I. Types of Visa

Here are types of visa defined in "Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act"("ICRRA",「出入国管理及び難民認定法」).

ICRRA defines visa status in two groups.

Group I is a category for "activities visa".

Group II is a category for "resident visa".

Group I is also divided into five tiers.

II. Types of Visa, Regulated Activities & Terms of Stay

A. Tier I of Group I

"Diplomat"「外交」

Granted Activities:

activities permitted as a member of a diplomatic mission or a consulate, or a person who has the same privileges as a diplomat in accordance with treaties  or international practices, and activities permitted for families of the above

Granted Term of Stay: terms for diplomatic activities

"Public Business"「公用」

Granted Activities:

activities permitted for one who is engaged in public business of a government recognized by Japanese government or an international organization and activities of families of the above, other than activities of "Diplomat"

Granted Term of Stay:5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 3 months, 30 days or 15 days

"Professor"「教授」

Granted Activities:

activities of research, advise of research and instruction at universities, collages, the same class of institutes or technical collages in Japan

Granted Term of Stay:5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Artist"「芸術」

Granted Activities:

activities of music, fine art, literature and other art making incomes, other than activities of "Entertainer"

Granted Term of Stay:5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Religious Activities"「宗教」

Granted Activities:

activities of propagation by religionists sent from oversea religious organization and other religious activities

Granted Term of Stay:5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Journalist"「報道」

Granted Activities:

activities of data collections under contracts with the oversea media and other press activities

Granted Term of Stay:5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

Tier II of Group I

"High Skilled Professional" (i)「高度専門職1号」

Granted Activities:

activities mentioned below by persons who are qualified as matching to the standards of high skilled professionals defined in regulations of the ministry of justice, which are expected to contribute to development of research on science or economy in Japan

(i)(a)activities of research or advices of research under contracts with public or private institutions designated by the minister of justice, activities of operating the related business to the above activities by themselves along with the above activities, or activities of research or advices of research under contracts with public or private institutions other than designated by the minister of justice

(i)(b)activities of being engaged in business which requires knowledge or technologies on natural science or social / cultural science or activities of operating the related business to the above activities by themselves along with the above activities

(i)(c)activities of operating trading business or other business in public or private institutions designated by the minister of justice or activities of operating the related business to the above activities by themselves along with the above activities

Activities of "High Skilled Professional" (i) shall correspond to activities of any of "Professor", "Artist", "Religious Activities", "Journalist", "Business Manager", "Lawyer/Accountant", "Medical Care", "Researcher", "Instructor", "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services",  "Intra-company Transferee", "Nursing Care", "Entertainer" or "Skilled Labor"

Granted Term of Stay:5 years

"High Skilled Professional" (ii)「高度専門職2号」

Granted Activities:

activities mentioned below by who have been engaged activities of "High Skilled Professional" (i) and are also qualified as matching standards of whose stays contribute to national interests of Japan, defined in regulations of the ministry of justice

A. activities of research, advises of research or instruction of research under contracts with public or private institutions in Japan

B. activities of being engaged in business which requires knowledge or technologies on natural science or social / cultural science under contacts with public or private institutions in Japan

C. activities of operating trading business or other business in public or private institutions in Japan or activities of being engaged in supervision of the above business

D. activities of "Professor", "Artist", "Religious Activities", "Journalist", "Lawyer and Accountant", "Medical Care", "Instructor", ""Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services", "Nursing Care", "Entertainer" or " Skilled Labor" along with activities of the above (ii)(a), (ii)(b) or (ii)(c)

Eligibility or status of "High Skilled Professional" (ii) shall be given to a person who has been stayed in  Japan under eligibility or status of "High Skilled Professional" (i) for designated terms.

Therefore, the activities of "High Skilled Professional" (ii) are hardly restricted and terms of the stay are unlimited.  

