Basically, you should start job hunting or preparing for business startup while you are still in university/college if you are on STUDENT visa status and wishing to work in Japan after graduating from university. Immigration Office would deny your application for CHANGE of VISA STATUS to any FOR WORK visa status if you don’t engage in job hunting or preparing for business startup after graduation.
IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH VISA PROCEDURES IN JAPAN, JUMP TO INTRODUCTORY PAGES BELOW FIRST:
TO ENGAGE in JOB HUNTING
In case you wish to be hired as an employee in Japan
In case you wish to be hired as an employee in Japan, your intended job/work must be listed in FOR WORK visa category in the LIST of VISA STATUS. In addition, your academic background must satisfy requirements of the visa status. If you find a job before graduation and make prospective employment agreement with a company which is willing to be your visa sponsor, you will move on to apply for CHANGE of VISA STATUS to work before you actually start working there. You cannot engage in working before your application is approved and you graduate from the university/college.
If you wish to continue job hunting in Japan after graduation
If you couldn’t find a job before graduation but you wish to continue job hunting in Japan, you need to apply for CHANGE of VISA STATUS from STUDENT to DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES for JOB HUNTING first so that you can continue to look for a job in Japan under DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES visa status. You should ask your university/college for the process – you need the acknowledgement from the university/college you graduated and RECOMMENDATION/REFERENCE LETTER issued by them.
Regarding DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES for JOB HUNTING, you can renew it once and stay in Japan under this visa status for one year in maximum if you continue job hunting in Japan.
You can obtain PERMISSION to ENGAGE in OTHER ACTIVITIES if you would like to engage in a part-time job in your spare time. Also, you can travel outside Japan with Special RE-ENTRY PERMIT.
For more details, jump to the Immigration Office website >> Designated Activities (Students from overseas who have graduated from university but wish to stay to search for a job in Japan)
TO START BUSINESS SETUP
In case you continue preparation for business setup after graduation
In case you wish to start preparing for business startup in Japan while you are in university or college and are planning to set up a company in Japan after graduation, you should apply for CHANGE of VISA STATUS to DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES for BUSINESS SETUP after graduation from university/college.
Generally, the period of stay granted under DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES for BUSINESS SETUP is 6 months in maximum. However, you can receive special measures for DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES for BUSINESS SETUP visa status if you are graduated from a designated university adopting EMPLOYMENT PROMOTION PROGRAMMES for FOREIGN STUDENTS (留学生就職促進プログラム) or selected as one of the TOP GLOBAL UNIVERSITY JAPAN (スーパーグローバル大学創成支援事業). Under this special measures, you can receive period of stay for 2 years in maximum in order to prepare for the business.
In any case, You should ask your university for the process – you need the acknowledgement from the university/college you graduated or need their help for the application.
For more details, jump to the Immigration Office website >> (In Japanese) 本邦の大学等を卒業した留学生が起業活動を行う場合
After you complete company registration and other preparation for your business etc and you are ready for starting the business, you need to apply for CHANGE of VISA STATUS to BUSINESS MANAGER visa status by the expiry date of DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES for BUSINESS SETUP.
You need to satisfy the following criteria until you obtains Business Manager visa status under DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES for BUSINESS STARTUP;
- You have no problem with your grades/results, attendance and behavior while you are in university/college.
- You have been engaging in business startup while you are in university and you can provide a recommendation letter or reference from the university/college.
- You have a specific business plan, and are expected to set up a company by the expiry date of DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES for BUSINESS STARTUP granted.
- You are able to finance your living expenses while staying in Japan.
- You have prepared 5 million yen or more for the business in Japan.
- You are expected to secure a physical office space or shop etc.
- The university is supporting your business startup activity.
- You secure a way to leave Japan and go back to home country if you fail to start your business within 6 months after graduation.
Also, you should check the basic requirements for BUSINESS MANAGER visa status >> BUSINESS MANAGER