In order to work in Japan, you need to obtain an appropriate visa status for the work.
Basically, you are allowed to work full-time in Japan if you hold a visa status in the following categories on LIST of VISA STATUS;
RESIDENTIAL STATUS and PERMANENT RESIDENT
These visa status allow you to work in Japan without limit. So, we don’t include these visa status in discussion here.
ACTIVITY BASED STATUS
Visa status listed on FOR WORK and DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES category allows you to engage in a particular work activity with pay. To obtain visa status in FOR WORK category, you should find out whether there is a particular visa status for your intend work/job. In addition, your background/career and employer-to-be (company/organization in Japan) also need to satisfy the criteria and requirements of the visa status.
IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH VISA PROCEDURES IN JAPAN, JUMP TO INTRODUCTORY PAGES BELOW FIRST:
TO WORK FULL-TIME in JAPAN
In order to work full-time in Japan, you should consider whether your intended job is applicable to a specific visa status first. Next, you need to check the criteria and requirements for the visa status and whether your background/career satisfies the basic requirements. You cannot obtain any work visa for a job not listed in FOR WORK visa category >> ACTIVITY BASED VISA STATUS
After you find out an appropriate visa status for your circumstances, you need to look for a company which is willing to hire you in Japan.
In case you don’t have any VISA STATUS yet
If you find a company which is willing to hire you and to be your visa sponsor/proxy for your COE application in Japan, you may now process for COE APPLICATION through the company to be your visa sponsor/proxy. You cannot apply for COE before you find a company to work in Japan and at least make an mutual written agreement for the employment.
In case you have been living in Japan under a VISA STATUS already
In case you are currently staying in Japan under visa status like STUDENT, CULTURAL ACTIVITIES or DEPENDENT etc., you will need to apply for CHANGE of VISA STATUS to obtain relevant work visa after finding the job and an employer who agrees to hire you and to be your visa sponsor >> CHANGE of VISA STATUS
In case you obtain STUDENT visa status, and you wish to continue to look for a job since you couldn’t find any job by graduation, you need to apply for CHANGE of VISA STATUS to DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES to look for a job after graduation >> Job-hunting/Start Business after graduation in Japan
In case you wishes to work as a freelance in Japan
Some people might heard of so called “self-sponsored” visa, however, there is no such a visa status in Japan. Most of case, people mention about it when you wish to apply for a visa status as a freelance.
Please remind the principle of visa application in Japan once – your job/mission must be listed in work visa category which allows you work in Japan. In addition, you need to satisfy the requirements for the visa status.
For more details, please jump to our webpage below >> TO WORK as a FREELANCE
IF YOU WISH TO ENGAGE IN A PART-TIME JOB
If your current visa status allows to obtain PERMISSION to ENGAGE in OTHER ACTIVITY (e.g. STUDENT, DEPENDENT, CULTURAL ACTIVITIES), you can engage in a part-time job within the limit of the permit by applying for the permit >> PERMISSION to ENGAGE in OTHER ACTIVITY
WORKING HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES
Those who are from the country participating WORKING HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES can stay and take a holiday in Japan for maximum of one year under DESIGNATED ACTIVITIES for WORKING HOLIDAYS. During your stay in Japan under this visa status, you can engage in a part time job to make up for living expenses.
To get more information and join in WORKING HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES, you should contact the Japan Embassy or Consulate-General in your country directly. You need to apply for it through the Japan Embassy or Consulate-General outside Japan.