Section 2. Visas and Status of Residence

2.11 Points-based preferential immigration treatment for highly - skilled foreign professionals

2.11.1 What is the points-based system for highly - skilled foreign professionals?

It is the preferential immigration control system for highly - skilled foreign professionals who receive at least a certain number of points (70 points) by utilizing the points-based system for highly - skilled foreign professionals, which was designed to promote acceptance of highly - skilled foreign professionals who can be expected to contribute to Japanese economic growth, etc. and have a high level of ability. For the highly - skilled foreign professional who newly enters Japan, the status of residence " Highly Skilled Professional(i)" and preferential treatment are provided first. For the foreign professional who has stayed in Japan for more than three years after receiving the status of residence called Highly Skilled Professional(i), Highly Skilled Professional(ii) and further preferential treatment are provided.

*For details of the system, please see the following website :

2.11.2 Point evaluation

The activities of highly - skilled foreign professionals are classified into the following categories, and points are assigned for “educational attainment,” “professional experience,” “annual salary,” “research performance,” etc. based on the nature of the category of activity.

  1. (1)

    Advanced academic research activities: " Highly Skilled Professional(i)(a)"

  2. (2)

    Advanced specialized/technical activities: " Highly Skilled Professional(i)(b)"

  3. (3)

    Advanced business management activities: " Highly Skilled Professional(i)(c)"

For details of the point calculation method, please see the following website.

2.11.3 Preferential treatment

For those certified as highly skilled foreign professionals, the following preferential treatment for immigration control and residency management is granted.

In case of “Highly Skilled Professional(i)”:

  1. (1)

    Permission for multiple purposes of activities

  2. (2)

    Grant the “five years” period of stay

  3. (3)

    Easing of requirements for permanent residence

  4. (4)

    Permission for spouse of the highly - skilled foreign professional to work

  5. (5)

    Permission for the parent(s) to accompany the highly - skilled foreign professional to Japan under certain conditions

  6. (6)

    Permission for a domestic worker to accompany the highly - skilled foreign professional to Japan under certain conditions

  7. (7)

    Preferential processing of entry and residence procedures

In case of “Highly Skilled Professional(ii)”:

  1. (1)

    In conjunction with the activities of “Highly Skilled Professional(i)”, permitted to engage in almost all of the activities of statuses of residence based on employment

  2. (2)

    Granted an indefinite period of stay

  3. (3)

    Eligible for the preferential treatments of the abovementioned (3) to (6) * Those who have been active as a Highly Skilled Professional (i) for three years or more can qualify as a Highly Skilled Professional (ii).

2.11.4 Relaxations of requirements for certification as highly skilled foreign professionals

In order to promote acceptance of highly skilled foreign professionals, point adding up-measures have been taken since April 2017.

  1. (1)

    Addition to foreign nationals who are engaged in leading edge projects involving relevant ministries in growing fields, such as IT (10 points)

  2. (2)

    Addition to significant investors (5 points)

  3. (3)

    Addition to graduates from top-notch universities (10 points)

  4. (4)

    Addition to foreign nationals who completed human resources development projects using ODA (5 points)

  5. (5)

    Addition to graduates from universities, etc. in advanced academic research activities (10 points)

  6. (6)

    Addition to foreign nationals who hold multiple master’s degrees or doctor’s degrees (5 points)

  7. (7)

    Addition to foreign nationals who have a certain level of Japanese ability, such as the level of N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (10 points)

2.11.5 Review of period of stay required for application of permission for permanent residence (Establishment of Japanese Green Cards for Highly - skilled Foreign Professionals)

In order to promote acceptance of highly - skilled foreign professionals, the period of stay required for application of permission for permanent residence is reviewed, and the so-called “Japanese Green Card for Highly - skilled Foreign Professionals” is established. (April 26, 2017)

  1. (1)

    For foreign nationals who are certified as highly skilled foreign professionals with 70 points or higher, the period to stay required for application of permission for permanent residence was shortened from five years to three years.

  2. (2)

    For foreign nationals who are recognized as especially highly skilled foreign professionals, those who certified with 80 points or higher, the period of stay required for application of permission for permanent residence was shortened greatly from five years to one year.

