Do you have the right Work Visa in Japan? What you will need when changing jobs! Required Visa procedures?

“I want to work in Japan to gain experience and change jobs in search of an exciting environment to gain new skills and knowledge”. There are many foreign engineers who think so. However, even if you change jobs in Japan, you must go through a work visa procedure, if the type of activities remains the same.

If you fail to do so, you will face a penalty. Therefore, I will explain in detail the work visa procedures required when changing jobs.

How can foreign engineers change jobs in Japan?

Currently, the job change market in Japan is booming. Especially in the IT field, where there is a remarkable shortage of human resources, we are continuing to hire a large number of engineers. The needs of foreign engineers are rising, driven by the wave of globalization and the number of companies that want to hire foreign engineers is increasing rapidly.

However, not only engineers but also any other foreigner have to follow the predetermined procedures to change jobs. I will explain each possible case and what I would like you to pay attention when changing jobs to work in Japan for the long term. Please note that the required documents and procedures may differ depending on the job contents of the new job.

【CASE.1】The job description of your next job will be exactly the same

What you need to be careful about when you change jobs is whether your job is different from the previous job. If you have exactly the same job content or are within the scope of your current status of residence, you can change jobs relatively smoothly.

In that case, the necessary procedure is to carry out a “Notification of the change of employers” to the Immigration Bureau with the work visa residence card within 14 days after changing jobs. You can choose to notify by direct contact, mail or Internet.

If you do not submit a notification, a fine of “200,000 yen or less” will apply. Alternatively, the next visa renewal will result in penalties such as shortening the period of stay. The company where you change your job will not do it for you, so go to the “Regional Immigration Bureau” or “Foreign Resident Information Center” and notify by yourself.

【Reference】Ministry of Justice: “Notifications concerning activity organizations”

【CASE.2】After changing jobs, I’m not sure if my work activities are within the scope of my visa.

If the foreign engineer performs the same duties as the previous job at the new work place, there is no need to change the status of residence. However, the work visas you currently own are those visas for working in a company you previously worked for.

For this reason, it cannot be stated whether or not the duties of a newly working company are recognized within the scope of activities of residence status.

To get rid of those concerns, apply for a “working qualification certificate” at the regional immigration office. By applying to a work qualification certificate, you can check whether the current work visa corresponds to the job description of your new job. It will be issued after clearing the examination, so it is possible to be sure about your status and concentrate on the job.

【CASE.3】I would like a job with a completely different job description.

As you progress in your career as a foreign engineer, you may start thinking about new challenges. If you wish to change your job to a job outside the scope of activities defined by your status of residence, you must do your own “Application for Change of Status of Residence” by yourself before changing jobs.

You can apply to that change at any time during the period of stay. However, if you change jobs outside of the scope before you get permission to change, you will be considered as doing an “activity other than that permitted under one’s resident status”. If this happens, you may not be granted permission to change your application and your status of residence may be revoked, so be sure to remember to apply for permission to change your status of residence.

List of procedures and documents required for changing jobs

A work visa allows foreigners to work in Japan and get paid. There are 18 types of status of residence that are allowed to work depending on the scope of activities.
If you perform a job that is outside the scope of your work visa after changing jobs, you may be illegally employed. For this reason, it is necessary to have a firm understanding of the range of activities in which your status of residence is permitted. Although the contents mentioned above are included, we will explain each procedure and required documents.

【No change of duties】 If the period of stay is 3 months or more

First of all, let’s check if there is no change in the job description and that the expiry date is not imminent. If your period of stay is more than 3 months, you will apply for a work qualification certificate from the Regional Immigration Bureau. It is possible to obtain a “working qualification certificate” by performing this application procedure. The work qualification certificate confirms whether the job description of the company you are working for falls within the defined scope of your visa.

Obtaining a work qualification certificate reduces the risk that you will be assigned to work outside the scope of activities of your status of residence at your new job. Also, the procedure is almost the same as a normal application for renewal of period of stay. In addition, it is a major premise that there is no change in the job contents in the application, so let’s confirm it.

