Here’s How You Can Change Your Designated Activities Visa to a Working Visa in Japan

We list down everything you need to know.


People who have a Student Visa usually apply for a Designated Activities Visa when they plan to extend their time job hunting in Japan. Once they get the official notice from their employer, the process doesn’t stop there. They would first need to acquire a proper working visa and one of the most common you can get is the 
Specialist in Engineer / Humanities / International Services Visa. This kind of visa is one of the broadest in terms of job categories among all the other working visas.


In this article, we list down the frequently asked questions on immigration procedures from
Designated Activities Visa (Tokutei Katsudou) to a Specialist in Engineer / Humanities / International Services Visa (Gijutsu / Jinbun Chishiki / Kokusai Gyomu) Visa in Japan.


What should you do first?


The most basic thing to know is that if you don’t have a sponsor, it is likely to be impossible for you to get a working visa in Japan. Because of that, you need to be hired first by a company for them to become your visa sponsor. Once you have gotten an official notice that you have been hired, it is time for you to apply for an actual visa.


What happens to your current visa?
 


Before you start, discuss with your employer when your official starting date will be. You need to make sure that there is no period wherein you don’t have a status of residence (visa) between the time you are unemployed and your official employment. 


What are the basic requirements for eligibility?


To be qualified for a working visa in Japan, the only eligibility is that you have to be a university graduate or a
senmon gakkou (technical institutions) graduate in Japan. Overseas university students (an equivalent of a 4-year course) are also accepted. However, do take note that associate degrees (2-year courses) that you get overseas are not accepted. In short, having a diploma or a bachelor’s degree is important.


What are the required documents? 

Required/

Optional

Documents

Preparer

Remarks

Required

Application for permission for a change of status of residence  (for applicant).

Yourself

2 parts (for applicant=yourself & for organization=company) as 1 set of application form.

Required

Application for permission for a change of status of residence  (for organization).

Company

Ask the HR department of your company to fill in this part.

Required

Photo (4 x 3 cm)

Yourself

Prepare a photo taken within three months.

If you use the same photo as your previous one, you must submit again.

Required

Passport (original)

Yourself

Show it at the Immigration Office.

Required

Residence card (original, the most rescent one)

Yourself

Show it at the Immigration Office.

Required

Legal record total table  (copy, with tax office’s receiving stamp)

Company

If the company is a publicly listed company, a copy of Quarterly Corporate Report (四季報 Shikiho) is accepted instead. 

Required

Employment Contract / Notice of Employment (copy)

Company

Prepare documents to show the job description, salary, work place, etc.

Required

Resume

Yourself

 

Required

Graduation Certificate

Yourself

Prepare documents to show the title, or degree Ex. Diploma, Bachelor

Required

Certificate of registered matters (Certificate of full registry records)

Company (Yourself)

If you know the name and the headquarter address of your company,  you can ask the Legal Affairs Bureau to issue. 

Required

Company Profile

Company

 

Required

Financial statement for the latest fiscal year (copy)

Company

 

Optional

Certificate of qualification (copy)

Ex. JLPT

Yourself

 

Optional

Academic transcript

Yourself

This will help you explain  what you have studied.

Optional

Certificate of attendance

Yourself

Some people such as those who came from technical institutions might be asked to submit this document. 

Optional

Statement of reasons

Yourself/Company

This will explain what kind of work you will do. It is related to  what you have studied. Although it is optional, this is a very important document.


These are the basic documents you will need. Depending on the company you will work at, or the applicant's status, the number of documents to be submitted may increase or decrease.


You should prepare at least one set of documents each and they must be written in Japanese. If not, you must attach a Japanese translation of your documents.


The general flow here is that once all the necessary documents have been completed, you will submit them to immigration. After submitting, you can just simply wait for the results. Sometimes, the company will do it for you but this is not applicable to all. The validity period of your visa changes depending on the conditions of your employment or your stay in Japan. Even if the period is only a year for first timers, it can be changed upon renewal to three years, then five.

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Can I go back to my home country (or overseas) during the visa-changing procedure? 


If you applied properly but did not receive the results before the expiration, it is fine as long as you don’t exceed two 
months overseas. If your return date to Japan is still within the validity of your visa, then there is no problem.


However, if your return date exceeds
past the date of your visa’s validity but still during the visa application period, you would need to apply for a visa extension at Immigration. Upon your application, depending on your prefecture or region, you might get a stamp on your residence card, or a piece of paper given to you or attached to your passport. Either way, make sure to carry this with you at all times.


What happens if I failed to change my visa? 


The length of validity for Designated Activities visa is basically a year (with the length of the first application for six months with an addition six months upon renewal).


If the application failed, you have to know the reason. The Immigration Bureau staff will contact you to visit their office and explain why they could not accept your application. They will give you the paper but do not explain in details. You can’t ask again so it’s better to take down notes while listening. If you are not so confident about you Japanese proficiency, you should consult with your employer so that a Japanese staff can accompany you.


If the reason behind the application failure is due to your conduct related to class attendance, part time job, and more, even if you try again, it will be difficult for you to get the visa.


Read more:
Take Note of These Things If You’re an Exchange Student in Japan


On the other hand, if the reason is due to the lack of job description, you can have a chance to apply again as long as you bring a more specific information. Always keep in mind that the job description must match the type of visa you are applying for. If the Immigration Bureau staff explains to you that it does not match, you must search for another job.


Lastly, since you can only stay for a year with this visa, if you do get hired, it’s better to start preparing for the application as soon as possible.

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Source: FORECAST Administrative Scrivener Corporation


 (28 August 2019)

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