2.11.6 Expansion of preferential measures in the point-based system for highly-skilled professionals to become an international financial center

To improve the convenience related to status of residence, Financial Services Agency has introduced preferential measures to those involved in the asset management business, etc., as of July 2021.

  1. (1)

    Among foreign nationals who fall under Highly Skilled Professional (i) (b) or (c), those who engage in Type II Financial Instruments Business, Investment Advisory and Agency Business, or Investment Management Business (hereinafter referred to as "Investment Management Business, etc.") are eligible for extra points (10 points).

  2. (2)

    Highly skilled foreign professionals who engage in the Investment Management Business, etc., can now employ a certain number of domestic helpers who meet the necessary requirements according to their annual household income, even if they do not meet the existing provisions related to family circumstances or accompaniment at the time of entry.

  3. (3)

    Foreigners who attain registration as Investment Management Business, etc., while residing in Japan with "Temporary Visitor" status can now change their statuses of residence to "Highly Skilled Professional" or "Business Manager."

  4. (4)

    The spouses of a highly skilled foreign professionals intending to work are subjects to the same priority processing for immigration and residency procedures as the highly skilled foreign professionals (within 10 days).

Section2: Contents & Reference


Section2. Documents businesses are required to submit to authorities

Section Documents Where documents are listed within the URL The competent authorities and relevant web pages
2.4.2 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Business Manager)External site: a new window will open See Form 6 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.2 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Highly Skilled Professionals)External site: a new window will open See Form 1 (1), (2), and (3) Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.2 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services)External site: a new window will open See Form 7 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.2 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Intra-company Transferee)External site: a new window will open See Form 5 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.2 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Legal / Accounting services)External site: a new window will open See Form 17 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.2 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Skilled Labor)External site: a new window will open See Form 7 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.2 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Specified Skilled Worker)External site: a new window will open See Form 12 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.3 Visa application formExternal site: a new window will open See Visa application form in Chapter 3. Visa Application Documents (download) Foreign Nationals' Affairs Division of Conslar Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign AffairsExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.4 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Intra-company Transferee)External site: a new window will open See Form 5 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.4 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Business Manager)External site: a new window will open See Form 6 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.4.4 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services)External site: a new window will open See Form 7 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.7.5 Notification of change in name, date of birth, sex, and/or nationality/region on residence cardExternal site: a new window will open See Format Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.7.5 Application for residence card validity period extensionExternal site: a new window will open See Format Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.7.5 Application for reissuance of a residence card due to lossExternal site: a new window will open See Format Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.7.8 (1) Notification of affiliated (contracting) organization (Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services)External site: a new window will open See Notification items and notification reference forms Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.7.8 (1) Notification of affiliated (activity) organization (Intra-company Transferee or Business Manager)External site: a new window will open See Notification items and notification reference forms Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.7.8 (2) Notification of relationship with spouse (divorce/death)External site: a new window will open See Notification reference forms Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.8.4 Application for re-entry permissionExternal site: a new window will open See Format for Application for re-entry permission Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.9 Application form for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Dependent)External site: a new window will open See Form 11 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.9 Application for permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted by the status of residence previously grantedExternal site: a new window will open See Application format Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.10.1 Application for extension of period of stay(Intra-company Transferee)External site: a new window will open See Form 6 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.10.1 Application for extension of period of stay(Business Manager)External site: a new window will open See Form 7 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.10.1 Application for extension of period of stay (Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services)External site: a new window will open See Form 8 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.10.2 Application for change of status of residence (Intra-company Transferee)External site: a new window will open See Form 6 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.10.2 Application for change of status of residence (Business Manager)External site: a new window will open See Form 7 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
2.10.2 Application for change of status of residence (Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services)External site: a new window will open See Form 8 Immigration Services AgencyExternal site: a new window will open

Materials listed as ‘Reference’ contain samples of documents regarding registration, visa, taxation, personnel and labor matters that are necessary when a foreign company establishes a corporation or other entity in Japan. These documents are not published by competent authorities and therefore are not official. For those who are going through the official procedures, please obtain the latest official documents from the competent authorities and related bodies or consult a person who specializes in advising on such information and procedures.

The information contained in this documents should be used at the reader’s independent discretion. While JETRO makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides, no responsibility is accepted by JETRO for any loss or damage incurred as a result of actions based on the information provided in these documents or provided by the external links listed on these pages.

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