In recent years the amount of foreigners coming to Japan has increased more and more. Because of this, within Japan, lots of companies are assertively hiring foreigners. Furthermore, depending on the reason for the visit, the "status of residence" changes. In this article, we are going to be explaining in detail everything you need to know about status of residence if you want to work in Japan.

What is Status of Residence?

A status of residence is something that is required to lawfully live in Japan as a foreigner. The proof of this residence is something called a residence card which has your reason for stay (residence status) written on it. As of November 2019 under the management of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act​, there are 29 different types. Every person can only have 1 residence status, and you are only able to perform duties / activities under the regulations of that specific reason. Furthermore, depending on the residence status, your ability to work may be accepted / declined. Read on and find out more about the distinction between all of these different types!

Status of Residence Where You can Work Within a Set Range

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This is called a "work visa" and has a total of 19 types. Any foreigner who holds this residence status is able to work within set perimeters. 

Status of Residence Corresponding Occupations
 Residence Period
Diplomacy

Foreign Ambassador,Envoy,Consul General,A delegate or family member of said delegate

Until said "Diplomatic Activity" has ended.
Government Business
Staff member of a foreign government or embassy,Anyone on government business or the family members of said person
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months、30 Days、15 Days
Professor
University professor etc.
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Art
Music Artist,Painter,Writer etc.
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Religious Activity
Missionary from a foreign religious group
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Journalism
Press from foreign media, camera man etc.
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
High-level profession
1:Contracted research under a public or private agency, the instruction or teaching of research, work that requires the knowledge / experience in natural science or humanities, the running / management of a business as a foreigner
5 Years

2:High-level academic study, technology division, management / administration division, any foreigner who can perform activities from (1)
Indefinite
Administration / Management
The management / administration of a business
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Law / Finance
Lawyer, certified public accountant
5 Years、3 Years、1 Years、3 Months
Medicine
Doctor, dentist, nurse5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Research
Research for a government body or private enterprise
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Teaching
Language teacher for middle / high school etc.5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Engineering, humanities, international service
Mechanical engineering etc, interpreter, designer, private language teacher, marketing
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Internal job transfer
Someone who has transferred from overseas to Japan
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Nursing
Care worker
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
entertainment industry
Actor, singer, dancer, pro sports player
3 Years、1 Year、6 Months、3 Months、15 Days
Technical skills
Foreign chef, sports instructor, airplane pilot, metalworker etc.
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、3 Months
Specific Abilities
1:Knowledge relating to specific industries or the required skills for said work
1 Year、6 Months、4 Months(Longest total 5 years)

2:Work that requires experienced skills in specific industries 
3 Years、1 Year、6 Months
Technical intern training

1:Technical intern training year 1.

After receiving recognition that you are eligible to receive technical intern training, you will perform actions regarding that intern training.

The period the Minister of Justice determines(Under 1 year)

2:After technical intern training 1 has finished and you have passed the test, proceed to years 2 and 3 of technical intern training.

After receiving recognition that you are eligible to receive technical intern training, you will perform actions regarding that intern training.

The period the Minister of Justice determines(Under 2 years)

3:After technical intern training 2 has finished and you have passed the test, proceed to years 4 and 5 of technical intern training.

After receiving recognition that you are eligible to receive technical intern training, you will perform actions regarding that intern training.

The period the Minister of Justice determines(Under 2 years)

Residence Status that Changes If You're Allowed to Work or Not

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This applies to the "Designated activities visa". This classification is given to people who cannot "have their current visa status categorized". With this status of residence you can only operate under the designated activities stated.

Status of ResidenceCorresponding Occupations

Residence Period

Designated ActivitiesDiplomats Housework Employee etc, working holiday etc.
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、6 Months、3 Months or the duration that the Minister of Justice determines (No longer than 5 years)

Residence Statuses Without Limitations

Foreigners who have these statuses of residence are able to work without limitations.

Status of ResidenceResidence Period
Permanent Resident
No limit
Spouse Visa etc.
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、6 Months
Spouse of Permanent Resident
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、6 Months
Long-term resident
5 Years、3 Years、1 Year、6 Months or the duration that the Minister of Justice determines (No longer than 5 years)

Residence Statuses Where You are Unable to Work

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Any foreigners who have these residence statuses are unable to work, however, they can obtain permits to be able to perform specific activities. However, they cannot gain permission to do activities that go against the "short-stay visa" they have as a sightseer.

Status of Residence Corresponding Occupations 
 Residence Period
Cultural Activities
People who are researching Japanese culture etc.
3 Years、1 Year、6 Months、3 Months
Short-stay
Sightseers, people taking part in meetings etc.
90, 30, or 15 days
ResearchResearch Student
1 Year、6 Months、3 Months
Studying AbroadUniversity,Specialty School,Japanese Language School etc.
4 Years 3 Months, 4 Years, 3 Years 3 Months, 3 Years, 2 Years 3 Months, 2 Years, 1 Year 3 Months, 1 Year, 6 Months, 3 Months
Staying with FamilySpouse / Child of a family member who is staying in Japan etc.
5 Years, 4 Years 3 Months, 4 Years, 3 Years 3 Months, 3 Years, 2 Years 3 Months, 2 Years, 1 Year 3 Months, 1 Year, 6 Months, 3 Months

Conclusion

A resident status is required for all foreigners who wish to stay in Japan for long periods of time. Your activities you can perform while in Japan are decided based on this status, performing any actions outside of those is strictly forbidden. If you're someone who wants to work in Japan in the future then you should definitely study these residence statuses in detail prior!

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