Firms seeking foreign help get guidance on visas

by

Staff Writer

The Justice Ministry has drafted guidelines to help companies that want to hire international students understand the types of jobs eligible for granting visas.

The guidelines, released Friday, focus on fields related to creativity and culture, such as animation, manga, fashion, design and food. They are aimed at supporting firms intent on marketing so-called Cool Japan content overseas.

“There is increasing demand” to hire foreign students amid the labor crunch, Junji Ito, an official at the Immigration Bureau, said.

Since many companies are unfamiliar with how the visa system works, however, a need to clarify the system arose.

The guidelines were made “to improve convenience” when hiring young people from overseas who have studied in Japan, Ito said.

According to the guidelines, students can qualify for visas when hired for positions requiring a certain level of expertise and knowledge acquired from Japanese universities and colleges.

For example, students who have studied animation can get a visa if they’re hired by a game production company and asked to design characters, but not if they are only doing less specialized tasks, such as coloring images.

In design, working as an industrial designer at a car manufacturer qualifies one for a visa, but working as a clerk in a fashion boutique does not.

Elsewhere, students hired to take charge of restaurant chains’ overseas expansions will be allowed to work in the service sector for a limited time.

According to the Justice Ministry, of the 17,088 study-abroad students in Japan who applied for visas after being hired here, 15,657 were granted visas in fiscal 2015.