75.4% of Foreign Applicants passed the Qualifying Test to get Work Visa in Japan

The issue on labor shortage in various industrial sectors in the Land of the Rising Sun has prompted the government to allow more and more qualified foreign nationals to seek employment in the country. With the aging population in Japan brought about by its low birth rate, the workforce has also drastically dropped. To address this alarming issue, the Japanese government has decided to relax its stringent work visa requirements.


The Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act which took effect last April 1, 2019 has opened wider doors for foreign job seekers in Japan. In the said revised act, an additional visa category known as the “Specified Skilled Worker No. 1” was introduced allowing foreign workers in fourteen different types of jobs to remain in Japan for up to five years. These industries include nursing care, food service establishments, farming and construction, among others.


Photo credit to: https://www.japantimes.co.jp

In the restaurant and food industry sector alone, a total of four hundred sixty foreign nationals have submitted their application to take the first ever qualifying exam in order to get the working visa under the new Immigration Act. The examination which took place in Tokyo and Osaka last April 2019 covers both language and skills tests. It was conducted by the Organization for Technicals Skill Assessment of Foreign Workers in Food Industry.


This month, the result of the said qualifying exam was announced by the Organization. It was confirmed that 75.4 percent or three hundred fourty seven examinees passed. After securing their certification, these foreign nationals may start working around July this year. The Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry which is the government agency tasked to monitor the food service industry confirmed that there are numerous employment opportunities available for these foreign workers in the food, restaurant and catering sector.


With the major shift in their work visa policy, the Japanese government is hoping that more than three hundred thousand foreign nationals will be able to acquire the new visa status under Specified Skilled Worker No. 1 in the next five years. This will help boost the needed workforce especially in the fourteen sectors suffering from a chronic labor shortage.



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