Job Hunting Activities after Graduating in Japan

Procedures for changing your status of residence to continue job hunting In the event that you cannot find employment by the time you graduate, you may apply to change your visa from "College Student" to "Designated Activities (to continue seeking employment)" to continue job hunting activities for a year after graduating. (This visa is valid for six months and may be renewed only one time for another six months.(namely, 1 year in total)) From December 2016, it is possible to continue job hunting activities for an additional year if the following conditions are satisfied during the second year after graduation.

People who are part of job hunting support programs implemented by regional public organizations (programs that conform to the requirements established by the Ministry of Justice, Immigration Bureau) and who have received a certificate providing evidence that they are part of a program operated by regional public organizations and have no trouble residing in Japan may change their status of residence for their participation in job hunting activities as part of these programs (residence of six months for specific activities) and be authorized to extend their period of residence one more time if they wish to continue their job hunting activities, including cases in which they take part in internships while participating in the program for a second year after graduation.

Job Hunting Activities after Graduating in Japan_image01

Eligible individuals

  • Those who have graduated from a university (including two-year colleges) or a regular course at a graduate school

  • Those who have graduated from a professional training college and got a diploma

Documents required for application

  1. Application form for changing status of residence

  2. Passport and resident card (the former alien registration card), to show

  3. Certification showing the ability to pay all expenses to be incurred during the stay in Japan (proof of money transfer, copy of a bank statement, etc.)

  4. Bring your most recent university or college graduation certificate. If you studied at a technical or vocational school, you should also bring your transcript of results, your specialist degree certificate, and documents that outline the specialist training you have undertaken.

  5. Recommendation letter from the university enrolled in just before application

  6. Documents verifying you have continued job hunting (job hunt records, screening result document, etc.)

*If you secure a job while on a "Designated Activities" visa, you will be required to change your residence status to "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services."


  • You will have limited opportunities to find a job since many Japanese companies primarily target new graduates when planning their acquisition of human resources, and additionally, the period between

  • April and September, in which you will continue job hunting, is when recruitment for the following year is underway.

  • You may be asked to wait to join the company until April of the following year even if you are offered a position.

  • It will be difficult to gather information because you will be required to conduct job hunting activities under a schedule that differs from the one for regular "new graduate hiring." In addition, it will be difficult to

  • communicate your eagerness to apply for a job because of the delay in timing.

*In the case you have been offered a position that starts in April of the following year, you may stay in Japan until you start work by changing your visa to “Designated Activities (for persons with job offers).” However, you must apply to change your status of residence because the content of your activities differs from job hunting activities.


Job Hunting Guide for International Students | JASSO

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