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Visa for Japan

Having the third largest economy in the world and a vast number of consumers with high levels of disposable income, it is no wonder why you would want to work or do business in Japan. However, in order to operate or do business in the Japanese market you would have to obtain a visa to do so legally. Let us explore the various visa options available for Japan.


  • The Japan work visa
  • Specified skilled workers
  • Specified skills visa (I)
  • Specified skills visa (II)
  • Requirements for a Japan work visa
  • Japan Business visa
  • Certificate of Eligibility
  • How INS Global can help you

The Japan work visa

Although there are many different typesof working visas granted in Japan, there are two main classifications, namely: the ‘Working visa’ and the ‘Specified skilled workers visa’. It is important to make this distinction as the benefits that accrue to each respective type is different.

The working visa is the more common of the two main types, and it is available for an array of different professions, including the following: Professor, religious activities, journalist, business manager, legal services, nursing care, researcher, accounting services, artist, engineers, specialist in humanities.

The period of stay that is granted for this type of visa ranges from 3 months to 5 years. The amount of time allocated is dependent on the type of visa you apply for and the specific circumstances surrounding your application.

Specified skilled workers

Due to the labor shortage Japan is experiencing they have introduced a new status of residence for those with specific skills and expertise. Introduced in April of 2019, an individual can enter Japan as a ‘Specified skilled worker’. There are 2 types of Specified skills visas, namely;

  • Specified skills visa (I); and
  • Specified skills visa (II).

Specified skills visa (I)

This is applicable to those intending to work in Japan, who possess the requisite experience or considerable knowledge of specified industries. Once a foreigner has entered Japan, he/she would be required to take a skills exam as well as a Japanese language test. Once the candidate has passed the aforementioned tests, they then proceed to sign an employment contract with the organization they intend to join. This type of visa is does not allow the candidate to be accompanied by family members. Furthermore, this visa can be renewed every 4 months, 6 months or on an annual basis, for a maximum period of 5 years in total.

The specified skills visa (I) is applicable to the following industries:

  • Care workers;
  • Building cleaning management;
  • Machine parts and tooling industries;
  • Electric, electronics and information industries;
  • Industrial machinery;
  • Construction industry;
  • Ship building and ship machinery industry;
  • Accommodation industry;
  • Aviation industry;
  • Automobile repair and maintenance;
  • Food service industry;
  • Agriculture industry;
  • Fishery and aquaculture; and
  • Manufacturer of food and beverages.

**Note: Holders of Specified skills visa (I) can apply to change their status to (II).

Specified skills visa (II)

This visa is applicable to those foreigners intending to work in Japan who possess proficient skills within specific industries. Once the candidate has entered Japan, they are not required to take any skills exam or language test, they do, however, have to have previously undergone technical training. Foreigners who have the Specified skills visa (II) are able to live and work in Japan for a period exceeding 5 years, as this type of visa can be renewed indefinitely. Furthermore, under this type of visa, foreign workers are permitted to be accompanied by their families.

Requirements for a Japan work visa

Although some specific requirements may differ, these are the general requirements you will need to satisfy in order to obtain a visa for Japan:

  • Certificate of Eligibility – This certificate states that you are legally eligible to enter Japan, and this must be obtained before you enter;
  • Passport;
  • Resume;
  • University degree (if applicable);
  • Visa application form photograph; and
  • Employment offer from the Japanese company.

Japan Business visa

This visa is applicable to those who intend on establishing their own enterprise in Japan. Candidates can either apply for a business manager visa or an investor visa. This visa does provide a great deal of flexibility; however, it is more difficult to obtain than a work visa. The general requirements to obtain a Japan business visa are the following:

  • Business plan;
  • Company registration; and
  • A registered office address.

Furthermore, one of the following conditions have to be met:

  1. You must have capital of at least 5, 000,000 Japanese Yen (JPY) in your corporate bank account and thereafter you are required to furnish the financial statements; or
  2. You must have a minimum of 2 employees, other than yourself, who are both Japanese citizens; or
  3. You must have capital of at least 2,500,000 JPY and at least one other employee who is a Japanese citizen.

Certificate of Eligibility

The Certificate of eligibility is an essential component in a Japanese visa application. As stated above, it is the document that certifies you are able to enter Japan legally. The application for this certificate is generally carried out by the prospective employer at an immigration office in Japan. For further details see Certificate of Eligibility.

How INS Global can help you

If you are considering doing business in Japan but you are not entirely sure how to get started, we have you covered. Our team of experts can assist your business to enter the Japanese market and begin operations, without the complicated administrative process. INS Global provides fast, efficient service and is well established as the premium Professional Employment Organization (PEO) in Asia. If you’re ready to expand into Japan, get in touch with us today and let INS Global assist your business increase its global presence.

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