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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 Enrolling Students for Fall 2020 (Updated September 7, 2020)

Q101: I will enroll in fall 2020, but I live in a country or region that is currently on the Japanese government’s list of areas subject to entry restrictions. Will I be able to enter Japan this September?
Q102: I have received my COE from APU. When should I go to the Embassy/consulate 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: 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?
Q105: Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before leaving for Japan?
Q106: Currently, there are only a few flights from my country or region of residence to Japan, and those flights do not arrive during the APU Arrival Assistance Service period. Can I arrive at APU outside of the Arrival Assistance Service period?
Q107: How can I get to APU if I arrive at an airport in Japan other than Fukuoka Airport or Kansai Airport?
Q108: I will enroll in fall 2020. Should I fly to Japan directly or by transit?

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

Q401: How is APU responding to COVID-19, such as student support?

For Enrolling Students for Fall 2020 (Updated September 7, 2020)

Q101: I will enroll in fall 2020, but I live in a country or region that is currently on the Japanese government’s list of areas subject to entry restrictions. Will I be able to enter Japan this September?
A: If the country or region in which you reside is on the Japanese government's list of areas subject to entry restrictions, you cannot enter Japan until the restriction is lifted, and you have obtained a valid student visa. However, you can still join the fall 2020 online orientations and classes. We are also planning to have an additional APU Arrival Assistance Service period in November 2020. Once the entry restriction is lifted for the country or region in which you reside, you can enter Japan and move into AP House at a later date during the semester. Please make sure to regularly check any information sent to you from APU.
Q102: I have received my COE from APU. When should I go to the Embassy/consulate to apply for a student visa?
A:
If the country or region in which you reside is on the Japanese government's list of areas subject to entry restrictions:

As of the end of August, the Japanese government has not lifted entry restrictions, making it unlikely that students from the listed areas will be able to enter Japan during the September Arrival Assistance Service period. Therefore, you can begin the fall 2020 semester by taking online classes from your home, and prepare to come to APU during the next Arrival Assistance Service period (November 26 - 28, 2020), provided that the restrictions are lifted by then.

For student visa applications, if the country or region in which you reside is on the Japanese government's list of areas subject to entry restrictions, your application may not be accepted right away. Also, even if your student visa application is accepted, the student visa may not be issued until the entry restriction is lifted. If the Embassy/consulate is not accepting visa applications, please call the Embassy/consulate weekly to find out when they start accepting visa applications again. Once they resume visa processing, please submit your application. In the meantime, please contact your Embassy/consulate to inquire about the additional documents needed to apply for a student visa and have them ready to submit for visa application.

If the country or region in which you reside is not on the Japanese government's list of areas subject to entry restrictions:

It may take more than two weeks for a student visa to be issued. If you have not already applied for your student visa, it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain one in time for the September Arrival Assistance Service period (September 16 - 20, 2020). In this case, you can begin the fall 2020 semester by taking online classes from your home and prepare to come to APU during the next Arrival Assistance Service period (November 26 - 28, 2020).
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: If the country or region in which you reside is not on the Japanese government's list of areas subject to entry restrictions, 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 entry into Japan in April 2021. If in February 2021 the country or region in which you reside is added to the entry restrictions list, please promptly consult with the Admissions Office (International) at applied@apu.ac.jp.

If the country or region in which you reside is currently on the Japanese government's list of areas subject to entry restrictions, but the restriction is lifted during September 2020, your COE will expire before spring 2021 enrollment. In this event, please contact the Admissions Office (International) at applied@apu.ac.jp, as APU will need to return your COE to the Japanese Immigration Bureau to apply for a new COE.

Please refer to Q4/A4 below for information about the expiration date of a COE that has already been issued.
Q104: 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 the entry restriction is lifted or until April 30, 2021—whichever comes first. Therefore, you can use the COE during the period stated above to apply for a student visa to enter Japan for either the fall 2020 semester or spring 2021 semester.

