New visa rules announced to allow more foreign students to find jobs in Japan

New measure is expected to increase the number of international students staying in the country to work by around 3,000 a year


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Published: Thu 29 Feb 2024, 9:19 AM

Last updated: Thu 29 Feb 2024, 1:34 PM

The government of Japan on Thursday eased visa regulations to expand the scope of foreign students allowed to stay on and find jobs in the country in response to calls from business and academic circles.

Kyodo News quoted the Immigration Services Agency of Japan as saying that the government will allow students who have completed studies at state-designated technical schools to work in fields that are not necessarily closely related to the areas they majored in.

The new measure is expected to increase the number of foreign students staying in Japan to work by around 3,000 a year, the agency said.

Previously, many foreign students, even if they had acquired a certain degree of technical and Japanese-language skills at technical schools, had to return to their home countries after failing to find workplaces that matched the skills or knowledge they had acquired.

In addition, the government also widened the scope of foreign students who can stay in Japan to work under the "designated activities" visa, another residential status that allows employment in even wider areas.

The visa was previously only for students who have graduated from universities or graduate schools.

It will be issued to students with high Japanese skills and educational achievements equivalent to a bachelor's degree, including those who have completed a four-year program at a designated technical school.

According to a Japan Student Services Organisation survey taken in fiscal 2021, of some 2,000 foreign students enrolled at technical schools in the country, around 75 percent said they wanted to work in Japan.


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