Life in Japan

Japan News: New Type of Working Visa for Foreigners Starting April, 2019

I was listening to the radio on my drive home from work a few days ago when I heard the news that the Japanese Government has decided to create a new type of working visa for foreigners which could be available as early as April, 2019. I decided to research the topic and didn’t find any articles in English, so I decided to write a post about the Japanese articles I read.
UPDATE (June 8, 2019)

For additional updated information about this visa read my new post

New Japanese Visa Classification: Designated Skills (including Manual Labor)

The new visa classification is called 特定技能 (tokutei gino – “designated skills”) and allows work from 14 different fields including manual labor. They are planning to implement 2 types of this new “designated skills” visa called 1号 (ichigou) which I will call “type 1” and 2号 (nigou) which I will call “type 2”.

The differences between the “Type 1” and “Type 2” Visas

Visa ClassificationDesignated Skills Type 1Designated Skills Type 2
SpecificationsFor foreigners who have adequate knowledge and skills required to work in one of 14 fieldsFor foreigners who are highly skilled experts in one of 2 designated fields
Length of Stay5 yearsindefinite
Ability to bring familyNoYes

What are the 14 Fields?

As I mentioned earlier, 14 fields have been specified by the Japanese government for this new Japanese visa (2 fields for Type 2). So what are they exactly? Well, let’s see.

Type 1Type 2
建設業 (Construction)建設業 (Construction)
造船・舶用工業 (Shipbuilding)造船・舶用工業(Shipbuilding)
自動車整備業 (Automotive)
航空業(空港グランドハンドリング・航空機整備)(Airport staff – ground handling and aircraft repair)
宿泊業 (Hospitality)
ビルクリーニング (Janitorial)
農業 (Agriculture)
漁業 (Fishing)
飲食料品製造業(水産加工業含む)(Food Manufacturing)
外食業 (Restaurant)
素形材産業(鋳造など)(Industrial Manufacturing – Metalworking)
産業機械製造業 (Industrial Machinery Manufacturing)
電子・電気機器関連産業 (Electrical Manufacturing)

From what I can tell, this list is mostly made up of manual labor, manufacturing, farming, and service jobs. The news that I heard on the radio also emphasized that the new visa would be the first of its kind to allow foreigners to do “simple labor” (単純労働 – tanjun roudou) or manual labor jobs.

What is required to get this visa?

Both Type 1 and Type 2 require basic Japanese conversation skills and enough knowledge of Japanese language and culture to survive daily life.

The Japanese government is looking for foreigners who are ready to work and who have sufficient Japanese to work and live in Japan. In order to determine this, they are making a test for each field of work.

When is the test?

The tests in the fields of Restaurant, Hospitality, and Caregiving will likely be set for April, 2019, while it seems that the remaining 11 tests will be set sometime after May.

What is on the test?

I haven’t been able to find any specific information yet about the test, but I assume it tests basic knowledge of the field in which the person is applying.

JLPT N4 Requirement

Some sites I have looked at seem to imply that the JLPT N4 qualification may also be required in order to get this visa. Other sites do not mention this specifically but say that basic Japanese conversation skills are required. In any case, if you want to come to Japan, I recommend trying to get to this level at least!

Wages, Changing jobs, and other rules

Learning from past mistakes, it seems like the Japanese government is going to enforce the same wage laws for companies hiring foreigners on this visa type as it does for its own citizens. Nobody should have to work for less than the local minimum wage, considering the cost of living in that area.

In addition, it will be possible to change jobs on this visa. However, you will need to file the necessary paperwork at the immigration office and the new job must be in the same field as your old one.

Obviously, if you neglect to file any necessary paperwork like your visa extension application or if you are arrested for criminal activity, your visa can be taken away.

All Countries are not Equal

According to various sources, if you are from a country that has a large number of illegal immigrants or that refuses to take back its citizens in the case they are deported from Japan, you will likely have a much harder time getting this visa.


