How to Obtain a Work Visa in Japan
Working in Japan is attractive for many reasons. The country has a powerful global economy, but an aging and declining domestic workforce has made many Japanese companies look abroad for workers.
Foreigners coming to Japan to work can usually look forward to higher wages than many other countries, great Social Security benefits and job security, a high standard of living, and access to public services, such as top-notch health care. Japanese culture, history and cuisine are also strong draws.
If you are a foreigner interested in working and living in the Land of the Rising Sun, here is what you need to know about obtaining a Japanese work visa.
Is a Work Visa Required in Japan?
In a word, yes. Just to visit Japan for tourism or business, citizens of some countries need a tourist visa. Others may not need a visa for stays up to 90 days.
However, tourist visas cannot be used as work visas or converted to work visas while in the country. And foreign nationals need a work visa before arriving in Japan, working through the Japanese embassy or consulate closest to you in your country. You’ll also need the sponsorship of the company, university, research institute, board of education or school that will give you work.
The Embassy of Japan lists work visa categories for applicants. These include: Professor, Artist, Religious Activities, Journalist, Investor/Business Manager Legal/Accounting Service, Medical Service, Researcher, Instructor. Engineer, Humanities Specialist/International Services, Intracompany Transferee, Entertainer, Skilled Labor, Highly Skilled Professionals
If you are unsure which category you fall into, Relocate can help. Ask a question: Submit general inquiries to Advisors in Japan or find your perfect Advisor.
Types of Japanese Work Visas
Working through the Japanese embassy or consulate, you can apply for several different kinds of work visas, including a specified skilled visa, a working visa, the JET Program and a working holiday visa.
You can also get a spousal visa to engage in paid work (renewable every three years) if you are married to a Japanese national or permanent resident.