If the country or region in which you reside is not on the Japanese government's list of areas subject to entry restrictions, your COE 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.
Q105: Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before leaving for Japan?
A: While there has been no official announcement, once the Japanese government lifts entry restrictions, it is highly likely that those who apply for a student visa and plan to enter Japan will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing. The test must be done within 72 hours of your departure time from your country or region of residence and a "Certificate of Negative Test Results" must be obtained. The Japanese government will specify the format of the “Certificate of Negative Test Results.” APU will provide more information about pre-departure COVID-19 testing once the Japanese government releases an official announcement.
Q106: Currently, there are only a few flights from my country or region of residence to Japan, and those flights do not arrive during the APU Arrival Assistance Service period. Can I arrive at APU outside of the Arrival Assistance Service period?
A: Currently, people entering the country from outside of Japan are prohibited from using public transportation to travel from the airport to their destinations. Additionally, it is difficult for APU to arrange bus services outside of the APU Arrival Assistance Service period. In principle, this means that students will not be allowed to move into AP House outside of the Arrival Assistance Service period. If you think you may need to move into AP House outside of the Arrival Assistance Service period, please consult with the AP House Office at ssc_bo@apu.ac.jp as early as possible.
Q107: How can I get to APU if I arrive at an airport in Japan other than Fukuoka Airport or Kansai Airport?
A: Currently, people entering the country from outside of Japan are prohibited from using public transportation including trains, buses, taxis, and connecting domestic flights. If you arrive at an airport in Japan other than Fukuoka Airport or Kansai Airport, you will have to quarantine for 14 days at a nearby hotel of your own booking. At the airport, the quarantine station will designate a bus or car service that you can use to get to the hotel. All transportation and accommodation costs must be borne by you. After the 14-day self-quarantine, you will be able to either use the APU Arrival Assistance Service at Fukuoka Airport or Kansai Airport or use public transportation to come to AP House.

Please keep in mind that to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to enter AP House outside the Arrival Assistance Service period. If you think you may need to move into AP House outside of the Arrival Assistance Service period, please consult with the AP House Office at ssc_bo@apu.ac.jp as early as possible.
Q108: I will enroll in fall 2020. Should I fly to Japan directly or by transit?
A: You can enter Japan if the country or region in which you currently reside is not on the Japanese government’s list of areas subject to entry restrictions at the time of your travel. Please be sure to come only during the APU Arrival Assistance Service period. Period 1 of the Arrival Assistance Service is from September 16 to 20, and Period 2 is from November 26 to 28. The Arrival Assistance Service is only provided at Fukuoka Airport and Kansai Airport.

If you fly directly to Fukuoka Airport or Kansai Airport during the APU Arrival Assistance Service period, please ride the bus that APU will arrange from the airport to APU. You cannot use public transportation.

If you must transit in a country or region which is on the Japanese government's list of areas subject to entry restrictions, note that if you go through the immigration checkpoint and enter the country, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon your arrival to Fukuoka Airport or Kansai Airport in Japan. We highly suggest that you do not go through the immigration checkpoint or enter the country where you transit.

Additionally, the APU Arrival Assistance Service will not be offered at airports other than Fukuoka Airport or Kansai Airport, and people entering the country from outside Japan are prohibited from using public transportation including trains, buses, taxis, and connecting domestic flights. This means that if you arrive at an airport in Japan other than Fukuoka Airport or Kansai Airport, you will have to quarantine for 14 days at a nearby hotel of your own booking. At the airport, the quarantine station will designate a bus or car service that you can use to get to the hotel. All transportation and accommodation costs must be borne by you.

As much as possible, please book your flights so that you can arrive at either Fukuoka Airport or Kansai Airport during the APU Arrival Assistance Service period. You can apply for the Arrival Assistance Service by emailing the AP House Office at ssc_bo@apu.ac.jp.

Please refer to the email sent to you on August 7 for further details regarding the Arrival Assistance Service.

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

Q401: 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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