If you are a foreign national working for an IT company in Japan, and you wish to work for an English school in your spare time, what can you do? If you want to engage in an activity other than what is specified on your visa, then you need to obtain a Permit for Other Activity from the Immigration Bureau of Japan. When you apply, you need to hand in a copy of the contract of your employment that states your job type, working hours, working period, remuneration and other details.
Your Permit for Other Activities documents the approved new activity, with the employer’s name, and will be printed on your Resident Card.
However, extraordinary circumstances such as receiving a fee as a lecturer at a lecture meeting or a fee for making an appearance on TV would not require a permit.
International Students can engage in other activities besides study without specifying the details, but they cannot work in adult entertainment businesses. For them, the upper limit is 28 hours per week (8 hours per day during long vacation). They need to apply for this Permit for Other Activities prior to engaging in other activities. Foreign nationals with a Skill visa or Humanities or Social Science/International-Services visa are not allowed, in principle, to work in places such as restaurants. Unauthorised activities can jeopardise your further visa extension
A Dependent (Family) Stay visa or a Cultural Activities visa, in principle, does not permit you to work, but if the work does not interfere with the primary purpose of your stay stipulated by the visa, then it is possible to work part time by applying for a Permit for Other Activities at the Immigration Bureau of Japan and be approved for it.
From 9th May 2012, with the introduction of the Points-Based Preferential Treatment for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals, the visa system for some highly regarded foreign nationals has changed. For example, a wife of a man of foreign nationality who works in the IT industry can work full time, if he has been approved as a Highly Skilled Foreign Professional.
I will repeat here that if you work casual or part-time unauthorised, visa-wise, your visa extension may be rejected or can harm your application for a permanent residency.
Holders of Permanent Resident, Spouse or Child of Japanese National, Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident, and Long-Term Resident visas, who do not have specific activities imposed, are not required to obtain this Permit for Other Activities.
On the other hand, foreigners who entered the country with Temporary Visitor visas cannot engage in other activities that are not specified on their visa. Every year, there are many that breach this rule and are forcibly deported. It is important to follow the rules.
An exception to this rule is when a foreign national is in the process of renewing his/her working visa, but a new employment is not yet certain. Then he/she can change the visa to Temporary visa. He/she can work part time or casual by getting a Permit for other Activity.
International students, working adults, or families alike who hold visas and want to obtain this permit, please contact us, the Immigration Solicitor’s Office of Masami Sato.