Procedure for Change of Status of Residence (Working Visa) for International Students in Japan

Procedure for Change of Status of Residence (Working Visa)

Foreign nationals can reside in Japan after obtaining a status of residence or visa. (There are 27 kinds of status of residence or visa, all in all.) Foreign nationals who obtained a status of residence can also engage in activities set forth in for each kind of status of residence accordingly. Therefore, if you want to work, you need to change your current status of residence from "Student" to "Engineer" or "Specialist in Humanities/International Services ", or any other status of residence that is eligible to work.

Immigration Procedures for Change of Status of Visa

As a general rule, when applying for change of status of visa from [Student] to a working visa, the foreign applicant is required to visit the Regional Immigration Bureau or its branch office and carry out the application procedures by himself or herself. At that time, it is necessary to bring the following documents.

Required Documents

Personal Documents

・Passport ( or travel documents) or Resident Card

It is important that your passport validity has not expired. The same applies to your alien registration card if you presented it, instead of a resident card.

・Permission to Change Status of Residence Application

The application forms are different and depend upon the status of residence.

Use the form corresponding with the activity involved such as below

N(「Researcher」・「Engineer」・「Specialist in Humanities/International Services」・「Skilled labor」・「Designated Activities(イ・ロ)」)、M(「Investor・Business Manager」)、I(「Missionary」・「Professor」)、U(Others).

The application form can be obtained from the immigration or can be downloaded from the Ministry of Justice website as follows:

You can also use a copy of the form.

An identification (ID photograph is required so attached a 3cm x 4cm size ID photo on the application.

・Reason for Application

Even though it is not something that you should submit without fail, writing and explaining the reasons leading to your search for a job and the relevance of the field you majored when you enrolled in the university to the job role and description becomes a reference for job screening. There is no particular writing format decided for this.

Documents from the Company

・Corporate Certificate of Registration

Obtain corporate certificate of registration from the employer company. One that is issued within 3 months prior to application is required.

・Copy of Employment Contract

This is a written agreement between the applicant and the company. A copy of appointment letter or notice of employment is also acceptable. The employment term and conditions should include items concerning employment period, work place, work details, work hours, salary and remuneration, benefits, retirement.

・Copy of the Financial Statement of the Hiring Company

The yearly financial statement is release once after the fiscal year. It is a documented profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet at the time of settlement of accounts of the company. Please obtain a copy of the most recent fiscal year. However, if the company has just been established, there is no documented financial statement yet so obtain a copy of the company business plan for the following year, instead.

・Copy of record of withholding slips of the employee's year's salary

This is a document submitted by the employing company to the tax office.

A copy can be submitted but make sure it has the stamp of receipt by the tax office.

In case the company is newly established, you can submit either a copy of written notice of open account with a payroll office or a copy income tax levy amount calculation for the most recent 3 month salary or retirement income.

・Company Profile

Submit a company brochure or pamphlet if available or a printed out copy of the company profile from the company homepage. One that includes the company name, address , contact telephone numbers, company history, capital, board of directors, organization, number of Japanese and foreigner employees, annual revenue, trade or business, ( major achievements with clients and partners ) and the like is desired.

・Statement of Reasons for Employment

Even though it is not something that you should submit without fail, writing and explaining the reasons leading to your search for a job and the relevance of the field you majored when you enrolled in the university to the job role and contents becomes a reference for job screening. There is no particular writing format decided for this.

Other than these, depending on individual circumstances, there are cases wherein you will be exempted from submitting the "corporate certificate of registration" , "financial statement" ,"record of tax withholding slips", "company profile" and there may be a case wherein you may be asked to submit "any other reference materials"

Documents from the University・School

・Diploma or Certificate of Graduation (or Graduation Letter)

This is a certificate issued by the university where you graduated from. The original copy is always required. For vocational school students, you have to obtain a certificate of qualification.

If you cannot obtain your diploma of certificate of graduation immediately from the school on time for application, submit a graduation letter, instead. When the diploma is released, you will need to submit this as additional. As for the period of application, new graduates from universities can be hired from April and therefore you can apply for a job 3 months before, that is, from January.

For submittals written in a foreign language, you are required to attach the corresponding Japanese translations. Also, note that the documents that you will submit to the Immigration Office will not be returned so if you want the original copy returned to you, you must submit a certified copy or a transcript stating that the transcript is consistent with the original copy during the application. For the above case, please do not forget that you have to produce both the original and the certified copy or transcript.

Immigration Control

Immigration control first checks the conditions and circumstances of your stay and activities in Japan whether they corresponds to your residence as [Engineer], [Specialties in Humanities and International Service] and others. Here are some points that will be examined.

Whether the applicant's education (major course, research description, etc.) and other backgrounds correspond to the technical skills and knowledge he possessed.

Whether the technical skills and knowledge possessed by the applicant can be utilized on the perspective of the job description.

Whether the applicant is treated and remunerated appropriately, and whether stability and continuity is expected from the company's scale and performance.

Furthermore, whether the opportunity to perform his job function actually exists.

The results of the review will not be released at the time of application and you will be notified by post mail at a later date.

Working Visa

After clearing the above screening, the status of residence visa required for employment will be granted. Based from the provisions for fees related to immigration laws, payment of 4000 yen is required when you change the status of residence. (The payment is made by buying a 4000 yen revenue stamp and attaching it to the statement of payment form)


International Students Job Search Guide | JPSS

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