Immigration And Visa Procedure In Japan

 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.

Working Visa:

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:
  • Hiring domestic help under specific conditions
  • Bringing parents to Japan under specific conditions
  • Working full-time for the spouse under specific conditions
  • Preferential processing of the immigration procedure
  • Quicker access to the Permanent Resident visa
  • Visa for 5 years granted
  • Taking part in different activities that are covered by different visas

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

Non-Working Visa:

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


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