Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals

pen and bookIn accordance with the amendment on the Immigration Act, Highly Skilled Foreign Professional has been included in one of the statuses of residence in April, 2015.

The person with outstanding abilities and credentials will be granted the status of residence as “Highly skilled professional”.

Factors to be evaluated as highly skilled foreign professionals are calculated under the points-based system.  Foreign professionals who get at least 70 points will be considered as “highly-skilled foreign professionals” and will be given preferential immigration treatment.

Those who already hold Designated Activity (highly skilled foreign professionals) are able to stay in Japan until maturity of the residence card.  After 3 years of activity as highly skilled foreign professional,  they can select either to keep staying under Designated Activity or to apply directly for Highly Skilled Professional (ii).

There are 3 catogories on the activities of highly skilled foreign professionals :

1. Advenced academic research activities
2. Advanced specialized/technical activities
3. Advenced business management activities

A variety of preferential treatments are available to highly skilled foreign professionals.

Details of preferential immigration treatments

● Highly skilled professional (i)

1. Permission for multiple purposes of activities
2. Uniformly grant of the longest period of stay (5 years)
3. Easing of requirements for permanent residence
4. Work permission for the spouse of the highly skilled foreign professional  
5. Permission for bringing a parent(s) to accompany the highly-skilled foreign professional to Japan under certain conditions
6. Permission for a domestic worker to accompany the highly-skilled professional to Japan under certain conditions
7. Preferential processing of entry and residence procedures

● Highly skilled professional (ii)  * eligible for foreign nationals who have engaged in activities of “Highly Skilled Professional (i)” for three years or more.

a. In conjunction with the activities “Highly Skilled Professional (i) permitted to engage in almost all of the activities of statuses of residence based on employment
b. Granted an indefinite period of stay as long as the activity as highly skilled professional continues
c. Eligible for the preferential treatment of the (3) to (6) for the above (i).

* Those who have passed 3 years with Designated Activity (highly skilled foreign professionals) are applicable to change to this status directly.

Ministry of Justice will amend rules for becoming permanent resident of Japan applied to Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals. At present foreign nationals who have engaged in activities as highly skilled foreign professionals for approximately 5 years are eligible to obtain permission for permanent residence. New rule will largely reduce period of engagement (as highly skilled) to three years, and for those who score 80 points or more to one year. Foreigners who engage in IT area, invest large amount, graduates of top-notch universities will also be granted additional points to help them reach 80 points. New rule will be implemented around March 2017. Detail of amendment is to be announced later and subject to change. (as of January 18, 2017)


How to determine your points : (Ministry of Justice homepage)

To calculate the point >> Point calculation form
Explanation on point calculation >> Details on point calculation forms
Additional point evaluation
List of foreign qualifications and awards
>> Japanese language proficiency levels  


Q1.  What is multiple purposes of activities ?
A.    Foreign residents are allowed to act within the scope of activities under each status of residence.  In contrast, when acknowledged as highly skilled professional, he/sha can do other related activities than their regular work, without having permission to work part-time.

Q2.  How permanent residency requirement be eased ?
A.    In principle foreign nationals are required to stay in Japan for the continuous 10 years to apply for permanent residency.  However, foreign nationals who engage in the activity as highly skilled foreign professionals for 5 years are eligible to obtain permanent residency.
Application is accepted after 4 years and 6 months.

Q3.  Is there a minimum annual salary requirement ?
A.    3 million yen  including bonus is the minimum for – Advanced specialized/technical activities and – Advenced business management activities.

Q4.  What happens if the total point falls below 70 while working as highly skilled foreign professional ?
A.    It is not necessary to maintain 70 points at all times.  However if the total score becomes below 70 at the renewal, visa cannot be extended.

For other questions, feel free to ask.

>> ask us for more details or assistance

For the inquiry or to book a consultation, please
・ use contact form
・ email us at contact@fellows-legal.jp
・ call us at 03-3461-2761 (from overseas +81-3-3461-2761)

Business hours : Monday to Friday 10:00am ~ 7:00pm
Meetings out of business hours or weekends are available by appointment