Granted Term of Stay:Unlimited

"Business Manager"「経営・管理」

Granted Activities:

activities of management or supervision of trade or other business in Japan, other than activities of "Lawyer and Accountant" which require licenses legally

Granted Term of Stay:5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Lawyer / Accountant"「法律・会計」

Granted Activities:

activities of legal or accounting business which is legally required to be executed by licensed specialists such as attorneys at law of oversea laws or oversea certified accountants

Granting Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Medical Care"「医療」

Granted Activities:

activities of medical care which is legally required to be executed by licensed specialists such as doctors, dentists

Granting Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Researcher"「研究」

Granted Activities:

activities of research under contracts with public or private institutions in Japan, other than activities of  "Professor"

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Instructor"「教育」

Granted Activities:

activities of language education or other education at primary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, and other schools.

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services"「技術・人文知識・国際業務」

Granted Activities:

activities of business under contracts with public or private institutions, which requires technology or knowledge on physics, engineering science, any other natural science, juris prudence, economics, sociology or any other social / human science, or which requires idea or sensitivity based on different culture other than Japan, other than activities of "Professor", "Artist", "Journalist", "Business Manager", "Legal and Accounting", "Medical Care", "Researcher" or "Instructor"

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Intra-company Transferee"「企業内転勤」

activities same kind as of "Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services" made by employees in headquarters, branches or other offices of oversea public or private institution, who have been transferred from oversea offices to offices in Japan with limited terms of stays in Japan

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Nursing Care"「介護」

activities of nursing care or instruction of nursing care by "certified care workers" under contracts with public or private institution in Japan

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Entertainer"「興行」

activities of play, performance, musical performance, sports or any other entertainment, other activities of "Business Manager"

Granted Term of Stay : 3 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months or 15 days

"Skilled Labor"「技能」

Granted Activities:

activities of business under contracts with public or private institution in Japan, which requires experienced skills on special fields of industry

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 3 months

"Specified Skilled Worker" (i)「特定技能1号

Granted Activities:

activities of business under designated contracts with domestic public or private institution by the minister of justice in accordance with "clause 1 to 4, article 2-5" of Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act(as the same hereafter), in designated field of industries as a field with difficulty of recruitment by the minister of justice(as the same, hereafter) requiring skills which are also need considerable knowledge  or experiences specified by regulations also appointed by the minister of justice

Fourteen fields are currently designated as follows:

Nursing Care, Cleaning of Building, Raw Materials & Shapes, Manufacturing of Industrial Machines, Electric & Electronic Information, Construction, Shipbuilding & Shipboard, Maintenance of Automobiles, Airline, Hotel & Lodge, Agriculture, Fishery, Manufacturing of Beverages, Food Service 

Granted Term of Stay : 1 year, 6 months or 4 months, can be extended up to five years in total  

"Specified Skilled Worker" (ii)「特定技能2号」

activities of business under the designated contracts with domestic public or private institution , in the designated field of industries, requiring experienced skills specified by regulations also appointed by the minister of justice

Two fields are currently designated as follows:

Construction, Shipbuilding & Shipboard

Options of Granting Term of Stay : 3 years, 1 years, or 6 months

"Technical Intern Training "(i)(a)「技能実習1号イ」

Granted Activities:

activities of business on lectures, skills, techniques or knowledge in technical intern plans of "controlled by single company item 1" defined in item 1 of clause 2 of article 2 of "Act on Adequate Execution of Training of Technical Interns on Protection of Technical Interns" 「外国人の技能実習の適正な実施及び技能実習生の保護に関する法律」("Technical intern Act"), recognized in accordance with clause 1 of article 8 of Technical Intern Act

"Technical Intern Training "(i)(b)「技能実習1号ロ」

Granted Activities:

activities of lectures, skills or any other in technical intern plans of "controlled by association item 1" defined in item 1 of clause 4 of article 2 of Technical Intern Act, recognized in accordance with  clause 1 of article 8 of Technical Intern Act

"Technical Intern Training "(ii)(a)「技能実習2号イ」

Granted Activities:

activities of business which requires skills in technical intern plans of "controlled by single company item 2" defined in item 2 of clause 4 of article 2 of Technical Intern Act, recognized in accordance with  clause 1 of article 8 of Technical Intern Act

