For foreigners interested in working in Japan as language teachers must have heard about the Engineer/Specialist in humanities/International services visa (hereafter referred to as "Engineer/Humanities/International visa"), which is actually a catch-all working visa for foreigners whose work contents do not fit into a more specific category.
It must be one of the most important of Japan's working visa for its wide range of applicants in the field of natural science, social science and humanities or activities which require thought and sense based on culture and language of foreign countries. The job titles include Software Engineer, English Teacher, Interpreter, Copywriter, Fashion Designer, Salesperson, Financial analyst, HR (Human Resources), Business Manager and so on.
According to the immigration law, the Engineer visa is applicable where the applicant will engage in activities that require knowledge in the field of natural science, such as Software Engineers, System Engineers, Computer Programmers.
The Specialist in Humanities visa is applicable where the applicant will engage in activities that require knowledge in the field of social science and humanities, such as Accounting, Economic Analyst, Financial Analyst.
The Specialist in International Services visa is applicable where the applicant will engage in activities that require ways of thinking or sensibilities based on culture and language of foreign countries, such as Translator, Interpreter, Language Instructors or Fashion Designer.
Moreover, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
・Receive an equal or more salary (over 200,000 yen) than that a Japanese engaged in the same field can receive.
For those applying under Engineer/Specialist in Humanities visa, either of the following two need to be satisfied.
・Have finished studying in natural science, humanities, social sciences and other related studies at university, college or other equivalent school or education.
・Have more than 10 years experience (including both work and educational) in the relevant field.
For those applying under Specialist in International Services visa, both of the following two need to be satisfied.
・Be going to engage in the activity which are related to the following occupation: Teacher and Instructor of foreign language, Translator, Interpreter, PR (Public Relations), Fashion or Interior Design, Product Development, Overseas Transactions, and Copywriting, etc.
・Have at least three years' relevant work experience, or have graduated from university and should have majored in a subject relevant to the intended job in Japan. While they are not required for those applicants who are university-graduated and plan to engage in Translation, Interpretation, or Language Instruction.
Same as applying for other visas, applicants need to prepare for required documents and submit them to the immigration office to apply for an Engineer/Humanities/International visa.
1) Make sure you are eligible to apply for this visa;
2) Prepare for the required documents, including
From the applicant:
-Educational documents, like Diploma, Certificate of Graduate
-Work background documents, like Certificate of Employment
-Skill documents like JLPT Certificate
-Employment and salary documents like Employment Agreement or Contract, Letter of Employment or Appointment
From the organization that will be employing the applicant:
-Certificate of Company's Registered Matters
-Financial Statements for the past fiscal year
3) If the applicant is not boarding in Japan yet, submit an application for a Certificate of Eligibility ("COE") to the regional immigration office in Japan, else do Change of Status of Residence process.
4) With the COE granted, submit an application for the Engineer/Humanities/International visa at a Japanese embassy or Consul outside Japan or a regional immigration office in Japan.
With the visa granted, the holder can enter Japan and receive a residence card.
Though as one of the broadest applicable statuses of residence, still there are many cases that the application may be refused. The following check points should be considered before submitting an application.
As Engineer/Humanities/International visa is applied to those who engage in activity which requires skills and knowledge in the corresponding field, relevant specialized educational/work experience is required and expected to be used in daily work contents. So a national student who graduated from a fashion design major and would like to make a contract with a software developing company as a translator, should fail for the visa application as translating has no relevance with fashion design.
As mentioned before, Engineer/Humanities/International visa is designed for specialized talents and the applicants are expected not to do simple labor works. So a national student who majored in economics and would like to make a contract with a hotel doing cleaning and guiding work, should fail for the visa application as the work content doesn't require expertise on technology or knowledge.
One preliminary requirement for an Engineer/Humanities/International visa is that the applicant must receive no less salary than a Japanese national would receive for comparable work. So a national student who graduated from an engineering major and would like to make a contract with a computer-related company with 135,000 yen per month, should fail for the visa application if the average salary for newly graduated Japanese for comparable work is 180,000 yen per month.
Engineer/Humanities/International visa has a period of stay of either 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, or 3 months. The holders can stay longer under this status of residence by renewing the visa 2 months before the expiration of its period of stay.
Can the holders of Engineer/Humanities/International visa do side work part-timely? Same as other working visa the answer is no, as foreigners are supposed to only engage in the activities that they claimed when applying for the visa. An Engineer visa holder is expected to contribute all his or her knowledge to the engineering industry and not allowed to arbeit in a convenience store. However, the immigration law allows working visa holders to take part in an activity other than that permitted by the visa for less than 28 hours a week and not in the entertainment business if permission is granted.