National

Japan mulls visa test exemptions based on education level

JIJI

Japan plans to grant exemptions from technical tests required for a new category of visa if applicants have attained a certain degree of professional education in their home countries, informed sources say.

A detailed study on the issue is being conducted for nursing care, one of the 14 industries covered by the type one visa category for foreign workers with designated skills, according to the sources.

People who want to work in Japan under the type one visa are required to pass technical and Japanese-language tests, in principle.

The technical tests are expected to be conducted mainly in Vietnam, the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia for the time being. The government is discussing how to deal with applicants from countries and areas where no such tests are planned.

The educational levels required for exemptions will be decided by the ministries and agencies that oversee the 14 industries.

For example, the health ministry, which is in charge of the nursing care sector, is considering exemptions chiefly for graduates of nursing schools, the sources said.

To bolster the nursing care business, the government hopes to accept up to 60,000 foreigners, the largest among the 14 industries, over a period of five years.

According to a draft of the basic policy for the new resident status, to be adopted by the Cabinet by the end of the year, the government plans to assess candidates’ technical skills not only through tests, but other means as well.

Test exemptions for the new visa category are also expected to be granted to people who have completed a three-year technical training program or been allowed to work in the construction and shipbuilding sectors since 2015, aiming to combat labor shortages ahead of the 2020 Olympics.