Koike Administrative Scrivener Office
We often receive actual inquiries such as, “I would like to obtain a working visa to work in Japan,” or “I would like to hire a foreigner, but can I obtain a working visa for my company’s business?
What is a working visa anyway? Many people may wonder, “What is a working visa? A working visa is the common name for a status of residence for the purpose of employment in Japan. There are a total of 19 types of working visas, including medical (doctors, nurses, etc.) and professor (university professors) visas, and I would like to tell you about one of them, the ” Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” visa. I would like to tell you about “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services,” which is one of the main categories.
The activities are specified in Appendix 1-2 of the Immigration Control Act.
Activities to engage in work requiring skill or knowledge in the field of science, engineering or other natural science, or in the field of jurisprudence, economics, sociology or other humanities, or activities requiring thought or sensitivity based on foreign culture, which are performed under a contract with a public or private organization in Japan (activities listed in the lower column of the “Professor”,”Arts” and “Journalism” sections of Table 1, and activities listed in the “Foreign Culture” section of Table 2) (2) Activities listed in the right-hand column of the “Professor”, “Arts”, and “Journalism” sections of Table 1, and activities listed in the left-hand column of this table.Appendix 1-2 of the Immigration Control Act
(Excluding the activities listed in the lower columns of the Business and Administration to Education, Intra-company Transfer, and Entertainment sections of the table.
Looking at the content, some may find it difficult, but it can be divided into the following three categories.
・Positions mainly related to science subjects such as engineering, science, agriculture, and pharmacy.
・Specifically, engineers, mechanical engineering, game development, architectural design, etc.
・Engaged in technology development work based on a contract with a company whose business is the manufacture of electrical products.(Graduated from a Japanese university with a degree in engineering.)
・Mainly occupations related to humanities subjects (including social science fields), excluding the arts.
・Specifically, accounting, human resources, general affairs, sales, consulting, etc.
・Worked as a legal assistant under contract with a law firm. Graduated from a Japanese university with a degree in law.
・Specifically, interpretation/translation, trade operations, language school instructors, designers, etc.
・Worked as an interpreter and translator for a company importing and selling miscellaneous goods, based on a contract with the company. Graduated with a degree in business administration from a university in her home country.
The company you work for must perform work that falls under any of the above (1), (2), or (3).
In addition to that, the company must comply with the “standards set forth by the Ministry of Justice Ordinance in consideration of the impact on the industry and people’s lives in Japan and other circumstances (Ministerial Ordinance on Landing Standards)” (Landing Standards Ministerial Ordinance Compliance).
The Ministerial Ordinance on Landing Standards can be categorized as follows.
① or ② below must be met.
Graduated from a university with a major in a subject related to the relevant technology or knowledge, or received education equivalent to or higher than this, or completed a specialized course at a special training college in Japan with a major in a subject related to the relevant technology or knowledge, and obtained the title of professional or advanced specialist.
The applicant shall have at least 10 years of work experience in the planned business.
① and ② below must be met.
To engage in translation, interpretation, language instruction, public relations, advertising, or overseas business transactions, design related to clothing or interior decoration, product development, or other similar work.
At least three years of work experience in a job related to the job you wish to engage in.
※However, university graduates who wish to engage in translation, interpretation, or language instruction do not need to have work experience.
Based on the above activity requirements and the Ministerial Ordinance on Landing Standards, I will explain the three points with actual examples of disapproval.
The term [work that requires specialized technical knowledge] does not apply to simple tasks such as packing boxes or working on a line in a factory, work that can be obtained by making a few connections, or work that can be done without education or work experience.
A graduate of the Faculty of Education applied for employment as a field worker based on a contract with a company engaged in the manufacture and sale of boxed lunches, and claimed to be engaged in packing boxed lunches at a boxed lunch processing plant. However, the application was rejected because the work in question was not considered to require knowledge in the field of humanities, and was not considered to fall under the category of “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services.
Where work requiring academic skills and knowledge is required, packing boxed lunches at a boxed lunch processing plant is considered a simple task.
