Work Permits

Understand the legal requirements for working in Japan...

Anybody wishing to stay long term in Japan and to work there needs a work visa. For visa purposes, a long-term stay is defined as one lasting for more than 90 days.

  • The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes comprehensive information on visas for Japan
  • Including a simplified flow-chart of the different ways to approach the visa application

Types of Work Visa

To be eligible to work in Japan, it is necessary to apply for the appropriate work visa from the list below:

  • Professor: this visa is for people working in academia
  • Artist: this visa is for artists, craftspeople, singers, composers and photographers
  • Religious activities: this is a visa for members of foreign religious groups who have been sent to Japan to engage in religious activities
  • Journalist: this visa is for newspaper and magazine journalists, news cameramen and presenters
  • Investor or business manager
  • Legal or accounting services: this visa is for accountants, lawyers and people qualified to work in the Japanese judicial system
  • Medical services: this visa is for doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and other medical professionals eligible to work in Japan
  • Researcher: this visa allows people to carry out research at a Japanese institution
  • Instructor: this visa allows the holder to teach in Japanese schools
  • Engineer
  • Specialist in humanities or international services: this visa is for foreign language teachers, interpreters, copywriters and people in similar professions
  • Intra-company transferee
  • Entertainer: this visa is for models, singers, dancers, sportspeople and actors
  • Skilled labour: this visa covers professions such as chefs, sports trainers, animal trainers and pilots

Japanese work visas are valid for either one or three years, with the exception of an Entertainer visa which can be valid for 15 days, three months, six months or one year.

Further reading

  • For general information on all Japanese visas (including resident permits) see Types of Visa