With the problem of Japan’s ageing population showing no signs of disappearing in the near future, the country is struggling to find enough skilled nurses to care for its elderly and other members of society in need of care.
Previously, even those who had studied at a school for nursing were prevented from becoming nurses due to requirements such as needing to be from a participant country in Japan’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) or requiring either Permanent Residency or a visa without restrictions on working activities.
In November 2016, however, an Extraordinary Session of the Diet in Japan put into motion the legal changes necessary to create an official Nursing Visa, with the implementation of this legislation expected to take effect from the 1st of September 2017.
Who can obtain Nursing Visas?
Nursing Visas are designed for Certified Care Workers who carry out nursing work or instruction through a contract with a Japanese public or private institution.
Only Certified Care Workers who have gained their qualification in Japan and studied nursing and human welfare at a Japanese university or college can obtain Nursing Visas.
N.B. These are general requirements and do not necessarily reflect the reality of what may be needed for your specific application.
・Having a contract of work with an institution in Japan.
・Being a Certified Care Worker.
・Carrying out nursing work or instruction as your job.
Provisions for Exceptional Cases
From April 2017 until the implementation of the new Nursing Visa from September of the same year, special provisions have been put in place to allow Certified Care Workers to carry out nursing work in Japan on a Designated Activities Visa.
However, there is a limit on those who can apply to carry out nursing on this visa. Namely, only those who have graduated from a training institution officially recognized by either:
① The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare under Items 1 to 3 of Article 39 of the Certified Social Worker and Certified Care Worker Act (Act No. 30 of May 26, 1987).
② Designation by the relevant prefectural governor.
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