Japan Public Certification System to Support Influx of Foreign Workers
A new Japan Public Certification System is under consideration by the Immigration Services Agency (ISA). The ISA is responding to an increasing number of foreign workers in the nation. Japan recently instituted new visas to increase the number of foreign workers and expand its supply of skilled labor. As a result, the ISA has been providing support services to a rising number of foreign workers.
Current Requirements as Precursor to Japan Public Certification System
Currently, a number of entities, businesses, and individuals have registered as support organizations for foreign workers. The ISA now requires these organizations and individuals to:
- Arrange employment for the foreign worker that matches their skills and needs
- Provide adequate support for the foreign worker
Japan does not currently have much infrastructure in place to support foreign workers. As a result, the need to support foreign workers will continue to increase. However, the ISA’s current priority remains the registration of support organizations.
What is the ISA’s Vision for the Japan Public Certification System?
The ISA envisions the Japan Public Certification System as part of a larger foreign worker support system. Certification of a dedicated profession to provide support for foreign workers is seen as a step in the right direction. ISA Commissioner Shoko Sasaki notes that such a system may become a central pillar of the nation’s visa programs for foreign workers.
Why is Japan Seeking Foreign Workers?
Japan issued a new work permit and two new visas specifically to address the country’s severe labor shortage. The work permit and both of the two new visas are seen as solutions to assist up to 14 designated employment sectors that are in extreme need of foreign workers. These employment sectors include agriculture, construction, and nursing.
Type 1 Visa
- Renewable for five years
- Requires successful completion of Japanese test
- Must possess specific skill level in work field
- Cannot bring family members into Japan
Type 2 Visa
- Renewable indefinitely contingent on employment status
- Skill level significantly higher than Type 1 Visa skill level
- Allowed to bring family members into Japan
What Does This Mean?
The ISA recognizes that foreign workers need support as they enter the country and believes the Japan Public Certification System is the correct solution. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe adopted an action plan in December 2018 with several measures designed to help foreign workers obtain the support they need to better assimilate in Japan. This action plans notes 126 steps the Japanese government plans to take, including:
- Improving Japanese language education
- Increasing multilingual services at public institutions and municipal offices
- Encouraging foreign workers to enroll in social insurance programs
What Should Employers do About the Japan Public Certification System?
Employers currently in Japan should continue to stay informed about the country’s changing and expanding work permit and visa programs. They should expect to see an increase in the number of foreign workers seeking jobs as part of the new work permit and visa programs.
Employers should be prepared to register as a support organization with the ISA. They should also stay informed about the ISA’s progress with developing the Japan Public Certification System.
Employers not currently in Japan might consider the country as a strategic location for corporate expansion. The services of an International Professional Employer Organization (PEO) may be useful to help an employer enter Japan and quickly test the local market.
Work with a Qualified and Experienced Relocation Management Company
Employers looking to transfer workers to the country or hire new foreign workers should also provide as much information about Japan as possible. They should work with a qualified and experienced Relocation Management Company (RMC) that can provide a wealth of valuable resources to assist relocating employees and their family members. RMCs have experience with overcoming challenges in relocation programs. They also have knowledge about the challenges that relocating employees face with their move to a new location.
Destination spotlights that highlight many aspects of Japan are helpful resources to share with transferees during their pre-decision process. Video destination spotlights are an excellent resource to visually show employees and their family members their new location.
GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how to grow their company’s international employment. Our team can also help your company understand how to respond to Japan’s new working permit and visas. We can also help your company understand the importance of being fully prepared to participate in the Japan Public Certification System.
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Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s interest in learning more about the Japan Public Certification System, working permit, and two new visas, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.