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Japan has several categories of working visa based on the applicant's specialism or the nature of the employment or assignment. A working visa applicant first requires a Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Ministry of Justice. The visa is usually issued for one, three or five years and may be renewed indefinitely.
For Engineers or Specialists in Humanities or International Services, the applicant must have an employment contract directly with the Japanese entity. However, in some very limited circumstances, on a case-by-case basis, it may be possible for an intra-company transferee (where an appropriate corporate relationship exists) who does not have the twelve months of experience with the sending entity required to qualify for the dedicated Intra-Company Transferee category, to remain on home contract and still qualify for this category.
The Business Manager category is applicable to an applicant with more than three years of management experience who will work at a company in Japan, or a foreign national who is establishing a new business in Japan. The employment contract can be held either in the home country or in Japan.
For the Intra-Company Transferee working visa, the applicant must have worked for the sending company for at least twelve months and must not have a local contract in Japan. The sending company outside Japan and the host company in Japan must be linked by common ownership.
Applicants who meet certain criteria, assessed on a points-based system, may receive Highly Skilled Professional status, which confers preferential immigration treatment on the holder, including additional benefits for dependents, fast-track processing and a faster route to permanent residence.
To qualify, the applicant must score at least 70 points on the Ministry of Justice points-based system and be engaged in advanced academic research, advanced specialised/technical activities or advanced business management activities.
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