The Japanese government is launching a new and simplified system to grant highly skilled professional visas to workers from other countries, in an effort to attract overseas talent. According to the Immigration Services Agency, the government plans to grant visas to foreign applicants and introduce treatment for those that are eligible, with some of the main criteria being an annual income of ¥20 million, equivalent to $151,000 and a master’s degree.
The new measure was introduced after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed relevant ministries to consider reforms to attract highly skilled human resources to Japan, including the establishment of a new system that “ranks among the best in the world,” Kyodo News reported.
Under the government’s current points-based system, points are collected based on categories, including academic, employment backgrounds and annual income. This system was considered overly complicated as the global race to acquire skilled workers became more robust. At present, applicants with points that reach a certain level will be granted a visa for highly skilled professionals, which is granted for a five-year period. After a three-year stay period, the candidate can acquire a visa for an indefinite stay in Japan.
Furthermore, highly skilled professional visas can be granted for three types of activity such as advanced academic research, advanced specialized or technical activities, and advanced business and management activities. The new measure will enable applicants with advanced academic research to receive a five-year visa if they have a master’s degree and annual income that surpasses ¥20 million and more, or an employment record of ten years. Those applying for advanced business and management activities will receive five-year visas if they have an employment record of five years and more, as well as an annual income of ¥40 million or more.