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Get a working visa for Japan

How to get a working visa in Japan

1. How to get a working visa for Japan being abroad

In order to work in Japan, you need to have the exact type of working visa which matches your job. In other words, is there a category of working visa that would suit your job. For example, even you are an experienced waitress, there is no such working visa category.

The next question is, whether or not your experience and qualifications meet the requirements to get a working visa. This means, for example, even if you are a doctor in your country, unless you hold a Japanese medical license, you can’t get a “Medical Services” working visa to work in Japan.

Moreover, to be realistic, you need to check if there are any companies who are willing to hire applicants living outside of Japan.

There are quite a lot of job opportunities listed in Japanese websites offering jobs for foreigners, but many of them have a little note saying “ Applicant must reside in Japan “ as a basic requirement. This is because if the company wants to hire a foreigner outside Japan, they need to apply for a “ Certificate of Eligibility (Zairyu shikaku nintei shoumei sho)” from the immigration office for you. ( This certificate shows that the immigration office has agreed that you have an appropriate reason to reside in Japan ) This requires a bit of bureaucratic paper work so maybe one of the reasons lots of companies prefer to hire foreigners already living in Japan.

What you are able to do is this:

A:  Search for companies which are recruiting foreigners abroad, then check if there is any work matching your qualification / work type

B:  Search for companies whose fields match your qualification / work type, then directly contact  them by sending them your resume/CV.

Neither of these methods can guarantee you success and determination will be required to succeed.
* The below are the Japanese websites where you can search the job opportunities in Japan. 

2. Working visa categories

There are 17 categories of working visas as follows: Diplomat, Official, Professor, Artist, Religious Activities, Journalist, Business Manager, Legal / accounting services, Medical services, Researcher, Instructor, Engineer, Specialist as Humanities, International Services ( Engineer, Specialist as Humanities and International Services are under one category now ), Intra-company Transferee, Entertainer, Skilled Labor, Technical Intern Training, Highly Skilled Professional.

Here is a mini quiz for you. Can you tell which categories these jobs belong to?

  • A professional soccer player
  • A jewelry craftsman
  • A hairdresser
  • A masseuse
  • An interior designer

Have you ever thought about why you, as a non-Japanese person, can work in Japan? It is because you have something special, something which Japanese people don’t have or can not easily obtain as Japan is looking out for high skilled people from all over the world. Anyway, let’s use the above 5 professions as examples.

  • A professional soccer player – this is quite straightforward, the working visa category is “ Entertainer “.
  • A jewelry craftsman – this requires high levels of skill and experience, the working visa category is “ Skilled Labor “ .
  • A hairdresser and a masseuse –Neither of these professions qualify for a working visa.
  • An interior designer – if the design itself is unique, coming from a different cultural background, then the working visa category could be “ International Services “.

Categorizing jobs can be tricky because sometimes what the job description sounds like and what the job actually does are different things. If you apply for a wrong category of working visa, then your application could be rejected. If you are not sure about what category your job belongs to, you might as well seek some advice from the professional.

Anyway, here is a list of the most popular categories of working visas for foreigners. Please have a look at them and see if there are any jobs that you want to do and if you have the necessary qualifications or experience.

Engineer / Specialist as Humanities / International Services :
From 2015, April, these categories were merged into one so that foreigners can engage any types of work that fall under this category. This would make things easier for companies who hire foreigners as they can assign / reassign staff under one category without changing the visa type.

Visa category  What kind of work
you can engage in 
 Requirements  Duration
Engineer / Specialist as Humanities / International Services  Engineer =
any work using the knowledge of technology, physical science, engineering or other natural sciences
Hold a degree (or equivalent )in these areas or have 10 years work experience including the duration of studying at high school and vocational schools
ex: took a major in technology at high school for 3 years and worked in the same area for 7 years would make up to 10 years experiences 
5 years,
3 years,
1 year or
3 months
* you can apply for any duration, but it oesn’t’mean that you will get that period of visa
Specialist as Humanities =
any work using the knowledge of philosophy of law, economics, sociology or human science
Hold a degree (or equivalent )in these areas or have 10 years work experiences including the duration of studying at high schools and vocational schools
ex: took a major in sociology at high school for 3 years and worked in the same area for 7 years would make up to 10 years experiences
International Services such as translation, interpretation, language teacher, public relations, international trade, fashion & interior design, product development  3 years work experience in these areas
* interpretation / translation or language teacher requires a university degree only
Intra-company Transferee Transferred from a branch in your country to a  branch in Japan to engage in the type of work under Engineer / Specialist as Humanities / International Services Have worked more than a year in the said branch of the company abroad
* no degree is required 
5 years,
3 years,
1 year or
3 months
* you can apply for any duration, but it oesn’t’mean that you will get that period of visa 
Skilled Labor 1. Cook of foreign cuisine 10 years work experience including the duration of studies
* 5 years work experience for Thai chef 
5 years,
3 years,
1 year,
or
3 months
* you can apply for any duration, but it oesn’t’mean that you will get that period of visa        
2. Foreign architect 10 years work experience  including the duration of studies    
3. Processing and fixing foreign products
4. Processing jewels and furs
5. Training animals
6. Oil and geothermal excavation
7. Pilot Over 1000 hours flight experience
8. Sports trainers 3 years work experience including the duration of studies
9. Sommeliers 5 years work experiences including the duration of studies ( must also have entered international competition and gained a good score )
Business Manager From 2015, April, “Investor / Business Manager” was renamed as “Business Manager” and the business you run / manage can be both in foreign capital and Japanese capital  Start your own business, or invest / manage business in Japan  Secure an office in Japan and hire at least 2 full timers or invest 5 million yen into the business ( plus 3 years work experience in the case that you are hired to manage / run the business ) 5 years,
3 years,
1 year,
4 months or
3 months
* you can apply for any duration, but it doesn’t mean that you will get that period of visa       

