Specified Skilled Worker Visa Introduced to Address Chronic Labor Shortage

One of the most notable changes introduced in the recently amended immigration policies of Japan is the introduction of an additional residence visa category in Japan which is the “Specified Skilled Worker” visa. Foreign nationals who may not have achieved a high educational attainment such as a college or university graduate are welcome to apply under the Specified Skilled Worker visa as long as they have considerable experience and skill in the relevant industry or sector that he or she intends to work in.


Photo credit to: https://www.japanvisitor.com/

Under the Specified Skilled Worker visa, the foreign national may stay in Japan for a maximum period of five years which renewable for another period. After continuously residing and staying in Japan for ten consecutive years, these foreign nationals who come to Japan under the Specified Skilled worker visa may apply for green card or permanent residency in the Land of the Rising Sun.


This new visa type is introduced by the Japanese government in the New Immigration Control act as one of the nation’s measures to entice more and more foreign nationals who aspire to land a gainful employment in Japan. In this way, the country will be able to address the worsening workforce setback that various Japanese industries are dealing with.


It does not come as a surprise that Japan is currently facing the consequences of labor shortage as a result of its aging population, low birth rate and vast decline in inward migration. Among the fourteen industries and sectors that suffered the worst labor problems are nursing and care giving, construction, agriculture as well as food and service industry.


The Specified Skilled Worker visa is included in the new immigration policies in order to improve the human resources in the abovementioned sectors and industries. Foreign skilled workers may apply and work for these sectors as long as they obtained an “N4” level in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and passed the industry specific exam conducted by the relevant industry.


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


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