NEW “SPECIFIED SKILLS” RESIDENCY VISAS COMING TO JAPAN IN 2019

To alleviate labor shortages amid an aging population and falling birth rate, the Japanese government announced this May that it will implement two new residency visa statuses as early as April 2019.

As the government has hammered out the details of the new visa status in the last few months, it has morphed into two new visa statuses: “Specified Skills No. 1” and “Specified Skills No. 2”

“Specified Skills No. 1” Visa Status

You must have a certain level of industry-specific skills. This is in addition to the Japanese language requirement to apply for this visa status.
You are not permitted to bring your family with you.
You can stay in Japan for a maximum of five years under the “Specified Skills No. 1” visa status.
It’s possible to switch to the “Specified Skills No. 2” visa from the Specified Skills No. 1 visa, if you have obtained a higher level of specialization during your stay in Japan.
It’s possible to switch to from the Technical Intern Training visa status to the Specified Skills No. 1 visa if you meet all the eligibility requirements.

 

“Specified Skills No. 2” Visa Status

You must have an additional level of specialization. Workers staying in Japan on the “Specified Skills No. 1” visa can apply for the “Specified Skills No. 2” visa if they attain higher level specialization in their field.
Indefinite length of stay in Japan possible. This is a significant difference from the “Specified Skills No. 1” visa. In principle, workers staying in Japan on the “Specified Skills No. 2” visa may be able to continuously renew their visa status, essentially giving them a way to stay in Japan indefinitely.
You are able to bring your family with you. The “Specified Skills No. 2” visa status allows workers to bring family members with them to Japan.

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