[Explained by a Legal Professional] Points to consider when you wish to work in Japan

2022-09-05 COLUMN , VISA , WORK

This post is also available in 日本語

In Vol.7 “Different Types of Status of Residence and its Rules”, we explained that there are 29 types of “status of residence”, and there are “jobs you can do” and “jobs you cannot do”. On this occasion, we will look at the status of residence that allow you to work in Japan and look at some concrete examples.

The following table summarizes the status of residence and the occupation available with that status.

Status of residence with defined job descriptions

Status of ResidenceExamples of applicable employment
DiplomatAmbassadors, Ministers, Consuls general, Delegation member of a foreign government and their families
OfficialEmployee of an embassy or consulate of a foreign government, those dispatched by the United Nations and other official organizations, as well as their family members
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 resources with 70 points or higher (class 1 and 2)
*Highly Skilled Professional 1 (3 types)
(a): Research or research instruction, and   teaching activities.
(b): Activities that require knowledge or skills in the natural sciences or humanities.
(c): Activities involving the performance of business management or administration in public or private institutions.
*Highly Skilled Professional 2: Activities that allow the holder of the qualification to continue as a highly skilled professional while also engaging in other activities incidental to their activities.
Business ManagerManager or administrator of a company
Legal/Accounting ServicesAttorney or certified public accountant etc.
Medical ServicesPhysician, dentist or registered nurse
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 ServicesEngineers such as of mechanical engineering, interpreters/translators, designers, language instructors at private companies or marketing specialists, etc.
Intra-company TransfereeTransferee from an office abroad
Nursing careCare worker
EntertainerActors, singers, dancers, professional athletes, etc.
Skilled LaborChefs of foreign cuisine, sports instructors, pilots or craftsman of precious metals, etc.
Specified Skilled WorkerForeigners engaging in works requiring the proficient skills belonging to a specified industrial field(class 1 and 2)
[14 Fields]Nursing care, Building cleaning management, Machine Parts and Tooling Industries, Industrial Machinery Industry, Electric, Electronics and Information Industries, Construction Industry, Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery Industry, Automobile Repair and Maintenance, Aviation Industry, Accommodation Industry, Agriculture, Fishery and Aquaculture Industries, Manufacture of Food and Beverages, Food Service Industry
Technical Intern TrainingTechnical trainees learning skills at Japanese companies (class 1, 2, and 3)
Designated ActivitiesWorking holiday, Domestic staff of a diplomat, or a foreign nurse / care worker candidate under an Economic Partnership Agreement, etc.

Status of residence procedures

First, find a job, sign an employment contract, and then, if necessary, go through the change of status of residence procedures. The point is to look for a job while making sure that the job matches the conditions of your status of residence.

Career improvements!

You start working in Japan, and maybe in a few years pass, you may be transferred or promoted as part of your career advancement. Even if you are working in the same company, the content of your work may change due to relocation or promotion, and you will need to check again that your status of residence is appropriate.

I want to change jobs!

In principle, if a person with the above status of residence changes employers, this must be done within 3 months of termination of his/her previous job (this is 6 months in the case of Highly Skilled Professional 2). You should be aware that your status of residence may be revoked if you do not engage in activities permitted under your status of residence beyond that period without justifiable reason.

In case your employment agreement with your current company is terminated as a result of a change to your job or due to you resigning, or, alternatively if you enter into a contract with a new company, it is necessary to file a “Notification Concerning Affiliated Organization” to the Immigration Bureau within 14 days of such an event. Refer to the website of the Immigration Bureau for more details.

If you change employers as well, you will need to check whether your current status of residence if appropriate for your new job at your new company.

Status of residence without restrictions on work content

If you have a status of residence based on status or status as a “Permanent resident”, “Spouse of Japanese national, etc.”, “Spouse of permanent resident, etc.” or “long-term resident”, you can work with any job type or time without restriction. In principle, you will not need to change your status of residence when finding employment either.

If you work with a permit to engage in activities other than those permitted under your status of residence

Normally, you are not allowed to work if you have a “Student” or “Dependent” status. However, if you obtain a “Permission to engage in activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted”, in principle, it is possible to work for 28 hours a week (for foreign students, 8 hours per day during long school holidays, such as summer holiday) on a part-time basis.

Please note that, in case of foreign students, it is not possible to continue this part-time work after graduating from the school that you were a member of.

Please consult with an administrative scrivener who is an expert on status of residence for more detailed information!

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.”