Finding Part-time Work
For Foreign Students in Japan
Many foreign students choose to do part-time work to help pay their tuition or living expenses. Today, 75% of foreign students are engaged in some type of part-time work in Japan (Source: JASSO survey 2013). However, under the status of residence of "College Student," which is given to foreign students, they are originally allowed to reside in Japan for the purpose of studying at school, and it is not permitted for foreign students to work for a paid job. Therefore, if anyone resides in Japan with the status of "College Student" and still wishes to take a paid part-time job, he/she is required to obtain an official permission called shikakugai katsudo kyoka (Permit to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted) from the nearest regional immigration bureau. In such a case, the students must observe the condition that such paid work will not interfere with their schoolwork, which is their original purpose of residence in the country. As an exemption, no such permission is required for activities as educational/research assistants who are paid and work based on a contract with a university or a technical college to which an applying student belongs. (Note: For technical college students, only those who are in the 4th and 5th grade or in advanced courses are eligible for this exemption)
For foreign students who wish to work part-time, the first thing to do is to apply for and obtain a shikakugai katsudo kyoka (Permit to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted) at the nearest Regional Immigration Bureau.
List of Regional Immigration Bureaus
The following documents are necessary for making an application to the Immigration Bureau.
The application is free of charge.
Ministry of Justice Application for Permission to Engage in Activity Other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously
Immigration Bureau Procedural guidance
Foreign students are allowed to work part-time for limited work hours only and are required to observe the conditions as shown in the table below.
|(Status of residence)||Type of Permit||Permitted work hours|
|Weekly||During long-term school break|
|Exchange Student||University students (undergraduate/graduate) and students of similar educational institutes||Permitted on equal conditions||Up to 28 hours||Up to 8 hours per day|
|Auditing university students and research students|
|Students of technical colleges and other similar educational institutes|
(those who aim to reside in Japan for continued job search activities or for a waiting period until the beginning of the employment, and their dependents)
|Cultural activities||Permitted on individual conditions (Location and type of work will be specified)||Determined individually|
*An additional permission is required on an individual basis for a period in which hours of paid activities exceed 28 hours per week.
*No limitation of work hours is set for activities as educational/research assistants who are paid and work based on a contract with a university or a technical college given that they should not interfere with the students' own schoolwork.
It is strictly prohibited by laws and regulations for foreign students to work in entertainment service establishments that may affect public morals. For example, the students cannot work at places such as bars and cabarets where servers are seated at the customer's table to serve, or pachinko parlors and mahjong houses etc., even as a dishwasher or a cleaner.
The following resources are available for foreign students who are looking for a part-time job:
■ Student affairs office at universities and schools
■ Employment magazines and newspaper ads
■ Public employment offices (Hello Work)
■ Circles of friends, classmates, acquaintances, etc.
■ Bulletin boards at schools
■ Job information websites