How Prepared Are You? Visa and Status of Residence: Part 1

July 1st, 2007HR Tips

[lang_en]How Prepared Are You? Visa and Status of Residence: Part 1[/lang_en][lang_ja]準備はOK? 査証(ビザ)および在留資格:パート1[/lang_ja]In this month’s WorkForce we shall be looking at the Certificate of Eligibility, with Extension of Period of Stay to be covered in the next edition. The Certificate of Eligibility should be applied for when looking to secure permission to work in Japan for a future employee, typically this application is made by a proxy in Japan at their nearest Regional Immigration Center and once received is posted to the employee still residing outside of Japan. It is this certificate that is submitted by the foreign employee at their nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate in order to apply for their Visa to enable them to live and work in Japan.

“a Visa alone does not guarantee Status of Residence”

Please note however that the Visa alone does not guarantee Status of Residence, it is Landing Permission that is stamped into the foreigner’s passport by immigration officials at their port of entry into Japan that serves as the legal basis for their stay in Japan.

The following documents are required to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility:


  • Application Form; completed and signed
  • Two Photographs; 4cm x 3 cm (taken within 6 months of application)
  • Company Brochure (or equivalent)
  • Original Copy of Company Registration
  • Copy of Company Profit and Loss Statement (Balance Sheet)
  • Copy of Company Tax Statement
  • Copy of Employees Contract
  • Translation of Employees Contract
  • Copy of Employees C.V. / Resume
  • Original Degree Certificate (to show) or Official Certification Letter from Applicants University
  • Stamped Addressed Envelope (430 yen)

Once a Certificate of Eligibility has been obtained, the applicant should take the following documents to their nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate in their current country of residence:


  • Valid passport
  • One visa application form, completed and signed
  • One passport-sized photograph (taken within last 6 months)
  • Original Certificate of Eligibility
  • One photocopy of Certificate of Eligibility

Please note that all visa applications must be submitted by the applicant in person and that the time for the visa to be processed and the processing cost can vary depending on the country in which the Embassy or Consulate is located, so it is important to check beforehand.

Also it is important to bear in mind that both the Certificate of Eligibility and Visa are valid for a period of 3 months from the date of issuance.

For all foreign workers in Japan their current status of residence must be reflected on their Alien Registration Card, which must be carried at all times. This card must be applied for at the City, Ward or Town Office appropriate to their place of residence within 14 days of taking up residence and again within fourteen days of any changes to the information contained on the card being made.

Forms for these applications can be found at: Certificate of Eligibility Visa Application


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