What types of visas are required to work or study in Japan?

What is a Japanese “working visa?”
February 24, 2016
How do you apply for a work visa to work in Japan?
February 24, 2016
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Many different types of professions are covered by the variety of working visas available in Japan. Most people who visit Japan professionally and need a working visa can find one that fits their specific field of employment. Diplomats, religious missionaries, artists, journalists, entertainers, engineers and many more professions each have their own unique work visa in Japan. These visas usually afford the applicant a 3 year stay in Japan, which can be renewed multiple times.

Each visa allows its holder to engage in a specific scope of activities during their stay in Japan and likewise limits the holder to only practicing their specific profession. For example, a working visa for a professor in Japan limits the holder to activities for research, research guidance, or education as a professor, assistant professor or assistant, etc. at universities, equivalent education institutions or technical colleges. Therefore, if the holder of a professor working visa starts working as a chef for pay on the side, he or she would be in violation of Japanese immigration law.

But, not all visas that allow extended periods of stay in Japan are work-related. Many foreign students come to Japan each year to attend one of Japan’s many prestigious high schools, universities or technical schools. For these students Japan offers education visas for up to 2 years for college students or 1 year for pre-college students. Trainees at a company or organization can take advantage of a 1 year visa and students researching Japanese culture also can get a 1 year visa. All of these visas can be renewed to extend the period of stay in Japan. In general, these visas do not allow the visa holder to engage in paid work so the holder of an educational visa should focus on coming to Japan for purely educational reasons.

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