How To Get Working Visa In Japan – A Comprehensive Guide

Renowned as a difficult country to immigrate to, Japan has a low immigration rate, which leads to a shortage of workers. Because of this immigration issue, international companies with offices in Japan turn to hire foreign employees to fill many of their available positions. Therefore, job opportunities in Japan are tremendous. However, in order to work in Japan, you’ll need a work visa. So, how to get working visa in Japan? Check out this blog to get the most comprehensive guide to applying for a Japanese working visa!

Basics About Japanese Working Visa

Who Needs A Working Visa In Japan?

A Japanese Working Visa is required for any foreigners who want to live and work in Japan for any period of time.

If you visit Japan as tourists, short-term visitors or you come here for business and for other recreational purposes, you are exempt from obtaining a Japan Work Visa.

Everyone who intends to stay in Japan for an extended period of time (work, education, or family reunion) must obtain the appropriate Japan visa.

how to get working visa in Japan

A Japanese Working Visa is required for any foreigners who want to live and work in Japan for any period of time.

Professions Eligible For Japanese Working Visa

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan offers a list of professions that are eligible for Japan working visas:

  • Professor like a university professor or an assistant professor, etc.
  • Instructor, for example, teachers at elementary, intermediate or high schools
  • Business manager, for example, company presidents or directors, etc.
  • Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International services like IT or scientific engineers, a copywriter, designer or interpreter, a foreign language teacher, etc.
  • Intra-company transferee, for example people transferred to the Japanese branch of a company
  • Researchers at research institutes or investigators
  • Technical interns
  • Journalist such as newspaper or magazine journalists, news cameramen, editors, announcers, etc.
  • Legal/Accounting workers such as attorneys, judicial scriveners, public accountants, tax accountants, etc.
  • Skilled workers, for instance pilots, sports trainers, animal trainers, foreign chefs, etc.
  • Entertainer such as singers, actors, dancers, musicians, models, sportspeople, etc.
  • Artists such as composers, songwriters, sculptors, photographers, etc.
  • Nursing care such as certified care workers
  • Religious activities such as monks, bishops, missionaries, etc.
  • Medical services such as nurses, dentists, pharmacists, physicians, etc.

How To Get Working Visa In Japan

How To Apply For A Working Visa In Japan?

Documents Needed For Application

So, how to get working visa in Japan? Well, firstly you’ll need to prepare and submit the following documents to apply for a Japan work visa:

  • Your valid passport as well as its photocopies
  • A completed and signed Japan Work Visa Application Form. You can download this form from the website of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • The Certificate of Eligibility
  • Passport-size photos that meet the following requirements: dimensions: 4cm x 3cm; plain white background with no patterns or shadows; your face must be straight, fully visible and shows neutral expression; taken within the last three months; the photo must be in good quality (clear, sharp and focused)
  • Documents proving your academic and professional history
  • Documents related to the receiving company, such as the company’s registration, profit and loss statement, etc.
  • Documents describing your role in the company/organization, the income you’ll be paid, and the length of time you’ll be working there
  • For teachers or instructors: Academic qualifications or an educational license; Documents related to the receiving organization
  • For researchers: Academic and professional qualifications; Documents related to the receiving organization
  • For artists: Any documents demonstrating your artistic achievements
  • For religious workers: Documents showing information about the religious group that sends you to Japan; Documents related to the receiving Japanese organization; Documents proving your religious position and career
  • For intra-company transferees: Documents proving the relationship between the two offices/companies
  • Any further documents requested by the Japanese Embassy or Consulate, depending on your profession

Application Process

There are two steps in the application process for a Work Visa in Japan.

Obtaining A Certificate Of Eligibility

The first step is obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility.

Every foreigner entering Japan for a long period of time must get a Certificate of Eligibility from the Japanese Immigration Services. Your sponsor (employer) is responsible for handling your COE application on your behalf (since it has to be submitted in Japan). You have to send your sponsor any required documentation.

The Certificate of Eligibility for Japan is not a substitute for a Work Visa. It is only a requirement, and you must still apply for a Work Visa in Japan from your home country.

The COE does, however, serve to demonstrate that you have been approved by the Japanese Immigration Services and that you meet the Japanese government’s admission standards for foreign workers. The process of getting a work visa in Japan becomes easier once you have the Certificate of Eligibility.

Applying For A Working Visa

The second step in the process is applying for a working visa.

