Highly Skilled Professional

[NOTE]
Before you look through this page, be sure to check Overview of Japanese Immigration System page in order to learn the basic information for visa application. >> Overview of Japanese Immigration System

 

(Amended on April 1st, 2015)

Immigration Office grants you a status of residence called Highly Skilled Professional and preferential immigration treatment to foreign nationals who are classified as one of 3 categories divided by types of activities as listed below:

(Category 1) Advanced Academic Research Activities

Activities regarding academic research and instruction of the research based on a contract between private/public organizations in Japan, including activities regarding business management and operations.

(Category 2) Advanced Specialized / Technical Activities

Activities which requires knowledge and skills in the field of Humanities and Natural Sciences based on a contract between private/public organizations in Japan, including activities regarding sales and planning as well as business management and operations.

(Category 3) Advanced Business Management Activities

Activities to engage in the management and operation of for-profit entity of Japanese organizations and companies. Different from Business Manager visa status, the activities of management regarding business based on Japanese investment can be included.

In order to apply for Certificate of Eligibility (COE), Change of Status of Residence and Extension of Period of Stay as Highly Skilled Professional, you need to satisfy the criteria and requirements listed on the following page. >> Criteria and Requirements

After that, you need to confirm whether you may satisfy the requirements for Highly Skilled Professional visa status. >> Requirements for Highly Skilled Professional

Then, you should prepare necessary documents in order to certify your qualifications for the status. The documents should be varied depending on your situation and the hosting organization/company, however, you may refer to the following: >> Necessary Documents

Considering your eligibility for Highly Skilled Professional visa status in all aspects, Immigration Office will grant you Highly Skilled Professional visa status to reside and work in Japan with an authorized period of stay. >> Period of Stay

What is the "Preferential Treatment" for Highly Skilled Professional visa status?

【1】Permission for multiple purposes of activities

Highly Skilled Professional may engage in multiple activities: you may work as a specialist in some kind of researches or studies as well as a manager of the related organization such as a representative of the company, branch office and so on.

【2】Grant of the “5 years” period of stay

Immigration Office grants “5 years” of period of stay to every foreign nationals who are classified as Highly Skilled Professional.

【3】Easing of requirements for permanent residence

You may apply for Permanent Residency 6 months before the visa expiration if you could obtain Highly Skilled Professional visa status. (In general, you need to reside more than 10 years in Japan at least if you would like to apply for the Permanent Residence. )

【4】Preferential processing of entry and residence procedures

The application for Highly Skilled Professional will be processed preferentially – it will be processed within about 10 business days in case of the COE application, within about 5 business days in case of application for Change of Status of Residence or Extension of Period of Stay.

【5】Permission for the spouse of the Highly Skilled Professionals to work

Spouse of Highly Skilled Professionals may work and earn money by engaging in activities in the field of visa status such as Instructor, Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services, but limited to the case of following: 1) the spouse resides together with Highly Skilled Professionals, 2) the spouse are going to receive a salary equivalent to that of Japanese in the same field.

【6】Permission for bringing the parents to accompany the Highly Skilled Professional to Japan under certain conditions

Parents of Highly Skilled Professional or his/her spouse is allowed to enter and stay in Japan subject to conditions as following:

  1. in case the parent will take care of a child younger than 7 years of age of the Highly Skilled Professional or his/her spouse; or
  2. in case the parent will take care of a pregnant Highly Skilled Professional or to a pregnant spouse of Highly Skilled Professional.

Major requirements:

  • Your household annual salary is more than 8 million yen.
  • The parent(s) lives with you.
  • Limited to the parent(s) of either you and your spouse.

【7】Permission for a domestic worker to accompany the Highly Skilled Professional to Japan under certain conditions

Those who obtain Highly Skilled Professional visa status may bring a foreign domestic worker to Japan subject to certain conditions.

