For Participants

Visa, Immunization & Medication


It is your responsibility to visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, to check whether you need to obtain a short-term stay visa to enter Japan or not.

For Those Who Need a Visa to Enter Japan

  • Please contact the Japanese Embassy or Consulate with the jurisdiction to ask what kind of documents you need to submit to apply for a visa.
  • List of Embassies and Consulates:

    Procedure Chart for Short-Term Stay Visa:

  • Please complete A and B below, so that HIF can mail out your visa supporting documents accordingly.
    • Book your international flight to ENTER and LEAVE Japan (tentative booking is fine), and submit "Itinerary to Hakodate" and "Itinerary from Hakodate" to HIF through your online portal.
    • Remit your program fee to the HIF bank account by wire transfer.

    Documents HIF will send to you by e-mail and physical mail:
    • Letter of reason for invitation
    • Letter of guarantee
    • Schedule of stay (including your flight information)
    • Receipt of your program fee payment
    • Overview of the Hokkaido International Foundation and the Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program
    • Your acceptance letter
  • After you receive the above documents from HIF, please submit them to the Japanese Embassy or Consulate along with other documents you prepare by yourself.
  • We strongly suggest that you begin this procedure as early as possible. The process may take 3-4 weeks or longer.

If you are planning to continue studying at another institution or university in Japan after the HIF program, please ask a foreign student advisor of the program you will join about a student visa before you leave your country. HIF cannot issue a Certificate of Eligibility.


Please see the website of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for the current Japanese boarder measures.

COVID19: Current Japanese Boarder Measures

Besides COVID-19, there are some recommended vaccinations such as Japanese encephalitis, but they are not necessary. Please visit the following websites for more information.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

World Health Organization:

Also, your doctor would be a good source of information on vaccinations.


If you need to bring or mail any medication to Japan, please consult your doctor and/or refer to the following websites:

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare:

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan:


Comments from Alumni

  • Name:
    Michelle Bechtel
    Colby College
    Michelle Bechtel photo

    I applied to HIF on a whim, not knowing what to expect. Now that I have completed the program, it's safe to say that applying was one of the best decisions ... more

  • Name:
    Kerra Hinrichs
    University of Michigan
    Kerra Hinrichs photo

    HIF was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. I came into the program with the goal of improving my Japanese, and I certainly achieved that ... more

  • Name:
    Hector Melesio
    Franklin & Marshall
    Hector Melesio photo

    For my first time traveling abroad, I do not think I could have picked a better place to be than Hakodate as an HIF student. Whether it be inside the ... more

  • Name:
    Owen Pietsch
    Swarthmore College
    Owen Pietsch photo

    Eight weeks felt like a very short time to spend at HIF. Our teachers and the staff encouraged us to make the most of our time in Hakodate ... more

  • Name:
    Xingruo Sun
    Colby College
    Xingruo Sun photo

    The summer at HIF has been wonderful for me! I'm so glad that I was able to improve my Japanese so much and met so many wonderful instructors ... more

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