Your company must send you the Certificate of Eligibility after you obtain it so that you can use it to apply for a work visa at a Japanese Diplomatic Representative Office (Consulate or Embassy) in your country. You must do the following:

  • Contact the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your area
  • Some Representative Offices do not accept direct visa applications, thus you must go through an accredited travel agency or a visa application agency to get a visa
  • Gather the necessary paperwork for a work visa in Japan
  • Apply for a Japan Work Visa directly at the Embassy or Consulate, or through a travel agency or visa application agency. You may be required to return for an interview or submit additional papers if the Consulate or Embassy considers it essential
  • Obtain the visa. You must return to retrieve your passport when your Japan work visa application has been processed. You may enter Japan if your application has been approved

Watch this video to know how to get a working visa in Japan:


What Is The Cost For A Working Visa In Japan?

The following are the visa fees for Japan:

  • 3,000 Yen for a single-entry visa
  • 6,000 Yen for a double-entry or multiple-entry visa.

Please note that:

  • You must only pay the fee if your application is approved.
  • If you apply through an agency, they will charge you a fee for their services.
  • The cost of a visa varies depending on the country in which you apply, the local currency, and your nationality.

How Long Does A Japanese Working Visa Last?

Work visas for Japan can be granted for the following periods of time, depending on a variety of factors such as your occupation and the length of your employment contract:

  • Three months
  • Four months
  • One year
  • Three years
  • Five years

However, if you meet the requirements, you can apply for a work visa extension before it expires regardless of the length of your visa.

How To Extend A Working Visa In Japan?

In order to extend your working visa in Japan, you must submit an application for a Japan Visa Extension at the local Immigration Office where you reside and work. The following documents are required:

  • Your passport and Residence Card
  • A completed and signed Extension of the Period of Stay Application Form
  • Passport-size photos that meet the following requirements: Dimensions: 4cm x 3cm; Plain white background with no patterns or shadows; Your face must be straight, fully visible and shows neutral expression; Taken within the last three months; The photo must be in good quality (clear, sharp and focused)
  • Documents related to the company’s registration
  • Proof shows that you meet the financial requirements to live in Japan
  • Proof of continuous employment, which includes information about your salary, position, and length of employment.
  • Proof of annual income and payment of taxes

What To Do After Getting A Japan Work Visa?

After you have obtained a working visa in Japan, you will be given a Landing Permit which replaces the visa and acts as a “license” to enter the country. Additionally, you’ll also need a Residence Card and a Re-Entry Permit when you live in Japan.

Acquiring The Residence Card

If you arrive in Japan through the Narita, Haneda, Kansai or Chubu Airport, you will be given a Japanese Residence Card along with a Landing Permit. If you enter Japan through any other port, you must obtain a Residence Card from the local municipal office where you will be living.

After that, you must register at the local municipal office (also known as Ward Office) where you are living in Japan within 14 days of your arrival. The Residence Card will include your address.

When A Re-Entry Permit Is Needed?

If your stay outside of Japan exceeds one year, you’ll need a Re-Entry Permit. If you want to leave and return within a year, all you need is a Special Re-Entry Permit, which you may obtain at the airport before departing.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is It Possible To Change A Different Type Of Visa Into A Japan Working Visa?

You can apply for a “Change of Status of Residence” at the local office of the Immigration Services in Japan if you are residing in Japan with a type of Japanese visa that does not allow you to work, such as a Student Visa or a Spouse Visa. If you want to change your current visa into a “Work Visa,” you’ll need to provide paperwork similar to those required when applying for one for the first time (documents describing your position in the company/organization, the salary you’ll earn, and the length of time you’ll be working).

The application takes two to one month to process, and you must submit all required documents with your Residence Card.

Changing your residence status will cost you 4,000 yen.

2. Can I Work In Japan Without A Visa?

Work permits are not issued to U.S. citizens who enter Japan without a visa or a tourist visa. Illegal workers face arrest and deportation if caught. Individuals suspected of entering Japan without a valid work visa yet intending to work here may be denied entry.

3. Can My Family Members Come To Japan With Me If I Had A Work Visa?

Yes, if you work as a foreign worker in Japan, you can apply for a Japan Spouse Visa to bring your spouse and children with you.


Hope that this blog has provided you with a useful guide on how to get working visa in Japan. If you love Japan and want to live and work here, why not try to apply for a Japanese work visa?

About Yuu Sato

Yuu Hiasa has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.