On February 18, 2023, people cross a street in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. Japan is going to launch a new and simpler system for granting highly skilled professional visas to foreign workers on April 21, the Immigration Services Agency said on Friday.
Aiming at attracting more overseas talent to the country, the new system will give preferential treatment to foreign applicants who meet certain requirements, such as having a master's degree and an annual income of at least 20 million yen $150,000.
Under the present system, points are awarded based on academic and employment background, as well as annual income. After three years, applicants with points beyond a certain level are granted a five-year highly skilled professional visa and can obtain a visa with an indefinite period of stay.
If a candidate meets the simplified requirements and receives five-year visas, they will be eligible for a permanent visa after residing in Japan for one year, compared to three years for current holders.
The new measure was instituted by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who instructed relevant ministries to consider reforms to attract highly skilled human resources to Japan, including the creation of a new system that ranks among the best in the world.