Skilled Labor Visa

Skilled Labor Visas are designed for work which makes use of skills gained through specialist training.

Examples of the type of work which can be carried out on a Skilled Labor Visa include:

  • Chef of non-Japanese cuisine
  • Pilot
  • Sports coach
  • Animal trainer
  • Sommelier
  • Specialist manufacturer of precious metals or furs
  • Marine geologist
  • Mining engineer

In recent years, the application process has become significantly more difficult, with the Immigration Bureau raising the standards for those seeking Skilled Labor Visas.


Below we provide an outline of the basic requirements for gaining a Skilled Labor Visa.

N.B. These are general requirements and do not necessarily reflect the reality of what may be needed for your specific application.

① Relevant Work Experience

The amount of work experience deemed relevant depends on your field of work.

Field of Work Minimum Work Experience
・Animal trainer
・Architect/building engineer
・Chef (excl. Thai cuisine)
・Mining engineer
・Manufacturer or repairer of goods produced overseas
・Specialist manufacturer of precious metals or furs
10 years
・Chef of Thai cuisine 5 years
・Pilot 1,000 hours’ flight time
・Sports coach

3 years of coaching experience


Experience of competing in an international sporting event


5 years


One of the following:

・Past achievement of excellent competition results

・Past attendance at an international sommelier competition

・Possession of a qualification certified by a national or regional public organisation in Japan or abroad and publicly recognised by the Minister of Justice

② Employment Conditions

Your wages and other employment conditions on a Skilled Labor Visa must be equal or greater than that of a Japanese person would receive for the same work.

Please check with us for the latest information regarding this.

③ Stable Employment

Your employer must be financially stable and capable of providing you with stable employment.

※We have gained visas for many clients whose employers whose financial losses made it appear that their business was unstable. Please contact us if you or your employer are worried about this or any other aspects of your application.

④ Necessity of Employment

You must be able to demonstrate that your employment is necessary and beneficial to your employer.

Furthermore, you must be able to show that there is an appropriate amount of work for you to undertake (filling approx. 40hrs per week).

Examples of Past Cases

Below are examples of cases in which we have successfully acquired visas for our clients.

No matter how difficult your case may seem, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation session.

Case ①

Our client: Permanent Resident (Russian, 30s)


Our client wanted to employ a Russian chef for his Russian restaurant.

His mother was currently in Japan on a Short Term Visa.


Conversion of his mother’s visa to a Skilled Labor Visa without her having to go back to Russia!

Case ②

Our client: Japanese man (30s)


Although our client had applied for a Skilled Labor Visa for an Indian chef at his Indian restaurant, his application had been rejected.

After the rejection of the Indian chef’s visa, another chef he was already employing suddenly quit, leaving him unable to continue business long term without another chef.


Successful acquisition of a visa for the chef whose application was originally rejected!

Case ③

Our client: Japanese man (40s)


Our client had attempted to renew the visa of a chef at his Thai restaurant, but had discovered problems with his chef’s Resident Tax.


Successful renewal of visa despite tax issues!


Do I need to know Japanese?

The simple answer to this question is no, not necessarily. For many jobs, you will be able to get by with just English. In fact, working visas typically require that you use skills specific to you (i.e. possessed natively or gained through specialist training), so doing work that does not use English is often not possible for native English speakers on a working visa.

There are however some situations in which Japanese language ability is a definite advantage. Please get in touch if you are unsure about your particular case.

For any further queries about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us!

*Please be aware that the contents of this site are naturally subject to change, meaning that we cannot guarantee their accuracy at the point of access.*
*For up-to-date information, please contact us directly.*