"Technical Intern Training "(ii)(b)「技能実習2号ロ」

Granted Activities:

activities of business which requires skills in technical intern plans of "controlled by association item 2" defined in item 2 of clause 4 of article 2 of Technical Intern Act, recognized in accordance with  clause 1 of article 8 of Technical Intern Act

"Technical Intern Training "(iii)(a)「技能実習3号イ」

Granted Activities:

Granted Activities:

activities of business which requires skills in technical intern plans of "controlled by single company item 3" defined in item 3 of clause 2 of article 2 of Technical Intern Act, recognized in accordance with  clause 1 of article 8 of Technical Intern Act

"Technical Intern Training "(iii)(b)「技能実習3号ロ」

activities of business which requires skills in technical intern plans of "controlled by association item 3" defined in item 3 of clause 4 of article 2 of Technical Intern Act, recognized in accordance with  clause 1 of article 8 of Technical Intern Act

Granted Term of Stay: shall be determined by the minister of justice

within one year.( (i)(a) & (i)(b) )

within two years.( (ii)(a), (ii)(b), (iii)(a) & (iii)(b) ) 

Tier III of Group I

"Cultural Activities"「文化活動」

Granted Activities:

activities on science or art making no income, or activities of specialized investigation or achievement with instruction by a specialist on characteristic culture or skill in Japan making no income other than activities of "Student" or "Trainee"

Granted Term of Stay : 3 years, 1 year, 6 months or 3 months

"Short Term Stay"「短期滞在」

Granted Activities:

activities in short term stay in Japan, of tourism, recreation, sports, visiting relatives, attendance to seminars or conferences, business contacts or any other similar activities

Granted Term of Stay : 90days, 30 days or any days within 15 days

Tier IV of Group I

"Student"「留学」

Granted Activities:

activities of studying in universities, collages, technical collages, senior high schools, junior high school, primary schools or any other schools similar to the above in terms of facilities and organizations

Granted Term of Stay : 4 years and 3 months, 3 years and 3 months, 3 years, 2years and 3 months, 2 years, 1 year and 3 months, 1 year, 6 months or 3 months

"Trainee"「研修」

Granted Activities:

activities of training on skills and others in public or private institutions in Japan, other than activities of "Student"

Granted Term of Stay : 1 year, 6 months or 3 months

"Dependent"「家族滞在」

Granted Activities:

activities of daily lives as supported spouses, sons or daughters of persons who stays in Japan with eligible other than "Diplomat", "Public Business", "Short Term Stay", "Trainee", "Dependent", "Designated Activities", "Permanent Resident", "Spouse or Child of Japanese National", "Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” or "Long Term Resident"

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 4 years and 3 months, 4 years, 3 years and 3 months, 3 years, 2 years and 3 months, 2 years, 1 years and 3 months, 1 year, 6 months or 3 months

Tier V of Group I

"Designated Activities"「特定活動」

Granted Activities:

activities designated by the minister of justice for each

Granted Term of Stay : shall be determined by the minister of justice within 5 year, with some exceptions.

Group II

Activities are not restricted principally for "Group II"

"Permanent Resident"「永住者」

Granted Term of Stay: No Limit

"Spouse or Child of Japanese National"「日本人の配偶者等」

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 6 months

"Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident"「永住者の配偶者等」

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months

"Long Term Resident"「定住者」

Granted Term of Stay : 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months

II. With Which Visa Is It Possible to Work in Japan

With any visa in "Tier I", "Tier II" or "Tier V" of "Group I", it is prohibited to receive wages or to operate business which shall make incomes in Japan from other than the permitted activities for each visa.

In other words, it is allowed to work or to operate commercial business in Japan with any visa in "Tier I", "Tier II" or "Tier V" of "Group I", within the permitted activities for each visa.

With any visa in "Tier III" or "Tier IV" of "Group I", it is prohibited to receive wages or to operate business which shall make incomes.

It is required to obtain additional permit to work or to operate commercial business in Japan for who stays in Japan with any visa in "Tier III" or "Tier IV" of "Group I".

There are no restrictions on activities of any visa in "Group II", because each visa in this group shall be permitted not for expected activities but for a relation or a position.

It is principally free to work or to operate commercial business in Japan for who stays with any visa in "Group II"

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