Daily Management Review

Japan plans to expand list of areas of employment for foreigners in 2022


Japan's immigration authorities plan to expand the list of fields of employment for foreign workers in 2022, in which their stay in the country will not be limited to five years as it is now, and will also open the possibility to invite family members to join them, the Nikkei newspaper wrote.

In 2019, a law that allows companies to hire highly specialised foreign workers came into force in Japan. The law applies to 14 areas, including construction, agriculture, food processing, cleaning, fishing and others. For employment in 12 of these 14 industries, the foreign worker's stay in Japan was strictly limited to five years.

In addition, a foreign worker employed in the fields specified in the law could not bring his or her family to live in Japan like highly skilled foreign specialists. The only exceptions were two sectors - construction and shipbuilding. If employed in these sectors, workers were entitled to extend their visas unlimited number of times and to obtain a permanent residence permit after 10 years and having passed the qualification examinations.

However, due to an acute shortage of workers, particularly against the backdrop of an ageing population, Japanese authorities have contemplated lifting restrictions on the length of stay of foreign workers in 13 of the 14 sectors and allowing them to bring in their families. The only exception is hiring long-term caregivers for whom a different extension of stay scheme is envisioned, but it is not specified whether they, too, would be able to invite families to Japan.

source: asia.nikkei.com