Visas: Japan

There are many different visa types for working in Japan which vary slightly according to the job you intend to do. It basically means that you might be able to apply for a working visa for your specific profession (in the case of specialist skilled workers, journalists, artists and so on), or a visa designed for highly qualified professionals.

The most typical working visas to work in private companies are the following types. They all fall under the Highly Skilled Professional Visa.

  • Engineer: Working in the fields of physical science, engineering or other natural science.
  • Specialist in humanities: Working in legal, economic, social fields or in the human science.
  • International services: Working in translation, interpretation, language instruction, public relations, international trade, fashion design, interior design, product development.
  • Intra-company Transferee: Expats of foreign companies or the subsidiary companies of Japanese firms located overseas,
  • Skilled Labor: Foreign cooking, architecture or civil engineering characteristic to foreign countries, processing precious stones, metals or fur, training animals, piloting aircrafts, instructing sports, sommeliers.
  • Business Manager: Starting or investing in a business in Japan, or managing business on behalf of other investors


The Highly Skilled Foreign Professional Visa (often referred to as the HSP or HSFP visa) was first introduced in May 2012. This is a special visa with more advantages than the standard work visa, designed for talented foreign workers with advanced and specialised skills.

Note that this is a special visa which is still one variation of the work visa, hence it is not possible to apply for this visa without a specific job or job offer from a Japanese sponsoring organisation.

Points are given according to the applicant's educational level and professional background, income and academic achievement. If you accumulate 70 points or more in the point evaluation, a special visa status is given which includes the following preferential treatment:

  • Possibility of engaging in multiple activities that cover different visa categories
  • 5-year visa granted
  • Faster access to Permanent Resident Visa
  • Preferential processing of Immigration procedure
  • Possibility to work on full-time basis for the spouse under certain conditions
  • Possibility of bringing your parents to Japan under certain conditions
  • Possibility of hiring a domestic helper under certain conditions.

There are other work visas available for the following categories: 

  • Diplomat/Official
  • Professor
  • Artist
  • Religious Activities
  • Journalist
  • Legal/Accounting Services
  • Medical Services
  • Researcher
  • Entertainer

The Embassy of Japan in Australia understands that prospective visa applicants may wish to acquire accurate information from the various Japanese consular missions in Australia before submitting their application. It would be most appreciated if visa applicants could make their enquires by telephone instead of E-mail.

This is intended as a guide only. To find the most up to date information, you will need to check in with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before applying for a visa. Advance always recommends reaching out to a qualified immigration attorney for legal advice about your specific situation.