Can I move to Japan as a software engineer? Software engineers seeking professional growth opportunities and exposure to a diverse cultural environment have increasingly migrated to Japan recently. Japan is desirable for software engineers because of its dynamic tech industry, comfortable living level, and deep cultural heritage. This all-inclusive guide will help you navigate the process and immigrate to Japan as a software engineer.

Are Software Engineers In Demand in Japan?

There is a Japanese software engineer shortage and, consequently, a high demand for software engineers in Japan, particularly those with experience in online and mobile app development, AI, and data analysis. There is a rising need for software engineering talent across sectors in Japan as the country continues to embrace technology and innovation.

How to Work and Immigrate to Japan as a Software Engineer

Is It Hard to Get a Job as a Software Engineer in Japan?

Finding work in Japan as a software engineer can be difficult, but it is doable with the correct credentials and experience. Skills, experience, fluency in Japanese, and connections all play important roles. Many non-Japanese have found work in Japan’s tech industry despite the stiff competition.

Software Engineer jobs in Japan for foreigners

To immigrate to Japan as a software engineer, you must get a good job. Here you can see some jobs in Japan:

  • Software engineer
  • Senior software engineer
  • Software developer
  • Full Stack developer
  • Front-End developer
  • Back-End developer
  • Mobile App developer
  • Web developer
  • DevOps engineer
  • Data engineer
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Game developer
  • Embedded systems engineer
  • QA engineer (quality assurance)
  • Cloud engineer
  • UI/UX designer
  • Product manager (with a technical background)
  • Technical support engineer
  • IT consultant
  • Cybersecurity analyst

Which Programming Language is Most In-Demand in Japan?

Here are some of the most in-demand programming languages in Japan that can help you immigrate to Japan as a software engineer:

  • Java
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • C/C++
  • Ruby
  • PHP
  • Swift/Kotlin (for mobile app development)
  • SQL
  • Go (Golang)
  • Rust
  • TypeScript
  • Shell Scripting (e.g., Bash)
  • Solidity (for blockchain development)

How to Immigrate to Japan as a Software Engineer?

The software engineer’s path to moving to Japan as a software engineer is potentially fruitful but convoluted. Understand and comply with Japan’s special visa classifications and criteria for international workers. Here are the general steps to immigrate to Japan as a software engineer:

Step 1. Determine Your Eligibility

  • A four-year degree is required, preferably in a relevant field, but appropriate work experience may also be considered.
  • Work Experience. Experience as a software engineer in the workforce is required.
  • Knowledge of computer languages and the tools used to create software is essential.
  • Certifications in relevant disciplines are helpful but not usually required.
  • Job Offer. Obtaining a job offer from a Japanese company is essential since they will act as your visa sponsor.

Step 2. Find a Job in Japan

Finding job openings at Japanese organizations that are willing to hire foreign nationals is an excellent spot to start for a software engineer looking for work in Japan. Job search engines like “Daijob,” “GaijinPot,” and “CareerCross” can help you find promising jobs in Japan. There is a lot of demand for competent individuals in Japan, so looking into openings with foreign firms and startups already established there is also a good idea. If you want to work in Japan’s thriving IT industry, you’ll discover various opportunities to explore.

Step 3. Secure a Job Offer

After receiving a job offer, it’s important to carefully read the associated paperwork and job contracts to successfully emigrate to Japan as a software engineer. Consider income, hours worked, benefits, probation, duties, visa sponsorship, language requirements, and termination terms. Negotiate the terms if necessary and consult a lawyer to be sure you understand and agree to them. If everything looks good in the contract, you should accept the offer, and your employer will help you apply for a visa.

Step 4. Visa Application

The “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” visa (often referred to as the “Engineer Visa”) is the most prevalent visa used to immigrate to Japan as a software engineer.

Your employer will file for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on your behalf to establish your job eligibility to get a Japanese work visa as a software developer in Japan. Next, gather all the necessary documents, including your Certificate of Eligibility, passport, photos, proof of financial means, and flight details, and complete the visa application form, which can be found on the Japanese embassy or consulate website. You’ll need to pay the fee for your visa and maybe even sit for an interview, but that’s usually not the case with skilled worker visas.

Due to potential delays in processing, applications should be submitted well before the desired departure date. A visa sticker will be affixed to your passport once your application is approved, allowing you to enter and work in Japan. You’ll need a residency card to prove your legal status and identity after you arrive. To protect your legal position in Japan, you must comply with the terms of your visa and renew it as needed.

Step 5. Residence Card

A Residence Card with a valid work visa is issued to foreign nationals upon entry into Japan. This card is a form of identity and evidence of your right to remain in Japan legally. You’ll need a valid passport and a work visa to apply for this card. You must keep your visa up-to-date and renew it as required to maintain your legal status in Japan.

Step 6. Register Your Residence

Within 14 days of arriving in Japan, you must register your residence with the local municipal office (city/ward office). During this registration process, you will have the opportunity to edit your profile and change your address. At the same time, it’s crucial to monitor your visa status to ensure it matches your anticipated time in Japan. Plan to renew your visa if it is about to expire so that your legal status in the nation does not expire with you. By taking this preventative measure, you may rest assured that your stay in Japan will continue to conform to the relevant visa restrictions.

