If you wish to stay in Japan, it is of utmost importance that you avail a visa that is appropriate for your envisioned activities in Japan. In Japan, there are 27 different types of visa that can be availed by an applicant who wishes to stay there. However, the requirements and the authorized activities for each of them are different.
So, it is important that you choose and apply for the visa which allows you carry out the activities that you intend to. You cannot avail a particular visa and start doing activities that are not listed under it. For example, you cannot get a working visa to work as a waiter/waitress or at a construction.
Generally, there must be a hosting organization (an entity, a company, etc.) or an inviting person (visa sponsor) so that you can get a visa for Japan. If you are a student, then you will get a student visa and if you are a working professional, you will get a working visa.
All the 27 Japanese visas can be classified under 3 groups. These groups are as follows:
- Family related visa – granted as per family status
- Non-working visa – does not allow the visa holder to work
- Working visa – allows the visa holder to work
An individual can only avail a single type of visa at a time. For example, if you qualify for a spouse visa and an engineer visa, you must choose only one that suits your purpose of visiting China accurately.
|Type of Visa||Activities that are authorized||Requirements|
|International||Working in product development, interior design, fashion design, international trade, public relations, language instruction, interpretation||Professional experience of 3 years in translation or interpretation field|
|Humanities specialist||Working in social, economic and legal fields or in human science||Experience of 10 years or degree from a reputed university|
|Engineer||Working in natural science, engineering or physical science fields||Experience of 10 years or degree from a reputed university|
|Intra company transferee||Expats from foreign organisations or subsidiary organisations of Japanese firms located in foreign countries||Must have been working in the said office overseas for at least 1 year|
|Skilled labour||Instructing sports, piloting aircrafts, training animals, processing precious stones, foreign cooking||Professional experience of 3 to 10 years in corresponding sectors, including the training period|
|Business Manager||Investing in a business or starting a business in Japan or managing some business on behalf of someone else||Dedicated office in Japan and investment of 5 million Yen|
Highly Skilled Professional Visa – This particular visa has been introduced from the year 2012 and it is intended to attract the workers who wish to contribute to Japan’s economy.
|Highly skilled professional||Points are awarded as per applicant’s professional background, educational level, academic achievements and income. If the applicant is able to collect 70 points or more, a specific visa status is offered that includes certain preferential treatment:
The type of visas mentioned below are the working visas that are given to people with centain set of skills, knowledge and status:
|Official or Diplomat||Personnel of consular offices and embassies and their families|
|Instructor||Foreign languages instructor at high schools, junior high schools, elementary schools, etc.|
|Professor||Education and Research at Universities or other educational institutions|
|Artist||Artistic works that generate substantial income for supporting the life of the artist in Japan (painter, sculptor, songwriter, composer, photographer, writer, etc.|
|Religious Activities||Missionaries who are sent from different foreign religious organisations|
|Accounting Services or Legal Services||Public accountants (certified), attorneys or specialists who hold legal degrees|
|Journalist||Journalists who sign contracts with foreign media companies|
|Entertainer||Music performances, theatrical performances, sports or other shows|
|Researcher||Research that is conducted under private or public organisations in Japan|
|Medical Services||Dentists, physicians or other medical specialists who hold Japanese qualifications|
An individual can work while holding a non-working visa, only if he/she works for limited hours. You should also get the permission to work in Japan from the immigration office.
|Trainee||Training to acquire and learn technology, knowledge and skills at private or public companies in Japan. This particular status is granted if the candidate needs those set of skills, knowledge and technology after he/she goes back home|
|Students||Students enrolled in vocational schools, universities, elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools. The application for visa is submitted via the school and the application time is limited|
|Technical Internship||Post training internship under the trainee visa|
|Temporary Visitor||Vacation, tourism, family visit, sports, participation in seminars, conferences, etc. You can also have business meetings, engage in PR activities, conduct market research and sign contracts|
|Cultural activities||Artistic or cultural activities that offer no income. Researches or studies of Japanese art and culture. Students from Universities doing internship without any remuneration|
|Dependent||Children or spouses of individuals staying in Japan under non-working visa or working visa|
|Designated activities||Work or activity has is specially designed for each case. Students on internship, housekeepers for the diplomats, long stay for recreational activities and sightseeing, working holiday|
Family Related Visas:
The family related visas do not have any restriction on activities to be engaged in. Thus, working in any field is possible with these visas. The visa holder can change from one job to another. He/She can also engage in other activities.
|Child or Spouse of Japanese Nationals||Children and spouses of the Japanese nationals|
|Child or Spouse of the Permanent Residents||Children or spouses of permanent residents|
|Permanent Residents||Visa given to the people who have stayed some conditions regarding tax payment, income and time spent in Japan|
|Long term refugees||Descendants of Japanese nationals, refugees, individuals divorced from nationals of Japan|