29 Types of Status of Residence and Work Classifications

2019-11-30 LIFE , VISA , WORK

This post is also available in 日本語

We talked in our previous issue about “What is “the Residency Status?” that there are 29 types and there are ‘can-dos’ and ‘cannot-dos’ in terms of activities to receive reward and income, depending upon which status you have. This time we’d like to talk about status of residence when you need to work in Japan.

Examples of occupation by each classification

Status of Residence (so called VISA)Examples of applicable occupation
DiplomatAmbassador, Minister, Consulate general, Delegation member of a foreign government and their families
OfficialEmployee of an embassy or consulate of a foreign government, Individual assigned by an international institution for an official assignment, and their families
ProfessorCollege professor etc.
ArtistComposer, Artist, or writer etc.
Religious ActivitiesMissionary assigned by a foreign religious organization etc.
JournalistReporter or photographer of foreign press
Highly Skilled ProfessionalHighly skilled human resources 70 points or higher (Class 1 and 2)
Business ManagerManager or administrator of a company etc.
Legal/Accounting ServicesAttorney or certified public accountant etc.
Medical ServicesPhysician, dentist or registered nurse etc.
ResearcherResearcher at a government-related institution or company
InstructorLanguage instructor at a senior high school or junior high school etc.
Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International ServicesEngineer such as of mechanical engineering, interpreter, designer, language instructor at a private company or marketing specialist etc.
Intra-company TransfereeTransferee from an office abroad
Nursing careCare worker
EntertainerActor, singer, dancer, or professional athlete etc.
Skilled LaborChef of foreign cuisine, sports instructor, aircraft pilot, or craftsman of precious metals etc.
Technical Intern TrainingTechnical interns (class 1, 2, and 3)
Cultural ActivitiesResearcher of Japanese culture etc.
Designated ActivitiesDomestic staff of a diplomat, working holiday, or a foreign nurse / care worker candidate under an Economic Partnership Agreement, etc.
  • Foreign students who are studying under ‘student’ visa and ‘dependent’ visa (spouse and children of foreigners with working visa) is generally prohibited from working. However, they are allowed to work for 28 hours per week when they obtain a special permit called “permit to engage in activity other than that permitted under the residency status previously granted” which allow them to work as part-time workers. (In case of ‘student’ visa, a work for up to 8 hours per day is permitted during long holidays of their school such as summer break, year-end break etc.)
  • In case you obtain Status of Residence (VISA) upon your social status or position, such as “Permanent Resident”, “Spouse or Child of Japanese National”, “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” and “Long Term Resident”, you have no restriction as to kinds of occupation and work hours.
  • In case of the “temporary visitor” visa, you are not allowed to work and receive income and compensation. However, if rewards and income are considered as an “extraordinary income or a like”, you are allowed to receive them.

You need to be certain before you apply

To obtain status of residence, you first need to check if you fulfil the conditions required for each visa before you prepare and submit an application to a regional immigration bureau in your area.

For example, in case of the engineer’s visa of “Engineering/Specialist in Humanities/International Services, you need to confirm mainly the followings.

  1. Check if you fall into one of followings
    • Graduate of a university or a college (overseas acceptable)
    • Graduate of a vocational school called ‘Senmon gakko‘ with a certificate of “Senmonshi”
    • A work experience of more than 10 years in the work area
    • IT engineer (has passed a test or granted a qualification in an information processing engineer stipulated by the Ministry of Justice)
  2. Check if the work has any relationship with what you had learned at the school, in case you have graduated a university, a college or a vocational school.
  3. Check if your expected salary should be equivalent to or higher than that of Japanese employees doing the same kind of work.
  4. Check if business of your employer is stable and sustainable.
  5. Check if you are a good citizen with no criminal records, no delay in paying tax, and no fault in fulfilling legal duties etc., in case you have been living in Japan.


It looks not an easy task to confirm that you are fulfilling these requirements and to collect/develop necessary documents to apply for visa. However, don’t worry! We, immigration lawyers, are here to help you.

This article in Japanese by Immigration Lawyer Yumiko Kasama (Gyoseishoshi Kasama Yumiko Office)


Deputy Director of the International section of Kanagawa Administrative Lawyers Association (Kanagawa-Ken Gyoseishoshikai)
After engaging in the support of developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America as part of international humanitarian aid NGOs, she changed her life course, and became an immigration lawyer to support foreign nationals in Japan. In addition to supporting foreign nationals with their residence status (visa) or nationality procedures, she provides consultations to small- and medium-sized companies on utilization of human resources from overseas countries.
As an immigration lawyer who is specialist on residence status/nationality, she provides legal support regardless of country or visa type. She likes to tackle with difficult cases under special circumstances, and she is actively challenging on procedures of special type of visa such as “Technical Intern Trainee” and “Specified Skilled Worker” etc.

  • Civil member of Human Rights Policy Promotion Council at Kawasaki City Civic Cultural Rights/Gender Equality Participation Department
  • Member of Professional Group for supporting companies on employment of foreigners at Kawasaki Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Management Consultant (employment of foreigners) at Kawasaki Institute of Industrial promotion
  • Volunteer of Kawasaki International Association
  • Coordinator of research on Specified Skilled Worker visa at Kanagawa Federation of Small Business Associations
Living in JAPAN VISA

Living in Japan VISA will help companies who want to hire foreign people and foreigners who want to work in Japan by introducing notary publics who are specialized in Residency Status to end up with “worry-free hiring and worry-free job.”