It is not uncommon for foreigners living in Japan to change jobs after acquiring new skills or gaining experience. However, many wonder if they can continue working without updating their visa. This article explains what happens to your work visa when you change jobs.
What is a work visa?
It refers to the residency status foreigners need to work in Japan. A work visa is not an official term, but an idiomatic expression.
If you plan to stay in Japan for more than 90 days, you must apply for a medium- to long-term work visa, and only one work visa is allowed per person.
Work visa status when changing jobs
When a foreign national living in Japan changes jobs, he or she must generally notify the immigration office within 14 days of the change, although this varies depending on the scope of the work performed in Japan (job description).
- If the job description does not change
For example, if you are working as a designer with a residency status as an Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services and then continue to work as a designer in your new job.
Even if the job description does not change, you must file a “n Notification Procedures for Affiliated Institutions, etc." within 14 days of a job change.
If you fail to do so, you may be fined up to 200,000 yen, and your work visa renewal may also be negatively affected.
However, this notification is limited to those who received a landing permit, change of residence status permit, residence extension, etc. on or after July 9, 2012.
- There is a change in the job description, but it is within the scope of the work visa
If the job description changes within the scope of the residence status, the residence status does not have to be changed.
However, you can voluntarily apply for a “Certificate of Eligibility" at a local immigration office, etc., which will simplify the process of renewing your work visa.
The scope of work may change depending on work experience, etc., so it is advisable to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility as a precaution.
- If the content of the work changes and is no longer within the scope of the work visa
If the content of the work changes and is no longer within the scope of the curre t work visa, you must apply for a change of residence status permit.
For example, if you work in the General Affairs Department with the residency status of Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services and change the job to Accountant, which requires the residency status of Business Manager.
You may request permission to change your residency status at any time during your stay.
Even if the content of the work does not change or the content of the work changes, even if it is within the scope of the work visa, it is safe to voluntarily apply for a “Certificate of Eligibility".
If the content of the work changes and is not within the scope of the work visa, you need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to change the current status of residence.