1. Work Visa

Apply for a work visa if you plan to engage in remunerative activities in any of the following professions:

Teaching, arts, religious activities, journalism, business management, legal/accounting services, medical services, research, engineering, humanities, international services, and nursing care.

Period of stay

Three months, one year, three years, or five years. (*The period of stay is decided when you get your status of residence at the Immigration Bureau of Japan.)

To apply for a status of residence with a work visa, you'll need to apply for a residence card at your Regional Immigration Bureau by submitting the following documents:

- Application for the status of residence

- Your passport

- A passport-size photograph (3 cm × 4 cm)

- Documents detailing your position in the company or organization, the salary you will receive, and the duration of your contract.

- Documents attesting your previous academic and professional history

- Documents related to the receiving company or organization, such as company registration, statement of profit and loss, etc. (*these are usually provided by the company)

In addition to the above, depending on your profession and nationality, some other documents may also be required. For example, artists may be asked to submit documents showing their previous achievements, and researchers may need to provide academic and professional qualifications.


2. General Visa

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If you come to Japan as a student, engage in cultural and training activities, or as a family member of a foreign national with a work visa, you'll need to apply for a general visa.

Exchange students, interns (*only for unpaid internships), trainees, or students of Japanese language and culture all fall into this category.

Periods of stay

Cultural activities: three months, six months, one year, or three years.

Students: From three months up to four years and three months.

Training: three months, six months, or one year

Dependent (family member of a foreign national): from three months up to five years.

Soon after you arrive in Japan, visit your nearest Regional Immigration Bureau and start the procedures for obtaining your status of residence. You'll need to prepare the following documents.

- Application for the status of residence

- Your passport

- A passport-size photograph (3 cm × 4 cm)

- Documents regarding the school or institution receiving you. (*The required documents vary depending on the type of institution, so please inquire at the Immigration Bureau at the time of your first visit.)

If you are a family member of a foreign national working in Japan, authorized copies of marriage/birth certificates that attest to your relationship with the holder of the work visa, a copy of their residence card, as well as documents related to their employer will also be required.


3. Highly Skilled Professional Visa


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Foreign nationals who engage in advanced academic research activities, advanced specialized/technical activities, or advanced business management activities, and already have a contract with a receiving Japanese institution can apply for a highly-skilled professional visa.

The applicants are evaluated using a point-based system that takes into account previous professional achievements and qualifications.


4. Specified Visa


Foreign nationals who come to Japan on a working holiday program or for paid internships, individuals with Japanese ancestry, as well as spouses/children of Japanese nationals or permanent residents should apply for a specified visa.

Those participating in a working holiday program, paid internships, and other types of work not covered by the work visa will need a specified visa for designated activities. A long stay of up to six months for sightseeing and recreation will also require a visa for designated activities.

Period of stay

Designated activities: from three months up to five years, or a designated period up to five years.

Spouse/child of a Japanese national: from six months to five years

Spouse of a foreign national employed in Japan: from six months to five years

  • Length of stay

Special activity: From 3 months to up to 5 years or up to 5 years in a specific period

The spouse or child of a Japanese nationality: from 6 months to 5 years

The spouse of foreigners is working in Japan: from 6 months to 5 years


5. Startup Visa

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Entrepreneurs supported by municipalities in Japan and their spouses or children can apply for a start-up visa. The period of stay is six months.


6. Diplomatic visa


Members of diplomatic missions receive diplomatic visas for a period of stay that corresponds to the length of their mission.


7. Official Visa


Individuals who come on the official business of foreign governments or international organizations recognized by the government of Japan and their family members receive an official visa. The period of stay ranges from 15 days to five years.


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