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Shunsuke Kagei

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Shunsuke Kagei

Partner / Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialist

Exploring the Benefits of Securing Advanced Professional Status Instead of Intra-Company Transfer for Expatriates in Japan

October 3, 2023

Highly Skilled Professional Overview:

If you meet the requirements for “intra-company transferee,” it is possible to obtain a Status of Residence “intra-company transferee ” and continue working in Japan. However, there is another possibility to consider a little more deeply:a status of residence called “Highly Skilled Professional.” The “highly skilled professional” status was established on May 7, 2012, to encourage the acceptance of exceptionally skilled foreign talent into Japan.

It’s categorized into three specific activities, and if an individual scores 70 points or more according to the point calculation table, they qualify for this status and receive preferential treatments. For more details, please visit https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/content/001398882.pdf

Three Types of Highly Skilled Professional Activities:

[Highly Skilled Professional (i)(a)]:

Covers research, research instruction, or teaching activities. Applicable to individuals with statuses like “Professor,” “Researcher,” or “Designated Activities (Public Notice No. 36).”

[Highly Skilled Professional (i)(b) ]:

Encompasses work requiring knowledge or skills in natural sciences or humanities. Eligible individuals may have statuses like ” Engineer/Specialist in humanities/International services,” “Intra-company Transferee,” “Legal/Accounting Services,” or “Designated Activities (Public Notice No. 37).”

[Highly Skilled Professional (i)(c) ]:

Involves management or business management activities. Relevant for individuals with statuses such as “Business Manager” or “Legal/Accounting Services.”

Utilizing Preferential Treatment:

Points of preference include

  1. Multiple activity permissions
  2. 5-year period of stay
  3. Relaxed requirements for “Permanent Residence”
  4. Spousal work permission
  5. Parents accompanying their children under certain conditions
  6. Domestic servants’ allowance under certain conditions
  7. Priority processing for immigration procedures

The above three points: 2, 3, and 7 are frequently mentioned when considering “intra-company transferee.” The Immigration Services Agency conducts its examinations by category of company. Listed companies are classified as Category 1. Companies whose employees’ income tax withholding is 10 million yen or more are classified as Category 2, companies whose employees’ income tax withholding is less than 10 million yen are classified as Category 3, and newly established companies are classified as Category 4. Category 3 and 4 companies are generally granted a period of stay of only one year when they apply for “intra-company transferee”. However, “Highly Skilled Professional(i)(b)” will be granted 5 years. There’s a shorter examination period even for categories 3 and 4 because of priority processing as above-mentioned point 7. Moreover, a fixed-term assignment is prerequisites to those under “Intra-company Transferee,” but individuals under “ Highly Skilled Professional” can apply for Permanent Residence, wherein scoring 70 points allows application in three years, and scoring 80 points allows application in just one year, contrasting the typical 10 years of required stay.

These Highly Skilled Professional statuses present varied advantages and criteria for eligibility. For more detailed and advanced insights into professional positions and related information, the resource provided (https://shiodome.co.jp/column/7882/) could offer a more comprehensive understanding.

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