Immigration and Work Visa / Work Permit – Japan

Highly Skilled Professional Visa

A foreigner must first apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in Japan at a Regional Immigration Services Bureau.  This will be evidence for meeting the required conditions for landing in Japan under a Points System.

Those being granted a status of residence as a Highly Skilled Professional may stay for a period of 5 years.  Their spouse or children can also apply for a General Visa as a dependent.  This may allow them to stay for a period from 3 months to 5 years.

General Working Visa

Other applicants in these professions can apply for a general Japan work visa or permit application.

  • University professor
  • Artist
  • Religious worker
  • Journalist
  • Business manager
  • Legal / Accounting services
  • Medical services
  • Researcher
  • Instructor
  • Engineer / Specialist in humanities / International services
  • Nursing care
  • Entertainer

Those working in Japan as a skilled labour, intra-company transferee or technical intern also need a general Work Visa.

For application without a COE, the Ministry of Foreign Affair will demand a lot of additional verifying documents.  Such will be sent to the Ministry of Justice for examination.  The processing time will therefore be much longer.  However, this does not apply to an application by an international transferee working for a stock exchange listed company in Japan or a highly trusted company (e.g. well known internationally) or an internationally well-known entertainer or sportsperson,

Depending on the profession, those being granted a Working Visa may stay from 3 months to 5 years.  (There is an exception for an entertainer to whom a stay of 15 days may be granted.)  Their spouse or children can also apply for a General Visa as a dependent.  The allowed period of stay will be from 3 months to 5 years.

This is based on latest information published by relevant authorities at the time of posting.  FastLane HR will not be responsible for any loss or damages incurred as a result of any inaccuracy of such information. 

Date: July 2022

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