How to Get a Working Visa in Japan: A Complete Guide

How to Get a Working Visa in Japan: A Complete Guide
How to Get a Working Visa in Japan: A Complete Guide | photo courtesy | Visalegal Guide


Japan is a country that attracts many foreigners who want to work and live there.

However, getting a working visa in Japan is not an easy task.

You need to meet certain requirements, prepare various documents, and follow the application process.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about how to get a working visa in Japan in 2023.

What is a working visa in Japan?

A working visa in Japan is a category of visa that permits individuals to engage in legal employment within the country.

Various types of working visas exist, tailored to different occupations, skills, and qualifications.

Among the most prevalent working visas are:

  1. Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services Visa: Designed for foreigners working in fields such as engineering, IT, design, translation, interpretation, education, and legal services. Requirements include holding a bachelor’s degree or possessing equivalent professional experience in the relevant field, along with a job offer from a Japanese company.
  2. Instructor Visa: intended for foreigners employed as teachers in public or private schools in Japan. Prerequisites encompass having a bachelor’s degree or a teaching license from one’s home country and securing a job offer from a Japanese educational institution.
  3. Business Manager Visa: Geared towards foreigners functioning as managers, executives, or representatives of companies or organizations in Japan. Eligibility necessitates possessing a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience in business management, coupled with a job offer from a Japanese company or organization.
  4. Investor/Business Visa: Tailored for foreigners investing in or establishing a business in Japan. Criteria include having a minimum capital of 5 million yen and presenting a business plan demonstrating the viability and profitability of the proposed venture.

How do I apply for a working visa in Japan?

To apply for a working visa in Japan, you must secure a job in the country that offers visa sponsorship.

Once you obtain a job offer, your employer will assist you in the visa application process, following these general steps:

  1. Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE):
    • This document certifies that you meet the conditions for entry and employment in Japan within your specific field.
    • Your employer will initiate the COE application on your behalf at the regional immigration office in Japan.
    • To support the application, you’ll need to provide your employer with essential documents such as your passport, resume, diploma, and employment contract.
    • The COE application processing time typically ranges from 4 to 6 weeks.
  2. Apply for the visa at the Japanese Embassy or Consulate:
    • Upon receiving the COE from your employer, you must visit the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate in your country.
    • Submission requirements include presenting your passport, completing a visa application form, providing a photo, and paying a fee.
    • The processing duration for the visa application varies, taking anywhere from a few days to several weeks based on the specific embassy or consulate.
  3. Enter Japan and receive your residence card:
    • Once you have the visa, you can enter Japan within the validity period specified.
    • At the airport, present your passport, visa, and COE to the immigration officer.
    • Upon entry, you will be issued a residence card—a plastic card containing personal information, visa status, and the approved period of stay. It is mandatory to carry this residence card at all times while in Japan.

What are the requirements for a working visa in Japan?

The prerequisites for a working visa in Japan can vary based on the visa type and your occupation.

Nevertheless, several general requirements include:

  1. Certificate of Eligibility:
    • As previously mentioned, this document must be acquired from your employer in Japan before initiating the visa application.
  2. Employment Offer from a Japanese Company:
    • A job offer from a registered Japanese company or organization willing to sponsor your visa is imperative. The company or organization should demonstrate financial stability.
  3. Valid Passport:
    • Your passport must remain valid for a minimum of six months beyond your intended stay in Japan.
  4. Completed and signed Visa Application Form:
    • Download the visa application form from the Japanese embassy or consulate website in your country. Complete the form with your personal and professional details and affix your signature.
  5. Passport Photograph:
    • Supply a recent passport-sized photograph, taken within the last six months. The photograph should be in color, clear, and feature your full face without accessories like hats or sunglasses.
  6. Documentation Supporting Your Position, Salary Structure, and Work Duration:
    • Provide documents validating your qualifications, skills, and experience in your field, such as diplomas, certificates, resumes, and portfolios.
    • Include documents showcasing your employment details, salary, and work duration, such as a letter of acceptance, income statement, and tax return.


Securing a working visa in Japan is an achievable endeavor that demands careful preparation and perseverance.

The key steps involve securing employment in Japan with visa sponsorship, obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility from your employer, and subsequently applying for the visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country.

Meeting the distinct requirements aligned with your visa type and occupation is also crucial.

By diligently following these procedures and ensuring you possess all required documents, you can attain the legal authorization to work and reside in Japan.

We trust that this article has provided valuable insights into the process of obtaining a working visa in Japan in 2023.

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