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What you need to work in Japan?

how to live in Japan

There are many types of visas needed to stay in Japan. Recently, the number of foreigners working in Japan has been increasing. Most of them have recently acquired new visas. Please see the red part in the table below. Japan’s aging population is the most advanced in the world, and the working population is decreasing. In addition, there is a shortage of people with cutting-edge technologies, especially in the IT field, in Japan, so we are lowering the bar for foreign workers to work in Japan.

Status of Residence Activities authorized to engage in Examples Period of Stay
Diplomat Activities on the part of constituent members of diplomatic missions or consular offices of foreign governments hosted by the Japanese Government; activities on the part of those who are provided with similar privileges and/or immunities as are granted to diplomatic missions pursuant to treaties or international customary practices; and activities on the part of their family members belonging to the same household. Ambassador, minister, consulate general, or delegation member of a foreign government and their families Period during which diplomatic activities are performed
Official Activities on the part of those who engage in the official business of foreign governments or international organizations recognized by the Japanese Government; and activities on the part of their family members belonging to the same household (except for the activities listed in the “Diplomat” column of this Table). Employee of an embassy or consulate of a foreign government, individual assigned by an international institution for an official assignment, and their families 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 3 months, 30 days or 15 days
Professor Activities for research, guidance of research or education at a university, equivalent educational institutions or colleges of technology (“Kotosenmongakko”). College professor 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Artist Activities for the arts that provide income, including music, the fine arts, literature, etc.(except for the activities listed in the “Entertainer” column of this Table). Composer, artist, or writer 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Religious Activities Missionary and other religious activities conducted by foreign religious workers dispatched by foreign religious organizations. Missionary assigned by a foreign religious organization 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Journalist News coverage and other journalistic activities conducted based on a contract with foreign journalistic organizations. Reporter or photographer of foreign press 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Highly Skilled Professional (i) Activities which come under any of the following (a) to (c) to be conducted by foreign nationals who meet the criteria provided for by an ordinance of the Ministry of Justice as human resources who possess advanced and specialized skills, and who are expected to contribute to the academic research and economic development of Japan. (a) Activities of engaging in research, research guidance or education based on a contract entered into with a public or private organization in Japan designated by the Minister of Justice, or in conjunction with such activities, activities of personally operating a business which is related to such activities or activities of engaging in research, research guidance or education based on a contract entered into with a public or private organization in Japan other than the applicable organization. (b) Activities of engaging in work requiring specialized knowledge or skills in the field of natural sciences or humanities based on a contract entered into with a public or private organization in Japan designated by the Minister of Justice, or in conjunction with such activities, activities of personally operating a business which is related to the applicable activities. (c) Activities of operating international trade or some other business of a public or private organization in Japan designated by the Minister of Justice or of managing such business, or in conjunction with such activities, activities of personally operating a business which is related to the applicable activities. Highly-skilled human resources in accordance with the points’ system 5 years for (1) and indefinite for (2)
(ii) The following activities to be conducted by foreign nationals who engaged in the activities given in (1) and who meet the criteria provided for by an ordinance of the Ministry of Justice as persons whose residence will contribute to the interests of Japan. (a) Activities of engaging in research, research guidance or education based on a contract entered into with a public or private organization in Japan. (b) Activities of engaging in work requiring specialized knowledge or skills in the field of natural sciences or humanities based on a contract entered into with a public or private organization in Japan. (c) Activities of operating trade or some other business of a public or private organization in Japan, or of managing such business. (D) Activities listed in item (ii), (a) through (c), together with teaching, art, religion, news reporting, legal/accounting services, medical services, education, technical/human knowledge/international services, nursing care, entertainment, skills, specific skills item (ii) (Excluding activities that fall under any of (a) through (c) of item (ii).).
