How to Apply for a Canadian Visa from Japan

From the illuminated streets of Tokyo to the unspoiled wilderness and urban splendor of Canada, thousands of Japanese citizens apply for Canadian visas every year to live, work and study in the country. Japanese citizens and their families make the most of the fantastic economic opportunities available in Canada, graduate with world-recognized qualifications from the University of Toronto among others, and enjoy a higher quality of life.  

If you want to move to Canada from Japan, you’ll be happy to know that Canada aims to welcome over 1.2 million new immigrants by 2023. This means your chances of obtaining a permanent resident visa is greater than ever!  

In this article, we explore a few of the most popular Canadian visa options for Japanese citizensand their eligibility requirements to help you make an informed decision about how you would like to come to Canada. Soon you may be celebrating Asian heritage month in Canada!    

What Are the Requirements to Apply for a Canadian Visa from Japan?

Asian man in blue shirt using laptop and drinking coffee in coffee shop cafe working online freelance business

First, it’s important to understand that there are two broad categories under which Canadian visas fall. The first is permanent resident visas which you can obtain by applying through an immigration program and the others are temporary visas. These allow you to visit, work, or study in Canada on a temporary basis. Each immigration or visa program has its own eligibility requirements that may slightly differ from the requirements listed below. But more often than not, most applicants require the following documents to successfully come to Canada: 


Canadian Visa Requirements
RequirementDescription
Test results that prove your English or French language abilitiesThere are designated tests for immigration purposes and academic purposes.
A valid passport/travel documentYour passport must be valid during the visa application process and during your stay in Canada if it's temporary.
Police certificationProof that you do not have a criminal record.
Medical examinationProof that you are in good health and more recently, you need to include a negative COVID-19 test for travel purposes.
Proof of fundsYou must have settlement funds for immigration purposes or enough funds to pay for a flight back during a temporary stay in Canada.
Proof of work experienceIf you are coming to Canada for work purposes, you may have to include an up-to-date resume with contactable references.

5 Fantastic Canadian Visa Options

Colorful canoes on the lake in front of the mountains at Moraine Lake, Banff National Park

1. Express Entry for Skilled Workers

Type of Canadian Visa: To permanently live and work in Canada

Cost of Visa: CAD $1325 processing fee + right of permanent residence

Canada’s Express Entry immigration system is one of the most popular ways to get a Canadian permanent resident visa if you’re a skilled worker and it only takes about six to eight months to process. This year, the Express Entry admission target is set at admitting 108, 500 new residents! 

How does it work? By simply creating an online Express Entry profile with information about your age, language skills, education, and work experience you will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Your profile will then be entered into an Express Entry draw, which takes place every two weeks, and if you score among the highest in your draw pool, you will receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada! 

The ideal Express Entry candidate would meet the following requirements:

  • Be under 30 years old
  • Hold at least a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, or a Trade Certificate
  • Be able to demonstrate moderate to high English and/or French language proficiency
  • Have at least three years of skilled work experience

Other ways to boost your chances of receiving an ITA include:

  • Higher language proficiency in English and/or French
  • French and English Proficiency
  • A Master’s degree or Ph.D. education
  • Canadian work or educational experience
  • Family currently residing in Canada
  • An arranged employment offer from a Canadian company
  • A nomination from a provincial nominee program 

2. Canadian Work Permit

Purpose of Canadian Visa: To work in Canada temporarily 

Cost of Visa: CAD $155 processing fee

If you have a job offer in Canada then the next step is to apply for a Canadian work permit from Japan. Without a work permit, you can’t perform most paid-work in the country. However, you and your employer should know that applying for a work permit is not as straightforward as it may seem.

Depending on the nature of your job, the position you hold, and the circumstances of your employment, you will either apply through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP). If you qualify for the TFWP, your employer will have to take an additional step and apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).   

For example, if you are a company transferee then you can apply for a work permit under the IMP. But if you are employed to fill skills or labor shortage at a Canadian company, then you’ll most likely have to apply through the TFWP. 

Different types of Canadian work permits:

  • Post-Graduate Work Permit
  • Open Work Permit
  • Working Holiday Visa
  • Employer-Specific Work Permit
  • Bridging Work Permit

3. Working Holiday Visa

Japanese tourists

Purpose of Canadian Visa: To work part-time and travel in Canada

Cost of Visa: CAD $153 processing fee

This is one of the more exciting Canadian visas that are exclusively available to citizens of Japan and 34 other countries. The Working Holiday Visa allows young adults between the ages of 18 - 30 to work part-time in Canada while exploring the big, beautiful country for up to 12- months!

This is the ideal option for travel influencers who would like to document their time in Canada, recent graduates looking for a way to spend their gap year in an epic way, young adults who want to gain Canadian work experience through an internship or other part-time gigs or to simply just embark on an adventure of a lifetime! 

4. Canadian Study Permit

Purpose of Canadian Visa: To gain a Canadian post-secondary qualification

Cost of Visa: CAD $150 processing fee

According to data released in 2020, Canada ranks as the third most popular destination for international students, after the USA and Australia. International students are attracted to top-ranked universities and colleges across the country and particularly in Ontario that hosts 48% of Canada’s international student population. The University of Toronto, McMaster University, and the University of Waterloo are just a few of the most prestigious education institutions in the province. 

What makes Canada an even better choice for international students is the more affordable study programs, the option to work part-time while studying, and various postgraduate immigration possibilities! The most popular is the Post-Graduation Work Permit which allows recent international graduates to stay in the country and gain significant Canadian work experience.

Not sure how or where to start the process of studying in Canada? We have partnered with colleges and universities in Canada. Our dedicated team of student advisors can organize absolutely everything on your behalf, from your admission letter to your study permit, we do it all.  

5. Canadian Business Visa

Three cooks in hotel or restaurant kitchen decorating dish. They are working on maki rolls. Preparing sushi set. Only hands  V

Purpose of Canadian Visa: To immigrate to Canada as a business owner

Cost of Visa: From CAD $2, 075 including the right of permanent residence

There’s nothing the Canadian government likes more than immigrants who contribute towards job creation and invest in the country. For this reason, there are incredible visa options for business-savvy residents from Japan to start their own businesses in Canada or buy existing ones. Forbes Magazine named Canada the best country for businesses due to the low corporate tax rates and stable banking systems.

Small-business opportunities are in abundance in Canada and range from transportation and storage to restaurants, especially those that specialize in Asian cuisine because Canadians just love Sushi! Alice Chung, the owner behind Alive Health Centre, a chain of 29 boutique health supplement and vitamin stores in Canada is a Maylasian immigrant who won the 2015 RBC Entrepreneur Award in Canada! This just proves that success is possible in the Great North no matter where you come from.  

How Long Does it Take to Get a Canadian Visa?

Some Canadian visas take two-weeks to process and others can run for months, it just depends on the type of visa you want to apply for from Japan. The application process and eligibility requirements differ for each visa category and some have additional criteria. For example, if you want to immigrate to Canada from Japan as a business owner you need to include a business proposal in your application.    

Make Your Journey to Canada Easier

With so many incredible ways to come to Canada, it can be difficult to narrow-down which route is right for you to achieve your goals. Luckily, you don’t have to go at it alone. Put your Canadian visa application in the professional and trusted hands of our certified consultants.