The government is considering setting the cap on the number of foreign workers with specified skills it accepts under a special residency status over five years from fiscal 2024 at more than 800,000, people familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The limit will be raised to more than double the current five-year cap, reflecting severe labor shortages in various sectors.

The residency status for specified skilled workers was introduced in April 2019 to secure an adequate labor pool. Type 1 status enables holders to work in Japan for up to five years, while Type 2 for highly skilled workers effectively enables holders to live in the country permanently.