On October 11th, the Japanese Government disclosed an outline of a new status of residency planned for next April in order to accept more international workers.
The outline states that Japan plans to create a new visa with a status of residence of Worker with Particular Skills divided into two levels: categories of (1) and (2). The first level requires expats to have a certain degree of knowledge and experience in certain target industries and also Japanese ability, while the advanced level requires them to have obtained a high degree of expertise in a field.
Foreign workers eligible for category (1) are allowed to stay in Japan for maximum five years in total without accompanying family members. However, it will be highly possible for them to be able to live in Japan with their spouses and children permanently by passing an exam, proving to have the certain expertise to get the higher level status to allow then renew their visa indefinitely.
The residence status for a Worker with Particular Skills can be issued only to those who work in industries facing serious labor shortages. With this new visa, workers are free to move to another place and/or change companies provided it’s within the same industry. On the other hand, the outline includes countermeasures to stop accepting foreign workers when there is no longer need for non-Japanese workers to supplement labor shortages, for reasons like the Japanese recession.
The revised proposal is going to be submitted to an extraordinary diet session starting 24th October so that the government can introduce the new system next April.
This will make a big change to the way Japan accepts international workers as foreign skilled laborers, allowing them to stay in Japan permanently once the new policy gets into effect.