A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for the Specified Skilled Worker Visa

For anyone who's been dreaming of working in Japan.

Photo Pixabay

For people who want to work in Japan, the new Specified Skilled Worker Visa in Japan has so many advantages. No minimum educational attainment required, but a salary equal to a typical Japanese worker; once you upgrade your visa from Specified Skilled Worker Visa (i) to (ii), you can live in Japan
with your family which means essentially emigrating to Japan. 

Having to go through everything might be daunting for those who don’t fully understand the process. So to make it easier for everyone, we’ve put together a simple guide to explain the steps to achieve the Specified Skilled Worker Visa.

While this is not the definite flow of things, this is just our guideline to make sure you don’t forget any of the three prerequisites before applying for the visa: (1) Passing the Skills Test, and (2) Passing the Japanese Language Test, and (3) securing a Job (signed Job Contract). 

Step 1: Pass The Exam (both Skills and Japanese language)

This is a requirement for
all applicants (exemptions are available for the Technical Intern Training visa). While it is true that you can get a work contract before you apply for a visa, you cannot get the visa if you do not pass the required exams. These exams will eventually be held in countries with cooperation with Japan, but for the meantime, if you are eligible, you can take it from Japan. What is important is that you pass them first, before anything else. 

Step 2: Look for a Job 

This part is quite tricky. How exactly do you look for a job in a different country? Hint: It will be easier for you if you are already in Japan, especially if you’ve finished the
Technical Intern Training visa (ii) or above (since you are exempted from the required exams). If you are applying from the Philippines, refer to the guidelines provided by POEA. 

Note: Depending on the employer's conditions, steps 1 and 2 may be interchanged or even mixed. 

Step 3: Prepare the Necessary Documents

Once you’ve overcome steps 1 and 2, you would need to prepare several documents. Take note that for some of the documents, especially those relating to work conditions, contracts, and wages, your employer will help you prepare for these documents (either directly or through an agency).

Documents Needed To Apply For The Specified Skilled Worker Visa

File (Click to download)

Document/s Included (Might change with further updates)

Apply for Specified Skilled Worker  (i)

Change to Specified Skilled Worker  (i)

Apply for Specified Skilled Worker  (ii)

Change to Specified Skilled Worker (ii)








1-1 Curriculum Vitae of the Specified Skilled Worker

1-3 Health Check Report

1-5 Employment Contract for Specified Skilled Workers

1-6 Written Employment Conditions

1-8 Payment of Wages

1-10 Written Declaration on the Transfer of Skills

*These are the basic documents required, there are cases where employers or agencies might require additional documents.

These documents are also accessible on the Ministry of Japan official


Step 4: Do the Required Medical Health Check

Please refer to the 1-3 Health Check Report document indicated above to know which categories you need to be tested in (though it is best to just hand in the form to the medical facility you will have your medical check-in).

For those who do not live in Japan and would have their medical checks in their home country, you need to, of course, understand your own health exam results, and have a Japanese translation prepared.

Note: In some cases, a medical certificate might be required from the applicant before the signing of the contract. 

Step 5: Apply for Visa OR Change of Residency Status
(documents are in English and Japanese only)

A. Application for the Certificate of Eligibility [
B. Application for Change of Residency Status [PDF] [EXCEL]
C. Application to Extension of Period of Stay [PDF] [EXCEL]

Take note that no fee of any kind or form shall be collected, directly or indirectly from the applicant for their selection and deployment to Japan. Also,
no deductions shall be made on your allowances and wages for ANY purpose except for the host country-prescribed deductions such as taxes

Although the wait might be long, after everything is done, it’s all systems go!

Source: Ministry of Japan
Department of Labor and Employment

 (11 April 2019)

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