New Status of Residence:Specified Skilled Worker

"Specified Skilled Worker" is a new status of residence established in April 2019 for foreign nationals seeking to live in Japan for the purpose of employment. It allows foreign nationals to stay and work in Japan for the maximum of 5 years length. It covers 14 industrial sectors such as construction, industrial machinery, shipbuilding and marine, fisheries, nursing care, food service, and others.

There are two types of the Specified Skilled Worker visa.

Specified Skilled Worker (1) is for foreign nationals who work in fields which require a considerable amount of knowledge or experience in specific fields. Specified Skilled Worker (2) is for foreign nationals engaged in the fields which require proficient skills in specific fields.

Specified Skilled Workers (1)

  • Period of Renewal : 1 year / 6 months/ 4 months / 3 months, for up to 5 years in total
  • Skill Standards : Job Skills Tests (Exemption for those who have completed Technical Intern Trainees (ii) program in specified field)
  • Japanese Language Level: JLPT N4 level or higher (Exemption for those who have completed Technical Intern Trainees (ii) program))
  • Spouse/Dependent: Not permitted
  • Accepting Organizations or Registered Support Organizations must provide support

Specified Skilled Worker (2)

  • Period of Renewal : Renewable and length of stay is unlimited
  • Skill Standards: Measured by Skill Test
  • Japanese Language Level: No test required.
  • Spouse/Dependent: Permitted
  • No requirement of support

Things candidates should know:

  • Applicants can sign employment contract before their skill evaluation tests.
  • However, Specified Skilled Worker Visa will NOT be issued unless the applicants pass their evaluation tests.

Accepting Organization Duties

In order to employ Specified Skilled workers, the employer (Accepting Organization) is responsible for providing hands to their foreign employees.

Accepting Organization Requirements

The employment contract is appropriate and according to the guideline.
○ ( The Specified Skilled workers must receive equivalent or better compensation as that of Japanese employees in similar position)

The accepting organization is appropriate.
○ No violations of immigration or labor laws within the past 5 years
○ No hidden contracts, no deposits, penalties, management fee etc.

Must have a solid support structure to ensure the wellness of Specified Skilled workers

The support plan is appropriate.

Duties of Accepting Organization

(1)Must: Comply with the terms of their employment contracts.
(2)Provide: Support to their Specified Skilled Workers accordingly.
(3)Notify: Punctual notifications to the Immigration bureau/ Residency office.
The Accepting Organization must notify the Immigration Bureau regularly. Failing those duties may result the accepting organization to lose their eligibility.

Support For Specified Skilled Workers (1)

Accepting Organizations are responsible to offer sufficient support to their Specified Skilled Workers. This includes providing guidance regarding their daily lives in Japan before AND after entering Japan to make sure the workers can smoothy carry out their activities in Japan whether in their work, daily life, or social life.

About the Support Plan

Pre-departure Orientation

The orientation shall be conducted via in-person or videoconference interview. It must include detailed explanations of his/her working conditions: Duties, responsibilities, hours, salery, immigration procedures, and social security collected from his/her salary. The foreign workers should fully understand the above details and their contracts.

Transportation upon arrival and departure

Transportation from the airport to either office or residence AND transportation and the accompaniment to the airport to make sure the foreign worker leave Japan in secure manner.

Support for contract procedures such as residential, phone, garbage collection, and other life related tasks.

Support for necessary contracts such as opening a bank account, and setting up phone, electric, gas, and water services.

Conduct daily life orientation

This orientation should go over how to use financial institutions, medical institutions, transportation options, traffic rules, manners, ways of obtaining disaster information, illegal activities in Japan, and other important information required for life in Japan.

Accompany for Official Procedures

These include assistance with registration, social security and tax procedures, Immigration Bureau, etc.

Provide Japanese language-learning opportunities

Provide guidance on Japanese language classes, information on Japanese learning materials, and procedural support as needed.

Respond to Questions and Complaints

With respect to consultations and complaints about work and life, provide necessary guidance and advice in a language which can be fully understood by the foreign nationals.

Promote Exchanges with Japanese People

Provide guidance and assist in the participation in exchanges with local residents such as neighbourhood associations, and local festivals etc.

Support change of employment (in the event of layoffs etc.)

Help to find work in the event that the accepting side cancels the employment contract due to their own circumstances, providing a letter of recommendation, and the granting of paid leave for job hunting and necessary administrative procedures, etc.

Regular Interviews and Reporting to Administrative Agencies

The person in response must meet the worker and/or his/her employer on regular basis (at least once every 3 mths) and report if there is any breach of contract or violations of the Labor Act.


Accepting Organizations is responsible to file various notifications to the Commissioner of the Immigration on regular or non-regular basis. Failure to notify or making false reports is subject to penalties.