<Required documents for application for work qualification certificate>

  • Working qualification certificate application form
  • Tax certificate slip / retirement certificate of the company you worked for before
  • A copy of the company’s registry, latest financial statements, company information, etc.
  • Employment contract, letter of appointment, salary appointment letter.
  • Employment Notification
  • Written statement of reasons
  • Passport / resident card

【Reference】Ministry of Justice: “Application for Certificate of Employment Qualification”

<How to prepare necessary documents>

  • Download application for work qualification certificate from the above site
  • Request for issuance of Tax certificate slip and retirement certificate from the company where you worked.
  • Issuance of Registry copy, financial statements, company information, employment contract, letter of appointment, salary appointment letter, employment notification / written statement of reasons at the company where the job was transferred.

【No change of duties】 If the period of stay is less than 3 months

When there is no change in the job description, but the change of job may be less than 3 months before the expiration date. In that case, “Application for Renewal of Residence Period” is required. You should attach the company information of the job change destination to the regional immigration office. Also, make sure that there is a risk that you will be forced to return to your home country if you are not allowed to stay in the company or if the new job description doesn’t meet the requirements.

<Application for permission to change status of residence>

  • Application form for renewal of period of stay
  • Passport, original residence card and copy
  • Recent Tax declaration certificate, Tax payment certification (resident tax) * In addition to the above required documents, the following documents are required.
  • Tax certificate slip / retirement certificate of the company you worked for before
  • A copy of the company’s registry, latest financial statements, company information, etc.
    (For companies that do not have financial results, the business plan for the next year, materials such as sales to date)
  • Employment contract (documents that describe the activity, period, status, compensation, etc.)
  • Written statement of reasons

【Reference】Ministry of Justice: About “Application for Renewal of Residence Period”

<How to prepare necessary documents>

  • “Application for Renewal of Residence Period” should be downloaded from the above site.
  • Tax declaration certificate and tax payment certification must be issued at your local government office.
  • Request for issuance of tax certificate slip and retirement certificate from the company where you worked.
  • Issuance of Registry copy, financial statements, company information, employment contract, letter of appointment, salary appointment letter, employment notification and written statement of reasons at the company where the job was transferred.

【In the case of change of duties】 application is required regardless of the period of stay.

If your job is outside the scope of your current status of residence, you must apply for a “change of residence status” to the regional immigration office regardless of the period of residence. You do not need to apply for permission to change status of residence if your job is within the scope of your current status of residence. If you have a period of stay of more than 3 months, you should obtain a “working qualification certificate”.

<Application for permission to change status of residence>

  • Application for permission to change status of residence
  • Tax certificate slip / retirement certificate of the company you worked for before
  • A copy of the company’s registry, latest financial statements, company information, etc.
    (For companies that do not have financial results, the business plan for the next year, materials such as sales to date)
  • Employment contract (documents that describe the activity, period, status, compensation, etc.)
  • Written statement of reasons
  • Passport / resident card

【Reference】Ministry of Justice: “Application for permission to change status of residence”

<How to prepare necessary documents>

  • Application for permission to change status of residence is downloaded from the above site.
  • Request for issuance of tax certificate slip and/or retirement certificate of the company you worked for before
  • Copies of registered books, financial statements, company guides, employment contracts and written statement of reasons are issued at the company where the job is changed.

Consult with a professional if you are not sure of your work visa

There are various procedures and application documents for the first job change in Japan, and you may get confused. In order to alleviate those concerns one by one, it is very time consuming to search for the necessary procedures and documents for changing jobs.

“There are too many necessary documents” “There are a lot of specialized words that I can’t understand”. One way to reduce this burden is to get professional support from those who are familiar with renewal procedures for work visas. How about considering a smooth job change?

acroseed
<Supervision>
ACROSEED Inc./佐野 誠(Makoto Sano)
After graduating from university, engaged in administrative scrivener work specialized in hiring foreigners. In 2006, he was appointed as the representative of the current ACROSEED group with administrative scrivener corporation, social insurance labor corporation, and tax accountant corporation. He specializes in foreign employment consulting from large companies to small and medium-sized enterprises, and is good at residence procedures. In addition, he is engaged in consulting for highly licensed and highly licensed consulting and lectures on foreign employment. Providing professional services for foreigners and foreign-employed companies, with the mission of “Contributing to harmony and vitalization of Japanese society”.

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