There are several points which need to be taken into consideration prior and during the recruiting process of a foreign national.. Here, we will talk about the three different types of applications for resident status in Japan: (1) residency status application through a Certificate of Eligibility, (2) change of residency status, and (3) renewal of residency status.

First, we will introduce the process from selection to acquisition of a residence status through a Certificate of Eligibility application. This procedure only applies when an individual does not have a current status of residence in Japan.

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【Procedures for Residency Status Application through a Certificate of Eligibility】

  1. Examination of the Employment Requirements
    ※ When applying for a status of residence, the employment conditions must be carefully planned and sufficient.
  2. Call for Recruitment
  3. Recruitment Test
  4. Selection of Applicants as potential candidates for hiring
  5. Confirmation of Eligibility for Residence Status
  6. Issuance of a Job Offer Letter or Working Condition Notice and Finalization of an Employment Contract
  7. Application for Certificate of Eligibility
  8. Receive the Results of the Application
    ※ The Immigration Services Agency of Japan usually takes 3 to 4 months on average for screening prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Eligibility.
  9. Visa Issuance Procedures
    ※ During the application period, foreign nationals need to apply through their Certificate of Eligibility at the nearest Japanese Embassy of their home country or abroad.
  10. After being issued a visa, the applicant can enter the country and obtain a status of residence.
  11. egistration of Residence Procedures at their Local City or Ward Office
  12. Report to the Office for Work

Next, we will introduce the procedures for changing residency status in case the current status of residence in Japan needs to be changed to permit employment.

【Procedures for Changing Residency Status】

  1. Examination of the Employment Requirements
    ※ When applying for a status of residence, the employment conditions must be carefully planned and sufficient.
  2. Call for Recruitment
  3. Recruitment Test
  4. Selection of Applicants as potential candidates for hiring
  5. Confirmation of Eligibility for Residence Status
  6. Issuance of a Job Offer Letter or Working Condition Notice and Finalization of an Employment Contract
  7. Application for Residency Status Change
  8. Receive the Results of the Application
    ※ The Immigration Services Agency of Japan usually takes 3 to 4 months on average for screening and reviewing the documents.
  9. Issuance of the New Residency Status
    ※ The new residence card will be issued directly at the Immigration Services Agency; a person must be present to receive the new card.
  10. Report to the Office for Work

When changing from a student visa to a residency status that permits work, the applicant needs to apply for a change of residency status and submit a “Notification Concerning Contracting Organization” upon graduation.

Lastly, if you already have a status of residence in Japan and do not need to change your status of residence, but your expiration date is coming soon, we will introduce how renewal applications are done. This application is made to extend the period of residence for those already working as an employee of another company with the appropriate residence status, but the period of validity is expiring soon.

【Residency Status Renewal】

  1. Examination of the Employment Requirements
    ※ When applying for a status of residence, the employment conditions must be carefully planned and sufficient.
  2. Call for Recruitment
  3. Recruitment Test
  4. Selection of Applicants as potential candidates for hiring
  5. Confirmation of Eligibility for Residence Status
  6. Issuance of a Job Offer Letter or Working Condition Notice and Finalization of an Employment Contract
  7. Application for Residency Status Renewal
  8. Receive the Results of the Application
    ※ The Immigration Services Agency of Japan usually takes 3 to 4 months on average for screening and reviewing the documents.
  9. Issuance of the New Residency Status
    ※ The new residence card will be issued directly at the Immigration Services Agency so personal appearance is required.
  10. Report to the Office for Work

If your residence status has not yet expired when you change employers, it would not be necessary to renew your status. However, you may need to process other things such as a change in your work qualification certificate, or file a Notification Concerning Contracting Organization.

Important Points and Documents to Note During the Application Period

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As shown above, there are different types of applications depending on the situation of the applicant, the documents required for each application varies depending on the type of status of residence and the type of application. Applications for certification and changes require many documents. For example, the labor visa application requires both the company and the employee (applicant) to have certain documents they need to prepare. If either party is unable to provide the complete requirements, the application will not go through; therefore it is important that both the company and applicant are aware of what they will be submitting.

Please note that the list of documents required for the application posted on the Immigration Services Agency website is only the minimum requirement. In most cases it may be necessary to submit supplementary materials or additional documents.

It is very difficult for anyone other than a visa specialist to review the contents of these applications and prepare the application documents perfectly. The time and effort needed for the application alone would result in other tasks being pushed to the side. There is also the potential for the application not being approved despite all the preparations that were made.

There may be a Q&A session with the examiner at the time of application which influences the result of the evaluation. If there is a problem with the responses given during the application, it will be rejected in some cases even if the all the application documents are submitted in full. Therefore, it is important to respond appropriately during the Q&A.

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