Foreigners who want to work in Japan need a work visa. In general, there are three types of Japanese work visas:

  • The regular Japan Work Visa: This visa is defined as jobs such as professors and artists.
  • Japan Highly Skilled Professional Visa: This visa has more advantages than the previous visa, and the holder of this visa can stay in Japan for a more extended period.
  • Japan Working Holiday Visa: This visa is issued to citizens of countries that have a holiday contract with Japan.

We are going to discuss the general issues related to the regular work visa, including the requirements, application procedure, and fees to be paid.

Who needs and doesn’t need a Japan work visa?

Citizens of some countries do not need a Japanese visa for short-term purposes. However, there are no exceptions to the work visa. In other words, for short-term purposes such as recreation, business, and tourism, citizens of some countries do not need a visa. But for other purposes, such as working and studying, all applicants must obtain a long-term visa. Therefore, all foreigners, regardless of their home country,  need a work visa to work in this country.

Eligible jobs for a Japanese work visa

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced a list of jobs that are eligible for a Japanese work visa. This list is as follows:

  • Artists such as composers, poets, sculptors, etc
  • Business managers
  • International service specialists, humanities specialists, foreign language teachers, designers, engineers
  • Entertainer: Actor, musician, singer, dancer, sportsperson
  • Instructors: Teachers in primary, secondary, and high school
  • Intra-company transferee
  • Journalists: such as editors, news cameramen, speakers, announcers, etc
  • Legal and accounting services: Lawyers, public accountants, tax accountants
  • Medical services: Physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, and so on
  • Nursing care
  • Professors: University professors and assistant professors
  • Religious workers: such as monks, bishops, missionaries, etc
  • Researchers
  • Technical interns
  • Skilled workers: Experienced workers such as foreign chefs, animal trainers, pilots, sports coaches, or foreigners who specialize in specific industrial fields and so on

What are the documents required to obtain a Japanese work visa?

  • The Eligibility Certificate
  • The Japan work visa application form must be completed and signed by the applicant.
  • A valid passport with a copy of it
  • The photo of the applicant should be 3 * 4 cm in size and should be on a white background. It must have been taken in the last three months. The applicant’s face in the photo must be completely visible.
  • Details of the job position, company name, salary, and length of work must be provided.
  • Previous academic and work experiences
  • Documents related to the company, including company registration, profit, and loss statement
  • Artists must show documents that confirm their achievements.
  • Religious workers must provide details of their religious organization. Documents related to your religious position must also be provided.
  • Researchers must provide their academic evidence.
  • Researchers, instructors, and teachers must also provide their academic evidence and professional qualifications.
  • For intra-company transferees, documents showing the relationship between the two companies should be submitted.

In some cases, depending on the job position, other documents may be required. It should be noted that the mentioned list is not comprehensive. The Japanese consulate is allowed to request more documents based on its discretion.

To receive a Certificate of Eligibility, you must send your documents to your employer. The employer can apply for this certificate through Immigration Services.

What is the application process for a Japanese work visa?

The visa application process is done in two steps:

  • Step 1: Obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility
  • Step 2: Applying for work visas

step 1:

Any foreigner who intends to enter Japan for non-temporary reasons needs an Eligibility Certificate. The Japanese Immigration Service issues this certificate. Applicants will need this document before entering Japan. In this case, your employer must apply for this certificate on your behalf. It should be noted that having this certificate is a prerequisite to obtaining a Japanese work visa. Having this certificate proves that the Japanese Immigration Service has issued approval for the applicant. However, the applicant must meet the requirements set by the Japanese government to qualify for a work visa.

Step 2:

After the certification is issued, the employer will send it to you. You must then submit this document to the Japanese Consulate along with the rest of your documents. You must first visit the nearest Japanese embassy.

Documents required to obtain a work visa must be sent directly or through accredited travel agencies. You may need to submit more documents, or you may need to attend an interview. Once your document processing is complete, you must return to the embassy and receive your passport. If the application is approved, a visa will be issued, and you will be allowed to enter Japan.

How long does it take to assess the submitted documents and issue a work visa?

On average, the processing time for a work visa is 3 to 5 working days. But depending on the embassy you are applying from, the Japan work visa processing time may be longer. It should also be noted that the issuance of the Eligibility Certificate lasts three months.

What should be done after arriving in Japan?

Once you arrive in Japan, a Landing Permit is issued for you. Besides, you need a Residency Card and a Re-Entry Permit. You will need the Re-Entry Permit if you intend to leave Japan and return there within a year, which you can obtain at the airport before you leave.

If you travel to Japan via Narita, Haneda, Kansai, or Chubu airports, you will receive a Residence Card along with the Landing Permit. But if you arrive in Japan from other airports, you must go to the local municipal office where you will live in Japan to get a Residence Card.

How much is Japan work visa cost?

The fees to be paid by the applicant is:

  •  3,000 Yen must be paid for a single-entry visa.
  • The cost of a double-entry or multiple-entry visa is 6,000 Yen.

You should note that the visa application fee will be paid if the application is approved. If the application is sent through travel agencies, it may be necessary to pay more.

What is the validity of a work visa?

  • Three months
  • Four months
  • One year
  • Three years
  • Five years

The work visa holder can renew the visa before it expires.

How to extend a regular Japan work visa?

Visa renewal is done through the local immigration office where you live and work. To renew your visa, you must provide the following documents:

  •  Application form for the extension: which must be completed and signed by the applicant
  • The applicant’s passport and Residency Card
  • The applicant’s photo: The dimensions of the photo should be 3 * 4 cm and on a white background. The photo must have been taken during the past three months. The face of the applicant must be clear in the photo.
  • Applicants must prove that they can afford their household expenditures in Japan.
  • Applicants must prove their continued employment. To do this, they must provide details about their job position, income, and contract. Company registration documents, as well as documents related to annual income and tax payments, must be submitted.

Can a work visa holder bring his family to Japan?

A work visa holder can sponsor his spouse and children to bring them through a Japan Spouse Visa.

Is it possible to change your visa status from other visas to Japan work visa?

People with non-work visas, such as Japanese student visas, are not allowed to work in this country. They must first apply for a change of residence status to be eligible to work at the local office of the Immigration Services. You need to submit your documents along with your Residence Card. It is necessary to send details about the job position in the company, the amount of salary received, and the length of the work period.

The application fee for a change of residence status is about 4,000 yen, which is paid by the applicant.

Let’s sum up …

In previous paragraphs, we answered the most common questions about the application process for the Japan work visa. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other Japanese work visas like Japan specified visas, highly-skilled professionals, and Japan training visas as well as ways to immigrate to other countries. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.

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