Just as other countries, Japanese government restricts the work of foreigners residing in Japan by defining the allowed activities of each status of residence. Here "work" refers to those activities involving income or reward on a regular basis, so free volunteer activity or an one-time lecture with reward is not included. Illegal employment means that a foreigner works without obeying the work restrictions set by the Immigration Bureau. Illegal foreign workers will be subject to deportation or penalty, even employers who hire them will also be punished as the crime of "Promoting the Illegal Employment".
Among all the 28 types of long-term visa, except for the 4 types of General visa: Permanent resident, Spouse or child of Japanese national, Spouse of permanent resident, Long-term resident, whose holders have no concern about illegal employment, all other working and long-term stay visa have work restrictions on their holders. It should be really careful to avoid illegal employment, which will be introduced later. Also how to find a part-time job and recommended part-time jobs will also be talked about.
Generally, there are three types of illegal employment as follows:
For those foreigners prohibited to reside in Japan, such as illegal landing without a legal visa, overstayers whose visa has expired, any employment of them will be illegal employment.
Foreigners holding a less than three-month visa, like Tourist, are prohibited to work.
In the case of long-term stay visa, College student, Precollege student, and Dependent is prohibited to work paid. It will be illegal employment if they work full-time or part-time. However, considering that they also need money to support living in Japan, the Immigration Bureau allows them work part-time under the following conditions with a work permission, called Permission to Engage in an Activity Other Than That Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted: no more than 28 hours per week (40 hours per week in winter and summer holidays for Student), and not at entertainment and amusement businesses. So it won't be illegal employment if they received the work permission and work under the conditions.
As said above, for a Student, Dependent, it will be illegal if they work more over 28 hours per week or work at a pachinko with a work permission.
In the case of other working visa: Diplomat, Engineer, Specialist in humanities/international services, Specified skilled labor, etc, though their holders are allowed to work, it will be illegal if they work part-time without a work permit. Even with a work permit, they can't work more than 28 hours per week or at entertainment and amusement businesses.
Foreigners will be punished for any illegal employment no matter intentionally or not. It is critical to check the following points before hunting for a job in Japan.
Except for the case of Permanent resident who has no residence card, check the valid period printed on the residence card. Don't forget to renew or change your residence card in three months before expiration.
Whether the holder is permitted to work or not is printed on the residence card. A Spouse of Japanese national will have "No Work Restriction" printed on the front side. A Student will have "There is Work Restriction" printed on the front side and detailed work conditions on the back side if he or she has obtained the work permission from the Immigration Bureau, while "Prohibited to Work" will be seen on the front side if without the work permission.
Check the detailed work conditions on the back side of the residence card and make sure no violation. It may be about working hours, workplaces or job categories.
So a Student or Dependent with the work permission can work part-time. Actually Japan has a high demand of foreign laborers because of the severe domestic labor shortage. Especially simple labor work at supermarkets, convenience stores, factories are greatly welcoming international students and foreign housewives as these occupations are impossible to hire full-time foreign workers under other working visa.
Foreigners can look for a part-time job normally, by browsing recruitment magazines, flyers, or searching the job search websites. If you have no confidence in Japanese, the website "Quick Jobs Japan" will be a good friend. Aiming at helping foreigners find part-time jobs quickly in Japan, it shows pages in both Japanese and English, updates a lot of jobs in the most popular industries, and presents Japanese language requirement for each job position from no speaking Japanese to JLPT N1 level.
The following part-time jobs are most popular and highly recommended for international students and foreign housewives:
If you want to find a job near-by, flexible at working hours and good pay, it must be working at a convenience store. You can find one near your home or school, and schedule your shift in 24 hours according to your study plan. And late night and early morning shift can be paid allowances.
If you want to find a job near the station or the tourist spot and have no need to speak Japanese, working at a hotel as a cleaning staff or bed maker will be a perfect choice. Highly demanded by western and Japanese style hotels, and mostly only need to work in the morning.
If your home or school is at the suburbs and you want to find an easy and no people-communicating job, you can try light work at factories. After receiving some instructions at the first time, you just do your own work as the manual. Factories also provide flexible shifts.
Working at restaurants as kitchen or hall staff is suitable for those who are good at serving customers and polite Japanese, and who can make time during lunch or dinner time.