Japan Visa Guide

Japan and Japanese culture hold a positive and intriguing connotation for the rest of the world. With a culture known for an interesting western flair mixed with eastern tradition, Japan never ceases to stop drawing global attention. A recently popular travel destination, it’s not surprising many are also looking for bigger and longer lasting opportunities in Japan as well.

Even more so, Japan’s world famous efficiency and technological edge make it an attractive work/stay destination for the tech world. Even the very traditional and conservative culture of Japan is opening it’s doors to the world of startups and foreign talent. The career opportunities are abundant as a result.

Here are some of the best visa options available for young professionals and the run down on each:

 

Highly Skilled Professional Visa:

If you have a higher education background and work experience, this is the visa for you. You will be granted five years on this visa and can sponsor family for other visas to come with you.

Before you apply for this visa, you turn in a Certificate of Eligibility to a Regional Immigration Bureau to  be assessed by the Ministry of Japan to see that you meet qualifications. This is based on a point system.

There are three categories you can rack up points in:

  • Advanced academic research
  • Advanced specialized and technical abilities
  • Advanced business management activities

Curious to see how you do? Check out the points calculation form here.

Here’s the whole process:

  1. Turn in application for issuance of a certificate of eligibility
  2. Submit point calculation form
  3. Forms are examined by Regional Immigration Bureau
  4. You are issued a certificate of eligibility
  5. You can apply for full visa at an embassy and plan your trip.

The documents you will need are to turn into the embassy with you are:

  • Your passport
  • Visa application form
  • One photograph
  • Certificate of Eligibility – both the original and a copy

 

Working Visa:

The working visa is available for a wide range of professionals including: professors, artists, religious professionals, journalists, business managers, lawyers or accountants, medical professionals, researchers, instructors of a variety, and engineers or specialists in humanities/International services.

If you fall into one of those categories, this visa is an option for you. However, the periods of time you are able to stay may vary.

The general process is the same for those who are classified as Highly Skilled Professionals. It is helpful to have an employer submit your Certificate of Eligibility form as well. Search for jobs looking to sponsor foreign talents in Japan here.

Here’s the whole process:

  1. You or an employer turn in application for issuance of a certificate of eligibility
  2. Submit point calculation form
  3. Forms are examined by Regional Immigration Bureau
  4. You are issued a certificate of eligibility
  5. You can apply for full visa at an embassy and plan your trip.

The documents you will need are to turn into the embassy with you are:

  • Your passport
  • Visa application form
  • One photograph
  • Certificate of Eligibility – both the original and a copy

General Visa:

If you are fresh out of school or still studying and are looking for international experience, you can do an unpaid internship or training in Japan as well! For this, you will apply for a general visa which will grant you between 6 months and a year.

The process is similar to working and highly skilled visas. It’s recommended you have your employer or program help you with the Certificate of Eligibility.

Here’s the whole process:

  1. You or an employer turn in application for issuance of a certificate of eligibility
  2. Submit point calculation form
  3. Forms are examined by Regional Immigration Bureau
  4. You are issued a certificate of eligibility
  5. You can apply for full visa at an embassy and plan your trip.

The documents you will need are to turn into the embassy with you are:

  • Your passport
  • Visa application form
  • One photograph
  • Certificate of Eligibility – both the original and a copy

There are no visa fees and the general processing time is 4-5 business days when you submit with approved Certificate of Eligibility. It’s incredibly efficient; very Japan!

 

Here are some resources mentioned:

Search for a local embassy here

Certificate of Eligibility form here

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