News / 2020.03.27

80% of respondents with a status of residence who have working restrictions are working towards acquiring the "specified skilled" visa [Obstacles for acquiring the "specified skilled" visa are "not knowing how to apply" and "being unable to find a place of employment"]

As it will be one year from the start of the "specified skills" visa in April of this year, a questionnaire* was conducted by YOLO JAPAN Co., Ltd. (Representative Director: Taisuke Kaji, Tokyo Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; hereafter ""YOLO JAPAN"").  According to the survey, of the foreign residents who have working restrictions, 80% responded that they are now collecting information or applying for the acquisition of the specified skills visa. The specified skills visa will allow them to work for up to 5 years in 14 industries.  These industries have significant human resource shortages.

*Survey period: December 10, 2019 ~ January 22, 2020, respondents: 294 YOLO JAPAN members from 57 countries


■TOPICS

1.  Of the foreign residents who have working restrictions, 80% are willing to acquire the specified skills visa, mainly because they will be able to reside in Japan long-term

2.  Hotel and restaurant industries are popular, but depending on the type of status of residence, the actual type of work differs

3.  Obstacles for acquiring the specific skills visa include the "application method" and the requirements

4.  The main information source for the specified skills visa are social media or social media sites


1.  Of the foreign residents with working restrictions, 80% of them said the main reason they would like to acquire the specified skills visa is because they will be able to reside in Japan long-term

YOLO JAPAN members who responded to the questionnaire possess one of the following visas that allows them to stay in Japan but with working restrictions: Technical intern trainees, international students, dependents, specific activities, cultural activities.  These are some of the responses regarding the specified skills visa, "I am considering acquiring the visa, and I am now collecting information" (65%), "I would like to acquire the visa, and I am now taking action to acquire the visa such as by submitting an application" (15%).  In addition, it was found that 34 respondents had already acquired the specific skills visa.

In addition, regarding those who have completed the technical intern trainee 2 and who do not have to take the examination to apply for the specified skills visa, out of those respondents (including technical intern trainees 1~3), 90% responded that they would like to switch over to the specified skills visa, thus revealing there is a high degree of interest in acquiring this visa.  There are multiple reasons for this response, these are some of the reasons: "Because I can stay in Japan for a long time" (78%), "Because I can call my family over to Japan" (58%), "Because there are no restrictions on working hours" (53%), "Because there is support from an institution or a registered support organization" (50%).


2.  Hotel and restaurant industries are popular, but the actual type of work done depends on the type of status of residence

As for the desired industry type for the specified skilled visa (multiple answers were possible), the industry that ranked at the top was the hotel industry which includes hospitality services such as front desks and restaurants.  This was followed by the food industry, food and beverages manufacturing industry and nursing care.  These results reveal that industries with a relatively high degree of being accepted into are gathering popularity.  After these industries, electrical and electronic information-related industries and industrial machinery manufacturing industries followed.  It is expected that technical intern trainees will switch their visas over to these latter industries.

When comparing the types of specified skills acquired, the total number of technical interns who acquired visas for the industrial machinery manufacturing industry (27%) and the electrical / electronic information related industry (27%) exceeded over 50%. On the other hand, among foreigners who stayed in Japan as international students, dependents, specific activities holders, cultural activities holders, they frequently acquired their specified skills visa in nursing care (17%) and in the restaurant industry (17%).


3.  Obstacles for acquiring the specific skills visa include the "application method" and the requirements

Although interest for the specified skills is high among foreigners, many have little understanding of how to apply for the visa.  It is clear to see that the application method itself is an obstacle for many foreigners.  Technical intern trainees responded that they would like to switch over to the specified skills, but nearly 40% said that they were "unable to apply."  Including those who responded multiple times, of the 40% more than 60% (64%) said, ""I don't know how to apply."

Additionally, nearly a quarter of the respondents said, "I cannot find a place of employment" (21%), thus revealing the difficulty of fulfilling an important prerequisite in order to acquire the specified skills visa, that of finding a place of employment.

Among technical intern trainees who are exempt from taking the exam in order to apply for the specified skills visa and who are already employed in an industry, some of these who responded that they could not apply for the specified skills visa said, "I don't know which industry I can apply for" (21%) or "My desired industry with the specified skills and the training that I received when I was a technical intern trainee does not match" (14%).  These responses show that some foreigners are unable to come to a decision because they must apply according to the industry type. 

In addition, of the international students, dependents, specific activities holders, cultural activities holders, 80% said that they couldn't apply for the specified skills visa.  The most common reason was, "I couldn't pass the Japanese or technical proficiency test."  This suggests that the difficulty level of the tests for foreigners is high.  Regarding the Japanese and technical proficiency tests, 1 in 2 respondents feel that the tests are difficult, and more than 70% of the respondents feel that the Japanese used in the technical proficiency test is difficult to understand.  Some of the respondents also said, "I don't know how to apply" (42%), "Because no proficiency test is being held in my desired industry" (14%).  Administrative issues such as difficulty in understanding the acquisition procedure and delays in the exam schedule have been pointed out.


4.  The main source of information for the specified skills visa is social media or social media sites

Regarding on how information about the specified skills was obtained, many of the respondents answered that they obtained information through social media and social media sites (61%). Also, word-of-mouth (34%) from acquaintances and friends was another popular method to acquire information.  In addition, a certain percentage of people obtained information from the government website of Japan (43%) or from the government website of their own country (19%).  Of the 40 technical intern trainees who responded, 14 said that they received information from an employer of the trainee program.


Regarding the specified skills visa system, more than half of the foreigners said, "It is difficult but manageable".  We asked them how they think information for the specified skills can be obtained more clearly and accurately.  The following are their comments.

"I think it would be nice to see detailed information on how to acquire the specified skills.  Also, it would be nice to be able to go to a website where we can see information on how to apply, the requirements for obtaining the visa, and to be able to get support."  (Philippines, 20s, female)

"It would be nice to be able to go into a chat room to ask questions when there's something I don't understand."  (Indonesia, 20s, female)

"If you can provide a detailed explanation in the user's mother tongue on a website of the user's home country, I think we will be able to understand." (Korea, 20s, female)

"It would be very nice if you could give us notices from the homepage of the Japanese Government or provide us with support in acquiring the specified skills." (China, 20s, female)

YOLO JAPAN offers job information and courses related to the specified skills visa.

First, the job posting website for foreigners "YOLO Baito" provides job postings for those who possess the specified skills and for those who are seeking to acquire the specified skills.  They also make postings to promote companies that support the obtaining of the specified skills visa.  In addition, a preparatory course for the specified skills test, "YOLO Specified Skills Preparatory Course" is provided for foreigners working in Japan.  This service is a preparatory course to help you to pass the exam in order to obtain the "specified skills" visa.  Both online / offline courses are available, so you will be able to take the course anywhere in Japan.

YOLO JAPAN will continue to carry out surveys and questionnaires on the specified skills visa. By doing so we hope to be able to communicate with you the current status of how the specified skills is being accepted and share with you the opinions of other foreign residents.

Related Articles

Service