[Updated] Japan: New Highly Skilled Professional Visa Routes to Launch in April 2023

Last Updated on May 5, 2023

This article was originally published on 20 February 2023 and was updated on 5 May 2023 to reflect the latest information. 

5 May 2023 Update Overview of the J-Skip and J-Find Visas:

The government of Japan published details for the application process and requirements for foreign nationals applying under the Special highly skilled personnel system for the J-Skip visa or recent graduates seeking a job in Japan (J-Find).  

Eligible applicants under the J-Find visa must meet the following requirements: 

  • Have graduated from a university ranked in the top 100 universities across the globe or have completed a graduate course at a top university and conferred a degree or professional degree. 
  • Hold proof of savings of 200,000 yen or more.  

For further information on the documentation requirements under the J-Find visa, check here 

Eligible applicants under the J-Skip visa must meet the following requirements:  

  • Participating in research activities, including conducting or guiding research or traveling to Japan based on a contract with an educational institution in the country; or 
  • Be working as a highly specialized foreign national or on technical activities that include knowledge or skills in the fields of natural sciences or humanities and hold a work contract with a public or private organization in Japan; or 
  • Be working in a high-level management or managerial position for a public or private organization that engages in global business development.  

Eligible applicants must also hold a master’s degree or higher and have an annual income of 20 million yen or more. Those who have five years or more of practical experience related to business management or management and an annual income of 40 million yen or more. 

For additional information on the application process, check here 

Key Points

  • Japan plans to introduce two new highly skilled visa pathways at the start of April 2023 aimed at attracting foreign nationals holding higher education degrees or those with high-income earnings

Overview of the J-Skip and J-Find Visas

The government of Japan announced that it will relax application requirements for select foreign nationals applying for residency in the country and will expand immigration pathways under its skilled visa route to include two new immigration pathways beginning in April 2023. These new pathways will include the following:

  • The Japan System for Special Highly Skilled Professionals (J-Skip); and
  • The Japan System for Future Creation Individual Visa (J-Find)

According to the government announcement, both visa types will target high-income earners or graduates of top foreign universities. Applicants must provide proof of an annual income of at least 120 million yen. They must also either hold a master’s degree or have more than 10 years of work experience.

Individuals who have graduated from a top university included in the global higher education rankings and are in search of employment opportunities in Japan will qualify for a visa that is valid for a maximum of two years.

What are the Changes?

The government of Japan will ease application requirements for certain foreign nationals seeking residency status and introduce two new immigration pathways under the skilled visa route starting in April 2023. The new visa options, the J-Skip and the J-Find, will target high-income earners or graduates from top foreign universities.

Looking Ahead

The new immigration pathways are expected to undergo public review over the next several months. Continue to check the government of Japan’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.

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Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.