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How to Get A Job in Japan from Nepal




Japan has become increasingly attractive to Nepali workers in recent years, with opportunities in construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and IT sectors. Various factors such as economic opportunities, job security, quality of life, cultural exchange, and access to education and training makes Japan a popular destination for Nepali individuals seeking employment abroad. 


Nepali in Japan

The population of Nepali nationals in Japan has experienced a remarkable surge over the years, with a particularly notable increase observed in 2022. In that year alone, the number of Nepali nationals residing in Japan skyrocketed by an impressive 43.5% compared to the previous year. With their population reaching 139,393 individuals by 2022, Nepalis have become one of the prominent foreign communities in Japan. 


Celebration of the National Day of Nepal in Tokyo, Japan (Image: Nepal Embassy in Japan)


According to the Japanese Immigration Service Agency, Nepalis hold the distinction of being the seventh-largest group of foreign residents in Japan. Tokyo stands out as the primary hub for the Nepali community, hosting almost 30,000 individuals. However, beyond the capital city, Nepalis have also established vibrant communities in various other prefectures across Japan. Regions such as Aichi, Fukuoka, Chiba, Osaka, Kanagawa, and Saitama are notable for their sizable Nepali populations. The widespread presence of Nepali residents across different prefectures underscores their significant contributions to Japanese society and highlights the interconnectedness between Nepal and Japan.


Nepali in Japan is united under the Non-Resident Nepalese Association National Coordination Councils (NRNA NCC) Japan. There are 12 committees across the country to promote solidarity and advocate for the welfare of Nepalese nationals. NRNA Japan is also bridging Nepal with other international communities and organizations in Japan. With NRNA NCC Japan, Nepalese can easily find each other, providing a sense of comfort and support while working or studying abroad.


Types of Japanese Visas Available for Nepali Nationals and How to Get Them

Among the various types of visas granted to foreign residents in Japan, ranging from visas for cultural activities and religious purposes to those for professional workers, five categories are particularly popular among Nepali nationals. These categories include:


Students Visa (留学)

Student visa holders include students at language schools, universities, junior colleges, technical colleges, high schools, junior high schools, elementary schools, etc. in Japan. The period of stay varies and is designated individually by the Minister of Justice, with a maximum of 4 years and 3 months. There are currently almost 40,000 Nepalis in Japan with student visas.


By studying in Japan, Nepali students not only expand their academic horizons but also immerse themselves in Japanese society, fostering cultural exchange and understanding. Additionally, for some Nepali students, Japan serves as a stepping stone towards future career opportunities, as they acquire valuable skills and knowledge that can be applied both domestically and internationally. It is easier to find a job in Japan after graduating from a Japanese school.


To apply for a student visa, you need to be accepted into a recognized educational institution in Japan first. This could be a university, college, language school, or vocational training institute. Every program has different requirements, so please check on each school website. Once accepted, the institution will provide you with a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) application form. Then, visit the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country to submit your visa application. 


The Japanese government offers the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) scholarship for Nepalese students. This scholarship will fund the tuition as well as living cost up to 4 years of study. Read more about MEXT and other scholarships here.

 

Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services Visa ("技術・人文知識・国際業務)

This visa category is specifically designed for foreign nationals who wish to work in Japan in roles related to engineering, humanities, or international services. As implied by its long title, this visa covers a wide range of activities. More than 25.000 Nepalis work in Japan under this visa.


Engineers include software engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and researchers in scientific fields. Specialists in Humanities cover areas such as education, language instruction, journalism, and legal services. Professionals working in roles such as translators, language instructors, legal consultants, and researchers in humanities. International Services covers roles in international trade, finance, consulting, and global business management.


This visa category typically allows foreign workers to reside and work in Japan for a specified period, three months to five years, with the possibility of extension. Although this visa covers multiple areas, visa holders are only permitted to engage in the activities specified in their work contract.


To get this visa, you have to find a company to sponsor your visa. In other words, you must first secure a job offer from a Japanese employer in one of the eligible fields: engineering, humanities, or international services. While some companies recruit talent from overseas and offer relocation to Japan, many prefer candidates who are already residing in Japan.


Skilled Labor visa (技能)

Skilled labor visas are given to professionals in special industrial fields based on contracts with public and private institutions in Japan. The holders include foreign cuisine cooks, sports instructors, aircraft pilots, craftsmen who process precious metals, etc. The period of stay ranges from 3 months, 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years. There are currently 13,000 Nepalis in Japan with this type of visa. Similar to the previous visa, you must first get a sponsorship from a company or institution in Japan.


Specified Skilled Worker Visa (特定技能  - Tokutei Ginou)

The Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) visa is a type of work visa introduced by the Japanese government in April 2019 to address specific labor shortages in designated industries. This visa category is designed for foreign nationals over 18 years old who possess skills and expertise in certain sectors and are seeking employment opportunities in Japan. 


The Specified Skilled Worker Visa is divided into two categories:

Specified Skilled Worker Type 1: This category is for individuals engaged in industries facing severe labor shortages, including nursing care, agriculture, construction, and shipbuilding. They are permitted to stay in Japan for up to 5 years but are not allowed to bring their families with them.


Specified Skilled Worker Type 2: This category is for individuals working in industries with relatively fewer labor shortages, such as hospitality, food services, and manufacturing. They have the option to bring their families and can stay indefinitely in Japan. SSW Type 1 visa holders have the opportunity to apply and take tests to qualify for SSW Type 2.


To  qualify for an SSW visa, you have to:

  • Have the Japanese Language Proficiency Test JLPT N4 or JFT Basic (A2) certificate

  • Pass the skills exam according to your chosen industry

These tests are available to take in Nepal. Upon passing, you can then enter into a contract with the Accepting Organization (AO). Subsequently, you'll undergo a six-month orientation and Japanese language course before arriving in Japan, followed by another six months of language training upon arrival. Upon successful completion of these programs, you'll be eligible to work in Japan as an SSW. 


Keep in mind that there are some supporting organizations in Nepal that offer assistance in preparing for the tests. However, it's crucial to thoroughly research their track record beforehand, as some may require a significant amount of money as a guarantee fee for facilitating your journey to Japan. Read more information on the Japanese embassy in Nepal website.


Technical Intern Training Program (技能実習制度 - Ginou Jisshuu Seido)

The Technical Intern Training Program is a Japanese government initiative designed to provide foreign nationals aged 18 to 39 with technical skills training and work experience in specific industries in Japan. The program aims to facilitate the transfer of skills and knowledge from Japan to developing countries while addressing labor shortages in industries such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and healthcare.


You can stay in Japan as a technical intern for up to 5 years. As an intern, you will also receive lectures in addition to your work responsibilities and will be expected to pass skill exams throughout your training period. Furthermore, bringing your family is not permitted. If you wish to extend your stay and bring your family later, you can apply for a Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) visa. To apply for the Technical Intern Training Program (TITP), contact one of their sending organizations.


 

As people say, all roads lead to Rome—or Japan, in this case. There are many ways to work in Japan. Even if you are not fluent in Japanese, you can also start as a student and find employment upon graduation. Additionally, as the Nepali community in Japan grows, you can get valuable support and connections, including a sense of belonging and familiarity in a foreign land. See you in Japan soon!


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