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Working with a Student Visa in Japan

Working with a Student Visa in Japan

Categories:JobsVISAWork

Lata Rastogi

Lata Rastogi

Head of Product Development

With its rich cultural heritage, high standard of living and exceptional educational facilities, it's little surprise that more than 150,000 students flock to Japan from overseas every year. Studying in Japan offers incredible opportunities to experience a new way of life, learn the language and benefit from the world-class universities.

Some students who arrive in Japan opt to work part-time while they study. This is perfectly legal, providing you follow the rules and acquire the necessary permits before you start.

Why Work Part-Time?

If you are studying in Japan, the main focus has to be your learning or else it will be a wasted opportunity. The terms of the student visa recognize this and ensure that learning is paramount. However, this doesn't mean you can't work part-time.

Students in Japan can work on a part-time basis, providing the job doesn't interfere with their learning. This has the dual benefit of providing you with earnings, as well as offering an opportunity to practice your Japanese.

If you hope to secure full-time work in Japan after your studying is complete, getting a part-time job can be a useful stepping stone, regardless of the type of job you do.

Permitted Working Hours

Although it's entirely permissible to work in Japan on a student visa, you must have a work permit. This also places certain limits on the type and amount of work you can do.

While studying, you cannot work for more than 28 hours a week; this is considered to be part-time work. During the holidays, you can extend your work to a maximum of eight hours per day. This provides a fairly wide scope of compatible jobs, giving you lots of choice in the Japanese workplace.

Where You Can Work

You don't need to be fluent in Japanese to be able to get a part-time job. If you don't speak Japanese yet, look for "No-Nihongo" work. There are a surprising amount of jobs which don't require you to be able to speak Japanese, such as teaching English part-time.

Japan is ranked top in the world for maths and second for scientific literacy, according to the OECD and they have the most Nobel Peace Prize winners of any Asian country. Many students travel to Japan to study these types of subjects, because of the widely recognized expertise in these areas. However, while you are studying you might need to consider work in a different field to gain experience of the Japanese workplace. Flexibility will be particularly important if you don't yet speak Japanese.

The work permit allows students to undertake a wide variety of jobs on a part-time basis. Some of the most common types of job you'll find include:

  • Waiting staff
  • Shop assistants
  • Teaching
  • Office work
  • Factory work
  • Care provider

However, students are not permitted to take any type of work in the adult entertainment industry. This includes work at:

  • Hostess bar
  • Cabaret with table service
  • Gambling establishments (including a game parlour or pachinko)
  • Massage parlours
  • Any job serving alcohol

The rules on this are absolute; you cannot work in any of these places even washing dishes or cleaning. If you are found working at this kind of establishment while on a student visa with a work permit, you could be deported. There are lots of other types of work available as you'll notice on the Work Japan app.

How to Obtain a Work Permit

A regular student visa isn't sufficient to be able to work in Japan; you'll need to make sure you have a work permit too. It's really important that you complete these steps as you could be sent home if you don't have the proper permit in place.

The good news is that it's relatively easy to get your work permit. The document you need to complete is found on the immigration website and is titled "Permission to Engage in an Activity Other Than That Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted".

If you are already in Japan, you will need to visit the Immigration Office. To approve your application, the Immigration Office will also need to see your passport and foreign residency card.

You can also apply for your work permit as soon as you arrive. By making the application at the airport, you could avoid the inevitable long queues in the Immigration Office at a later stage! The form you will need to complete is the same one, but declaring your intent to work and applying when you arrive can shorten the process.

How WORK JAPAN Can Help

If you have your work permit, WORK JAPAN can help to hook you up directly with employers in Japan who are offering part-time work. Our process works a little differently than traditional job sites and gives you a much wider range of jobs to pick from, plus the ability to communicate directly with the employer.

When you register, you'll only need to provide a few basic details about yourself; there are no long and complicated forms. Our app is available on the App Store and Google Play, so you can browse the available jobs at any time from your smartphone.

With WORK JAPAN, you're not limited to the jobs we think you want to see. You'll be able to view everything available so you can pick what type of work you prefer. There are no long application forms in Japanese; you simply choose a convenient date and time for your interview. By corresponding directly with the employer, you're in control of the whole recruitment process and don't need to go through an intermediary.

We have all types of part-time jobs for students on a Japan visa, including those where no experience is required. If you're in Japan now, create your account today and begin to view the jobs available now.

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