 3. Getting a “ Certificate of Eligibility “ to getting a “ Working visa “

Let’s say you’ve found a sponsor company in Japan and the company will apply for a “ Certificate of Eligibility” for you.

As I mentioned earlier, this certificate is proof that the immigration office in Japan has agreed that you have an appropriate reason to reside in Japan.

In order for the immigration office in Japan to grant this, there are 2 major things that need to be submitted with the application form:

For a sponsor company:

The company itself needs to show the company’s financial status, up coming business plan and a certificate of the registered matters of the company. Because, if the sponsor company’s business isn’t doing well, and if it closes down after you arrive, you will find yourself without employment.

For you as an applicant:

It depends on what type of work you would do in Japan, but in general there are two types of things to submit.

<The work requires qualification>
A graduation certificate ( diploma ) which tells what major you have taken at the university ( or equivalent ).
* this is the key, your work in Japan should be related to what you have studied

<The work requires experience>
The certificate of employments which tell the type of jobs and their duration and if you have worked for several companies, you have to obtain them all to reach the required years experience.

* There are other items such as your CV, photos, sometimes your birth certificate is requested, but your sponsor company will tell you what you need to prepare.
* The documents you submit will not be returned to you apart from your passport.
* Please use documents / certificates / photos which have been issued within the 3 months prior to your application.
* If any of the documents are written in another language, please attach the Japanese translation.
* Please make a photocopy of them before you send them to your sponsor, you might need them in case there are some questions.

When all the documents are ready, your sponsor company goes to the immigration office which deals with the area in which the company’s address is. It will take 1.5 months to 2 months but it really depends on the type of visa so it may take even longer.

Once the Certificate of Eligibility has been obtained, it will be sent to you, and you go the Japanese embassy /  consulate which deals with the area in which you live, with a visa application form, a portrait photo, the information about your sponsor company and the Certificate of Eligibility. ( Please check the details with Japanese embassy in your country. It depends on your country what you really need )

NOTE!!!!
* A Certificate of Eligibility expires after three months. You have to obtain your working visa and arrive in Japan within three months of the issue date of the Certificate. If you arrive after three months, I am afraid you have to start from the beginning.
* A Certificate of Eligibility is not a visa. This certificate facilitate for you to obtain a visa as this is a proof that the immigration office in Japan has seen the reason for you to reside in Japan. Working visa is the one which allows you to work in Japan.

Our services

You will be instructed by your sponsor company as to what to prepare for a Certificate of Eligibility and other things when you arrive here in Japan.

If your sponsor company needs some support to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility, Visa Navi Japan can offer the exact support required.

We can both prepare the documents and take the application form to the immigration office for your sponsor as Visa Navi Japan is a nationally licensed immigration lawyer ( gyoseishoshi ).

Contact us

visanavijapan gyoseishoshi

Do you know how to get a Japan working visa? If you need some legal advice on this matter, please feel free to contact me!

If you want to make an inquiry about working visa in Japan, or would like to consult about any issues related to your life in Japan, please fill out the form on the Contact us page and send it to us.

 

 

Visa Navi Japan
Address : Ootemachi ko-ta-su 802 Ootemachi 5-14-10, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan 730-0051
Open Hours : 9:00 – 19:00   Closed : Monday

 

Fee

To find out about our standard fees, please have a look at our Fee page.

Your life in Japan starts here TEL is not available, Email: visanavijapan@gmail.com A nationally licensed immigration lawyer ( gyoseishoshi )
OPEN: 9:00 – 19:00 ( Closed on Monday )

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