The Japanese Visa Series, Chapter 3: Requirements to Get a Working Visa in Japan
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Don’t get scared by the paperwork
Before you continue reading this article, have you read the previous chapters in our visa series? In previous articles, we talked a bit about the different types of visas and gave more information about the Working Holiday visa. We recommend you take a look on them before reading any further here! Having said that, let’s get to it!
If you want to work in Japan, you need to obtain a proper working visa. To work in Japan, you must have a resident status that allows you to do so. In case you’re wondering, you are not able to work in Japan with just a tourist visa. The easiest route is finding a company willing to sponsor your visa application and apply at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a Certificate of Eligibility.
Wait, what is a Certificate of Eligibility?
The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is one of the most important documents needed for your visa application. Before they issue a COE, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms that you fit the requirements set by the government to work in Japan, and that you have been sponsored by a company that invited you to work in the country. In other words, your new employer will be responsible for you during your stay in Japan. They will submit the application and required documents for you; all you will be required to provide is personal identification and a record for your academic and professional background. If everything goes well, your COE will be issued in around 1 to 3 months. Be patient, my friend!
If you are living outside of Japan while applying for a working visa, you will need a COE to enter the country. In order to get your COE, you will have to meet some requirements:
- Clean criminal record
- University degree related to the activity you want to engage or 10 years of professional experience in the field
- The activities you will perform are consistent with the type of visa you are applying for (for example, holders of an Engineer visa have to perform activities related to that field)
It takes around 1 to 3 months to get the COE issued. Your company will send you the COE to your home country so you can finish the application for the working visa at home.
Note that COE is not mandatory when applying from Japan! But the list of required documents will be much longer in this situation.
I received my COE, what do I do now?
Congrats! It was a long process, but worth it, right? Now you can apply for a working visa at your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate. Generally, you can expect it to require the following documents:
- Visa application form
- Passport-sized photograph
- Certificate of Eligibility
(We recommend checking in advance with the Embassy since the requirements can vary depending on your nationality.)
After a short time, you will be asked to come back to the Embassy and pick up your passport with the visa stamp in it. And that is all it takes! Now all that’s left is to arrive in Japan to start an exciting new chapter in your life! Are you ready for this adventure?
If you dream of finding a job in Japan, register on IZANAU and connect with companies from all over the country.
*Visa applicants are responsible for their own application and IZANAU cannot be held responsible if authorities applied changes after the redaction of this article.
About the Author
Half writer, half reader. Tokyo based and deeply in love with - you can easily find me meandering around Shibuya or Shin-Okubo. Communication and marketing assistant by day, video game localizer by night.