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April 25, 2006

Jobs - Obtaining a Working Visa for Japan


How do I get a working visa for Japan? It's probably not as complicated as you think. Generally, the majority of teachers come to Japan with programs like JET or with an eikaiwa or English Conversation School who will walk you through the steps and oversee the process. But for others, here are a few things you need to know . . .

First steps: show proof of a prearranged job in Japan and provide the name of a Japanese guarantor. A guarantor is a person willing to accept responsibility for your behavior while you\'re in Japan and may be your employer, a school, a relative, etc. Usually, if you’ve pre-arranged employment before coming to Japan, the employer will act as your guarantor.

Next: Your sponsor or guarantor will need to obtain a "Certificate of Eligibility" on your behalf. Your guarantor must contact a local Japanese immigration office and apply for your certificate. After you receive the completed certificate, apply for a visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate nearest you.

Xmas 2005 101.jpg
MiyaJima Shrine, Hiroshima

Finally: When applying for a work visa, submit your valid passport, one 2" x 2" photo, a completed visa application form, the original Certificate of Eligibility, and one additional copy of the certificate. There is no fee for the visa and it will usually take two business days to process. Important: B.A. or B.S. degrees are the minimum qualification required to teach legally in Japan. Generally, a visa is good for a period of either one or three years; however, if you wish to stay in Japan for longer than the time allotted and can provide evidence of your continuing employment, you can apply for an extension through the Japanese Immigration Bureau.

For more info, visit:

JobMonkey Dave’s ESL Café

And be sure to checkout our jobs forum HERE.

Have some good advice you'd like to share about pursuing employment in Japan, please tell us about it by commenting below


Marlen Harrison
March 2006 Guest-Writer for ESLemployment

About the author of this entry:
Marlen hails from South Florida but has lived abroad in both Europe and Asia. His own international education experiences include a year at Kingston University in Surrey, England. In 1995, Marlen earned his B.S. in Psychology from Appalachian State University.and then was awarded the M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University in 1997. Currently, he is pursuing a doctoral program in TESOL after four years of teaching in a variety of settings in Western Japan. In addition to his liberal arts and educational background, Marlen is also a member of the Japanese Association for Language Teaching, acting as Co-Coordinator for their Learner Development special interest group.

Posted by ESL Lesson Plan at April 25, 2006 09:01 AM

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