Business Manager Activities of operating international trade or some other business of a public or private organization in Japan or of managing such business (except for the activities to engage in the operation or management of business which is not allowed without the legal qualifications listed in the “Legal/Accounting Services” column of this Table). Manager or administrator of a company, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 4 months or 3 months
Legal/Accounting Activities to engage in legal or accounting business, which is required to be carried out by registered foreign lawyers “Gaikokuhoujimubengoshi”, or certified public accountants “Gaikokukoninkaikeishi” or those with other legal qualifications. Attorney or certified public accountant 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Medical Services Activities to engage in medical treatment services, which are required to be undertaken by physicians, dentists or those with other legal qualifications. Physician, dentist or registered nurse 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Researcher Activities to engage in research based on a contract with a public or private organization in Japan (except for the activities listed in the “Professor” column of this Table). Researcher at a government-related institution or company 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Instructor Activities to engage in language instruction and other education at an elementary school, junior high school, compulsory education school, senior high school, secondary educational school (“chutokyoikugakko”), school for special needs education (“tokubetsushiengakko”), vocational school (“senshugakko”), miscellaneous educational institution (“kakushugakko”), or the other educational institutions equivalent to vocational schools in facilities and curriculum. Language instructor at a senior high school or junior high school, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services Activities to engage in services, which require skills or knowledge pertinent to physical science, engineering or other natural science fields, or to engage in services, which require knowledge pertinent to jurisprudence, economics, sociology or other human science fields, or to engage in services which require specific ways of thought or sensitivity based on experience with foreign culture, based on a contract with a public or private organization in Japan (except for the activities listed in the “Professor”, “Artist”, “Journalist”, “Business Manager”, “Legal/Accounting Services”, “Medical Services”, “Researcher”, “Instructor”, “Intra-company Transferee” and “Entertainer” columns of this Table). Engineer such as of mechanical engineering, interpreter, designer, language instructor at a private company or marketing specialist. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Intra-company Transferee Activities of a staff member transferred to a business office in Japan for a limited period of time from a business office established in a foreign country by a public or private organization which has its head office, branch office or other business office in Japan, which are to be conducted at such business office in Japan and which are listed in the “Engineering/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” column of this Table. Transferee from an office abroad 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
care Activities by a person who is qualified as a certified care worker and engages in the business of providing nursing care or guidance for nursing care based on a contract with a public or private organization in Japan. care worker 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
Entertainer Activities to engage in theatrical performances, dramatic performances, musical performances, sports or any other performing art activities (except for the activities listed in the “Business Manager” column of this Table). Actor, singer, dancer, or professional athlete 3 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, or 15 days
Skilled Labor Activities to engage in services, which require industrial techniques or skills belonging to special fields based on a contract with public or private organizations in Japan. Chef of foreign cuisine, sports instructor, aircraft pilot, or craftsman of precious metals 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months
specific skill (Type 1) Activities to engage in services which require a considerable degree of knowledge or experience as provided for by a Ministry of Justice ordinance in specified industrial fields (This shall mean the industrial fields specified by an Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice as fields in which it is necessary to secure human resources that are insufficient due to difficulties in securing human resources. The same shall apply in the same item.) designated by the Minister of Justice based on an employment contract with a public or private organization in Japan designated by the Minister of Justice (Limited to those complying with the provisions of Article 2-5, paragraphs 1 to 4 of the Immigration Control Act. The same shall apply in the following item.). A foreign national who engages in services that require skills and knowledge, and require experience, to a considerable extent, in the specified industrial field. 1 year, 6 months, 4 months
(Type 2) Activities to engage in services in specified industrial fields designated by the Minister of Justice which require highly skilled skills as provided for by a Ministry of Justice ordinance, based on an employment contract with a public or private organization in Japan designated by the Minister of Justice. Foreign Nationals who Engage in Services which Require Skilled Labor in Specified Industrial Fields 3 years, 1 year, 6 months
Technical Intern Training (Type 1) (a) Activities to receive training and engage in duties related to skills, etc. based on a technical intern training plan approved under the Technical Intern Training Act (Limited to that pertaining to Type 1 Enterprise Single-Person Technical Training.). (b) Activities to receive training and engage in duties related to skills, etc. based on a technical intern training plan that has been approved under the Technical Intern Training Act (Limited to those pertaining to the group supervision type 1 technical intern training.). Technical interns a term designated by the Minister of Justice ( 1 year or less)
 
