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Point-Based Preferential Immigration Treatment for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals

Highly skilled foreign professionals to be defined based on the points evaluation system may be able to get various preferential immigration treatment such as bringing parents to take care of a baby and bringing a household employee to accompany to Japan. For those who are interested in the point evaluation system, please contact me by clicking on the “inquiry” button above.


Importance of Resident Tax Payment

Depending on the previous year’s income, local government shall levy resident tax on city residents including foreigners. If a foreign resident does not bother to pay resident tax, he/she may face problem in renewing his/her visa or in applying for permanent residency. Please refer to the following government website.


Part-time job Restriction for International Students in Japan

In case of Student visa, if an in-advance permission is given by Tokyo Immigration bureau, under certain conditions, it can be possible to engage in part-time work up to 28 hours per week maximum. Foreign students exceeding the limit (by working extra hours and/or working for multiple employers) may face problem including deportation order and denial of visa renewal. Please refer to the following government website.


Trusted Traveler Program

Japan started the Trusted Traveler Program in last November. Under the Trusted Traveler Program, foreign business persons and other eligible foreign nationals who meet certain requirements will be able to use the automated gates in major airports with a “registered user card” issued by the Minister of Justice.


New status of residence “Nursing care” will take effect next year

Finally, it’s official that “Nursing care” will be added to occupation categories which can permit mid-long term residency to foreign nationals. The legislation which passed on November 18th will take effect within the year of 2017, allowing foreign caregivers to continue to work at nursing care facilities in Japan on the condition that he/she passed Japan’s national exam to be certified as “Kaigo Fukushi-shi” (Certified Care Worker).


Attention to "Designated Activities (Long Stay for Sightseeing and Recreation) Visa”

For retired business persons, if you are wealthy enough to have more than 30 million Japanese yen in your bank account, why don't you consider obtaining "Designated activities” visa on “Long stay for sightseeing and recreation” in order to travel across Japan beyond 90 days? With the Japanese yen weakening against US dollar, now is a good time to visit Japan and explore various aspects of traditional Japanese culture. For more details, please see the following government website.


Shortcut for permanent residency under consideration by the Japanese government

For highly skilled professionals (foreign nationals with excellent management or academic / technical expertise), Japan’s Immigration Control Act currently requires at least 5 years to become eligible for applying for permanent residency. According to informed sources, this waiting period would be shortened to 3 years, and there is a possibility for those who are regarded as the best talent among them to get a 1 year pathway to the permanent resident status. The specific details of this plan is still under consideration, but it is expected to be finalized by the end of March next year.


Examples of successful and unsuccessful visa applications to work in the Japanese anime industry sector.

Thanks to “Cool Japan” strategy, increasing number of foreign students come to Japan for studying how to design and create “Anime” at vocational schools (professional training colleges / Senmon Gakko) in Tokyo. According to Immigration Bureau, here are some information on both successful and unsuccessful visa application examples.

- Successful example: A foreign student, completing a cartoon & anime specialized course and graduating from a professional training college (Senmon Gakko) in Japan with Diploma (Senmon-shi), applies to work at a computer IT service company in Japan for dealing with anime gaming application development including anime character design.

- Unsuccessful example: A foreign student, completing a cartoon & anime specialized course and graduating from a professional training college (Senmon Gakko) in Japan with Diploma (Senmon-shi), applies to work at an anime creation company for dealing with assistant job only such as background painting without having any initiative in creative activity.


The lower house of the Diet approved a bill to add "Nursing Care" visa as a new status of residence.

On Oct. 21, the House of Representatives Judicial Affairs Committee approved a bill to revise the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act for adding "Nursing Care" as a new status of residence. Subsequently, the House of Councilors will deliberate the bill and most likely pass it into law during the ongoing extraordinary Diet session. The purpose of the revision is to allow foreign nationals who hold Japan’s nursing care license to live and work for a long period in Japan as professional care-givers at senior care homes.


Are you aware of the Departure Order System?

