Japanese government to relax immigration rules for graduates

The Japanese government is looking to relax immigration rules which will allow foreign graduates of universities in Japan to work at low-skilled hospitality jobs.

The Justice Ministry announced last week that it plans to widen the Designated Activities visa in an attempt to further alleviate labour shortages across Japan.

Currently, hospitality occupations permitted under the specified skills visa are limited to those in restaurants and hotels. However, the ministry is looking to expand the scope of the Designated Activities visa to cover work at convenience stores and other retail shops

The ministry has drafted a policy that will make it easier for foreigners who graduate from universities or graduate schools in Japan to gain such jobs in the country.

It is hoped that these new measures new measures in April.

Last week, the Japanese government has also revealed that it will make certain regional universities eligible for a point-based visa program for highly skilled foreign workers, granting graduates of those schools points that count toward residency status. Currently only 13 top schools are part of this program, but the number will rise to more than 100 by March.

The current list of eligible schools includes the University of Tokyo and Waseda, Keio, Hiroshima and Kyushu universities, but schools in less populated regions, like Okayama and Kumamoto universities, will now be added.

Points are given based on an applicants’ academic background, work history and salary. Those who score at least 70 qualify for visas for highly skilled workers, which allow them to bring family to Japan and for their spouses to work.

Those who do not graduate from a qualifying university can still win highly skilled worker status through their work history and salary. But graduates from the designated schools do have an advantage by getting 10 extra points.

About 13,000 foreigners have received visas under this program as of June. The government aims for 20,000 professionals to earn this status by the end of 2022.

Article published 19th February 2019