Japanese VISA for hiring foreign nationals

When hiring a foreign national, the foreign national employed must obtain a VISA that is appropriate for one’s business activities. To obtain a VISA, it is required to comply with the standards stipulated by the Immigration Control Act.

Here, I will introduce 3 types of workable visas

1) Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services VISA

This VISA is the most commonly considered when foreigners work for a company in Japan. This Visa would be granted when the applicant performs activities to engage in services which require specialized skills or knowledge pertinent to the field of physical science, engineering or other natural science fields or to the field of jurisprudence, economics, sociology or other humanities fields or to engage in services which require specific ways of thinking or sensitivity acquired through experience with a foreign culture, based on a contract with a public or private organization in Japan

Applicants are required to have one of the following educational background or work experience.

  • Graduated from university with a major in subjects related to the technology and knowledge required for the work to be performed in Japan.
  • Graduated from vocational school In Japan (holding a title of “Senmon-shi” ) with a major in subjects related to the technology and knowledge required for the work to be performed in Japan.
  • More than 10 years of work experience. (Including the period of studying the technology / knowledge at an educational institution.)
  • More than 3 years of work experience. When you are going to engage in work based on foreign cultures,
  • The applicant has passed a test relating to information processing designated in a public notice by the Minister of Justice or holds a qualification relating to information processing designated in a public notice by the Minister of Justice in cases where he/she intends to engage in duties that require skills and knowledge pertaining to information processing.

The application must also meet the following criteria.

The applicant shall receive no less remuneration than would a Japanese national for comparable work.

* At the same time, the continuity and stability of the contracting organization’s business is also required.


2) Intracompany Transferee VISA

This Visa would be granted when the applicant performs activities on the part of personnel who is transferred to a business office in Japan for a limited period of time from a business office established in a foreign country by a public or private organization which has head office, branch office or other business office in Japan, and who engages in the activities listed in the “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” column of this article at the business office.

The applicant must have been engaged in the work listed in “Engineer / Humanities / International Service Specialist” at a foreign office immediately before the application for a period of one year or more.

The applicant shall receive no less remuneration than would a Japanese national for comparable work.


3) Skilled Labor VISA

This Visa would be granted when the applicant performs activities to engage in services which require industrial techniques or skills belonging to special fields based on a contract with a public or private organization in Japan.

The following occupations are eligible for application.

(1) Cook

(2) Foreign-style building engineer

(3) Manufacture or repair of foreign-specific products

(4) Jewelry, precious metals, fur processing

(5) Animal training

(6) Oil exploration and geothermal development technicians

※ In the above (1) to (6), “more than 10 years of work experience (including the period of study at an educational institution) for the relevant skill” is required.

(7) Aircraft pilot

It is required to have at least 250hours’ flight experience using skills related to piloting an aircraft, who is to engage in duties as a pilot of an aircraft used for air transport as prescribed in Article 2, paragraph (18) of the Civil Aeronautics Act

(8) Sports leader

It is Required to have at least 3 years of work experience (including a period of study at an educational institution and a period of professional sports) for the relevant skill.

(9) Sommelier

It is required to have at least 5 years of practical experience in the appraisal, evaluation and maintenance of wine quality, and the skills related to the provision of wine (including the period of majoring in wine appraisal etc. at a foreign educational institution).

One of the following is required.
Applicant must be a good performer or experienced in the International Sommelier Competition. Or a qualification holder certified by a national or local public entity (including a foreign country) or a public or private institution equivalent thereto.