Career change guide

Career Change Can Be Difficult For Foreigners In Japan! Status of Residence & Career Change Situation

After a few years of working in Japan, you’ll get used to your life and work in Japan. At such times, you may feel that you want to try a different job, improving your career, OR raising your annual income.  In this article, for the people who started to consider a “Career Change”, we are going to introduce the RISKS & PRECAUTIONS of the “Status of Residence” (Work Visa) BEFORE you start your career changing activities.

Be Careful When Switching Status of Residence (Work Visa) When Changing Jobs 

First, the MOST CONCERNING thing when you have a career change is your “Work Visa”. 



Will you be able to change careers with your current work visa? What should you do if you’re career change activities and your renewal date for your work visa are at the same time? 



We know you may be filled with Questions & Concerns, but when you think about changing your careers, you Cannot cut the working visa-related procedures.





Do I Need To Change My Status of Residence (Work Visa) When I Change Careers?

The 3 IMPORTANT POINTS when deciding whether it is necessary to change your status of residence when you have a career change.


  • What is the job description for your new company?
  • The job description permitted with your current work visa
  • The expiration date for your work visa


When 「①Job Description At Your New Company」 IS same as 「②The Job Description Permitted With Your Current Work Visa」

 FIRST, let’s go ahead and check whether the content of work changes depending on the change of your career. 



ALTHOUGH, the workplace changes when you change your job, you do not need to change your work visa if the 「①Job Description At Your New Company」 is the same as the 「②The Job Description Permitted With Your Current Work Visa.」 



However, if the 「③The expiration date for your work visa」 is less than 3 months, even if the job description is the same, the procedure of “Application For Permission To Extend The Period of Stay” is REQUIRED. 



Application for permission to change the status of residence is made at the Regional Immigration Bureau, which has jurisdiction over the area of your residence.



IF you have a 「③The expiration date for your work visa」 is more than 3 months, we RECOMMEND that you apply to the Local Immigration Office to obtain a “Work Qualification Certificate.” ※This Is NOT Required※


When You Can’t Judge Whether 「①Job Description At Your New Company」 Is The Same As The 「②The Job Description Permitted With Your Current Work Visa.」

 There can be times where you may not know whether the 「①Job Description At Your New Company」 & 「②The Job Description Permitted With Your Current Work Visa.」 are the same OR different.



In That Case, it is RECOMMENDED to first apply to the local immigration office and obtain a “Work Qualification Certificate”. At the time of issuing this “Work Qualification Certificate”, 「①Job Description At Your New Company」 & 「②The Job Description Permitted With Your Current Work Visa.」 are judged whether the same, so if the “Work Qualification Certificate ” is issued, it is not necessary to change the status of residence.



When you cannot pass the “Inspection”, you will need to complete the procedure scans if the following job descriptions are different.


When 「①Job Description At Your New Company」 Is DIFFERENT from 「②The Job Description Permitted With Your Current Work Visa.」

IF your 「①Job Description At Your New Company」 Is DIFFERENT from 「②The Job Description Permitted With Your Current Work Visa.」 you MUST apply for permission to change your status of residence.



In this case, regardless of the 「③The expiration date for your work visa」, “Application for permission to change the status of residence” should be performed.



The “Application for permission to change the status of residence” is made at the Regional Immigration Bureau, which has jurisdiction over the area of your residence.


Losing Your Status of Residence (Work Visa) When You Retire


Some foreigners are thinking of going on the JOB HUNT to find a new job AFTER leaving the current company, instead of wanting to find a new job at the same time you are still working for a company. 



HOWEVER, if a foreign national decides to retire before finding your new company, you might get your status of residence “REVOKED” if your jobless period continues for more than 3 months.



Even if there is a grace to your period of stay, you may be asked to explain at the time of your next inspection for your renewal of why you had a period of absence. So let’s try and go through all your job change activities so you can re-employ within 3 months regardless of the period of stay.


Career Change In Japan Stock


ALSO, some foreigners may be confused unlike what you thought about the situation of a career change in Japan. You can prevent them from falling into a situation that is “Different from what you thought” by doing job change activities after putting the situation of changing careers in Japan to some extent in advance.


The Idea Against The Number of Career Changes

Compared to other countries, the idea of changing careers isn’t active for the Japanese people. The reason why that is is because of customs such as “Lifetime Employment” & “Seniority”



According to the “APAC Employment Conditions & Growth Awareness Survey” of the PERSOL Research Institute, about 40% of Japanese people say that changing careers should be avoided if possible. In Indonesia, it is about 10%, so you can see the HUGE difference between Japan & Indonesia.



