On 08.12.2018, Japanese parliament passed a bill to bring more blue-collar-workers into the labor market. The parliament eventually voted on the bill during a House of Councillors plenary session Saturday. According to this new law, Japan will accept large number of foreign workers into its local job market. As an estimate, more than 345,000 international workers will be able to move to Japan to serve its labor market. The new visa system is expected to start in April 2019.
TYPES OF WORK PERMITS INTRODUCED
According to the law, the work permit category has been distributed in to 2 types of permits: Visa type 1 and Visa Type 2.
i- Visa Type 1
This work visa type will allow international workers to work in 14 sectors of middle and lower level of labor skilled jobs including farming, nursing care, construction and different others. The applicants of this visa type will have to pass a Japanese language test and technical exams. Furthermore they should also hold good work experience in the intended work stream. This visa will be awarded at first for five years. Unfortunately workers will not be able to bring their family members with. It allows limited time visa renewals. Government has planned to give first year 47,550 work visas and then over the time of 5 years this number will be more than 345,150. Surprisingly it includes 60,000 work visas for nursing care sector.
ii- Visa Type 2
This is a type of highly skilled visa type and has been named visa type 2. Currently, applicants can only apply for 2 streams, construction and shipbuilding. This is a high hurdle visa type where candidates will be tested against their high level skills. It allows visa holders to bring their family members with them and also allows the unlimited visa renewals and could possibly allow them to apply later on for permanent residency too. The quota has not been announced for this visa category.
IS IMMIGRATION INCREASING IN JAPAN?
Japan no doubt is well famous for increasing numbers of people immigrating to its big cities. Japan has already hit the record of 1.28 million foreigners last year according to government stats. Out of these, most are who hold permanent residency and Japan ancestry with a total numbers of 459,000. Second biggest number is for students and part time temporary workers with 297,000 followed by 258,000 technical interns.