For every foreign national who would like to work in Japan, there are extensive chances because of the severe labor force shortage in Japan.
You can try to find a company located in Japan to sponsor you a working visa to work full-time. Japan used to have the image of only granting working visas to high-educated or high-skilled talents, but now things have changed. With the newly established Specified skilled worker visa, you don't have to be a college graduate or working over 10 years to be sponsored by a company. Only a Japanese language test and skills test need to be passed. Some working visa sponsorship jobs even don't require you to speak any Japanese, as you are supposed to work with your own language or your colleagues are all bilinguals.
Or you can enroll in a university or language school to sponsor you a Student visa to study and work part-time at the same time.
We are going to introduce these two kinds of visa sponsorship, and their work restrictions, and how to find those visa sponsorship jobs.
Around 30 working or long-term stay visas allow remunerative work or over-90-days stay in Japan.
Specified visas, such as Spouse or child of Japanese national, Permanent resident, etc, don't need sponsorship as they are granted according to family status. Immigration laws have no work restriction on these visas.
Other working visas, such as Highly skilled professional, Specified skilled worker, Technical intern training, Engineer/Specialist in humanities/International services, etc, all need a company or an organization to provide sponsorship.
The flow of getting a working visa is like:
・Obtain sponsorship from a company or an organization by meeting its conditions or passing interviews
・The company applies for the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) at the immigration bureaus in Japan on your behalf
・The company sends you the issued COE and you apply for the working visa at the local Japanese Embassy/Consulate in your country
Working visa holders are only allowed to engage in the activities claimed for the application of the COE by Japanese immigration law.
In the case of Specified skilled worker in the Care Worker industry, he or she is not allowed to do any full-time job other than care work. And Technical intern trainees for the food production industry can't do other jobs except for producing food. Actually trainees are not even allowed to change to other sponsors.
While working visa holders can do other part-time jobs with permission (talking later) from the immigration bureau under some restrictions on working hours and workplaces.
If a full-time job is not your choice, and you want to receive education in Japan, a Student visa will be the right one. Student visa is a visa granted to college, vocational school students, or Japanese language school students. It allows holders to both study and work part-time in Japan.
Student visa allows a period of stay from 6 months up to a maximum of 2 years and can also be extended depending on your enrollment period. You can choose different universities or schools based on your ability and expectation.
To be an international student in a university or vocational school, you should have a certain knowledge of both Japanese language and the major that you would like to study in the future. Enrollment tests in Japan or abroad need to be passed first. As examinees are supposed to understand Japanese for school life, tests are usually in Japanese. And of course, lessons in the university will be in Japanese.
Different learning plans may be set according to international students' Japanese level. For example, a student with JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N1 level can attend lessons along with Japanese students from the first year of enrollment, while someone with JLPT N2 level can receive a year's Japanese language education firstly.
Japanese language schools are good choices for those people who only want to learn or improve Japanese language ability in order to work in Japan. These schools have almost no requirements for enrollment, maybe a language test in order to divide into classes.
Student visa holders are not allowed to work paid by Japanese immigration law, as students are supposed to focus their time and energy on studying.
However, it is also concerned that students need money to support their lives, and working can also improve students' Japanese language ability and deepen their understanding of Japanese social rules and culture, and Japan really demands these national student labor forces to alleviate the human shortage in almost all industries.
So Student visa holders are allowed to work part-time after obtaining a permission called "Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted Under the Status of Residence Previously Granted" from immigration bureau. The permission can be applied at the airport upon entering Japan or any time at the local immigration bureau in Japan. The permission needs to be updated along with one's residence card renewal.
There are some work restrictions on the permission and international students should obey. They shouldn't work over 28 hours per week during the term or 40 hours per week during holidays. These hours mean the total of all part-time jobs. And no job in the adult entertainment business will be allowed, even dish washing, which includes bars, nightclubs, pachinko and slot, etc.
To find a full-time job with working visa sponsorship, there are many job search boards providing job information for foreigners and bilingual talents. You can filter jobs by your expected industry, with visa sponsorship, and work location, etc.
After applying for a job, you will get contacted for interviews if eligible. Interviews may be held in your own nation or only in Japan, which should be checked advancely.
If you have a Student visa in Japan, it will be really easy to find a part-time job. Local newspapers, flyers of nearby supermarkets, or job search websites can all be the source of job vacancies.