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2019-05-30

How To Get A Visa To Live And Work In Japan 2/2

  • Advice

How to get a visa to live and work in Japan

photo: shutterstock

*This is the conclusion of a 2 part article

In our previous article we covered several of the visa categories that will allow you to live and work in Japan, some temporarily and some indefinitely. In this second article we will go over the remaining types of visas and also into obtaining permanent residence and citizenship in Japan.


Specified Skills Work Visa: Type 1 (5 year maximum, extendable)


photo: shutterstock

The “Specified Skills” visa comes in two categories; type 1 and type 2. These types of work visas do not require a degree and have a broader range of industries to work for. Some knowledge of the Japanese language is also required.  Type 1 visa holders are not allowed to bring dependants with them to Japan and are limited to certain industries.

Type 1 visa holders can work in the following professions:


  • Electronics
  • Construction
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Shipbuilding and Marine
  • Raw Material Industry
  • Automobile Maintenance
  • Food Service
  • Aviation
  • Food and Beverage
  • Agriculture
  • Nursing Care
  • Accommodation Industry
  • Building Cleaning
  • Fisheries

Applicants who enter on a type 1 visa may be eligible to upgrade to type 2 after a certain amount of time has passed.

Specified Skills Work Visa: Type 2  (Indefinite)


photo: kitamura/ap/gettyimages


The “Specified Skills” visa comes in two categories; type 1 and type 2. These types of work visas do not require a degree and have a broader range of industries to work for. Some knowledge of the Japanese language is also required.  Type 2 visa holders are allowed to bring their dependants and spouse along with them to live in Japan. Type 2 visa holders are allowed to work in the following professions.

Type 2 visa holders can work in the following industries and require a higher level of skill:


  • Aviation
  • Construction
  • Automobile Maintenance
  • Accommodation Industry
  • Shipbuilding and Marine

Type 2 visa holders are allowed to stay, along with their familiy, indefinitely in Japan as long as their employer renews their visa.


Technical Intern Training Work Visa (5 year maximum)


photo: dddm.com.vn


The “technical intern training” visa allows workers coming from outside countries the opportunity to gain knowledge and training in Japan that they otherwise could not obtain in their home country. This visa does not require a degree and the applicant must be at least 18 years old at time of application. The applicant must also have no prior work experience in Japan and is not allowed to bring along any dependants. This visa has a maximum stay of 5 years but can make the person eligible for the Specified Skills Type 1 or 2 visa at a later time, thus allowing them to extend their stay further.


Student Visa (4 year, 3 month maximum)



photo: times higher education


For those wishing to do a full course study in Japan at a university or other institution of higher learning, the Student Visa is the best option. This visa requires sponsorship from the educational institution where the student is planning to attend their courses. This visa does not allow the person to work unless granted permission from the Japan office of immigration.


Spouse Visa (5 year maximum, extendable)



photo: shutterstock


For those who have a Japanese spouse they are eligible to apply for a spouse visa. This visa allows for a maximum 5 year stay in Japan and allows the beneficiary of the visa to work  in Japan without restriction. The visa can be extended after 5 years and may also be a path to permanent residency.


Permanent Resident Visa (Indefinite)


photo: nippon.com


For foreigners who have resided continuously in Japan and have shown themselves to be good residents and have a sufficient amount of assets, they can apply to be a permanent resident in Japan. The time frame for applying for permanent residency varies depending on visa type. It can be as short as 1 year of time in Japan to as long as 10 years of residence in Japan. After applying for and obtaining permanent residence, this will allow you to stay in Japan indefinitely.


Japanese Citizenship (Indefinite)


photo: gettyimages

For foreigners who have resided in Japan for a minimum of 5 consecutive years, show good conduct, have not plotted negatively against the Japanese government, can show sufficient assets and are willing to renounce any other citizenships they may already have, they may apply for Japanese citizenship. This will allow the person to live permanently in Japan and apply for and obtain a Japanese passport for travel.


Sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan, https://www.mofa.go.jp