Interested in Switching From Technical Trainee Visa to a Specified Skilled Worker Visa?

Here's what to do.

The Specified Skilled Worker Visa was introduced last April 2019, and it has already made numerous headlines. Since it is still in its baby stages, most of the information about it is still in Japanese. Not to worry! We are here to make things easier for you to understand.

For those who are completely new to the concept of this visa, as the name implies, you are not considered a trainee but a full-fledged worker. This means you can receive full benefits and salary like a typical Japanese person would. Read on for all the details on the Specified Skilled Worker Visa. 

First things first.

The most basic thing to know is that the Specified Skilled Worker Visa is still considered one of the working visas, and if you do not have an employer, nothing will happen. Luckily since you are in the Technical Intern Training Program, you already have a potential employer. All that matters next is fulfilling the requirements and making the visa change.

What about your current visa? 

If you successfully receive the Specified Skilled Worker Visa, your current visa will be canceled. Consider it an upgrade!

How do you know if you’re eligible?

Basically, to be eligible for the Specified Skilled Worker Visa, there are two ways to go about it: (1) the exam route; and (2) exam-exempted route.

For the exam route, you would have to pass the skills exam and the Japanese language test. Once you do, (plus have an employer), then you’re good to go.

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

However, just passing both exams simply doesn’t guarantee you an exemption. Another factor is you should have completed a technical intern training (ii) in good standing; and that you still work in the same/similar job as your previous one.

Also, take note that there are general requirements as well for this visa. They are the following:

  1. Must be at least 18 years
  2. Must not fall under the following categories:
    1. Exchange Students who have dropped out or were expelled. 
    2. Disappeared Technical Intern Trainee (TITP - Ginou Jishuu ????)
    3. Holds the Designated Activity (Nanmin Shinsei?????) visa
    4. Anyone who falls under the category of:
      1. Technical Intern Trainee (TITP - Ginou Jishuu?????)
      2. Trainee (Kenshu)
      3. Designated Activity (Nihon Ryouri Kaigai Fukyuu Jinzai Ikusei Jigyou ??????????????)
      4. Designated Activity (Tokutei Dentou Ryouri Kaigai Fukyuu Jigyou ?????????????
      5. Designated Activity (Internship ?????????
      6. Designated Activity (Gaikokujin Sougyou Sokushin Jigyou ?????????)
      7. Business manager (Gaikokujin Sougyou Sokushin Jigyou???????????

How do you apply?

The general flow here is that, once all the necessary documents are completed, you will submit them to immigration and then you simply have to wait for the results. The visa process is usually done by the applicant him/herself, but due to the necessity of preparing more than 70 documents compared to other types of visa, it is better to get support from your employer. Please comment below if you want to know the requirements.


The visa that will be handed to you will be for one year, six months, or four months. With extensions, you can stay maximum of five years (with exceptions on some job categories) 

Do you have to go home during the visa-changing procedure? 

Even though you are required to go home once during the renewal of the Technical Intern Training Visa, there is no need to go home during the change to the Specified Skilled Worker Visa.  

But what if you don’t change your visa?

If you have failed the exam on your first try, you should not give up. Instead, ask why you failed, so you can try again.

For any changes, we’ll keep you updated, so keep checking our website for more tips on living and working in Japan.

Created with FORECAST Administrative Scrivener Corporation

 (29 August 2019)

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