HomeNEWSSPECIAL REPORT Specified Skilled Worker visa (Passed skills and Japanese language exam)

2021.04.25Specified Skilled Worker visa (Passed skills and Japanese language exam)

In view of the chronic labor shortage in Japan as a result of its aging population and low birth rate, the Japanese government amended its Immigration Laws which used to provide stringent requirements for foreign nationals who are seeking for employment in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The revised immigration law specifically aims to address the labor crunch in fourteen identified sectors that suffer the worst manpower setback. This gave rise to the “Specified Skilled Worker Visa” that is aimed at attracting more foreign workers in Japan by opening various doors of opportunities for them in relation to the fourteen industries with the most serious labor problems.

The Specified Skilled Worker Visa makes it easier for potential foreign workers to land a job in Japan because educational requirements have already been disregarded in this visa category. Thus, it allows those who are previously denied a Japanese working visa for the sole reason that they do not have a college or university degree. In addition, the aspiring applicant’s score in Japanese proficiency test is also relatively lower than the usual standard.


In order to qualify for the Specified Skilled Worker Visa, the applicant has to achieve the following:

1. Support from an Accepting organization in Japan or a Registered Supporting Organization

2. More than 18 years of age

3. Pass the Japanese Proficiency Test with a Japanese language ability of N4 level or higher.

4. Pass Skills Evaluation Test conducted by the relevant industry

Applicants for the Specified Skilled Worker Visa need not be a university graduate and is no longer required to achieve a business level Japanese proficiency.

The Japanese Language Ability of N4 level is one in which one can comprehend the basic vocabulary and structure of the language. It is sufficient that the foreign applicant can at least read and understand simple Japanese sentences written in basic kanji to enable him or her to converse using the language.

With regard to the Skills Evaluation Test, it will be conducted by fourteen sectors that are identified to suffer from labor crunch in Japan, to wit:

1. Care Worker

2. Building cleaning management

3. Machine Parts & Tooling Industries

4. Industrial Machinery Industry

5. Electric, Electronics 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 & Aquaculture

13. Manufacture of Food & Beverages

14. Food Service Industry

Process of Applying for Specified Skilled Worker Visa:

1. Just like other types of visa under the New Immigration System, the very first towards achieving it is to look for a Japanese based company that is willing to provide a job for you.

2. After being hired by the aforementioned company, you can take the industry specific skills test or the skills evaluation test to be conducted by the appropriate industry that you intend to work in.

3. Take the Japanese language proficiency Test

4. If you pass the Skills Evaluation test and at least a JLPT N4 level, sign an employment contract with the company that you are going to work with and apply for Certificate of Eligibility which is usually handled by the sponsoring organization.

5. Once you secure the Certificate of Eligibility, you may then proceed to the Japanese consulate in order to submit your application for the Specified Skilled Worker Visa

Two Types of Specified Skilled Worker Visa in Japan

1. Specific Skills Visa-1 or SSV-1

– The first classification or SSV-1 covers a maximum of five years of Renewable Visa. However, foreign workers are not eligible to bring their families in Japan.

– Under the said Visa type, the foreign applicant has to simply pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT N4) and Specified Skills Test

– After acquiring enough work experience in Japan, foreign nationals who come to Japan under SSV-1 may be qualified to apply for the nonstop renewable visa or SSV-2.

2. Specific Skills Visa-2 (SSV-2) with Nonstop Renewable Visa

– The SSV-2 allows foreign nationals to work and stay in Japan until they become a resident who is qualified to have an indefinite stay in the country. This visa type also enables the foreign worker to bring their immediate family members such as their spouse and children to Japan.

– Foreign workers under this visa classification must pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and must possess a higher level of specialized skill with experience and certification


Japan’s New Specified Skills Visa in April 2019

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Specified Skills Visa Evaluation Test

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Specified Skilled Worker Visa – Door to Japan