Specified Skilled Visa | Tokyoimmigration service

Specified Skilled Visa

By 管理者 on — 6 mins read



Want a “Specified Skilled” visa

From April 1, 2019, there are more employment opportunities for foreigners who have N4 or higher Japanese language ability. Under the “Specified Skilled” visa, with a Japanese language ability of N4 level or higher, the applicant will be able to take on various jobs in 14 industries.

The N4 level is a level where one can understand basic Japanese language. It is okay if a person can read and understand sentences written in basic words and kanji. With this level you can largely understand the contents, if you speak in basic words in day to day life. A new Japanese language proficiency test will also be conducted at this level. If you study for 300 hours at a Japanese language school, you will be able to reach this level. If you came to Japan as a foreign student and you are currently studying in Japan, it is a level that almost everyone can reach; hence it has opened up a great path to employment after graduation.

The following 14 industries can be changed to “Specified Skilled” visas from April 1, 2019.

  1. Care worker
  2. Building Cleaning Management
  3. Machine Parts & Tooling Industry
  4. Industrial Machinery Manufacturing Industry
  5. Electric, Electronic and Information Industries
  6. Construction Industry
  7. Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery Industry
  8. Automobile Repair and Maintenance
  9. Aviation Industry
  10. Accommodation Industry
  11. Agriculture
  12. Fishery and Aquaculture
  13. Food and Beverage production
  14. Others occupations

In order to find a job in the above 14 industries, it is not enough to prove the Japanese language level of N4 or higher, but you must pass the Specified Skilled Evaluation Tests conducted in each industry.

However, foreigners who have worked for three years in the field of the relevant industry as “technical intern trainees” and have a certificate of completion regardless of whether they are residing in Japan or returning abroad will be able to work with a Japanese Specified Skilled visa if they find a sponsor company for themselves.

The difficulty level of Specified Skilled Evaluation Tests varies depending on the type of job. Relatively easy to pass tests are for Building Cleaning, Food & Beverage production, and other occupations.

In particular, if you have worked part-time in the restaurant business during your student life in Japan, you may be able to get a job immediately after graduating from school, which will not be difficult in terms of contents.

Specified Skilled No. 1” and “Specified Skilled No. 2

This “Specified Skilled” visa is ideal for foreigners who are motivated or dreaming of living in Japan, as long as they meet the requirements for Japanese language and technical standards, regardless of their educational background.

If a foreign student, who is having confidence in his/her Japanese language ability, passes an industry-vise “Specified Skilled Assessment Test” that he/she interested in, he/she will be able to expand his/her chances of staying longer in Japan.

However, you can only stay in Japan for up to 5 years with a visa (residence status) called “Specified Skilled No. 1”.

Therefore, if you want to stay in Japan beyond that, you need to select an industry that has “Specified Skilled No. 2” or change to another visa.

How do overseas residents get a “Specified Skilled” visa?

  1. You must pass the Japanese Proficiency Evaluation Test (JPET) or pass N4 or higher (N1, N2, N3, N4) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).
  2. For foreigners under the status of residence for “Specified Skilled” in the field where they want to work, it is necessary to pass the Skill Evaluation Test in the category of 14 industries.

Currently, the following 14 industries can acquire the status of residence for “Specified Skilled”.



Skill Evaluation Test Content


Care worker

Local Language

Subject only


Building Cleaning Management


Practical Skill only


Machine Parts & Tooling Industry

Local Language

Subject & Practical Skill


Industrial Machinery Manufacturing Industry

Local Language

Subject & Practical Skill


Electric, Electronic and Information Industries

Local Language

Subject & Practical Skill


Construction Industry


Subject & Practical Skill


Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery Industry


Subject & Practical Skill


Automobile Repair and Maintenance


Subject & Practical Skill


Aviation Industry


Subject & Practical Skill


Accommodation Industry


Subject & Practical Skill



Local Language (In some cases Japanese)

Subject only


Fishery and Aquaculture


Subject & Practical Skill


Food and Beverage production

Local Language

Subject only

14Others occupations

Local Language as well as Japanese

Subject only

Skill Evaluation Tests will be held in each field after April 2019, so please challenge the fields you have studied so far, the fields you are good at, and the fields of work you have done in your home country.

Japanese language examination

The N4 level of Japanese is a level that can be reached after 300 hours of study by a foreigner who has never studied Japanese. If you do your best and study 7 hours a day, you can reach it in a month and a half.

You can understand the content of the Japanese language examination by accessing the following link to see the difficulty.


From April 2019, the Japanese Proficiency Evaluation Test (JPET) will be conducted with the Japan Foundation, the independent administrative agency. Implementation is scheduled six times a year and is scheduled to be conducted in nine countries in addition to Japan.

  • Vietnam
  • Philippines
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Mongolia

Foreigners residing in other countries have to prove their Japanese language ability by passing it in Japan or in the host country, or prove their ability to be N4 or higher in the more widely conducted Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

The following steps are required to obtain a “Specified Skilled” visa.

  1. Pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.
  2. In order to work in Japan, take the necessary Skill Evaluation Test and pass it.
  3. Find a sponsor company (employer) who will hire you directly in Japan.
  4. A Japanese Sponsor Company applies for a Certificate of Eligibility. In that case, passing certificates of 1. and 2. are required.
  5. A Certificate of Eligibility will arrive from the Japanese Sponsor Company.
  6. Apply for a visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country.
  7. With a visa and Certificate of Eligibility, you will undergo Immigration in Japan and will be issued a Residence Card.
  8. Labor starts under the Sponsor Company. You can reside up to 5 years (in the case of “Specified skilled No. 1”).
  9. If the job category falls under the category of “Specified Skilled No. 2”, an application for visa change can be made after working for 5 years. It opens the way to permanent residence.

What services can I get when I get a “Specified Skilled” visa?

  1. Life guidance before entering Japan.
  2. Airport pick-up and drop-off services at the time of entering to and returning from Japan.
  3. Support such as getting a guarantor and securing housing for foreigners.
  4. Life support such as contracts for opening a savings account and using a mobile phone.
  5. Support for learning Japanese language for daily life.
  6. Consultation about life and work, complaint request, etc.
  7. Providing Information and support for various administrative procedures in Japan.
  8. Participation in exchange meetings between foreigners and Japanese.
  9. Support to search for other employers in case an employment contract is canceled due to the circumstances of the employer.

In this way, a generous service is to be received from the employer or an external organization (Registered Support Organization).