Be in Japan with your own skills-Specified skilled work visa

The new specified skills visa type 1 has been created for 14 sectors such as construction, industrial machinery, shipbuilding and marine, fisheries, nursing care, food service, and others. This new working visa status allows foreign nationals to stay in Japan a maximum of 5 years length.

From April 1, 2019, there are more employment opportunities for foreigners who have N4 or higher Japanese language ability. Under the “Specified Skilled” visa, with a Japanese language ability of N4 level or higher. The Government of Japan determined the Basic Policy and Field-Specific Operation Policies on Operation of the system of the new Status of Residence “Specified Skilled Worker” is introduced in April 2019 by the Cabinet Decision based on the amended Immigration Control Act. The Government of Japan takes initiative in improving the infrastructure, such as the provision of multilingual information by public institutions and the infrastructure of daily life in order to welcome the rapidly increasing number of foreigners as “residents” in Japan. Split into two types, this visa is meant to encourage foreign workers to come to Japan and fill employment gaps in certain labor sectors. In total, the government hopes this visa will attract around 500,000 new foreign workers to Japan by 2025.

Specified Skills Visa 1-SSV1:

This is a status of residence applicable to foreign nationals who work in jobs that require a considerable knowledge of or experience in Specified Industry Fields. Applicants applying for this visa must pass a Japanese language test as well as technical exams. Your level of Japanese proficiency will depend upon the job you will be working, but you may be required to pass up to an N4 level.

Skilled workers applying for this visa will work in the following areas: Agriculture, Materials processing, Nursing care, Shipbuilding, Restaurants, Airport ground handling and aircraft maintenance, Food and beverage, Hotels, Industrial machinery, Electronics and electric machinery, Building cleaning, Construction, Vehicle maintenance, Fishery.

Foreigners who have worked for three years in the field of the relevant industry as “technical intern trainees” and have a certificate of completion regardless of whether they are residing in Japan or returning abroad will be able to work with a Japanese Specified Skilled visa if they find a sponsor company for themselves.

Skill Standards are confirmed by exams. This visa is only valid for one year and renewable for up to five years. Renewed annually, every 6 months or every 4 months. Workers are not able to bring their families with them. If a worker wants to remain in Japan for longer than five years or wants their family to join them, they can apply for the Visa 2-SSV2.

 Specified Skills Visa 2-SSV2:

Unlike the Visa 1-SSV1, this visa can be renewed indefinitely and visa holders may bring their family to Japan. Currently, workers living and working in Japan on Visa 1-SSV1 can apply for this visa only after achieving higher levels of specialization in their field.

The following steps are required to obtain a “Specified Skilled” visa.

1.     Pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

2.     In order to work in Japan, take the necessary Skill Evaluation Test and pass it.

3.     Find a sponsor company (employer) who will hire you directly in Japan.

4.     A Japanese Sponsor Company applies for a Certificate of Eligibility.

5.     A Certificate of Eligibility will arrive from the Japanese Sponsor Company.

6.     Apply for a visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country.

7.     With a visa and Certificate of Eligibility, you will undergo Immigration in Japan and will be issued a Residence Card.

8.     Labor starts under the Sponsor Company. You can reside up to 5 years (in the case of “Specified skilled No. 1”).

9.     If the job category falls under the category of “Specified Skilled No. 2”, an application for visa change can be made after working for 5 years. It opens the way to permanent residence.