A graduate of the Department of Information Systems Engineering applied for a contract with a company engaged in the management of a restaurant, claiming that he would be paid 250,000 yen per month to engage in computerized accounting management (sales, purchases, expenses, etc.), labor management, and customer management (accepting reservations), It was disallowed because it was not recognized that there was a sufficient amount of work to perform it as an activity, the specific content of customer management was to accept reservations by phone and write them in a ledger, and the work was not recognized as requiring technology or knowledge belonging to the field of natural science or humanities, and it did not fall under any of the categories of “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services.
Where work requiring academic skills and knowledge is required, accepting appointments over the phone and writing on ledgers are not considered to require skills and knowledge, nor is the workload sufficient to require academic skills and knowledge.
However, the application was rejected because it was found that a foreigner who had been hired for the same reason at the hotel in the past had been engaged in serving food in a restaurant and cleaning rooms for one year, far exceeding the initial training schedule. However, it was found that the foreigner, who had been hired for the same reason in the past at the hotel, was engaged in serving food in the restaurant and cleaning guest rooms, which were not applicable to his status of residence, far exceeding his original training schedule, and the application was rejected.
If a certain period of practical training is provided at the beginning of employment, etc., even if the activity does not fall under the “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” status of residence if only the activity to be performed during the period of practical training is taken into consideration, it may be considered as a “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” activity, If the activity is part of a practical training program that is also provided to Japanese university graduates, etc., and if the activity is not one that occupies the majority of the status of residence as a whole, the activity is allowed within the “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” status of residence after judging its appropriateness. However, if you continue to work far beyond your original training schedule, it will not be approved and will be disapproved.
In order to perform “work that requires specialized technical knowledge,” it is necessary to acquire skills and knowledge at a university or technical school. If the subjects majored in at the university or vocational school are not related to the work to be performed, it will be judged that you do not meet the required educational background.
A graduate of a voice-over acting course at a vocational school applied to work as a lobby staff member in translation and interpretation services for a Japanese hotel that attracts many foreign guests, but the application was rejected because of the lack of relevance to his major.
Compared to universities, vocational schools require more relevance between the major subject and the work you intend to engage in. The reasons are as follows
・Since the purpose of a vocational school is to cultivate abilities necessary for occupation or actual life, or to improve one’s liberal arts, Therefore, the major subjects of a vocational school and the work to be engaged in need to be related to a considerable degree.
・The purpose of a university, as a center of science, is to impart knowledge broadly, teach and study specialized arts and sciences in depth, and develop intellectual, moral, and applied abilities, and to conduct education and research to achieve these purposes, In light of the nature of the university as an educational institution, we are flexible in determining the relevance of the major subject at the university to the work to be performed.
Specifically, the compensation must be the same or higher than what a Japanese graduate or mid-career worker would receive.
A graduate of the Faculty of Engineering applied to work as an engineer under a contract with a company engaged in computer related services, receiving 135,000 yen per month, but was hired at the same time as the applicant, since it was found that the monthly remuneration of a newly graduated Japanese employee engaged in the same type of work was 180,000 yen, the remuneration was not considered to be equal to or higher than that of the Japanese employee and was rejected.
The Ministerial Ordinance of the Landing Permit Standards requires that [the remuneration must be equal to or greater than the remuneration received by Japanese nationals engaged in the work.
The “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” visa is a visa that can be obtained if the requirements are met. However, there are some people who do not meet the requirements and apply for a visa by misrepresenting their work to the Immigration Bureau, or by paying a large amount of money to a broker to obtain a visa.
Even if you are able to obtain a visa at the time, you will be penalized later.
Obtaining a visa is not the goal, but the start. It is important to be able to renew your visa and work with peace of mind.
Those who obtain a working visa by deception or other wrongful means shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than three years or imprisonment with work for not more than three million yen, or a fine of not more than three million yen, or both imprisonment with work and imprisonment and a fine.
In order to protect yourself and your family, and to work with peace of mind for a long time, please make sure you understand what you can and cannot do with a “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” visa before you apply!
That’s all for now. If you are considering a working visa, or if you are unsure whether you meet the requirements for a working visa, please contact our office!