Japan visa types
At the moment there are numerous different types of visas and more will be introduced in the future, including the eVisa.
Visas are obtained directly from Japanese embassies and consulates, althought the application process for the eVisa will be completed entirely online.
Japanes visas can be grouped in 3 main categories:
- Working visa
- Non-working visa
- Family Related Visas
Working visas are considered long-term stay visas and cover the kind of work that requires high-level professional knowledge or skills and ‘thus, they do not include simple labor tasks. Jobs like waiter, construction workers, sales people, etc. cannot obtain a working visa. Typical working visas:
- Engineer, Specialist in Humanities, International Services Engineer. Engineers and Specialists in Humanities must have a university degree in their corresponding fields or 10 years of professional experience. International Services Engineers must have 3 years of professional experience in their field.
- Intra-company Transferee. This status applies ot expats of foreign companies or the subsidiary companies of Japanese firms located overseas who have worked more than one year in the said office in overseas.
- Skilled Labor. Jobs involving foreign cooking, architecture or civil engineering characteristic to foreign countries, training animals, instructing sports, sommeliers, processing precious stones will fall into this status. It’s mandatory to have at least 3 years of professional experience in the field.
- Business Manager. Those who are going to start a business or invest into a business in Japan. It also applies to those managing business on behalf of investors.
- Highly-Skilled Professional. This visa aims to attract workers who are likely to contribute to the Japanese economy.
Those with a certain status, knowledge, or skills can get the following working visas:
- Diplomats or Officials, Personnel of the embassies and consular offices, Diplomatic missions, Government personnel and their families.
- Research and education at university or equivalent educational institutions.
- Instruction of foreign languages or other education at elementary schools, high schools, etc. Those instructors looking to work in private language schools must apply for the Specialist in Humanities / International Services visa.
- For those whose artistic activities provide enough income to support their living in Japan.
- Religious activities. Missionaries sent to Japan from foreign religious organizations.
- Those journalists who have signed contracts with foreign media organizations. It includes freelance journalists.
- Legal and Accounting services.
- Medical Services. Medical specialists with Japanese qualifications.
- For those researches working under a contract with public or private organizations in Japan.
- All of those working in show business and sports.
Anyone who holds a non-working visa is allowed to work as long as the immigration office grants them permission. This type of visas is considered a short-term stay visa and some restrictions apply. Those doing some work under a non-working visa cannot exceed the number of authorized hours per week.
Who can benefit:
- The visa application is submitted through the school.
- Those training to acquire technology, skills or knowledge. This status is granted only when the candidate will work in a job requiring that technology, skills or knowledge once he returns to his home country.
- Technical Internships. That covers internships after training under trainee visa.
- Spouses or children of people staying in Japan under the work visa and non-working visa (except for temporary visitors and trainees).
- Cultural Activities. Cultural or artistic activities with no income.
- Students or researches of Japanese cultural or artistic activities.
- University students taking part in an internship without remuneration.
- Temporary Visitors (also known as Tourist visa). This status includes visitors on vacation, sports, family visits, participants in seminars and conferences, business meetings, market research, and those traveling to Japan to engage in PR activities.
There is also another epigraphe for non-working visas that is granted case by case: Designated Activities. Students on internship, working holidays, diplomats’ housekeepers are some of the people who can aply for this visa.
Family related visas are considered short-term stay visas and have no retrictions when it comes to employment, so you can engage in more than one activity or change jobs. Those who can apply to these visas are:
- Spouses and children of Japanese nationals
- Long Term Residents
- Permanent Residents
- Spouses and children of Permanent Resident