Permission criteria for specialized graduate students will be relaxed regarding the residence status of “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services”

According to “Japan’s Immigration Agency Relaxes Guidelines for Hiring Foreign Graduates of Japanese Vocational Schools” (March 1, 2024, Japan News), The Immigration Services Agency has relaxed its guidelines in order to help boost employment of foreign nationals who graduated from Japanese vocational schools in an effort to secure staffing in the country

The status of residence “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” is intended for activities based on so-called white-collar occupations, such as engineers.

The activities envisaged by the status of residence “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” are broadly listed below.

  • Activities to engage in “work that requires skills or knowledge in the field of natural sciences or humanities”
  • “Work that requires thinking or sensitivity based on foreign culture” (translation, interpretation, etc.)

When examining the status of residence, the criteria for landing permission are stipulated by the Ministry of Justice ordinance (there are some statuses of residence that are not stipulated). must satisfy one of the following:

  1. Must have graduated with a major in a subject related to the skills or knowledge necessary for the job you wish to engage in (educational requirements)
  2. 10 years or more of practical experience (practical requirements)

The article talks about operational changes related to 1 above.

Originally, the subjects majored in at both universities (including technical colleges) and vocational schools were required to have a relatively strong relationship with the work of the company in which they were seeking employment, but in recent years, universities (including technical colleges) are now being judged very loosely on their relevance. On the other hand, vocational schools were still required to have a “considerable degree of relevance.”

The purpose of this operational change is that international students who graduate from vocational schools will be treated in the same way as universities, and a news release was immediately posted on the Immigration Bureau’s website titled “Review of operations to promote employment for foreign students.” was uploaded. This is also reflected in the Immigration Bureau’s guidelines (clarification of the status of residence of “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services”) (last revised in February 2020).

This post is available in Japanese.

Japan Immigration News