Therefore, the hiring side seems to have a negative impression of the job seekers who have too many career changes. Whether you change your job or not, it’s important to have an objective perspective on how changing careers will affect your career.



Take A Look At This Article

Are You a Job-Hopper? How and Why Your Previous Career Changes Might Affect You in Japan!

(Reference:APAC Employment Situation & Growth Awareness Survey 2019)


Increase In Annual Income With Career Change

Needless to say, many people want to change careers and earn MORE annual income. 



HOWEVER, in Japan, it is known to be a fact that changing careers and annual income may NOT necessarily be directly connected.



According to the “APAC Employment Conditions & Growth Awareness Survey” of the PERSOL Research Institute, in Japan, there is a tendency where you get no increase in your annual income in the first year of changing careers. 



In India and Southeast Asia, annual income tends to increase due to career change. Since it is COMMON to change careers to increase annual income, many foreigners think it’s that way in Japan, but PLEASE BE AWARE that career change DOES NOT mean an increase in your annual income!!!



In Japan, there are FEW cases where you can change careers on the annual income that you WISH for. Even if your annual income RISES, there are many cases where it is less than you wished for. 



There might be people who quit their career change itself if there is NO INCREASE in your annual income.



However, it is IMPORTANT to think about your future career and change your career with a LONG PERSPECTIVE, rather than shying away from companies that have given you the job offers because your annual income will not increase.



EVEN SO, it is important for those who want an increase in annual income to keep on hunting for jobs, it is also important to stick to the career change activities without compromising. 



According to the Ministry of Health, “Employment Trends Survey”, the situation of career change in Japan may be CHANGING due to the survey showing many people had an increase in their annual income with a career change.



(Reference:Ministry of Health Wage Changes of Settlers Who Had A Career Change


Know Your Life Stage When You Change Careers! fizkes


When you GET USED to living in Japan, there may be many people who have a change in their Life Stage with the timing of their career change.



NOT ONLY marriage childbirth, but also buying a car, buying a house, and bringing your family members to Japan. We bet MANY people have different plans according to your LIFE STAGE.



”Dependent Visa” Inviting Your Family To Japan

“Dependent Visa” is a visa that foreigners working in Japan need to obtain when bringing their spouse and children to Japan.



Foreigners who can apply for the Dependent visa are the people with…


Professor|Artist|Religious Activities|Journalist|Business Manager|Legal / Accounting Services|Medical Services|Researcher|Instructor|Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services|Intra-Company Transferee|Entertainer|Skilled Labor|Cultural Activities|Student



It is also ESSENTIAL for the foreigner to support their spouse and children (Especially taking care of the money).



Once you meet these conditions, you can obtain a “Dependent Visa” by applying for a Certificate of Eligibility from the Immigration Bureau that has jurisdiction over the area of your address.



It is possible to apply for a “Dependent Visa” even at the timing of your career change, BUT you must have the income to SUPPORT your spouse and children. 



Therefore, you need to BE CAREFUL because permission for the application of the Dependent Visa may not be obtained when the support cannot be PROVED by changing the type of visa OR your income DECREASES GREATLY.



Even though if you were ready to call your family from overseas IF your application didn’t go through. 



To prevent such RISK, we recommend consulting a specialist as soon as possible if you are WORRIED.


 Not Able To Get A Loan

When you make BIG PURCHASES, it is common to take out a loan, but there is a possibility that even Japanese and foreigners will not be able to take out a loan by changing careers.



You might not be able to take out a loan when the income is judged to be unstable due to frequent career changes, OR if the condition for the loan is the number of years of service. 



IF you are a foreigner who plans to make a BIG PURCHASE from now on, you may want to carefully consider changing your career.



Know The Situation & Risks To Make Your Career Change Smooth

When you try to change your career, you might have more DOUBTS & CONCERNS. 



Especially, there seem to be a lot of cases where foreigners are CONFUSED by the understanding of the status of residence and the situation of the career change in Japan.



In such a case, we recommended to CONSULT with a career change agency who supports many foreigners to change careers. 



You can ask more about the career-changing situations in Japan, and you can get support even if you have any concerns about your status of residence.



We TOMATES AGENT is a career change support agent for foreigners specializing in the IT Industry. Service registration is free, and we will introduce you to the job offer that SUITS YOU! 



IF you are not sure about changing careers, let one of our career advisors to CONSULT WITH YOU!!!

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