Explanation of Requirements for 19 Types of Work Visa

To work in Japan, foreigners need a work visa. There are different types of work visas with corresponding requirements. Many people do not know which work visa is suitable for them and would like to know what the requirements are for a work visa.

What is a work visa?

If a foreigner wishes to stay in Japan for an extended period of 90 days or more, they must apply for a visa. The residence status for the purpose of work is called a “work visa".

Only one type of work visa can be applied for per person. The most common work visas are Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services.

However, if a foreign national wishes to run a business in Japan, he/she cannot do so with an “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" work visa.

Since their activities in Japan will change, it is necessary to apply for a change of residence status permit.

Type of Work Visa

There are 19 types of work visas in total, including those for official use.

・Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Business

This visa is for various professions such as scientists, engineers, office workers, businessmen, lawyers, accountants, interpreters and for working abroad.

・Skilled labor

For qualifications that require specialized skills in a particular field. Civil engineering, product manufacturing, jewelry/precious metals, animal training, petroleum exploration/seabed geology, chefs, sports coaches, etc.


College professors, associate professors, assistants, etc.


Painters, sculptors, songwriters, composers, photographers, etc.


Actors, singers, dancers, athletes, models, etc.


Researchers, investigators, etc., who belong to research institutes.

・Religious activities

Monks, missionaries, etc.


Reporters, cameramen, announcers, etc.

・Business manager

Managers in a company in Japan and those who hold a management position in a Japanese branch of a foreign company.

・Legal/Accounting services

Lawyers, court clerks, accountants, tax consultants, administrators, etc.

・Medical services

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, etc.


Elementary, middle and high school teachers.

・Intra-company transferee

This residency status is required when a company with a base overseas transfers employees to Japan for a specified period of time.

・Nursing care

Individuals who are trained as nurses.

・Highly Skilled Professional

Divided into Highly Skilled Professional (i) and Highly Skilled Professional (ii), this visa is for workers who contribute to Japan’s economic development with their advanced knowledge and skills.

・Technical intern training

Divided into Technical Intern Training (i) and Technical Intern Training (ii), this is a system for acquiring technology for a specific period.

・Specified skilled worker

Divided into (i) and (ii), this is a system to recieve foreigners who have specialized knowledge and skills and are willing to work.


Members of diplomatic missions, diplomatic messengers, etc.


Administrative, technical, and service personnel of diplomatic missions.


The status of residence for the purpose of work is a “work visa". There are 19 types of work visas in total, including those for official use.

Only one type of work visa can be applied for per person.