How many days does it take to obtain/extend the work visa?


You should keep in mind that the process of applying for a work visa (working status of residence) takes about two months from application to receiving the decision. Depending on the timing and content of the application, it may take much longer. You should start the procedure early to avoid overstaying or delays in finding a job.

Time between applying for a work visa and receiving the results

In general, a work visa is a residence status for foreigners who wish to work in Japan. There are three main procedures for status of residence: “initial issuance", “renewal" and “amendment". They all differ slightly in the duration of the screening.

▼Estimated screening period for working status of residence

  • Initial issuance: Approximately 2 months
  • Renewal: Approximately 1 month
  • Amendment: Approximately 2 months

Initial issuance (procedure at the time of entry

For a new residency status, the standard review period is approximately 1 to 3 months. If procedures are completed without problems, it is common to receive a certificate of status of residence within about two months of the start of immigration proceedings.

Renewal (procedure while working in Japan)

When you apply for an extension permit to renew a work visa, the processing time is between 2 weeks and 1 month. Usually, it takes a little less than a month.

Change of residence status (procedure in case of a change of job or retirement)

An application for a change of residence permit is required if the current residence status is no longer valid due to changing jobs or retirement. As with visa extensions, the processing time is about 2 weeks to 1 month.

However, it can easily take two months, as the same documents for the initial issuance must be submitted and reviewed.

What you should keep in mind regarding the work visa review process

You may be concerned about the processing time of a work visa because you are aware of the possibility that you may not be able to obtain your visa before the start date of your work or the expiration date of your stay. There are three things you should keep in mind so that you can work in Japan on a work visa without any problems.

Start your application as soon as you are able to apply (When can you renew your status of residence?)

For foreigners already working in Japan, it is important not to let the residence status expire. As explained above, renewal is usually completed in less than one month. However, it cannot be ruled out that the documents submitted may be incomplete or that the employer or applicant may have difficulty obtaining them.

You can apply for an extension 3 months before your visa expires. Therefore, prepare in advance so that you can start the procedure as soon as possible. 

During the busy season, the screening of the application often takes longer

The duration of work visa procedures also depends on how busy the Japanese Immigration Department is at that time. From April to June, the busy season, it can take about twice as long as during the low season.

For these reasons, it is important to act as quickly as possible, whether to obtain a visa, extend it, or change the status of residence.

Be careful not to forget to submit all documents or submit incomplete documents

Even if you applied early, it may take longer to get the results if the examiner finds that some documents are incomplete or missing. With the help of your employer, review the documents as thoroughly as possible before you apply.

Conclusion │ How to smoothly handle the procedures for a work visa

The process of applying for a work visa takes some time, as all submitted documents must be reviewed. In order to gather and complete all required documents, the employer and the applicant must work together before submitting the application. If either is not adequately prepared, the applicant may not receive a new visa in a timely manner.

Also consider using services that help foreign workers and companies complete the process smoothly.