Foreign Construction Workers May Work in Japan under the Specified Skilled Worker Visa

Known to many countries across the globe, Japan is currently suffering from chronic labor shortage as a result of the country’s aging population, low birth rate and a vast decline in inward migration. There are fourteen particular industries that are identified to suffer the worst forms of workforce setback such as but not limited to nursing or care giving, agriculture, construction as well as food and service industry.


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In order to address the worsening labor problems in these abovementioned sectors or industries, the Japanese government through its National Diet has amended the previous immigration policies in Japan that used to provide stringent requirements for acquiring work visa and residency status in Japan. The new immigration control act took effect last April first of 2019.


One of the most remarkable changes enacted in the new immigration policy of Japan is the introduction of the specified skilled worker visa category which is intended to attract foreign nationals who are willing to work for blue collar jobs in the country. Under the “Specified Skilled Worker” visa, foreign applicants need not be university or college degree graduates.


High educational attainment is not a requirement in order to obtain the Specified Skilled Worker visa. What is important is that the foreign applicants have considerable knowledge and experience in the relevant field that they are planning to apply and work for.


For instance, foreign construction workers who have experienced in the field may work in Japanese construction sites after acquiring the “Specified Skilled Worker” visa upon passing the industry specific skills test to be conducted by the relevant sector and obtaining at least an “N4” level in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). This is to ensure that they have at least a conversational level in the Japanese language to effectively communicate both within and outside the premises of their work areas.


Reference: A New Status of Residence has been created “Specified Skilled Worker”


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