HOME > For Foreign Students in Japan > Working after Graduation

Working in Japan after Graduation

The number of foreign workers in Japan was 717,504 (as of October 2013), which was an increase of 35,054 from the number in the same period last year. This was a record high since the notification of the employment of foreign workers became mandatory in 2007. In recent years, an increasing number of foreign students have been working in Japanese companies after their graduation.

The procedures needed for foreign students to find full-time employment are basically the same as those for Japanese students. You will need to research companies through various reference materials and then contact the company that you are interested in. In what schedule should students find full-time employment in Japan? In terms of schedule, many Japanese firms tend to recruit students fresh out of school. Therefore, there is a tendency that both students and companies perform various recruitment and employment activities during a particular season. It is important that you are aware of the schedule.
Grasp the schedule for finding full-time employment and think of what you need now.

Collecting information about job opportunities

1)Utilize employment magazines
Ryugakusei no tame no Shushoku Joho (Employment Information for Foreign Students) published by the Japan Student Services Organization.
For information regarding Schedule for finding full-time employment, please refer to the following web sites:

2)Utilize the Employment Service Center for Foreigners
From the viewpoint of enhancing international competitiveness, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is promoting the employment of foreigners in the professional and technical fields, including employment support to foreign students in Japan. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is providing foreign students with a variety of job-finding information through the Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka Employment Service Center for Foreigners, employment support (career guidance) starting from an early stage after admission, an internship program, and job interview meetings.

Main contents of support
  • 1. Employment guidance for international students
  • 2. Cooperation with universities (visit guidance)
  • 3. Internships for international students
  • 4. Implementation of job interview meetings for foreign students
  • 5. Career counseling and job placement for international students

3)Utilize the Internet

Utilize not only information websites for the employment of foreign students but also information websites for Japanese students.

Recently, an increasing number of companies have been opening information on employment opportunities on their websites and accepting inquiries by e-mail.

Employment Information Website for Japanese Students

4)Joint Company Briefing and Participation in Seminars
Many companies hold joint enterprise briefings and seminars without specific selection at a venue. You will understand the companies by attending such briefings and seminars. Participate in them actively.

Seminar information is published on each corporate websites and job information websites. You can search information on such briefings and seminars, including the opening days, on each job information websites. Seminar information is constantly updated. Frequently check it.

Change in Your Status of Residence

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

1)Application Procedure
Go to the nearest regional or district immigration bureau or branch office to change your status of residence from College Student to one that allows you to work full-time. We suggest that you call in advance to confirm their opening hours, etc. The documents that you will need to submit include the following ones:

List of documents required for your status change
■Changing your status of residence to Specialist in the Humanities/International Services or Engineer
i)Documents that you need to prepare
  • Your passport (or Travel Document for Aliens in the case of those without passports)
  • Your residence card
  • Change of status of residence permit application form (Available at regional immigration bureaus)
  • Resume (There is no fixed format but clearly indicate your educational and work history)
ii)Documents that you need to get from your prospective employer
  • A copy of your employment contract: If there is no formal contract, a written appointment or hiring notice will be sufficient.
    However, it needs to clearly state what kind of work you will engage in (in as much detail as possible), the duration of your employment and remuneration.
  • Copies of the company registration (issued within 3 months of the application) and financial statement (balance sheet and profit and loss statement).
  • Corporate guide (Brochures of the company that clearly describes the content of your employer's business)
iii)Documents that you need to get from your university
  • Certificate of graduation from your university (Certificate of prospect to graduate also accepted) should be the original.
■Changing your status of residence from College Student to Designated Activities allowing the continuation of job hunting
i)Documents that you need to prepare
  • Change of status of residence permit application form (Available at regional immigration bureaus)
  • Your photograph
  • Your passport
  • Your residence card or alien registration certificate that is regarded as equivalent to residence card
  • Document certifying your ability to pay all you 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.
Website of Ministry of Justice(Japanese)

After you submit the necessary documents, the immigration bureau will make an examination and notify you by mail regarding the outcome.
The immigration bureau grants permission for foreign students to stay for work if the content of the work and the history of residence in Japan match the necessary qualifications for such residence statuses as Specialist in the Humanities/International Services or Engineer.

If you're considering
studying in Japan

- Benefits of Studying in Japan
- Schools & Life in Japan
- Start By Finding Out the Basics

Gateway to Study in Japan, a website operated by JASSO


Other Scholarships

- What other scholarships available?
- What procedures are required?
- How shall I begin?

Do not give up! There is still a way!

JASSO’s website

Learning in English at Universities

Website of Global30, a project promoted by the Japanese government


List of undergraduate courses (JASSO’s website)

List of graduate courses (JASSO’s website)