Jobs & Careers in Japan

Changing Status of Residence

Procedure for Changing Your Status of Residence

Foreigners reside in Japan under one of 29 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 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 Student to Designated Activities. (The status of residence may be granted for six months with a one-time extension for a maximum of one year.)

Application Procedure

To change your status of residence from Student to one of the various types of employment, you must generally visit the nearest regional immigration bureau, bureau branch, or branch office in person. 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

【Documents to be submitted when changing to Specialist in the Humanities/International Services or Engineer】

i)Documents that you need to prepare
  • Passport (or travel document) in your name
  • Residence card
  • Application for Change of Status of Residence: Application forms are available at the counter
  • Resume: in any format, including accurate information on educational background and job types
ii)Documents that you need to obtain from your employer
  • A copy of your employment contract: Letter of resignation from employing company or letter of employment is acceptable. A description of the type of work to be performed (in as much detail as possible), duration of employment, and amount of compensation required
  • Certified copy of the commercial register of the employing company: issued within the last 3 months. Financial reports (balance sheets and income statements)
  • Company brochures: Brochures or other materials that describe the business activities of the employing company
iii)Documents that you need to obtain from your university
  • Original certificate of graduation (or certificate of expected graduation)

【When changing your status of residence from Student to Designated Activities (for continuous job hunting)】

i)Documents that you need to prepare
  • Application form for permission for change of status of residence (available at regional immigration bureau)
  • Photograph
  • 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.

Related Pages

We use cookies to provide you with better services on our website. Please clink on "Agree" to agree and proceed. For more information and cookie settings, please click on “See Details”.