Tokyo, Japan | BAZZUP | The Immigration Services Agency announced on Friday that Japan will introduce a new and simpler method for issuing highly skilled professional visas to foreign workers on April 21.
The new approach, which aims to draw more international talent to the country, would provide preferential treatment to foreign candidates who match specific criteria, such as possessing a master’s degree and an annual income of at least 20 million yen (150,000 US dollars).
Local observers have criticized Japan’s existing point-based system as being overly complex at a time when countries all over the world fight for qualified people.
Points are currently assigned based on criteria such as academic and job credentials, as well as annual income. Applicants with points in excess of a specified threshold are granted a five-year highly skilled professional visa and can apply for an unlimited stay visa after three years.
The new system will allow applicants with a master’s degree or higher and an annual income of at least 20 million yen (150,000 US dollars) or an employment record of 10 years or more with an annual income of at least 20 million yen (150,000 US dollars) to obtain a five-year visa.
Five-year visas will be granted to persons applying for advanced business and management activities who have a five-year employment history and an annual salary of at least 40 million yen (300,000 US dollars).
Applicants who match the streamlined standards and are awarded five-year visas will be eligible for permanent residency after one year in Japan, compared to three years for existing holders.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida directed relevant ministries to study measures to recruit highly trained human resources to Japan, including the construction of a new system that “ranks among the best in the world,” according to Kyodo News.