Getting your Japanese work visa

Getting a Japanese work visa is easy but time consuming (not to mention expensive!), so make sure you have enough time to process all your documents and everything will be easy peasy.

However if you are still looking for a job and want to get one before you land in Japan, I don’t think that’s possible unless you hold a passport to any of the countries allowed to have a working holiday visa in Japan.

In that case, don’t  come to me for answers as I have no experience with that. I am only sharing what happened to me and my application for the work visa.


So, first things first. Get the Certificate of Eligibility. Your employer in Japan will be the one to take care of this so just submit all of the requirements to them.

Certificate of Eligibility

Certificate of Eligibility (Courtesy of

Here are the requirements they asked from me:

1.) Certificate of Eligibility Application form that has been filled out

2.) Two ID pictures (4cm vertical 3 cm horizontal)

3.) A photocopy of my passport

4.) The signed contract

5.) An original copy of my diploma

They might ask you for several other documents that will prove to the Ministry of Justice that you are qualified for the work that you are applying for. Usually it takes 3 weeks to a few months for them to process everything.

While mine only took 2 weeks to process, I did read on the internet about several people waiting 3 months to 6 months for their CoE. So make sure that all of your documents are in order and that you are qualified for the job you are applying for. Just hope that they don’t ask for any additional documents as this will mean an even longer wait.

Now the CoE doesn’t guarantee you entrance to Japan. You have to get an entry visa at a Japanese Embassy or Consulate near you.  As well as any other document required by your country to have.

BE SURE to have your CoE stapled to your passport (after getting your visa) because you will still need that when you land.


The requirements for the visa are:

1.) Passport (Broken Lamination of the Photo part is not accepted)
(Must have signature and have at least 2 blank pages)

2.) Visa Application Form

3.) Photo (2×2 white background and must be pasted on the application form)

*EXEMPTION of birth certificate and marriage contract if the applicant has his/her passport (old or valid) with a used Japanese Visa*

4.) Birth Certificate
(Must be from NSO and issued within 1 year. If you don’t have one you can submit a birth certificate from the local civil registrar, baptismal certificate, school record (form 137) and school yearbook (if applicable)

5.) Marriage Contract (If married)
(Must be from NSO and issued within 1 year. In case of non-record, you must submit a certificate of non-record together with the one from Local Civil Registrar.)

6. Certificate of Eligibility (Must be issued within 3 months)

7. Copy of Certificate of Eligibility

(Note: For Non-Filipinos, you might not need the birth/marriage certificate. But they may ask for other requirements so better be safe and call your local Japanese embassy.)

Now, as far as I know, the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines does not accept walk-in applicants so I applied through a travel agent. The embassy has a list of accredited agencies so I suggest you check them on their website.

The entire process only took me 3 business days. I went to the travel agency on a Tuesday, after lunch, and spent less than 15 minutes there. They called me on Thursday afternoon to tell me that I can pick up my passport and that the visa has already been approved. Very easy and very fast.

According to, the Japanese Consul office is closed on Wednesdays to process visa applications so if you submit your documents on a Tuesday so you won’t have to wait too long for the results.


Okay, so you’ve taken your first step on Japanese soil. What are the things you need to do?

Because of Japan’s New Residency Management System which took effect on July 9th, 2012, you have to follow the procedures below:
**Copied from the note my employer sent me**

Landing Permission
(At Narita, Haneda, Chubu and Kansai Airports)

An immigration inspector stamps your passport with a seal of landing permission and, in case you are permitted to stay in Japan for a mid-to-long period of time, the inspector will issue a Residence Card.

At Narita and the other three airports, there are special lanes dedicated only to those waiting for their Residence Cards to be issued.

(At the other ports of entry or departure)
An immigration inspector stamps your passport with a seal of landing permission and, in case you are permitted to stay in Japan for a mid-to-long period of time, the inspector will stamp “Residence Card will be issued at a later date” beside the landing permission seal.
In this case, after you receive this permission, submit a notification of your residence to the municipality office of your residence. Then, the Residence Card Section of Tokyo Immigration Bureau will send your Residence Card directly to the residence you reported.

Contact information:
Immigration Information Center
(Weekdays between 8:30 to 17:15)
Phone: 0570-013904
(IP phone, PHS, International call: 03-57967112)

Hopefully these information will help you get your Japanese work visa.

I’m going to make a post about getting the OEC tomorrow so stay tuned :)


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