check the latest information regarding entry restrictions into Japan when making your travel preparations to Japan. Please also check with your local Japanese embassy or consulate regarding the issuance of visas. APU will continuously be updating you with the latest information including how classes will be held and the status of your Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Please note that APU will not be responsible for any costs or expenses that you incur in relation to your travel preparations.
Q307: I live in a country/region that is currently subject to Japan’s entry restrictions. Can I still enroll in APU?
A: Yes. Admitted applicants for 2020 April/September enrollment have been able to enroll and take online classes from outside Japan. Similarly, admitted students for 2021 April/September enrollment will also be able to enroll in APU by taking online classes even if they cannot enter Japan. Details will be announced at a later date after monitoring the latest COVID-19 situation and guidelines issued by the Japanese government.
Q308: Can I change my enrollment period?
A: We will accept requests 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). 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. Nationality, 5.A statement requesting for a deferral, 6. Reason why 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 accepted.

Other Questions (Updated September 28, 2020)

Q401: As an April/September 2020 enrollee, I plan to arrive at AP House during the November Arrival Assistance period. From which month will I have to start paying rent?
A: You will not be billed for rent before you move into AP House. For those who will arrive at APU during the November Arrival Assistance period, billing for AP House rent will start from December. Additionally, your first 2 months (April enrollees) or 1.5 months (September enrollees) of rent will be covered by your enrollment fee payment. As a result, April enrollees will be required to pay starting from February, while September enrollees will be required to pay from mid-January.
Q402: I have heard that I will need to quarantine for 2 weeks after entering Japan. Can I quarantine in AP House?
A: Currently, those entering Japan must undergo COVID-19 testing before leaving their own country and upon entry to Japan. Enrollees whose results are negative will quarantine in AP House. Please note that this plan may be subject to change later.
Q403: I enrolled in April 2020 but have not been able to enter Japan yet. Until when will I be able to live in AP House?
A: To help them transition to their new lives here, April 2020 enrollees who enter Japan in the Fall semester will be able to live in AP House until the end of February 2021.

However, we recognize that some April 2020 enrollees will not be able to move in until later. For these students who will move in after March 2021, residence in AP House will be extended until August 2021.

Those who wish to continue living in the dormitory 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 dormitory itself. As the number of rooms available varies each semester, we encourage you to check the announcements directly 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 own life skills, their initial need for AP House disappears, and they move to downtown Beppu to make space for incoming students.
Q404: How is APU responding to COVID-19, such as student support?
A: Please check the APU home page for the latest details and updates.
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