Can a Student Visa Work in Japan?

Japan is one of the favorite choices for international students due to its various programs, inexpensive tuition, and refined culture. Regardless of where you choose to study, finance is very crucial, and part-time jobs are a helpful remedy that helps raise funds to cover some expenses. 

However, international students with student visas can’t work in Japan except with permission. They need to apply for a work permit to receive jobs, and failure to adhere to this criterion results in punishments, even deportation. 

Key Takeaway 

International students with Japanese student visas can’t work in Japan except with permission. However, work permits are general requirements to qualify for part-time jobs, and failure to do so results in punishments. Students can only work 28 hours weekly and have job limitations and conditions to follow before engaging in part-time work. 

Students can request a work permit or transition their study visa to a work permit by delivering essential documents like passports, residence cards, etc. They also need to fill out application forms from their country or upon their arrival in Japan.

Working With a Japanese Student Visa

Japan limits international students from working, especially with a student visa. Student visas permit students to study their courses, but whoever chooses to seek a part-time job can only do so with a work visa. You can receive this work visa from Japan’s regional immigration center. 

Additionally, international students with student visas can’t work in Japan for over 28 hours per week and have employment limitations. Some restricted job types include working in gambling centers or bars, etc. Working in convenience stores and restaurants is a better choice. Some conditions to keep in mind while working part-time in Japan are: 

  • You’re only authorized to work 28 hours weekly and must ensure to consult your college before exceeding that work time limit. 
  • You can work for eight hours daily during academic breaks. 
  • Students can’t engage in adult work services.
  • Ensure to direct your earnings to your tuition and living costs
  • Ensure to balance your academic and work-life

Required documents to apply for a part-time job in Japan are:

  • Passport
  • Residence card
  • Student ID card
  • Health card
  • An application requesting to participate in business activities different from the acceptable categories is another valid document to present. You can find a form here

How to Change a Japanese Study Permit to a Work Permit

Most international students would love to work while studying, and while having a student visa can’t work in Japan, a work permit authorizes them to work. If students desire to do so and receive an employment opportunity, they, alongside their employer, should request a Japanese work permit from the immigration officials in any available local center. The essential documents to provide for this procedure are: 

  • Application paperwork to switch your residency status
  • Passport copies
  • Residency card
  • CV
  • Graduation proof 
  • Transcripts
  • Documents from your new company, such as registration statements, income, and financial testimonies

Applying for a Japanese Work Permit

International students with student visas can’t work in Japan except with a Work Permit. There are two methods for work visa application.

  • Fill out the form in your country and bring it with you while coming to Japan. You can deliver it to an immigration official after your arrival.
  • Students owning residence cards with no work visa can request one in Japan by completing the provided paperwork at the immigration center.

The first step is a more straightforward technique as it allows you to accept employment opportunities as soon as you arrive in Japan. Applying for one from Japan is time-consuming and can take possibly a month. A black stamp on your residence card is proof of your permission to work in Japan.

Frequently Asked Questions About International Students in Japan

Can international students find work in Japan?

Yes, international students can work for 28 hours weekly and up to four hours daily in Japan with a student visa.

Can International students take up jobs in Japan after graduation?

Yes, they can opt for a work permit or a long-stay visa.

How long does a Japanese work visa last?

A Japanese work visa duration varies from three months to five years. But you can always prolong the period if you’re eligible for it. 


International students with student visas can’t work in Japan unless upon permission. If not, a work permit is all the authorization they need to find jobs anywhere. They should remember that Japan is strict in adherence to instructions. Hence, they should avoid disobedience as it could cost them their stay.