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What is the Technical Internship Program for Foreigners?

What is the Technical Internship Program for Foreigners?

Do you know how many foreigners are there in Japan? There were about 2.82 million people as of June 2019. The population of Japan is about 120 million, so 2.4% of them are foreigners. This number is increasing every year. The reason is that we have to accept workers from overseas because the Japanese working population is decreasing. There are many types of visas for staying in Japan, but the most popular one is the technical intern visa. Even if you don’t understand Japanese well, you can legally work in Japan for the purpose of technical training. Let’s take a closer look.

Basic knowledge of the technical intern training system for foreign nationals

The technical intern training system for foreign nationals began a long time ago, and was established in 1993 based on the training system for foreign nationals that started in 1981. After that, it was in 2017 when the law was revised and became the present form.

As of the end of 10 in 2019, there were 383,978 technical intern trainees in Japan. foreign worker

Of the 1,658,804, 23.1%, or 2nd place, increased 24.5% from the previous year. Considering that the number one foreign worker is a resident status based on status such as spouse or permanent resident, technical intern training is the most familiar option for foreign workers who wish to work in Japan.

As of the end of October in 2019, there were 383,978 technical intern trainees in Japan. Of the 1,658,804 all the foreign workers, 23.1% of them are technical intern trainees which came in second, an increase of 24.5% over the previous year. Considering that the number one foreign worker is a resident status based on status such as spouse or permanent resident, technical intern training is the most familiar option for foreign workers who wish to work in Japan.

Purpose of the Technical Intern Training System for Foreign Nationals

Article 1 of the Act on the Proper Implementation of Technical Intern Training for Foreign Nationals and the Protection of Technical Intern Trainees (Technical Intern Training Act) states that the purpose of this Act is to promote international cooperation through the transfer of skills, technologies, or knowledge to developing regions, etc. through human resource development. It should be noted that the technical intern training system for foreign nationals is not a means of supplying cheap labor, but is intended for international cooperation through human resource development.

Choosing an Acceptance Method [Corporate or group management type]

There are 2 types of acceptance methods: “stand-alone type” and “group supervision type”. “Stand-alone type” is a system in which Japanese companies directly accept employees of overseas subsidiaries, joint ventures, and business partners to implement technical intern training. “Group supervision type” is a nonprofit oversight organization (Business cooperatives, societies of commerce and industry, etc.) This system accepts technical intern trainees and provides them with technical intern training at affiliated companies.

As of the end of 2017, however, 3.4% of the total number of foreign nationals residing in Japan were in companies only and 96.6% were in organizations.

Types of Jobs and Specific Tasks

Foreigners will become Technical Intern Training (1st) after coming to Japan. After two months of Japanese language education and classroom study on social norms, practical technical training begins. After 1 year, they can take the designated skill evaluation test (knowledge and skills). If they pass it, they can move on to Technical Intern Training (2nd), and if they pass the examination two years later, they can move on to (3rd), and they can stay for a total of five years. In Technical Intern Training (1st), there are basically no restrictions on job type and scope of work.

However, if they wish to move to 2nd or 3rd, they must be in a specific job types and tasks. As of February 2020, 82 job types and 146 task categories were designated for transition to Technical Intern Training (2nd), and 74 job categories and 130 work categories were designated for transition to Technical Intern Training (3rd).

Technical Intern Training (2) Job Category Table for Transition

Agriculture related

2 occupations 6 tasks

 Fisheries related

2 occupations 9 tasks

Construction related

22 occupations 33 tasks

Food production related

11 occupations and 16 tasks

Textiles and clothing related

13 occupations and 22 tasks

Machinery and metals related

15 occupations and 29 tasks

Other occupations

16 occupations and 28 tasks

In-House examination type job type/work

1 occupations and 3 tasks

Accepted quota

 

The number of trainees that can be accepted varies depending on the number of technical intern trainee grades, depending on whether the trainees are organized under the supervision of a group or a single company. The number of technical inter trainee (1st), the largest group supervision type, is determined by the size of the trainees (host companies, etc.) as follows.

