Japan allows foreign graduates of local schools to work

The Justice Ministry plans to widen the Designated Activities visa to allow foreign graduates of universities in Japan to work at low-skilled hospitality jobs and further alleviate labor shortages around Japan.


The ministry has drafted a policy that will make it easier for foreigners who graduate from universities or graduate schools in Japan to gain jobs in the country. Specifically, it wants to give them more job opportunities that make use of their high-level Japanese language skills.


photo credit to: https://asia.nikkei.com


Those targeted are foreigners who have graduated from four-year university programs or graduate schools in Japan and achieved N1, the highest level in the Japanese- Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).


In comparison, foreigners accepted under the specific skills visa are expected to have N4-level Japanese, which means they can conduct daily conversations in the language but not complicated discussions.


But the rules for changing visa status are very strict. For example, a graduate cannot change a student visa for a job that has nothing to do with the skills learned at university.


In 2017, a record high 22,419 foreign graduates changed their visa status, and more than 90 percent of them obtained the visa for “engineer or specialist in humanities or international services.”


Under the current system, foreign graduates with that visa can work at convenience stores and electrics retail stores. But they generally can only perform tasks using their language abilities at large outlets with dedicated service counters for foreign customers in big cities.


As a result, independently operated franchised stores have been unable to continue employing part-time foreign students because they lose their residence status after graduation.


Regional companies have lacked available jobs that allow foreign students to use what they have learned at university. Although many foreign students want to work in those regions, they have had to give up their job search.


The ministry also expects foreign graduates with the Designated Activities visa to play intermediary roles as interpreters and in other duties for the specific skills visa holders.


Reference: Foreign graduates of university to get more job options


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