1. Site Top
  2. Investing in Japan
  3. How to Set Up Business in Japan
  4. Section 2. Visas and Status of Residence
  5. 2.11 Points-based preferential immigration treatment for highly - skilled foreign professionals

How to Set Up Business in Japan 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 treatment 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 "Class 1 Highly Skilled Professional" 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 Class 1 Highly Skilled Professional, Class 2 Highly Skilled Professional and further preferential treatment are provided.

For details of the system, please see the following website:
Immigration Bureau of Japan websiteExternal site: a new window will open.

2.11.2 Point evaluation

As requested by applicants, the activities of highly - skilled foreign professionals are classified into the following categories. Points are assigned for "educational attainment," "professional experience", "annual salary," "research performance", etc. based on the nature of the category of activity.

  1. Advanced academic research activities "Class 1(a) Highly Skilled Professional"
  2. Advanced specialized/technical activities "Class 1 (b) Highly Skilled Professional"
  3. Advanced business and management activities "Class 1 (c) Highly Skilled Professional"

For details of the point calculation method, please see the Immigration Bureau of Japan website as above.

2.11.3 Preferential treatment

For those certified as highly skilled foreign professionals, the following preferential immigration treatment is granted.

  1. Permission for multiple purposes of activities
  2. Grant the “five years" period of stay
  3. Easing of requirements for permanent residence
  4. Permission for spouse of the highly - skilled foreign professional to work
  5. Permission for the parent(s) to accompany the highly - skilled foreign professional to Japan under certain conditions
  6. Permission for a domestic worker to accompany the highly - skilled foreign professional to Japan under certain conditions
  7. Preferential processing of entry and residencee procedures
In case of “Highly Skilled Professional(ii)":
  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. Granted an indefinite period of stay
  3. Eligible for the preferential treatments of the abovementioned 3. to 6.

2.11.4 Relaxations of requirements for certification as a highly skilled foreign professionals

In order to promote acceptance of highly skilled foreign professionals, point adding up-measures are added in April 2017.

  1. Addition to foreign nationals who are engaged in leading edge projects involving relevant ministries in growing fields, such as IT (10 points)
  2. Addition to significant investors (5 points)
  3. Addition to graduates from top-notch universities (10 points)
  4. Addition to foreign nationals who completed human resources development projects using ODA (5 points)
  5. Addition to graduates from universities, etc. in advanced academic research activities (10 points)
  6. Addition to foreign nationals who hold multiple master's degrees or doctor's degrees (5 points)
  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. (Revised on April 26, 2017)

  1. For foreign nationals who are certified as a 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. 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.

Section2: Contents & Reference

Section2: Table of Contents


Section2. Samples of documents businesses are required to submit to authorities

These materials 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 as well as descriptive examples of how to fill them out. A portion of the English content has been updated through a provisional translation. These documents are not published by competent authorities and therefore are not official. For those who are going through the official procedures, please download 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.