How Long does it take to get a Work Visa for Japan?


Are you dreaming of working in the fascinating land of Japan? From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the serene temples of Kyoto, Japan offers a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern innovation. But before you pack your bags and hop on a plane, you may be wondering just how long it takes to get a work visa for Japan. Well, fear not, dear reader, for in this article, we will unravel the mysteries surrounding work visas in Japan and provide you with all the information you need to embark on your Japanese adventure. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding the Process

Obtaining a work visa for Japan involves several steps, each of which takes a specific amount of time. Here’s a breakdown of the different stages and their respective timelines:

1. Job Hunting (Varies):

The first step towards securing a work visa is finding a job in Japan. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on your skills, qualifications, and the job market in your field. It’s essential to network, polish your resume, and prepare for interviews to increase your chances of landing a suitable position.

2. Employer Sponsorship (1-3 months):

Once you’ve received a job offer, your prospective employer in Japan will usually act as your sponsor and guide you through the visa application process. Your employer will need to submit the necessary documents to the Immigration Bureau of Japan on your behalf. This stage typically takes one to three months, as it involves paperwork, verification, and coordination with multiple parties.

3. Visa Processing (1-2 months):

After your employer submits the required documents, the Immigration Bureau of Japan will review your application and make a decision. This stage usually takes between one to two months, but processing times may vary depending on the workload and the type of visa you’re applying for. It’s important to note that certain visa categories, such as Highly Skilled Professional, may have expedited processing times.

4. Approval and Visa Issuance (1-2 weeks):

If your work visa application is approved, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Immigration Bureau of Japan. This document serves as proof that you are eligible to work in Japan and is typically sent to your employer in Japan. Your employer will then forward the COE to you, and you can take it to your local Japanese embassy or consulate to obtain your work visa. The visa issuance process usually takes around one to two weeks.


Embarking on a new career journey in Japan is an exciting endeavor, but it’s important to have a realistic understanding of the time it takes to obtain a work visa. From finding the right job to navigating the visa application process, patience and persistence are key. By following the steps outlined in this article and staying informed about the latest visa requirements, you can increase your chances of a smooth and successful visa application.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I work in Japan without a work visa?

– No, it is illegal to work in Japan without the appropriate work visa. Working without a valid visa could result in legal consequences, including deportation and future immigration restrictions.

2. Are there any special visas for business professionals or investors?

– Yes, Japan offers a range of visa categories tailored to business professionals and investors. These include the Investor/Business Manager Visa, Intra-Company Transferee Visa, and Business Manager Visa. Each visa has specific requirements and conditions.

3. Can I extend my work visa in Japan?

– Yes, work visas in Japan can be extended by applying for a visa renewal before your current visa expires. The renewal process involves submitting additional documents and fulfilling certain criteria stipulated by the Immigration Bureau of Japan.

4. What if I change jobs while on a work visa?

– If you change jobs while on a work visa, you will need to inform the Immigration Bureau of Japan and follow the necessary procedures to update your visa status. Your new employer will typically guide you through this process.

5. Is Japanese language proficiency required for a work visa?

– While Japanese language proficiency is not a strict requirement for all work visa categories, it can be beneficial, especially for jobs that involve direct interaction with Japanese clients or colleagues. Some employers may prefer candidates with Japanese language skills, depending on the nature of the job.