Japan Visa: Status of Residence〔水野健司特許法律事務所〕

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Japan Visa: Status of Residence
Japan – a country rich in both traditional culture and technology, considered as one of the best country in the world, undeniably, there are many foreign nationals who are interested in going or staying in Japan. But, before going to Japan, it is necessary to get a visa that is appropriate for your intended activities in Japan. Also, check what special arrangements your country has with Japan. Each country has different arrangements with Japan that affect the length of stay and the visa eligibility prerequisites.
Status of Residence is the legal status under which a foreign national is permitted to stay in Japan. There are 27 categories of residence status based on the activities of foreigners in Japan.
Below are shown the different statuses of residence in Japan and the activities authorized in Japan for each status.
■ Working Visa – cover the kind of work that requires high level of professional knowledge or skills.
  1. Business Manager – the operation of international trade or other business, to invest in international trade or other business and to operate or manage that business, or to operate or manage international trade or other business on behalf of foreign nationals, including foreign corporations, who have begun such an operation or have invested in such business.
Requirements: Physical office space in Japan and 5 million Japanese Yen investment into the business.
  1. Highly Skilled Professional – there is a possibility to be allowed to engage in multiple activities that cover different visa categories.
Requirements: Points are given according to the applicant’s educational and professional background, income and academic achievement.
  1. Skilled Labor – activities to engage in services that require industrial techniques or skills belonging to special fields, on the basis of a contract with a public or private organization in Japan.
Requirements: 3-10-years professional experience (number of years depending on the type of work) in the corresponding fields (including the period of training).
  1. Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services
Engineer – this status is for people who engage in services that require technology and knowledge of physical science, engineering or natural sciences. Activities must be on the basis of a contract with a public or private organization in Japan.
Requirements: University degree in the corresponding field or 10-years professional experience.
Specialist in Humanities – working in legal, economic, social fields or in the human science.
Requirements: University degree in the corresponding field or 10-years professional experience.
International Services – working in translation, interpretation, language instruction, public relations, international trade, fashion design, interior design, product development.
Requirements: 3-years professional experience in the field except for interpretation, translation or language instruction that only require a university degree.
  1. Intra-Company Transferee – activities on the part of personnel who are transferred to business offices in Japan for a limited period of time from business offices that are established in foreign countries by public or private organizations which have head offices, branch offices or other business offices in Japan and who engage at the business offices in the activities described under “Engineer” or “Specialist in Humanities/International Services”
Requirements: To have worked more than one year in the said office in overseas.
Following are the working visas granted to those who have certain status, knowledge, or skills.
  1. Diplomat / Official – personnel of the embassies and consular offices, diplomatic missions, government personnel and their families. The application goes through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and not the Immigration Bureau
  2. Professor – activities for, direction of research or education at University or equivalent educational institutions
  3. Instructor – instruction of foreign languages or other education at elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools. Instructors in the private language schools have to apply for “Specialist in Humanities/International Services” visa.
  4. Legal / Accounting Services – engaging in legal or accounting businesses that require attorneys to be recognized as foreign law specialists under the foreign lawyer’s law or certified public accountants practicing foreign accounting as described in the accountant law or those with other appropriate legal qualifications.
  5. Medical Services – engaging in medical treatment services that may only be undertaken by physicians, dentists or those with other appropriate legal qualifications.
  6. Researcher – researches conducted under a contract with public or private organizations in Japan.
  7. Artist – activities for the arts, music, literature, that generate sufficient income to support life in Japan.
  8. Religious Activities – missionary and other religious activities conducted by members of foreign religious organizations. Activities for research, direction of research or education at colleges or equivalent educational institutions.
  9. Journalist – news coverage and other journalistic activities conducted on the basis of a contract with foreign journalistic organization, such as a foreign newspaper company, news agency, broadcasting station.
  10. Entertainer – engaging in theatrical performances, musical performances, sports or any other show business.
■ Non-working visa – it is possible to work under non-working visas within limited hours (except for temporary visitor and trainee visa holders) just obtain a permission from the immigration office.
  1. Student – university student, high school students, students at Japanese language schools and other educational institutions. The visa application is submitted through the school and the time of application is limited.
  2. Trainee – training to learn and acquire technology, skills or knowledge at public or private organizations in Japan. This status is granted only if the candidate is to engage in a job requiring the technology, skills or knowledge obtained in Japan after returning to the home country.
  3. Technical Internship – internship after training under trainee visa.
  4. Dependent – spouses or children of people staying under the work visa and non-working visa (except for temporary visitors and trainees).
  5. Cultural Activities – non-paid activities related to Japanese culture or the arts are allowed with this visa status. This status must pursue specific studies in culture or the arts under the guidance of experts.
  6. Temporary Visitor – engage in sightseeing, recreation, sports, visiting relatives, participation to seminars, conferences or reunions. It is possible also to have business meetings, sign the contracts, engage in PR activities and conduct market research. One is prohibited from doing paid work with this status.
  7. Designated Activities – activities specifically designated for each case. Housekeepers for diplomats, students on internship, working holiday.
■ Family Related Visa – these visas have no restriction in the activities to be engaged. Therefore, it is possible to work in any field or industry.
  1. Spouse or Child of Japanese National – spouses and children of Japanese nationals.
  2. Long Term Resident – refugees, descendants of Japanese nationals, people caring for their children with Japanese nationality, people divorced from Japanese nationals, etc.
  3. Permanent Resident – visa granted to those who have stayed sufficiently long time in Japan.
  4. Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident – spouses and children of permanent resident.
Obtaining a proper status of residence is a prerequisite to a start a life in Japan, however it can be difficult to get the right visa. Don’t take chances with your visa, it will be helpful to ask a lawyer for an assistance.
Planning to apply for a Japan Visa? Mizuno Kenji Patent and Law can assist you with obtaining an appropriate Japan Visa. We also offer services to help you get the most out of your precious time in Japan.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: VISA/Residing in Japan: www.mofa.go.jp
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