Relaxed Requirements Under the First Category of Specified Skilled Worker Visa

Last April 2019, the National Diet or Legislature of Japan implemented a major change in the immigration policies of Japan which used to provide stringent requirements for foreign nationals who aspire to land a job in the country. Based on the amended immigration control act, a new residence visa status is introduced under the “Specified Skilled Worker Visa.”


Basically, the new visa program aims to relax some requirements for foreign workers who are seeking for gainful opportunities in Japan. This is one of the measures undertaken by the Japanese government in order to address the chronic labor shortage in Japan as a result of its aging population, low birth rate and a decline in inward migration.


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With the implementation of the revised immigration policies, the Japanese government seeks to open more and more doors of employment opportunities for foreign workers who wish to work in the Land of the Rising Sun.


There are fourteen identified sectors or industries in Japan that are said to suffer the worst forms of labor problems, to wit: nursing care, building cleaning, material processing industry, industrial machinery manufacturing industry, electric and electronic information related industry, construction, ship building and ship-related industry, automobile maintenance, aviation, lodging, agriculture, fisheries, food and beverages manufacturing industry and food service industry.


Save for construction and ship building related industry, the rest of the twelve sectors cited above fall under the first category known as Specified Skilled Worker (I). Based on the first category, potential applicants are expected to have considerable knowledge and experience in relation to the particular field that they want to work in. As such, foreign applicants must pass test to be conducted by the specific industry that they are applying for. They are not, however, required to possess a college or university degree.


Furthermore, foreign workers under the technical training internship program need not take and pass the industry specific tests to be conducted by the particular sector they aim to land a job in.


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


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