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Japan Work Visas & Permits

Part of the process of moving or expanding a business to Japan is usually going to be bringing part of your workforce into the country. To do this, you’ll need to attain the correct work visas in advance of the move. 

Applying for and acquiring Japan work visas for your employees to legally work in the country can be a complex process. The rules and administration can be confusing and without fully understanding the processes involved you could easily hit significant delays.

At Horizons, our global expansion experts offer a full suite of Japan visa services, immigration advice, and tailored support, helping foreign organizations start their Japan expansion rapidly and with confidence.

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Basic requirements for Japan work visas

One of the most important things to know before coming to Japan is that anybody not coming as a tourist will need a document called a certificate of eligibility (COE). The COE is necessary for progressing with visa applications, so should be the first thing document you apply for. 

Other requirements for work visas vary depending on the type of visa but include things like job offers, valid travel documents, particular work experience, educational qualifications, and so on. To know the specific requirements for your situation, you will need to determine the appropriate visa for each employee.

Categories of work visas in Japan

There are dozens of different types of Japanese work visas. For example, there are different categories for artists, journalists, educators, and various other professions, so it is important that you understand which is right for you and your employees. The length of the visas also varies, usually ranging from three months to several years, so you will need to ensure that you acquire a visa that will last the required period of time.

For the employees of many organizations, it is likely that some form of skilled worker visa will be the most suitable, for example, the Specific Skilled Worker Visa, or the SSW visa.

The process of acquiring work visas for Japan

Once you know which visas are most suitable for your employees, you will need to attain COEs via an official Japanese immigration office, known as Regional immigration bureaus. When applying for a skilled worker visa, your employee will need to meet the mandatory number of points (70), and you will need to supply various documents such as a letter of guarantee, relevant details about your organization, and an invitation letter.

Further considerations for your Japan work visas

Besides the necessary documentation, work visa applications will generally also have a fee. As an employer, you should cover this fee for your employees. Additionally, you will need to decide whether you need a single or multi-entry visa, whether your employees are hoping to bring family members with them, and so on. As your employees are probably crucial to your expansion operation in Japan, always leave ample time for the visa applications to avoid delays. 

Horizons Japan work visa support

At Horizons, we help businesses to successfully expand into Japan, and we’re experts in securing work visas for employees. Our visa specialists will work with you to offer customized support, outsourcing, and preparation for navigating the complex Japan work visa process. We will ensure that you and your workforce are fully compliant with Japan’s employment and immigration regulations, save you time, and answer any questions you might have about the process. In addition, we provide extensive outsourcing services covering recruitment, payroll, HR, administration, and more to help your business start trading in Japan as quickly and effectively as possible.