Last Updated: February 08, 2021
Japan, the island country in East Asia is soaring high economically with a remarkably developed free-market economy and is ranked as the world’s second-largest economy. With its incredible economic growth and enhanced technological infrastructure, it attracts foreign nationals from all across the globe to live and pursue their dream job in one of the most advanced nations of the world.
Who should apply for Japan Work Visa?
Individuals from foreign countries willing to live and work in Japan for any duration of time are required to apply for the Japanese Work Visa. The application process for Japan Work Visa requires one to get an eligibility certificate from the Japanese Immigration Services and then apply for a Japanese work visa.
Documents required for Japan Work Visa
While applying for the Japanese Work Visa, one must submit the following supporting documents:
- The Eligibility Certificate issued by the Japan Immigration Service.
- Valid passport with its photocopies.
- Documents to prove your educational and professional qualification.
- Duly signed copy of Japan’s Visa Application form. One can download a copy of Japan’s Visa Application form from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
- Documents with all the employment details, position in the company hired for, salary to be received, duration of working hours, etc.
- Documents with all the details of the employer, company name, company license/registration number, statement of profit/loss, etc.
- Good quality recent passport-sized photographs with a white background within the dimension of 4cm x 3cm with neutral expression facing straight at the camera.
- Upon approval of Japan's Work Visa application, one has to pay a fee of 3,000 Yen.
- Depending on your choice of work visa, the Japanese Embassy or Consulate might ask for some additional documents.
Japan Work Visa Requirement
The requirement varies according to the type of occupation and work visa one is applying for. However, one of the basic requirements for Japan’s work visa is the Eligibility Certificate. Before applying for the Japanese Work Visa, a foreign national willing to work in Japan requires to send his/her documents to the Japanese employer or sponsor so that the employer can apply for the eligibility certificate at Japan’s Immigration Service department.
How to obtain Japan Eligibility Certificate?
Foreign nationals willing to live and work in Japan for the long term have to produce the Eligibility Certificate while applying for the Japan Work Visa. One needs to send their documents to the sponsor/employer to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on their behalf. The COE doesn’t replace the work visa, it is a mere prerequisite to be eligible to apply for the Japan Work Visa. The COE shows that you meet all the requirements set by the Japanese government for foreign workers and hence the Japanese Immigration Service has approved your application to work in Japan.
Japan Work Visa Application Procedure
On getting the Certificate of Eligibility (COE), your employer/sponsor must send it to you so that you can apply for your Japan Work Visa at the Japanese Diplomatic Representative Office (Consulate or Embassy) in your country of origin.
Some representative offices don’t accept direct visa applications, in that case, one has to contact a registered and accredited visa application agency.
Submit all your documents along with the visa application to the Consulate or the agency dealing with your visa application. If required, the Consulate officers might call you for an interview or to submit some additional documents.
Once your work visa application gets approved, you have to go back to the consulate to collect your passport which will make way for your entry to Japan.
Duration of Japan Work Visa
The duration of Japanese Work Visa depends on one’s profession and the also the duration of work contract one has signed.
Irrespective of one’s work contract, if a foreign national meets all the requirements, than he/she can apply for extension of their Japanese work visa.
How to extend your Japan Work Visa?
To extend your work visa, you have to apply for Japan Visa Extension (Extension of the Period of Stay)
at your local Immigration Office where you live and work. You need to submit the following documents:
Duly signed copy of the Extension of the Period of Stay Application Form.
Passport and Residence Card.
Proof of financial solvency to continue living in Japan.
Proof of continued employment contract.
Details of employer and the company’s registration number.
Good quality recent passport sized photographs with white background within the dimension of 4cm x 3cm with neutral expression facing straight at the camera.
Proof of tax payment and annual income.
What is a Japanese Residence Card?
Japanese Residence Card is issued to those foreign nationals who are legally residing in Japan and have resident status under the Immigration Control Act of Japan. Foreign residents carrying a Residence Card while living and working in Japan are included in the Basic Resident Register of Japan like the Japanese nationals. With a Japanese Residence Card, one can change their residence status and can also apply for extending their period of stay.
The Japanese Residence Card contains the following information:
Address of primary residence in Japan.
Name, sex, date of birth, country of origin.
Status of residence, duration of stay, and the expiration of the duration of stay.
Working restrictions implied by the Japanese Immigration Service.
Date of issue and expiration of the Residence Card.
Permission to engage in activities according to the residence card.
List of occupations eligible for Japan Work Visa
- Engineer, Specialist in International Services/Humanities: Foreign nationals who have a University degree or holds three or more years of professional experience in the field of engineering, International Services/Humanities can apply for a Japanese Work Visa.
- Skilled Labour: Foreign workers engaged as Chefs, professional processing of fur, metals or precious stones, training animals, piloting animals with professional experience of 3-10 years in their respective fields are eligible to apply for the Japan Work Visa.
- Intra-Company Transferee: Foreign nationals who want to transfer to the Japanese branch of the company they are already employed in. Employees with a minimum of 1 year of experience in the said office can apply for the Japan Work Visa to be eligible to live and work in the Japanese branch of the company.
- Business Manager: Foreign individuals who are willing to invest or start their own business in Japan or manage a business on behalf of other investors can apply for a Japanese work visa. To be eligible for the Japan Work Visa one must have a dedicated physical office in Japan and invest a minimum of 5 million yen.
- Other skilled professionals: Foreign Professionals engaged in the field of art and culture, legal or accounting services, entertainment business, religious activists, professors, researchers, and technical interns are eligible to apply for the Japan Work Visa.
- Specified Skilled Worker Visa: This particular work visa is categorized into two parts: Specified Skills Visa 1 - SSV1 and Specified Skills Visa 2 - SSV2. The SSV1 visa allows a foreign national to live and work in Japan for 5 years with a limited renewal period. Applicants of this particular visa type will not be allowed to bring their family members and are also required to take a Japanese Language Proficiency Test and provide proof of skills or proficiency in their respective fields. The new test is the Japan Foundation Japanese Basic Test and is required to answer on a computer. Foreign professionals working in the field of agriculture, building cleaning, construction, vehicle maintenance, electronics and electric machinery, fisheries, hotels & hospitality, industrial machinery, nursing care, restaurants & catering, materials processing, shipbuilding, medical professionals, and technical interns.
Currently, SSV2 visa is only available for professionals engaged in the field of ship building and construction. SSV2 visa holders are allowed to bring their families and also renew the duration of their stay for an indefinite period. Under both forms of visa type, employers are required to pay the foreign professionals equal or greater than the Japanese professionals.
Benefits of working in Japan
- Job Security: Job security is considered very important in Japanese society; hence, it is very difficult for Japanese companies to fire their employees. Japanese companies commit to retaining their employees even in times of crisis. In times of desperation, companies might freeze hiring or move people to a different position but cutting off an employee is a rare incident in Japan.
- Health Insurance: Japanese companies provide health insurance coverage to their employees which helps a great deal to the foreign nationals living and working in Japan. Other than health insurance, Japanese companies also organize free yearly health check-ups for their employees.
- Commuting Allowance: It might sound unusual for the rest of the world, but it is a common practice in Japan. Japanese companies provide commuting allowance (teiki) to their employees which save approximately ¥5.000 to ¥9.000 per month. This facility is available for both permanent and part-time employees.