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Many foreign residents from English speaking countries, work in Japan as language instructors. The demand for native language instructors remains relatively high, with some major language schools even operating recruitment offices overseas.

Other professional fields, in which qualified foreign residents have a good chance to find work, include translation, IT, modeling, gastronomy and entertainment. Being in Japan while job hunting and Japanese language ability are two keys to increase your chances of finding a job in Japan.

Foreign nationals, who wish to engage in paid activities in Japan, require a visa that allows them to work in Japan. It is not permitted to engage in any paid activities on a tourist visa.

There are about a dozen types of working visas, each allowing the holder to engage in paid activities only within a defined professional field, e.g. as an engineer, instructor or entertainer. A job offer in Japan is required to successfully apply for most types of working visas.

Permanent residents of Japan and spouse visa holders (i.e. those married to a Japanese national or permanent resident of Japan) are allowed to engage in any paid activity regardless of the professional field.

Student visa holders are not allowed to engage in paid activities, unless they attain the permission of the immigration office. Even then, students are only allowed to work a set maximum hours per week.

Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland, who are 18 to 30 years old, can also consider a working holiday visa for working in Japan for up to one year.

Page last updated: February 26, 2006