Author: M.Kok

How to get an IT Job/Visa in Japan

The Japanese job market has a shortage of IT professionals. For a candidate with solid technical skills, relevant work experience, and business level Japanese, it is arguably not that difficult to get an ‘IT’ related job in Japan.

The requirements

Depending on the nature of the job, the requirements vary. For example, to get a job as a full-stack developer, (just like in most other countries) the candidates need to have good technical skills and ‘some’ work experience.
For a ‘help desk’ assistant position, on top of the technical literacy, communication skills like advanced Japanese and English are mostly required.
To summarize, the candidate needs to be good at the job and also be able to demonstrate that he or she is good at it (work experience, comprehensive portfolio, etc.).

How much Japanese?

The more- the better. Although there are job listings that ask for no Japanese language ability, these are not that common and tend to be for specialist positions with a lot of specific work experience. Most engineer vacancies require at least day-to-day based conversational Japanese.

Japanese Working Visa

The most common and probable route to getting a work visa is to get a job offer first. Even though it is theoretically possible to get a Visa issued before getting a job, it is somewhat complicated, and the difficulty outweighs the benefits.

The usual way to go about getting a visa

Apply for a job. > You get the job offer. > The company sends you the list of necessary documents. > Send the documents. > The company applies for a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) on your behalf. > The CoE is issued and sent to you. > You take the CoE to a Japanese embassy together with a few other documents, your passport and a photo. > Then finally your Visa is issued.

The alternative

Is to sort out the visa on your own and then apply for a job. If you have enough experience and sufficient academic credentials, you could also apply for an Engineer visa.
The benefit of doing this is that you will likely have more leeway as you navigate through your potential job options.

Like with any job-specific Japanese visa, you have to get a job that has the same ‘industry’ category as the visa. For example, you can’t work as a chef on an engineering visa and vice-versa.

The only visa categories that allow job changes without giving notice or applying for a different visa status are the spouse-, long term resident-, and the permanent resident visa status holders.

Salary and working conditions in Japan

The salaries are commonly in the 3 million to 6 million Yen range (4 million average). Depending on the position and the experience you have. Other than the monthly wages, most Japanese companies also offer perks like commute fee allowances and housing/moving support amongst many others.
The work routine for IT professionals is similar to most western countries.

Applying without experience

It is possible to get a job without ‘professional’ experience, but to do that you need to have a very strong portfolio and good language skills. Despite, the labour deficit in the IT industry, entry-level positions are not that common.


There are many job opportunities for IT professionals in Japan. To have a better shot at getting the desired job, it is a good idea to get familiar with Japanese mannerisms and get accustomed to the way job hunting in Japan works. Having the ability to understand some Japanese also helps.

Like many new things, the whole process might seem a little tricky at first. However, it is nothing that you can’t overcome with enthusiasm, and the reward of working at your new job in Japan is more than likely to be well worth it.

Like many new things, the whole process might seem a little tricky at first however it is nothing that you can’t overcome with enthusiasm, and the reward of working at your new job in Japan is more than likely to be well worth it.





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