- Visa and Immigration Procedure in Japan
- Japan's new Immigration system from April 2015
- Change of Immigration system in July 2012
- Visa categories and requirements in Japan
- How to obtain a visa for Japan
- Visa renewal in Japan
- Where to apply for a visa to Japan
- Required documents
- Re-entry permit
- Residence Card
- Getting a new passport
- Changing jobs in Japan
- Self sponsorship
- Sending employees to Japan
- Work permission for student and "dependent" visa holders
- Working holiday visa in Japan
- Marriage in Japan
- Divorce and visa
- Permanent resident
- Application rejected
- Overstay by accident
- Running your own business and visa in Japan
- Employing of foreign workers
- Japanese descendants (nikkei)
- Plan your life ahead
- Setting up business in Japan
- Incorporation, setting up an office/company in Japan
- Business Consulting Services in Japan
- Introducing Accounting, Social Security & Trademark Specialists
- Market Entry & Business Consulting
- Test Marketing & Channel Development Consulting
- Executive Search & Recruitment Consulting
- Real Estate Services & Consulting
Visa & Immigration procedure in Japan
Visa categories and requirements in Japan
If you would like to live in Japan, it is necessary to get a visa that is most appropriate for your intended activities in Japan.
There are 27 types of visa in Japan and the requirements as well as the authorized activities are different for each of them.
It is therefore necessary to first determine one type of visa that will allow you what you would like to pursue in Japan and for which you can satisfy the requirements.
It is not possible to get a visa to do the activities that are not listed in the following table. For example, you can't get a working visa for a simple labour work such as construction worker or a waiter/waitress.
It is also required in most cases to have a hosting organization or inviting person (commonly known as a "visa sponsor") to be able to get a visa in Japan, such as a school in case of a student visa or an employer in case of a working visa.
There are also requirements to meet as to obtain a visa. So even if you find a Japanese employer, you will not be able to come to work in Japan if you don't meet these requirements.
These 27 Japanese visas can be devided into 3 main groups:
One person can get only one type of visa at a time, so if you are eligible for more than one (engineer visa and spouse visa for example), you will need to choose one among them.
Now let's see the definition of each type of visa and its requirements that will allow you to determine the type of visa that you qualify for.
Working visas only cover the kind of work that requires high level of professional knowledge or skills. It is therefore not possible for foreigners to engage in manual / simple labour under a wokring visa, unless they have the visa granted according to the family status (spouse/child of Japanese national, long term resident, etc.), the trainee visa or are part-time workers on student or dependent visas.
For instance, there is no work visa for hair-dressing, massage, waiter/waitress, salesclerk, construction workers, etc.
The most typical working visas to work in private companies are the following 5 types.
|Visa type||Authorized activities||Requirements|
|*Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services||
Engineer: working in the fields of physical science, engineering or other natural science.
Specialist in humanities: working in legal, economic, social fields or in the human science.
International services: working in translation, interpretation, language instruction, public relations, international trade, fashion design, interior design, product development.
Engineer:university degree in the corresponding field or 10 years professional experience
Specialist in humanities: university degree or 10 years professional experience in the field
International services: 3 years professional experience in the field except for interpretation / translation or language instruction that only require a university degree.
|*Intra-company Transferee||Expats of the foreign companies or the subsidiary companies of Japanese firms located in overseas||To have worked more than one year in the said office in overseas|
|*Skilled Labor||Foreign cooking, architecture or civil engineering characteristic to foreign countries, processing precious stones, metals or fur, training animals, piloting aircrafts, instructing sports, sommeliers...||3-10 years professional experience (number of years depending on the type of work) in the corresponding fields (including the period of training)|
|*Business Manager||Starting or investing into a business in Japan, or managing business on behalf of other investors||Physical, dedicated office space in Japan and 5 million yen investment into the business for new application. 10 million yen sales and 5 million yen expenses for renewal.|
Introduced in May 2012, Highly Skilled Professional visa is intended to attract workers who are likely to contribute to Japanese economy.
|*Highly Skilled Professional||
Points are given according to the applicant's educational and professional background, income and academic achievement, and if you accumulate 70 points or more in the point evaluation, a special visa status is given which includes the following preferential treatment:
Following are the working visas granted to those who have certain status, knowledge, or skills.
|Diplomat / Official||Personnel of the Embassies and consular offices, diplomatic missions, Government personnel and their families. The application goes through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and not the Immigration bureau.|
|Professor||Research and education at University or equivalent educational institutions.|
|*Instructor||Instruction of foreign languages or other education at elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, etc.
*Instructors in the private language schools have to apply for "Specialist in Humanities / International Services" visa.
|Artist||Artistic activities that generate sufficient income to support life in Japan (painter, sculptor, photographer, writer, composer, songwriter, etc...)|
|Religious Activities||Missionnaries sent from foreign religious organizations.|
|Journalist||Journalists who signed the contracts with forgeign media organizations, including freelance journalists.|
|*Legal / Accounting Services||Attorneys, certified public accountants or other specialists with legal qualifications.|
|*Medical Services||Physicians, dentists or other medical specialists with Japanese qualifications.|
|*Researcher||Researches conducted under a contract with public or private organizations in Japan|
|*Entertainer||Theatrical performances, musical performances, sports or any other show business.|
It is possible to work under non-working visas within the limited hours (except for temporary visitor and trainee visa holders) if you obtain the permission from the immigration office.
|*Student||Students enrolled in universities, vocational schools (senmon gakko), high schools, junior high schools, elementary schools or Japanese language schools.The visa application is submitted through the school and the time of application is limited.|
|*Trainee||Training to lean and acquire technology, skills or knowledge at public or private organizations in Japan.
This status is granted only if the candidate is to engage in a job requiring the technology, skills or knowledge obtained in Japan after returning to the home country.
|*Technical Internship||Internship after training under trainee visa|
|*Dependent||Spouses or children of people staying in Japan under the work visa and non-working visa (except for temporary visitors and trainees).|
|Cultural Activities||Cultural or artistic activities that provide no income.
Studies or researches of Japanese cultural or artistic activities.
University students on internship without remuneration.
|Temporary Visitor||Tourism, vacation, sports, family visit, participation to seminars, conferences or reunions. It is possible also to have business meetings, sign the contracts, engage in PR activities and conduct market researches.|
The following status of residence is granted case by case, and the possibility or not to work is determined for each case.
|Designated Activities||Activities specifically designated for each case.
Hosekeepers for diplomats, students on internship, working holiday, Long Stay for sightseeing and recreation
* These visas are subject to requirements that are determined considering the impact on the industries and society in Japan in order to adjust the quality and/or quantity of the entrants.
Family related visa
These visas have no restriction in the activities to be engaged, so it is possible to work in any field or industry. You are free to change jobs or to have more than one activity.
|Spouse or Child of Japanese National||Spouses and children of Japanese nationals|
|Long Term Resident||Refugees, descendants of Japanese nationals, people caring for their children with Japanese nationality, people divorced form Japanese nationals, etc.|
|Permanent Resident (Indefinite) *Note||Visa granted to those who have stayed sufficiently long time in Japan|
|Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident||Spouses and children of Permanent Resident|
*Note : it is still necessary to obtain a Re-entry permit which needs to be renewed every 5 years, if you wish to stay outside of Japan for more than one year.
Certified as an Immigration Lawyer by the immigration office, we can help you with obtaining an appropriate visa and with other immigration procedures.