Specified Skilled Worker Visa for F&B Jobs in Japan
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
With the Specified Skilled Worker Visa, the Food and Beverage Industry is Open to Foreign Residents
Good news for those interested in working in the food and beverage industry! Before, foreigners could only work part time. Now, they can be full-time employees.
*This article was created by staff of Active Gaming Media (60% of our 130 person workforce are foreigners).
This article was published in the PR Times: PR Times: G. taste Co., Ltd. Seeking Full-time Foreign Employees: Enthusiastically Hiring Study Abroad Students and People from Foreign Universities! Looking for 500 People over the next Three Years! [Unofficial translation]
As foreign employment in Japan heats up, and new residence statuses allow foreign residents to work in fields they were unable to before, the company G. taste is taking dramatic steps to boost their foreign employees.
Up until now in the food and beverage industry, if a company wanted to hire foreign residents full time, the only option available was clerical work. Foreigners could only hold other roles part time, regardless of whether it was at privately owned businesses, small- and- medium-sized enterprises, or big companies like G. taste.
However, that’s changed with the establishment of the *specified skilled worker visa in April 2019.
This is certainly good news for businesses who want to employ foreign residents because the recent tourist boom has brought a lot foreign customers, and restaurants need people who speak multiple languages. This is additionally great for foreign residents looking to gain experience and learn about the food and beverage industry.
*For more information about the specified skilled worker visa, check here: A Breakdown of the Specified Skilled Worker Visa
To put it simply, the creation of this specified skilled worker visa means foreign residents in Japan can now be employed in the food and beverage industry as full-time employees.
The specified skilled worker visa has 2 categories ((i) and (ii) on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website).
Basically the difference is this: (ii) allows you to stay longer, giving it more merit, but it’s harder to qualify.
Currently foreign residents can only apply for (i) when trying to work in the food and drink industry.
Specified Skilled Worker (i)
Specified Skilled Worker (ii)
Period of stay
Accompaniment by family members
Confirmed by exams
High levels of experience
As much Japanese is required for the job
Care worker, building cleaning management, machine parts & tooling industries, industrial machinery industry, electric, electronics, and information industries, construction industry, shipbuilding and ship machinery industry, automobile repair and maintenance, aviation industry, accommodation industry, agriculture, fishery & aquaculture, manufacture of food and beverages, food service industry (14 fields)
Construction, shipbuilding and ship machinery industry
So what kinds of foreign residents can obtain this visa?
Below is an explanation from the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare.
“In the food and beverage industry, people who pass the tests below or complete the second grade technical intern training (ii) for the manufacturing of food and beverages can receive the specified skilled worker (i).”
[Translated from original Japanese]
Skill Standards (Confirmed by the food and beverage manufacturing industry skills proficiency test (temporary name))
Japanese level (Confirmed by the Japanese Proficiency test (temporary name)) or the JLPT n4 and above)
Source: Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare: About the policies related to the management of the system concerned with the residence status of the specified skilled worker visa [Unofficial title translation]
To break it down further:
The food and beverage manufacturing industry skills proficiency test became available in April of 2019 in Japan and Vietnam. Foreign residents must pass this exam to be eligible for the visa.
The Japanese Proficiency Test is a newly established Japanese language test. The JLPT is structured from 5 levels, n5 to n1, with n4 being “able to listen and comprehend conversations encountered in daily life and generally follow their contents, provided that they are spoken slowly.”
Foreign residents with this visa can do any job in the food and beverage industry. They can be hired as full time employees for parts of the job they could only do as part-timers before, like interacting with customers and food preparation.
However, they are not allowed to work for places considered in the adult entertainment industry, like some bars, hostess bars, snack bars, clubs, pachinko parlors, and other related businesses (not even as dishwashers, cleaners, etc).