This news is still developing and will likely have several changes before everything is set and done. I wrote this post on November 3, 2018 and all of my sources were written within the past month. If you would like to know more, feel free to research by yourself.

UPDATE: Jan. 27, 2019

Thank you all for reading my post. Although I am glad that many people have found it to be helpful, seeing as I am not an expert I have decided to refrain from giving any personal advice on this subject. If you wish to know specific information regarding your own visa situation, I recommend talking to an immigration lawyer about it. Sorry I could not be of more help. Best of luck.

An American girl writing about living and working in Japan. 日本在住のアメリカ人の女の子のブログ。


  1. アバター arano より:


    thanks so much for that article,
    one question i cannot seem to get an answer to though:
    Will i be able to apply without having secured a job yet or can i apply, receive the visa and go looking for jobs in Japan.

    • Rose Rose より:


      Thanks for your comment! I just did a quick google search and I haven’t been able to find out any specific information about that yet, but assuming it is the same as the other working visa types, you will need to have a company to sponsor your visa in order to get it. However, seeing as this new visa type requires a test (whereas other visa types don’t) it is possible that it will not require you to secure a job before getting the visa. I’ll keep my eye out for additional information as it pops up and if I find anything out, I’ll let you know!


  2. アバター Kaz より:


    I’m the site owner of ascott immigration office. Thank you for linking to my site.

    By chance, I found your article and discovered that I linked to my post.

    I am pleased that foreigners like you will deliver designated skills news in English.

    Actually I’d like to post articles in English, but I have no time.

    By the way, there is content that the content of the article has changed slightly.

    The last Wednesday, Japanese government decided to have 2 fields for Type 2.

    Decrease from 5 to 2. Construction and Shipbuilding.

    Japan’s Diet is pretty tough with this matter.

    I do not know if the new law will be revised, but since I am revising the article as quickly as possible, please look at the article to be revised from now on.



    • Rose Rose より:

      Hi Kaz,

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy to hear from you! I will change my article to reflect this new development and I will try to continue to update it as much I can.

      By the way, I received a comment the other day from another reader asking about whether they would need to secure a job in Japan before applying for the visa or if it would be possible to get the visa and then do job-hunting in Japan. My guess is they would need to secure a job first, but do you have any information on that? If so, please let me know!


      • アバター Kaz より:

        Hi Rose

        I’m so sorry to be late.

        In conclusion,they need to secure a job in Japan before applying for the visa.

        As far as I know, many of the foreigners go through the following process.

        1. Visit Japan with a short-term visa and meet with the target company.

        2. It may be a unique system of a Japanese company, but they get a job offer from the company.

        3. Return home to their country and have visas to those in Japan.

        Anyway, securing a job is necessary before applying for a visa.


  3. アバター hi rosa より:

    Can you go to Bangladesh?

  4. アバター Gyanu より:

    Hi thanks for this information I want to know about this new working visa is also ascetable in combine store I have 3 years experience in 7 eleven and I will rejected from refuge visa after 1 year I want to back again in Japan with 7 eleven working visa if it is possible coz I have the sponsor. But I can’t finished university can you please suggest me

    • Rose Rose より:

      Hello. If you have a company that is willing to sponsor your visa, and if you meet the other requirements including Japanese language proficiency, I believe you will qualify for this visa type. However, I am not a professional and have no legal training. If you are looking for good advice, I suggest talking to an immigration specialist.

  5. アバター Sujan より:

    Hi there! Thanks a lot for this wonderful article.
    I am little confused in the type-2 worker skills. does it mean that the type-2 visa is only for the constructor and the ship constructor?

    • Rose Rose より:

      Hello! Thanks for your comment. It seems like that is the plan for now. They were going to have it be open for more fields, but it seems that they made a change in plan.

  6. アバター スパマン より:

    Hi Rose san. Thank you for the information on the april2019 working visa.Keep updating on the coming news about the April working visa please. For example:exams, interviews and Japan language level… And I read somewhere that the exact way to take those workers have not been fixed yet??….and this is a nice n clear cut website I have seen… Doumo arigato gozaimasu..

