*There are two types of "Specified Skilled Worker" - (i) and (ii) - but the explanation here pertains to (i), which is applicable to most people.

"Visa" and "Status of Residence"

As a general rule, foreign national who intend to entry into Japan must acquire a "visa" at the embassy of Japan (an organization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the headquarters for Japanese Government representatives serving) in a foreign country, but this does not mean that you are guaranteed entry into Japan if obtaining a visa. When you arrive in Japan, you need to undergo the necessary examination by the Immigration Services Agency of Japan at the airport and aquire a "Status of Residence" according to the activity you are trying to conduct in Japan. In light of this, acquisition of "visa" and "Status of Residence" are separate procedures that fall under the jurisdiction of different organizations. The SSW introduced on this page is a type of newly established "Status of Residence".

Features of SSW

Those who can work in Japan as a SSW must be over 18 years old in a good health, have the necessary occupational skills and Japanese language ability to work immediately without receiving any particular training. Skills and Japanese proficiency will be confirmed by a unified test conducted by Japan. In principle, you can work for up to 5 years in total, but you cannot bring your family. In addition, the major difference from other status of residence to work in Japan is a support system. You can receive a wide range of support for life and work from your employer while you are in Japan, from the time you arrive to leave for your home country.
There is another program called "Technical Intern Training", which aims toward providing international contributions by having workers share skills and knowledge that they acquired through on-the-job training in Japan throughout their home country after returning. Those who have satisfactory completed Technical Intern Training are able to switch their status of residence to SSW in the same field without taking occupational skill exams and Japanese proficiency tests.

Specified Skilled Worker (i)

This is a status of residence applicable to foreign nationals who work in jobs that require a considerable knowledge of or experience in Specified Industry Fields.

Period of Stay Renewed every 1 year, 6 months or 4 months, up to 5 years in total
Skill Standards Confirmed by exams, etc. (those who have completed Technical Intern Training (ii) are exempted from exams, etc.)
Japanese Language Level Proficiency in Japanese language required in daily life and at the workplace needs to be confirmed by exams, etc.
Accompanied by family members basically not permitted

Eligible for support by Accepting Organizations or Registered Support Organizations

*Specified Skilled Worker (ii) is a status of residence for foreign nationals to engage in jobs that require proficient skills in specified industry fields.

Work That Can Be Conducted as a SSW
The specific work you can do as a SSW in Japan is as follows, listed for each of the 12 industrial fields.

Jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

  • Nursing CareIn addition to Nursing Care (assistance with bathing, feeding and excretion responding to the physical and mental condition of the user), other related support services (assistance with recreation and functional training, etc.) Note: Visiting services are not included

  • Building Cleaning ManagementInterior building cleaning

Jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

The following descriptions are current as of March 2022. In May 2022, the industrial fields under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry were consolidated into one field.

  • Machine Parts and Tooling IndustriesCasting, forging, die casting, machining, metal press, factory sheet metal work, plating, aluminum anodizing, finishing, machine inspection, machine maintenance, painting, welding

  • Industrial Machinery IndustryCasting, forging, die casting, machining, painting, iron work, factory sheet metal work, plating, finishing, machine inspection, machine maintenance, industrial packaging, electrical equipment assembling, electronic equipment assembling, printed wiring board manufacturing, plastic molding, metal press, welding

  • Electric, Electronics and Information IndustriesMachining, metal press, factory sheet metal work, plating, finishing, machine maintenance, electrical equipment assembling, electronic equipment assembling, printed wiring board manufacturing, plastic molding, painting, welding, industrial packaging

Jurisdiction of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

  • Construction IndustryFormwork construction, plastering, concrete pumping, tunnel and propulsion, construction machinery and construction, earthwork, roofing, telecommunications, reinforcement construction, reinforcing bar joints, interior finishing/material mounting, scaffolding, carpentry, plumbing, building sheet metal work, heat-retention and cool-retention, spray urethane insulation, offshore civil engineering

  • Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery IndustryWelding, painting, iron work, finishing, machining, electrical equipment assembling

  • Automobile Repair and MaintenanceAutomobile everyday inspection and maintenance, regular inspection and maintenance, disassembly

  • Aviation IndustryAirport ground handling (ground driving support services, baggage and freight handing services), aircraft maintenance (maintenance of aircraft and equipment, etc.)

  • Accommodation IndustryProviding accommodation services, such as working at the front desk, planning/public relations, hospitality, restaurant services

Jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

  • AgricultureGeneral crop farming (cultivation management, collection/shipping/sorting of agricultural products, etc.), general livestock farming (breed management, collection/shipping/sorting of livestock products, etc.)

  • Fishery and Aquaculture IndustriesFishery (production and repair of fishing gear, search for marine animals and plants, operation of fishing gear and machinery, capture of marine animals and plants, processing and storage of catch, ensuring health and safety, etc.), aquaculture industry (production, repair and management of aquaculture materials, breed management, collection (harvesting) and processing of aquaculture animals and plants, ensuring health and safety, etc.)

  • Manufacture of Food and BeveragesGeneral food and beverage manufacturing (manufacturing/processing and health and safety of food and beverages (excluding liquor))

  • Food Service IndustryGeneral restaurant industry (food and beverage processing, customer service, store management)

Blossom! in Japan.

The following videos were produced by March 2022. After May 2022, there are 12 industrial fields.

  • Play movie in a new window:14 in demand occupations
  • Play movie in a new window:Specified Skilled Workers supported in work & life
  • Play movie in a new window:utilize your skills experience