Ask the HR Experts – Salary for foreign employees

December 8th, 2011HR Tips

Ask the HR Experts

We often get Employment Questions from Employers. We asked the experts at Acroseed for the Answers.


Q) Salary for foreign employees

We have heard that as an employer that we are obligated to pay foreign English teaching staff at least 250,000yen/month salary by law. Is this true? (visa for specialist in humanities, international service)?

A) False. There is no rule requiring a minimum salary of 250,000yen or more according to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.


When foreigners successfully apply for a visa (this case: Specialist in Humanities and International Service), they have to fill in “acceptable standards” which is decided by a ministerial ordinance which mentions that one must pay an acceptable standard for work received. There is no listing of an exact figure such as 250,00yen/month or the like. What is decided is that the candidate must receive the same or more payment that a Japanese person would receive and is an acceptable standard.

So how much do you must I pay to an English teacher whereas he/she can be accepted visa for a Specialist in Humanities and International Service?

Unfortunately as mentioned above, there is not specific number how much you must pay. It is necessary to pay enough “to be able to live in Japan stably for a foreign person” at the least. For example, the amount to live in the city and in rural areas is quite different so that a payment of JPY 200,000/month may be acceptable for someone to live stably in the countryside, it would not be viable in the city.

In any case, it’s very difficult to accept visa for specialist in humanities and international service by the Immigration Bureau if the pay is under 180,000yen a month.

The answer above is just general answer, so it’s not official answer from administration and judicial ruling. Answer provided by Shuji Akiyama, Incensed social insurance consultant/notary public, ACROSEED GROUP

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