(Type 2) (a) Activities to engage in services that require skills, etc. based on a technical intern training plan approved under the Technical Intern Training Act (Limited to that pertaining to Type 2 Enterprise Single-Person Technical Training.). (b) Activities to engage in duties that require skills, etc. based on a technical intern training plan approved under the Technical Intern Training Act (Limited to those pertaining to the group supervision type 2 technical intern training.). a term designated by the Minister of Justice ( 2 year or less)
(Type 3) (a) Activities to engage in services that require skills, etc. based on a technical intern training plan approved under the Technical Intern Training Act (Limited to that pertaining to Type 3 Enterprise Single-Person Technical Training.). (b) Activities to engage in duties that require skills, etc. based on a technical intern training plan approved under the Technical Intern Training Act (Limited to those pertaining to the group supervision type 3 technical intern training.). a term designated by the Minister of Justice ( 2 year or less)
Cultural Activities Academic or artistic activities that provide no income, or activities for the purpose of pursuing specific studies on Japanese culture or arts, or activities for the purpose of learning and acquiring Japanese culture or arts under the guidance of experts (except for the activities listed in the “Student” and “Trainee” columns of this Table). Researcher of Japanese culture 3 years, 1 year, 6 months or 3 months
Temporary Visitor Sightseeing, recreation, sports, visiting relatives, inspection tours, participating in lectures or meetings, business contact or other similar activities during a short period of stay in Japan. Tourist or conference participant 90 days, 30 days, 15 days or period of less than 15 days
Student Activities to receive education at a university, college of technology (“kotosenmongakko”), senior high school (including the second half of a course of study at a school for secondary education (“chutokyoikugakko”)) or senior high school course of a school for special needs education (“tokubetsushiengakko”), junior high school (including the second half of a course of study at a school for compulsory education (“gimukyoikugakko”) and the first half of a course of study at a school for secondary education) or junior high school course of a school for special needs education, elementary school (including the first half of a course of study at a school for compulsory education) or elementary school course of a school for special needs education, special training school (“senshugakko”) or miscellaneous school (“kakushugakko”) or equivalent educational institution in terms of facility and organization in Japan. Student or pupil of a university, junior college, college of technology (“kotosenmongakko”), senior high school, junior high school or elementary school, etc. 4 years and 3 months, 4 years, 3 years and 3 months, 3 years, 2 years and 3 months, 2 years , 1 year, 6 months or 3 months
Trainee Activities to acquire skills, etc. at a public or a private organization in Japan (except for the activities listed in the “Technical Intern Training (ⅰ) ” and “Student” columns of this Table). Trainee 1 year, 6 months or 3 months
Dependent Daily activities as a spouse or child supported by a person residing in Japan with the status of residence of “Professor,” “Artist,” “Religious Activities,” “Journalist,” “Highly Skilled Professional,” “Management,” “Legal/Accounting Services,” “Medical Services,” “Research,” “Education,” “Technical/Humanities/International Services,” “Intra-company Transferee,” “Long-Term Care,” “Entertainer,” “Skilled Labor,” “Specifuc Skill (type 2),” “Cultural Activities,” or “Student” listed in this table. Spouse or child who is a dependant of a residing foreign national 5 years, 4 years and 3 months, 4 years, 3 years and 3 months, 3 years, 2 years and 3 months, 2 years, 1 year and 3 months, 1 year, 6 months or 3 months
Designated Activities Activities which are specifically designated by the Minister of Justice for foreign individuals. Domestic staff of a diplomat, etc., working holiday, or a foreign nurse / care worker candidate under an Economic Partnership Agreement, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months or a term designated by the Minister of Justice ( 5 years or less)
Permanent Resident Those who are permitted permanent residence by the Minister of Justice. Individual who is permitted permanent residence by the Minister of Justice (except for special permanent residents of the Special Law on Immigration Control) Unlimited
Spouse or Child of Japanese National The spouses of Japanese nationals, the children adopted by Japanese nationals pursuant to the provisions of Article 817-2 of the Civil Code (Law No.89 of 1896) or those born as the children of Japanese nationals. Spouse, biological child, or child adopted by a Japanese national in accordance with the provisions of Article 817-2 of the Civil Code 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 6 months
Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident The spouses of those who stay with the status of residence of “Permanent Resident” or Special Permanent Resident (hereinafter referred to as “permanent resident etc.”), those born as children of a permanent resident etc. in Japan and having been residing in Japan. Spouse or biological child of permanent resident or special permanent resident who was born and continues to reside in Japan 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 6 months
Long Term Resident Those who are authorized to reside in Japan with designation of period of stay by the Minister of Justice in consideration of special circumstances. Refugees accepted for third-country resettlement, Japanese relative, child of Japanese descent, or child of foreign national spouse from a previous marriage 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months or a term designated by the Minister of Justice (5 years or less)