Employment-related laws and regulations for foreigners
If you want to hire foreign staff we require you to understand the related laws and regulations.
If you need more information on these laws and regulations you can consult with agencies such as Hello Work or checking the links on our site.

Bits of knowledge about hiring foreign staff

1. Employment rules

If you are thinking about hiring foreign staff, please read the "Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act" provided by the Immigration Bureau of Japan and the "Employment Policy for Foreign Workers" provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, for a better understanding of differences between local and foreign staff.

Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act - Immigration Bureau of Japan
Employment Policy for Foreign Workers (Japanese) - Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Foreign Staff Employment - Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

2. Visa

You will also have to check whether the person is allowed to work in Japan. It is all depending on the status of residence.

You can read more about the different visa types below.

List of visa types (Japanese) - Immigration Bureau of Japan

【Jobs where foreign staff are mainly considered】
Below is a list of jobs foregners are allowed to do.

-Teaching on university or college level.
-Entertainemt: composer, painter, writer etc.
-Dispatched to Japan for religious reasons
-Foreign news reporter or photographer
-Foreign business management
-Lawyer, public accountant etc.
-Medical: doctor, dentist, nurse etc.
-Research: public or private sector
-Language instructor on junior high school or high school level.
-Technichian: mechanical engineering etc.
-Interpreter, designer, language instructor etc.
-Transfer to Japan from a branch abroad
-Actor, musician, dancer, professional athlete etc.
-Possessing a special skill such as: cooking, piloting, sports coaching, crafting etc.

【Exceptions to the above】
Below is a list of types of statuses where there are no limits regarding working in Japan.

-Permanent residency recieved from the Ministry of Justice
-Spouse, biological child or adopted chiled of a Japanese national
-Spouse of a permanent resident or child of a foreign national born in Japan
-3rd generation Japanese born abroad and similar cases

【Other statuses】
-People who can help in further developing skills, technology and knowledge that has been developed in Japan
-People participating in specific cross country programs such as Working Holiday

■Not recognized statuses
Foreign nationals studying in Japan and foreign spouses to foreign nationals residing in Japan are generally not allowed to work. However, it is possible to apply for a working permit at the local immigration office allowing he/she to work up to 28 hours/week.

3. Obligations for the employer

Companies who have hired foreign staff are obliged to report to Hello Work with information such as name, status of residence etc.

Foreign Employment Situation Notification (Japanese)

■Foreign nationals who have to be reported
All foreign nationals working in Japan except for those under diplomacy or official status will have to be reported to Hello Work. Special permanent residents are also an exception and do not have to be reported.

■How to report
To report your foreign staff, you will have to check up on the correct employment insurances and from there provide the information needed. Deadlines might be different depending on insurance.

*Download the adequate form from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's website and hand it in to Hello Work.

  Forms can be found here (Japanese)

*Information about how to fill out the form can also be found on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's website.

  Information on employment of foreign staff can be found here (pdf)

About hiring foreign staff

■About recruiting foreign nationals
Please understand that there are many cultural differences between Japan and the country the person is coming from. Please recruit in a fair way, avoiding racial discrimination and such.

■Applying laws and regulations
Various laws and regulations, such as the Labour Standard Act and health insurances, will be applied to all workers, including foreign nationals. Wages and working conditions changing due to discrimination based on nationality, ethnicity, age, gender, religion and handicap is illegal according to Japanese law.

Consultation regarding employing foreign staff

Employment of foreign nationals is requiret to follow the rules set up by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Immigration Bureau. However, these rules can sometimes be difficult to comprehend so we recommend consulting any of the below:

Foreign Employment Management Adviser
Hello Work