Work in Japan Advice Board

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3. How to obtain a VISA

If you work in a country other than your own you will need to obtain a work visa. This is the biggest challenge because the required documents and procedures vary from country to country, and the types of visa are diverse. Confirm with your consulate whether you are eligible for a work visa and ask for support from experts if necessary.

Companies tend to help with the procedures for candidates already in Japan but in case you are applying from your home country, you might need to undertake various procedures on your own. Make sure to confirm what documents you will need and how much time it will take to complete the procedures.

(1) How to apply for a VISA

There are two main ways how to apply for a VISA.
① Apply for a VISA in your home country and travel to the country of employment after receiving your VISA
② Apply for a VISA at a consulate outside of the country of your employment and re-enter Japan after receiving your VISA

※ If you have enough time before departure, it is highly recommended that you apply for a VISA at your home country and travel outl after you have obtained it.
※ In some cases, application methods or visa types are frequently revised by countries. Make sure to confirm the latest information on the consulate website of your country.

(2) Documents necessary for application

Depending on the country, job type, and VISA type, the nescessary documents may vary, but the following are usually required. Make sure to have enough time to prepare all the nescessary documents that you might need (e.g., Criminal Record Certificate)
① Valid passport
② ID photos (Recent photo, taken from the front, white background, color, size required might differ by the country)
③ Employment certificate (notice of intentional employment, offer letter, etc.) from the company that has decided to offer you emplyment
④ Certificate of graduation (University Diploma)
⑤ Application fee

(3) Time required to obtain the VISA

Based on the assumption that you have prepared all the nescessary documents, the time required from filing the application to the issuance of the VISA is five business days, starting from the following day on which the Japanese Consulate has received your application. If you have all the necessary documents, it would be better to assume that the average period needed for the visa procedure is about one month, regardles of the country. However, the nescessary time might vary depending on the time when you are applying. The process will take longer if you apply during busy seasons such as before consecutive holidays.
In addition, the time required to acquire a VISA varies depending on the person. Even if your friend got their visa in one week, it might not be the same for you. In case there are any issues or uncertainties about your application, the process might take much longer than expected and might even end up in you not receiving a VISA.