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Points-based Preferential Immigration Treatment for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals

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Points-based System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals

1. Overview and purpose of the system

In order to promote entry of highly skilled foreign professionals, a points-based system that provides highly skilled foreign professionals with preferential immigration treatment was introduced on May 7, 2012.

The activities of the highly skilled foreign professionals are classified into three categories: “advanced academic research activities,” “advanced specialized/technical activities,” and “advanced business management activities.” According to characteristic features of each category of the activities, points are set to each item, such as “academic background,” “professional career,” “annual salary,” and the like. If the total points reach a certain number (70 points), preferential immigration treatment will be granted to the relevant person, with the aim of promoting the acceptance of highly skilled foreign professionals in Japan.

2. Concept of “Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals”

Who are the highly skilled professionals that Japan should actively accept?
“The quality, unsubstitutable human resources who have a complementary relationship with domestic capital and labor”, and “the human resources who are expected to bring innovation to the Japanese industries, to promote development of specialized/technical labor markets through friendly competition with Japanese people and to increase efficiency of the Japanese labor markets” (Report of the Council for the Promotion of Acceptance of Highly Skilled Professionals dated May 29, 2009)

The Three Categories of Activities of Highly-Skilled Foreign Professionals
Advanced academic research activities
「Highly Skilled Professional(i)(a)」

Activities of engaging in research, research guidance or education based on a contract entered into with a public or private organization in Japan.
高度学術研究活動
Advanced specialized/technical activities
「Highly Skilled Professional(i)(b)」

Activities of engaging in work requiring specialized knowledge or skills in the field of natural sciences or humanities based on a contract entered into with a public or private organization in Japan.
高度専門・技術活動
Advanced business management activities
「Highly Skilled Professional(i)(c)」

Activities of engaging in the operation or management of a public or private organization in Japan.
高度経営・管理活動

3. Details of preferential immigration treatment

Highly Skilled Professional(i)

  1. 1. Permission for multiple activities
  2. 2. Grant of the “5 years”period of stay
  3. 3. Easing of requirements for permanent residence
  4. 4. Permission for the spouse of the highly skilled foreign professional to work
  5. 5 .Permission for bringing a parent(s) to accompany the highly-skilled foreign professional to Japan under certain conditions
  6. 6. Permission for a domestic worker to accompany the highly-skilled professional to Japan under certain conditions
  7. 7. Preferential processing of entry and residence procedures

Highly Skilled Professional(ii)

  1. a. In conjunction with the activities "Highly Skilled Professional(i) permitted to engage in almost all of the activities of statuses of residence based on employment
  2. b. Granted an indefinite period of stay
  3. c. Eligible for the preferential treatment of the abovementioned (3)to(6)
  4. * "Highly Skilled Professional(ii)" is for foreign nations who have engaged in astivities of "Highly Skilled Professional(i)" for three years or more.

4. Laws and regulations

The factors to be evaluated and points to be awarded under the points system are stipulated in public ministerial ordinance.

Highly skilled foreign professionals must satisfy the current requirements of residence status for work and are granted the status of residence “Highly Skilled Professional”.