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Skilled labor visa

What is a skilled labor visa?

In general, it is a visa that is obtained by a foreigner who has proficient skills.

The types of jobs include those below.

・Cooks for the cuisines of various countries

・Carpenter for building or civil engineering that is unique to a foreign country

・Processing engineer for precious metal and fur


・Sports trainer

Points for a skilled labor visa

The key point for a skilled labor visa is submission of materials that prove the content of the foreigner’s practical experience and work content concerning special skills. The company side will be screened for stability and continuity. It will be necessary to sufficiently prove such things. The Immigration Bureau conducts screening of skilled labor visas carefully because many illegal entries into the country are made. For that reason, there are many cases in which it takes longer to obtain permission compared with other visas.


I would like to explain a visa for a foreign cook. This refers to a foreign cook for something such as French food, Italian food, or Chinese food. A working visa in such a case is called a “skilled labor visa.” It is a visa for the purpose of working as a cook in Japan.


As the name implies, the condition for a skilled labor visa is that the person has “proficient skills.”


There are three points.


(1) The foreign person has at least ten years of practical experience.
Proof will be made by something such as a certificate of employment that can prove practical experience as a cook. An investigation will be made about whether the practical experience is true and whether the restaurant exists, so please be sure to avoid making a false application.

(2) The restaurant’s menu has a course menu as well as single dishes, and it is a “specialty restaurant” for foreign food. It is difficult to pass the screening by work at a Japanese restaurant or a bar.

(3) The restaurant is of a certain scale with a number of seats.
It is difficult to pass the screening if the restaurant is really small. However, if there are approximately 20 to 30 seats the criteria can be cleared.

Is it possible to invite a foreign cook for a restaurant that has just newly opened?

Yes, it is possible. It is possible to invite a foreign cook from the relevant country even if the restaurant has just opened. However, because it has just opened and is in a situation in which there are no past results, it will be necessary to prepare a written business plan that includes a calculation of profits and losses and submit it to the Immigration Bureau. Permission for a visa will not be refused because the restaurant has just opened. We are often asked how many people can be brought to Japan, but this depends on the restaurant’s scale, number of seats, sales, and business plan. You should be able to prove the necessity of employing that number of cooks. It is possible to apply even before the restaurant opens, but the minimum condition for making an application is that you have already obtained permission for operating a restaurant. As for the restaurant, a “specialty restaurant that operates something that was invented in a foreign country and is special in Japan” will be subject to permission for a skilled labor visa. Therefore, the point for screening will be the question of whether it is a specialty restaurant that serves foreign food.

The way of thinking about the number of years of practical experience

In order to obtain a “skilled labor visa” for a foreign cook, in principle it will be necessary for the person to have at least ten years of practical experience. It will also be necessary to prove those ten years of practical experience in each type of certificate. We are often asked about the way of counting ten years of experience. The Immigration Bureau’s screening standards are that it is “a person who has at least ten years of practical experience in techniques related to preparing meals or manufacturing food that was invented in a foreign country and is special in Japan (including time spent majoring in a subject related to such meal preparation or food manufacturing at an educational institution in a foreign country) and is engaged in the duties that requires such techniques”. Therefore, in addition to actual practical experience, if the person studied the relevant cuisine at a place such as a vocational school it is possible to include the period of being a student to calculation of the total period of time. Please keep in mind that for the criteria of ten years or more of practical experience, permission will not be granted even if there is a deficiency of one to two months; therefore, it will be necessary to accurately have at least ten years o f experience.

Information about free consultations

If you have any concerns about for a visa, we recommend that you first consult an immigration lawyer who has detailed knowledge about visa applications. Making an early consultation is the key to ensuring visa permission.

Samurai Immigration Law Firm accepts consultations about visa applications. We will search for measures that correspond to the circumstances of each client and suggest a path to obtain permission.

We conduct free consultations, so please feel free to consult us first.
There are two methods of applying for a consultation. * All consultations require an appointment.

1. Make a consultation application by telephone

2. Make an application through the website

We have offices in Tokyo's
Ikebukuro・Shinjuku・Shibuya・Ueno and Nagoya.
Thank you.

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