Paving the way for foreign job applicants in the hotel sector

Prior to the recent shift of immigration policy brought about by the acute labor shortage issues in Japan, the issuance of working visas were limited to individuals with professional knowledge such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers. Foreigner workers who were allowed to work for hotels and ryokans in Japan were limited only to certain positions such as the front desk and interpreter. This restriction was implemented on top of the extremely strict standards of academic and work experience before foreign workers could acquire the special residence status in Japan.


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With the advent of the Revised Immigration Control Act that took effect earlier this month, Japan expects to fill the labor gap in the hotel and accommodation industry by expanding the possible positions that may be engaged by foreign workers. Instead of limiting foreign applicants to certain positions in the hotel sector as mentioned above, qualified foreign workers are now allowed to fill in the vacancies for the other positions such as customer service, restaurant service, accommodation planning and publicity, among others. In addition, new applicants are reportedly allowed to work for up to five (5) years and the salary is said to be competitive with Japanese workers employed in the same industry.


News reports announced an influx between 390 to 761 applicants for the accommodation industry alone. The first skills test for this sector was conducted all across the country of Japan on the 14 th of April and the results are expected to come out on the 25 th of May. According to news reports, the Tourism Authority will be conducting this skills test at least two or three times a year.


All interested applicants are required to undergo a Japanese language proficiency test in addition to the written examination concerning the service industry and the customer service skill test. Unfortunately, there is still no information whether these skills test will be conducted outside of Japan. As of date, only the nursing care skills test was reportedly conducted in the Philippines. For those interested in food service industry, the skills test for this sector is supposedly scheduled sometime this month.


Reference: First exam held in Japan for foreign nationals seeking new working visas


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