The newest addition to the Japanese working visa system is the visa type called (特定技能 – tokuteiginou) or the ‘Specified skilled worker visa’ in English.
What is Tokuteiginou (特定技能)?
Think of it as a visa for tradespeople and unskilled tradespeople. The Tokuteiginou visa has two subcategories. Type one and Type two.
As of now, only two job titles fall under the type two classification. These are shipbuilding and construction, but other titles being added to the type two list is somewhat likely.
Type two is the more desirable one because of the higher pay and better visa conditions. Holders of type two get to work for five years and extend their visas indefinitely. Also, the time spent working is counted towards the time one needs to apply for permanent residency, plus type two holders can bring their families with them.
Whereas type one holders can only work up to five years maximum and cannot take their families with them, nor is the time spent working counted as the work years needed from permanent residency.
What are the requirements?
To apply for type one you need to have working experience corresponding to the title you are applying for. And you need to be able to understand basic Japanese (N4). In addition, you also need to take a job-specific skills test.
It is pretty much the same for type two. You can ‘upgrade’ the status from type one to type two though.
The job titles
- Airport ground handling & aircraft maintenance
- Building cleaning
- Construction(type2 availability)
- Electronics and electric machinery
- Food and beverage
- Hotels & hospitality
- Industrial machinery
- Materials processing
- Nursing care
- Restaurants & catering
- Shipbuilding(type2 availability)
- Vehicle maintenance
As far as clear definitions of the job titles go, it seems to be up to the company you apply to.
How to apply
Like with the ‘common’ Japanese work visa, you have to find a company to hire you first.
Then you have to pass the work-specific skills test and the language test.
And the last step is sorting the visa out. For this, the company that hires you is supposed to help you to a CoE (Certificate of Eligibility) that you take to a Japanese embassy and get your visa.
The Tokuteiginou visa has loose requirements because of the general thought that there is not enough Japanese workforce to support these (often) labour heavy industries. It seems to be mainly aimed at South-East Asians since there are plans to set up testing and help facilities in some of the countries where the interest of working in Japan is higher. But in theory, everyone is welcome to apply.
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