  7. アバター arano より:

    If it is true that applicants need a company that sponsors them its really bad news. It just opens up all the doors for scams, bad work environment and exploitation. Why is it so hard to understand that dynamic for countries, same with the J-1 Visa in the USA and other examples all over the world.

  8. アバター Aric John より:

    Hi Rose, I am Aric John from Pakistan. This is very important and news which you have shared to the people. I want to tell you that if you are living in Japan, so please help the minorities peoples of Islamic country Pakistan to get new jobs in Japan because they are living less than poverty. My email is

  9. アバター Ajaz より:

    Hi Roase thanks for sharing this useful information, I’d like you to must add about the people who they are living in Japan as refugees, and most of them still waiting for a long time to hear from the immigration of accepting them as refugee bec of their life is really in danger and they must be protected within such circumstances, but now most of them are looking toward this opportunity to jump from their current situation as (Refugee Applicant) to work permit is going to be initiated in April as U mentioned in ur post, so my question is that would it be possible for the refugee applicants specially who have been staying in Japan for 4 or 5 years, be eligible to apply and can avail an opportunity to change their status to work permit? As I myself keen interested to apply under this program so I am expecting detailed, and comprehensive information from your side.
    Once again Thank you so much for the ingformation!
    I look forward soonest reply

  10. アバター CJ より:

    Hi Rose, thank you for sharing this information. I did research also about this but there are some case that not clear yet. I am currently a student (studying at nihongo gakkou and already at japan) currently doing arubaito at hotel for 1 and half year until now and have sponsor from that hotel also, can you apply to change student visa to this tokutei ginou? I am graduated from IT colleage though and already past the N3 test. Is that possible even my major speciality is not related at all?

  11. アバター krishna より:

    Hlo rose ! thanks for information .

    I’m krishna from Nepal . could you give additional information about process of visa according to new visa policy .

  12. アバター Rabinmagar より:

    Hi rose i’m from nepal even i’ve heard that the japan government has decided to take foreign workers from 9 diffrrent country including nepal so i have started learning nihongo also i have heard that for this visa we need to have basic japanese language and the test will be on this april but according to recent news which i heard is not yet sure working fisa for nepal.i hope you will give me some information. In addition for those visa for restaurant and aggriculture do we need any document and sertificate or it does not need coz i have experience for this type of job but no sertificate.

  13. アバター rohan bhadra より:

    do i need to give any jlpt exam to get the unskilled labour job permit visa for japan?

  14. アバター Sreenu より:


    What are the procedure to apply for the visa?
    What kind of vacancies are available ?
    What about oil and gas construction jobs for engineer’s?

  15. アバター Momo より:

    Hey, I am a automotive Mechanic, with good experience. I will like to take the mechanical test.

  16. アバター Nyasha より:

    Thanks for this, I was very intrigued but I wonder if there will be one for influencer/bloggers. I am thoroughly interested to go back and live there if they let food/travel bloggers want to develop in the country.

  17. アバター Julian より:

    its april now. where can i apply for this visa?

  18. アバター Gurdev Singh より:

    Hello I am Gurdev Singh India to Japan work visa please help

  19. アバター Shahid raja より:

    Hi Rose how are you
    I am Pakistani
    You help to apply japan work apply?
    Tell complete information
    Please help me

  20. アバター Lotey より:

    Hi Rose,

    I wanted to know if we need to university graduates to try for working visa? Can 2years diploma in tourism and hospitality get it?

  21. アバター Indian (labour ), 12th pass. より:


    How apply work visa
    Tell information please

  22. アバター rudolph より:


    i have 2 category in work field..
    my 3 years contract was already done
    my occupation is plastic molding. i have 2nd, 3rd grade license
    my peripherals work is metal press..
    my question is it can be possible to be indefinitely resident in my category?


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