chaning jobs in japan-benefit of getting a certificate of authorized employment

Let’s look at the case of a system engineer from Bangkok, Thailand.

He came to Japan 3 years ago and was granted a stay of 3 years with an “ Engineer “ working visa and started working as a system engineer at a company. After 2 years, he changed jobs to a bigger company, again as a system engineer. He knew that he had to notify the immigration office if he changed his place of work, so he did so. 2 months before his visa expired, he applied for an Extension of Period of Stay as he was going to continue to work at this bigger company. A month and a half later, he received a letter from the immigration office saying that his application had been rejected. He didn’t know what to do, he thought he would be OK as he was still working as a system engineer…Where did it all go wrong?

1. What is a “ Certificate of Authorized Employment “?

The Certificate of Authorized Employment is  proof that you can work in Japan under certain work categories. With this, the company who wants to hire foreigners can tell what kind of work you can engage in. But this type of information can also be obtained from your residence card ( zairyu card ) and it is not an obligation for foreigners to get this certificate, in fact there aren’t many people who do have one.

2. What is the benefit of getting a Certificate of Authorized Employment

The immigration office granted you a Certificate of Eligibility by checking the original company you worked for. They checked the type of work you would engage in and that it matched your qualification / experiences and that the financial status of this company was good. When you changed  jobs, you have to make sure of these things: that the activities you engage in at the new work place still fall within the same visa category, and the new company you work for is a financially sound business.

However, even if you think both conditions have been met, what if the immigration office didn’t think that the new job fell under your visa category and rejected your application to extend your stay in Japan?

This is what happened to the man I mentioned at the beginning of the page. He had one year left to visa expiry when he changed  jobs. If he had applied for a Certificate of Authorized Employment at that time, he could have still had time to look for a different job which fell in the same visa category and try to get this certificate again. But because he only found it out just before his visa expired, he couldn’t do anything.

In order to avoid a worst case like this, it is strongly recommended that you apply for a Certificate of Authorized Employment when you change a job. And you should also consider the timing of changing  jobs. If it is possible, try to change jobs when there is more than 6 months left on your residence card. Because then, even if the immigration office finds some problems with the new company or your new job doesn’t match the current visa category and they don’t issue this certificate, there would still be time for you to take any necessary actions.

If you are thinking of changing jobs completely, outside of your current working visa category, then it would be a different story. Changing the job category is changing your Status of Residence. Let’s say, you are currently working as a Chef under “ Skilled Labor “ but you want to start your own business, then you have to change from “ Skilled Labor “ to “ Business Manager “ by applying for a Change of Status of Residence. In this case, there is no point apply for a Certificate of Authorized Employment.

3. How and where can I apply for Certificate of Authorized Employment?

This application can be submitted by the applicant himself / herself, or you can ask a nationally licensed immigration lawyer ( gyoseishoshi ). Here are the required documents you have to prepare:

What the applicant needs to prepare:

  1. The application form for Certificate of Authorized Employment
  2. A passport and residence card ( Zairyu card ) * You have to show these at the immigration office
  3. A statement of earnings for earned income ( Gensen choushu hyou ) from your previous work place
  4. A leaving certificate ( Taishoku shoumei sho ) from your previous work place
  5. A contract of the applicant to showing the job description, duration and salary etc

What the applicant needs ask your work place to prepare:
* The documents to be prepared depend on how big the company is. These are the basic requirements.

  1. A certificate of registered matters ( Toukijikou shoumei sho )
  2. The latest financial statement ( Soneki keisan sho ) * If the company has just started a business, then a coming year’s business plan ( Jigyou keikaku sho ) will do.
  3. A leaflet to explain the company’s business

* Fee : 1200 yen for Certificate of Authorized Employment and payment must be made with revenue stamps
* The documents you submit will not be returned to you.
* Please use documents / certificates / photos which have been issued within the 3 months prior to your application.

When all the documents are ready, you go to the immigration office which deals with the area in which you live and it should take a month to 3 months to receive.

Our services

With the above information, you should have a basic idea of what to do if you want to apply for Certificate of Authorized Employment on your own.

However if:

  • You don’t have time to go to the immigration office
  • You are still not confident enough to do this on your own
  • You want to do it on your own, but you want the prepared documents to be checked
  • You simply don’t like to go into the immigration office ( I never liked it myself when I was living abroad )
  • Your work place seems to need some support to prepare the documents
  • Your previous work doesn’t provide you with a statement of earnings for earned income either a leaving certificate

In these cases, Visa Navi Japan can offer you the exact support you want.

We can check the documents that you prepared, or we can both prepare the documents and take the application form to the immigration office for you as Visa Navi Japan is a nationally licensed immigration lawyer ( gyoseishoshi ).

Contact us

visanavijapan gyoseishoshi
Changing a job can be tricky. If you are thinking of changing a job under the same working visa and need some advice, please feel free to contact me!

If you want to make an inquiry about changing a job in Japan, please fill out the form on the Contact us page and send it to us. We will get back to you in a few days.




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Naka-ku, Hiroshima-city
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