Under the Deportation Procedure, in principle, illegally-staying foreign nationals are detained and deported from Japan by Immigration Bureau.  However, under the Departure Order System, overstaying foreign nationals can be allowed to leave Japan without detention if they meet criteria such as


(1) Voluntarily appearance at a regional immigration office

(2) Intention to leave Japan as soon as feasible

(3) No crime record (imprisonment) such as theft after entry into Japan

(4) Non-repeater of illegal-stay

(5) High reliability of leaving Japan at the earliest possible convenience


Another advantage of the Departure Order System is the prohibition period before reentering Japan.  Those who are deported from Japan under the Deportation Procedure cannot reenter Japan for at least five years.  In contrast, the reentry prohibition period for those who leave Japan under the “Departure Order System” is one year.  This difference deserves attention.  For more information, please visit the Immigration Bureau’s website.


Heads-up on Residence Card

Foreign nationals have to notify local regional immigration bureau within 14 days in cases such as…

If you have any questions on necessary procedures and documentation, please send e-mail to


Government of Japan considers shortcut to permanent residency for highly skilled foreign professionals.

Currently, those who are staying in Japan with the “highly-skilled-professionals” visa can apply for permanent residency after five years. This waiting period could be reduced to less than three years. By obtaining permanent residency, it gets easier to make a home mortgage loan with a bank in order to buy a house in Japan. Legislative bill to make a change in the waiting period will most likely be submitted to the regular Diet session in 2017.


Prospect for the creation of new visa category “Nursing Care”

Diet discussion has been carried on for a legislative bill to create a new “Nursing Care” visa (status of residence) from last year’s 189th session to this year’s 190th session which is still ongoing. Considering Japan’s super-aging society and serious shortage of caregivers, people have high expectation for this legislation.


National strategic special zones allow foreign nationals to enter Japan for working as a housekeeper.

In principle, Japan’s immigration control policy prohibits foreign nationals from entering Japan with intention of engaging in housekeeping service. However, this ban can be lifted under certain conditions within the “National Strategic Special Zones”, designated special areas where regulations are relaxed for stimulating Japan’s economy. The conditions for foreign nationals include (1) basic capability to communicate in Japanese; (2) experience of working as a housekeeper at least for 1 year; (3) employment contract with a government-approved organization, etc. Link to the government relevant page.


Ota-Ku (Tokyo) is planning to start a new type of accommodation facilities (Min Paku) in 2016, targeting foreign nationals.

With the number of foreign visitors increasing, Ota-Ku (Tokyo) has drafted a local government ordinance (so-called “Min Paku Jourei”) to relax regulation on accommodation facilities for foreign nationals who stay at least for 7 days. The Japanese government selected Ota-Ku as one of the “National Strategic Special Zone” which is entitled to relax various administrative regulations. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic is expected to attract increasing number of visitors from overseas, because Haneda international airport is located within Ota-Ku. As an incentive for foreign entrepreneurs to start businesses, it is also planned to relax Immigration Control Law’s visa requirements within the “National Strategic Special Zone” including Ota-Ku.


A legislative bill to create a new status of residence (Nursing Care category) did not pass in this year’s 189th Diet in Japan.

A legislative bill to create a new “status of residence” category for foreign nurses and caregivers did not pass the Diet approval process this year. It should be discussed again in the next Diet session, most likely in 2016. Related link (in Japanese)


The Social Security and Tax Number System (so-called My Number System) starts on October 5, 2015

You will be notified of your Social Security and Tax Number (so-called My Number) at your registered address in or after October. If you are unable to receive your Social Security and Tax Number (My Number) at your registered address for reasons beyond your control, please hand-deliver or mail the application form to the municipal office where you are registered between 24 August and 25 September. For more details, please see the following homepage.


Designated activities (long stay for sightseeing and recreation) visa to nationals and citizens of visa waiver countries started on the 23rd of June 2015.

Wealthy foreign nationals meeting criteria can obtain specified visa (designated activities) to stay long for sightseeing and recreation in Japan.

For more details, please see the following homepage.


Impact of newly introduced "Exit Tax" on foreign nationals in Japan

The national tax agency Japan sets the following rule on "exit tax" to be introduced from 1st of July 2015.

Link to relevant page on National Tax Agency Japan website (available with only Japanese language)


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