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Planning studies in Japan

Procedure for Changing Your Status of Residence

Change in Your Status of Residence

Foreigners reside in Japan under one of twenty-seven status-of-residence categories, and the activities that they may engage in are determined by their status of residence.

If a foreign student plans to work full-time in Japan, the student must change his or her status of residence from College Student to one that allows full-time work in Japan, such as Specialist in the Humanities/International Services or Engineer.

Even if your job is not decided until graduation, you may continue finding full-time employment for one year by changing your status of residence from College Student to Designated Activities. (The status of residence may be granted for six months with a one-time extension, i.e., for a maximum of one year.)

1)Application Procedure

Go to the nearest regional or district immigration bureau or branch office to change your status of residence from College Student to one that allows you to work full-time. We suggest that you call in advance to confirm their opening hours, etc. The documents that you will need to submit include the following:

List of documents required for your status change

Changing your status of residence to Specialist in the Humanities/International Services or Engineer

i)Documents that you need to prepare
  • Your passport (or Travel Document for Aliens in the case of those without passports)
  • Your residence card
  • Change of status of residence permit application form (Available at regional immigration bureaus)
  • Resume (There is no fixed format but clearly indicate your educational and work history)
ii)Documents that you need to get from your prospective employer
  • A copy of your employment contract: If there is no formal contract, a written appointment or hiring notice will be sufficient. However, it needs to clearly state what kind of work you will engage in (in as much detail as possible), the duration of your employment and remuneration.
  • Copies of the company registration (issued within 3 months of the application) and financial statement (balance sheet and profit and loss statement).
  • Corporate guide (Brochures of the company that clearly describes the content of your employer's business)
iii)Documents that you need to get from your university
  • Certificate of graduation from your university (Certificate of prospect to graduate also accepted) should be the original.

Changing your status of residence from College Student to Designated Activities allowing the continuation of job hunting

i)Documents that you need to prepare
  • Change of status of residence permit application form (Available at regional immigration bureaus)
  • Your photograph
  • Your passport
  • Your residence card or alien registration certificate that is regarded as equivalent to residence card
  • Document certifying your ability to pay all of your expenses during your stay in Japan
  • Document to authenticate yourself

Necessary documents vary with the foreigner, and depend on whether the foreigner under the status of residence as Student graduated from a university specified by the School Education Act of Japan or obtained a diploma and finished a specialized course of a professional training college.
For details, check the website of the Ministry of Justice.