 

Total number of full-time employees of the host company

Basic Number of Technical Intern Trainees (1st)

301 or more

1/20 of the total number of full-time employees at the host company

201~300

15

101~200

10

51~100

6

41~50

5

31~40

4

30 or less

3

 

In the case of the group supervision type, only the basic number of employees can be accepted within one year, but in the case of a good group, the acceptance is permitted up to twice. To qualify for a good group supervision, the group must earn 60% or more of the total points out of various criteria including past good acceptance records.

 

 

Flow of Application Procedures for Technical Intern Training

The procedures for applying for technical intern training differ depending on the accepting organization. The number of cases of the single company type is small and the procedure is simple, so here we will explain about the group supervision type here. We divided it into three main stages.

Application for Approval of a Technical Intern Training Plan from the Japan Technical Intern Training Agency

 

First, each supervising organization in Japan makes a contract with an overseas sending organization. And each supervising organization accepts applications for technical intern trainees from the companies under their umbrella. If there is an application, the sending agency will select prospective workers according to the job contents. Once a suitable worker is found, an employment contract is concluded between the accepting company and the worker, an internship plan is prepared and an application is submitted to the Japan Technical Intern Training Agency through the supervising organization. If the plan is approved, we can say that it crossed a big mountain first.

Application for Certificate of Eligibility to a Regional Immigration Bureau

 

Next, after obtaining approval for a technical intern training plan, the supervising organization takes the lead in applying for an entry permit to the regional immigration bureau under its jurisdiction. The standard processing period is about one month.

Mail the permit to local sending organization and issue visa

 

When you obtain an entry permit from a regional immigration bureau, the supervising organization send a certificate of eligibility to the sending organization and a visa (visa) will be issued at the local Japanese Embassy. It is oftentimese confused with this, but while the Ministry of Justice examines visa status as necessary to stay in Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs examines visa status as necessary to enter Japan (visa).

Technical training schedule after coming to Japan

Before coming to Japan, technical intern trainees take a pre-training course about Japanese language about three months at the sending organization. After coming to Japan, in principle, they are to take a course again about Japanese language and lifestyle for two months. After that, technical intern training is carried out according to the plan approved by the Japan Technical Intern Training Agency.

Year 1

Under the leadership of the supervising organization, after completion of the above-mentioned two-month lecture, technical intern training will be conducted at the accepting company. They can receive various support such as regular visit by the supervising organization and the response in case of trouble.

Years 2-3

In order to successfully complete the first year and advance to the next Technical Intern Training (2nd), they must pass the designated skills evaluation test. Also, the job they will be doing for the 2nd year must correspond to the above specified job category and work. After that, they apply for permission to change their status of residence and acquire the status of residence of Technical Intern Training (2nd).

Years 4-5

Furthermore, in order to advance to Technical Intern Training (3rd), the supervising organization and the receiving company must be recognized as an excellent organization, and the internship worker must pass the designated skill evaluation test (Trade Skill Test Grade 3). Also, at the time of completion of the second technical intern training, you are required to return to their home country for at least one month.

After Technical Intern Training

After successfully completing the technical intern training, what kind of course will the intern have? In April 2019, a new status of residence “Special skill 1” was established to provide more options for technical intern trainees.

Utilizing Skills at Home

 

In line with the purpose of the technical intern training system for foreigners, many of the technical intern trainees utilize their knowledge and skills to play an active role in the economic development of their home country.

Transition to Special Skills Item 1 is possible

 

Those who successfully completed Technical Intern Training (2nd) can transfer to Specific Skill (1st) visa status. The type of industry in which specific skills are accepted (14 fields of specific industries) is determined, and care must be taken because consistency with the content of technical intern training is the point at which the transfer is permitted.

 

Special skill No. 1 is allowed for a maximum of 5 years. For the construction industry and the shipbuilding and shipping industry, it is also possible to transfer to the special skill number (2nd), which has no expiration date. The test is scheduled to begin in fiscal 2021.

Summery

The outline of the technical intern training system for foreigners was explained here. The role of the technical intern training system for foreign nationals is by no means small at a time when the labor shortage is becoming more serious due to the declining birthrate and aging population. However, we must keep in mind that the purpose of the system is to serve as a “human resource development” for the economic development of developing countries. For more information on applying for the Japan Technical Intern Training Agency and procedures for residence status, please contact the relevant organizations and ministries.

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