Step 7. Health Insurance and Taxes

Health Insurance

Japanese citizens and permanent foreign residents can enroll in Japan’s national health insurance program. The National Health Insurance (NHI) program is essential to the healthcare delivery system and ensures that all citizens have access to necessary medical care. NHI costs are typically split between employees and their companies. While NHI is the norm, it’s important to note that some companies may provide additional coverage through private health insurance plans.

Tax Rates

Income tax rates in Japan are progressive, meaning they change depending on a person’s income level. Having said that, the tax rates based on income are as follows as of our most recent informational update:

  • Up to ¥1.95 million: 5%
  • ¥1.95 million – ¥3.3 million: 10%
  • ¥3.3 million – ¥6.95 million: 20%
  • ¥6.95 million – ¥9 million: 23%
  • ¥9 million – ¥18 million: 33%
  • Over ¥18 million: 45%

Note: Check the current rates and regulations with the Japanese tax authorities or a tax professional because tax rates and thresholds can change over time.

Step 8. Language and Cultural Integration:

While working as a software engineer in Japan, it is important to make an effort to blend into Japanese society. Put in the time and effort to learn the language by speaking and hearing it daily. Show respect for other cultures by learning their norms of behavior. Enjoy the diverse Japanese cuisine, network with Japanese coworkers, and attend local events. Keep up with the news and connect with like-minded people. The best way to make the most of your time in Japan is to approach cultural adaptation with patience and an open mind.

Step 9. Renewing Your Visa

To keep your legal status in Japan after your visa expires, you must immediately begin the renewal process. To renew your visa in Japan, you and your employer must apply for a new Certificate of Eligibility (COE) well before the expiration date. Submit your completed visa application form to the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country, along with your passport, photo, certificate of eligibility, and proof of residence in Japan. You must pay the visa renewal fee, allow sufficient processing time, and possibly attend an interview.

If your visa application is successful, a new visa stamp will be added to your passport. To maintain your legal status in Japan after your visa has been renewed, you must update your Residence Card at the relevant municipal office upon your return.

Step 10. Permanent Residency

Eligibility Conditions

To immigrate to Japan as a software engineer and get a permanent residency in Japan, you must meet several requirements. You must have maintained a continuous 10-year residence in Japan; however, certain skilled workers and spouses of Japanese nationals may qualify for a shorter residency requirement of 3 years. Important aspects of fulfilling these requirements include:

  • Providing a steady income
  • Paying taxes in Japan
  • Avoiding legal trouble
  • Demonstrating positive contributions to Japanese society


An application for permanent residency in Japan must be filed with the relevant immigration authorities. Your application will not be considered without the proper paperwork being submitted. After submitting your application, immigration officials may wish to speak with you in person. A determination of your eligibility for permanent residency will be made once your application has been processed.

Required Documents

The required documents for a permanent residency application in Japan encompass various aspects of your life in the country. These include your application form, Certificate of Residence (Juminhyo), employment and income records, tax documents, a letter of explanation, and any supplementary documents that support your application. The accuracy and precision of these documents are vital to the evaluation procedure. It is also important to check with the Japanese immigration authorities or consult with immigration professionals to ensure you meet the most recent criteria, as these may change over time.

Can I Move to Japan with a Computer Science Degree?

Yes, having a computer science degree enables you to immigrate to Japan as a software engineer for work opportunities. Obtaining a work visa in Japan typically requires a job offer from a Japanese employer willing to act as your sponsor. While Japanese language skills will undoubtedly improve your employment prospects, opportunities still exist for qualified English speakers.

Are Software Engineers Paid Well in Japan?

The salary potential in Japan for software engineers is high. Experience, expertise, location, and the company itself can all have an impact on salary. Salary increases for senior engineers are possible in major tech centers like Tokyo. Software engineers in Japan can typically earn a good living wage.

Immigrate to Japan as a Software Engineer: Salary

In Japan, the average salary for a foreign programmer was 9.5 million, up from 9 million in 2023. Developer salaries ranged from around $4 million to $6 million for entry-level workers, $8 million to $10 million for developers with some experience, and $12 million to $13 million for those with extensive experience. These numbers are a sign of the developer salary landscape in Japan at the time.

What Are Popular Skills for Software Engineers?

  • Java
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • SQL
  • C++ Programming Language

Skills That Affect Software Engineer Salaries

  • Ruby: 46%
  • Kubernetes: 44%
  • Ruby on Rails: 42%
  • NET Framework: 41%
  • Oracle: 36%
  • MySQL: 35%
  • iOS: 25%
  • Android Operating System Development: 15%
  • Development Operations (DevOps): 11%
  • js: 8%


In conclusion, moving to Japan is a smart career move if you’re a software engineer. You can easily adjust to life in this technologically advanced country by following these suggestions and suggestions.


The Japanese language isn’t mandatory, but it can enhance your experience.

To get a job in Japan, you usually need a bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant field.

If you meet certain criteria, you can bring your immediate family.

You can navigate cultural adaptation successfully with an open mind and a willingness to learn.

The tech industry in Japan is booming, so there are many career opportunities.

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