Less Stringent Requirements Imposed by New Immigration Control Act in Japan

The Land of the Rising Sun is currently dealing with chronic labor shortage as a result of its aging population, low birth rate and a vast decline in inward migration. This social issue has prompted the Japanese government through its National Diet to amend the strict immigration policies in the country that used to provide stringent requirements for potential foreign workers in the country.


With the passage of the Revised Immigration Control Act, a new visa type is introduced in order to accommodate foreign nationals who may not be college or university graduates or degree holders but have considerable experience and skills in the particular industry that they intend to work for. The “Specified Skilled Worker” visa enables foreign workers who do not have a high educational attainment to work and reside in Japan as long as they pass the industry specified test and obtain at least an “N4” level in the Japanese language Proficiency Test.


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

This new visa type is one of the measures undertaken by the Japanese government to encourage more and more foreign workers in the country so as to address the chronic labor shortage specifically experienced by fourteen industries identified to experience the worst forms of workforce setback. These industries include nursing or care giving, agriculture, construction as well as food and service industry, among others.


The industry specific test will be conducted by the relevant sector according to the skills necessary to work efficiently and effectively in a company or establishment belonging to a particular sector. Only those foreign applicants who have successfully finished the Technical Internship Training Program may be exempted from taking the industry specific test to gauge the technical level required to achieve the status of residence.


In addition to the industry specific skills test, it is necessary for the foreign applicant to have conversational level of Japanese according to the standards set forth by the Japanese language Proficiency Exam in order to make sure that the potential foreign worker will be able to successfully assimilate into the Japanese society.


Reference: Specified Skills


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