What is a Japanese “working visa?”

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A visa is necessary to establish legal status to work in Japan and without one, foreign nationals are generally not permitted to earn income in Japan. However, there is no general “working visa” in Japan; rather the term is a catch all for a variety of different employment based visas. Employment based visas that allow a foreign national to work in Japan are separated into specific categories such as “teacher,” “engineer” or “specialist in humanities.” These specific visas allow their holders to work in Japan but also limit them to the specific fields of employment designated by the visa.

To obtain a working visa the foreign national, and the Japanese employer, must assemble and submit a large number of documents along with the visa application. There also may be additional documents required depending on the size of the employer. Whether or not the working visa is granted will depend heavily on what the submitted documents show about the educational and work history of the foreign national as well as the finances and performance of the hiring company.

If you have any questions about visas in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.