If you are thinking about working in Japan as an engineer, programmer, specialist in certain field, or instructor of foreign language, translator, interpreter, the most common working visa for such activities is Engineer/Specialists in Humanities/International Service Visa.
This status of residence is often called “技人国ビザ GIJINKOKU Visa” . This is the acronym of 技術 Gijutsu (meaning Engineering), 人文知識 Jinbunchishiki (meaning Specialist in Humanity) and 国際業務 Kokusai Gyoumu(meaning International Service).
For this status, Immigration Bureau decides your period of stay from 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months.
The number of GIJINKOKU Visa holders are increasing. As of June 2019, total 256,414 people are working under this status of residence.
Important Points About this VISA
This status of residence does not permit you to engage in simple labors. Your activities must fall into one of the 3 types described in the following section.
For example, you can’t work as a cook, waiter or waitress at restaurants, or a cleaner at hotels. In order to make sure, you will not engage in such simple labors, Immigration bureau carefully checks you and the organization hiring you.
What kind of jobs are covered by GIJINKOKU Visa?
Then, what you can do under GIJINKOKU VISA? There are 3 types of activities which non-Japanese residents can engage by obtaining GIJINKOKU Visa.
This type covers activities which requires expertise in science, technologies and other natural science field.
Computer programmer, system engineer, project manager in IT field, engineer, mechanical design engineer, architecture, etc., fall into this category.
Specialist in Humanities (JINBUNCHISHIKI)
This type covers activities which requires expertise in humanities, such as accounting, economics, finance, human resources, laws, business administration, etc.
Accountant, consultant, financial analyst, legal officer, business manager, etc., fall into this category.
International Services (KOKUSAI)
This type covers activities which requires way of thinking and sensitivity based on foreign culture.
It sounds vague but it includes following jobs:
Teacher and instructor of foreign language, translator, interpreter, fashion or interior designer, person in charge of PR(public relations), advertisement, overseas transactions or product development, etc.
Requirements for Application
Engineer and Specialist in Humanities
Applicants must have graduated from university in Japan or other country or technical school in Japan (not in other countries) with a major in a subject related to the skills or knowledge required for the work they intend to engage in. For this purpose, the subjects they majored in at the university or technical school must be related to the work they intend to engage in.
Applicants who does not satisfy the academic requirements above have to have 10 years experience in the activities instead, but the period they learned the subject related to the activities in university, high school, vocational school, etc., can be included in the calculation of the ten years.
In addition, Applicants’ salary must be equivalent to or greater than the remuneration received by Japanese nationals engaged in the same work.
If you have 70 points in the so called “Point-based system” for highly Skilled Professionals established by immigration bureau, it is advisable to apply for Highly Skilled Professional Visa which has many benefits as described in our article. Go to this Article.
Applicants must have 3 years career experience related to international services. However, applicants who have graduated from university do not need to have 3 years career experience to be a translator, interpreter or teacher of foreign language.
As with Engineer and Specialist in Humanities, Applicants’ salary must be equivalent to or greater than the remuneration received by Japanese nationals engaged in the same work.
You can check required Documents for application to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility in the following page.
You can check required Documents for application to change your residential status to Engineers/Specialist in Humanities/International Service Visa in the following page.
You can check required documents for application to renew Engineers/Specialist in Humanities/International Service Visa in the following page.
Or you can ask a qualified lawyer about the process and documentation.
DISCLAIMER: The article has been written on October 2020. Immigration law changes quickly. So it is vitally important to be aware of the current situation.