  1. In case that you continuously employ a domestic worker who has been employed by him/her in a foreign country:
    • Your household annual salary is at least 10 million yen.
    • You may bring only one domestic worker.
    • You plan to pay the domestic worker at least 200,000 yen per month.
    • The relevant domestic worker has been employed by you for at least 1 year before entering Japan.
    • The relevant domestic worker is expected to leave Japan with you.
  2. In case that you employ a domestic worker not falling under (1) above:
    • Your household annual salary is at least 10 million yen.
    • You may bring only one domestic worker.
    • You plan to pay the domestic worker at least 200,000 yen per month.
    • You have certain family circumstances (e.g. where you have a child under 13 years old or a spouse unable to do housework due to illness or for other reasons).

Necessary Procedures at Immigration Office

In case you are outside Japan yet or you are staying in Japan as a temporary visitor, you need to apply for Certificate of Eligibility (COE) Application first.

>> Types of Procedures: Certificate of Eligibility (COE) Application

In case you have been in Japan under specific status and holding Residence Card already, you need to apply for Change of Status of Residence.

>> Types of Procedures: Change of Status of Residence

Requirements for Highly Skilled Professional

【1】TYPES OF ACTIVITY IN JAPAN

Your intended activities in Japan needs to fall under one of the 3 categories of Highly Skilled Professional.

【2】PASS MARK ON POINTS CALCULATION TABLE

You have to mark more than 70 points on the Points Calculation Table of the category which you belong to.

You may check how much point you may mark here.
>> Points Calculation Table (PDF source: Immigration Bureau of Japan)

【3】EMPLOYER (HOSTING ORGANIZATION/COMPANY)

Your employer or organization (the hosting organization/company in Japan) should be recognized that they are managing their business properly, stably and continually.

Necessary Documents

You are required to prepare documents which certify that the contents of the application are true and correct. Necessary documents are varied depending on the situation of each applicant and the hosting organization/company, however, it shall be as follows:

(1) Evidence regarding the applicant’s experience and qualifications:

  • Resume, C/V.
  • Documents which certify educational experience: e.g. University Diploma, Certificate of Graduate.
  • Documents which certify your work experience: e.g. Certificate of Employment issued by ex-employer.
  • Documents which certify your qualifications and licenses: e.g. Certificate of JLPT level

(2) Evidence regarding the applicant’s occupation in Japan, terms of employment (i.e. monthly salary, period of employment etc.):

  • e.g. Employment Agreement, Employment Contract, Letter of Employment, Letter of Appointment issued by the employer.

(3) Evidence regarding the employer/hosting organization:

  • Company Brochure or Leaflet.
  • Certificate of Company Registration (Toukibo Touhon, Toukijikou Shoumeisho).
  • Financial Statement for the last fiscal year.
  • In case of new company: 1-year Business Plan, Notification of the establishment of salary payment office, Payment slip for Withholding Tax (for the past 3 months) or Application for Payment of Withholding Income Tax on a Semiannual.

(4) Point calculation table (in Immigration Bureau format)

(Amended in April, 2015)

  • All the documents written in foreign languages need to attach Japanese translation.
  • Additional documents may be required during the screening at Immigration Office.
  • Some documents may be omitted in case the hosting organization is classified under categories as follows: 1) listed company, 2) the total amount of annual withholding tax on the latest "Withholding Records and Payment Records" counts more than 15 million JPY, 3) the hosting organization which can submit a copy of the latest "Withholding Records and Payment Records".
  • Any certificate has to be issued within 3 months before the date of application.

Period of Stay

Each visa status has the expiration date – you can stay in Japan with the visa during the specific period stated on Residence Card issued by Immigration Office. Highly Skilled Professionals visa status is ensured 5 years of period of stay.

If you intend to stay in Japan under the same visa status after the expiration date, you may apply for "Extension of Period of Stay" 2 months before the expiration date. >> How to Apply of "Extension of Period of Stay"

Otherwise, you can apply for Permanent Residency 6 months before the expiration of "Highly Skilled Professional" visa status if you intend to obtain Permanent Residency in Japan.

If you travel outside Japan during the period of stay and reenter Japan, you need to obtain Special Re-entry Permission or Re-entry Permission depending on how long you will stay outside Japan. >> Check out Special Re-entry Permit or Re-entry Permit

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