You Can Skip the Specific Skilled Workers Exam in Japan If You Fulfill These Two Requirements

There are two conditions that you must meet.

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Specific Skilled Worker Visas

The new work visa policy of Specific Skilled Workers (SSW) issued by Japan allows foreigners to work in 14 different industries. Before this policy, it was difficult to enter Japan for the purpose of working under most of these sectors.

To acquire this visa, you must meet certain requirements such as passing the skills exam and Japanese language test. However, there is also a way for you to qualify for the visa without having to take these exams.

Qualifications for exemption: 

If you have completed a
technical intern training (ii) program, you are eligible for an exemption from both exams.

Please note that completing the program does not guarantee you an exemption. There are two conditions that you must meet first to be exempted from taking the exam.

How to get the exams exemption

Condition 1: Complete a technical intern training (ii) in good standing

First, you must complete the technical intern training (ii) in good standing. "Successfully completed" means you have completed the technical intern training (ii) within a period of 2 years 10 months or more. You must also pass the practical test of the grade 3 trade skills test or an equivalent technical intern training evaluation examination.

However, this condition will also require former trainees to pass the grade 3 trade skills test. Unfortunately, not all ex-trainees pass or even take the test. Implementation of the test started last November 1, 2017, while the technical intern training program itself has been ongoing since 1995. So there are still many ex-trainees who have never even taken this test.

If you passed and finished the program in 2 years and 10 months or more, you have successfully completed the training program. Upon completion, you are now qualified for an exemption.

However, if you have never taken nor passed the test, and
plan to work in a different company, you must ask the company where you previously worked at and the Kanri Dantai (supervisory agency) to make a Hyouka Chousho (an evaluation certificate), as a substitute to passing the test. 

On the other hand, if you
plan to work at the same company but have not taken nor passed this exam, you do not need a Hyouka Chousho.

Condition 2: Work in the same/similar industry field as your previous job

Second, you must work in the same or similar industry as your previous job. Please note that not all job categories of technical intern training (ii) are covered in SSW’s 14 industry fields. So, it is better to check whether it is covered or not.


If you continue to work in the same/similar job category as your previous job and it is covered in
14 industry fields, satisfying all conditions, then you can certainly get exam exemption.

Source: Ministry of Justice Website

 (19 August 2019)

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