The Role of Japanese Language Proficiency
in Work Visa Applications
Japanese Language Requirements in Work Visas
For the commonly sought Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services Visa (技術・人文知識・国際業務ビザ), Japanese language proficiency is not a fundamental requirement. However, situations where foreign professionals must communicate in Japanese with Japanese superiors, colleagues, or clients can necessitate a certain level of Japanese language ability during visa evaluations.
Instances Leading to Visa Disapproval A visa application may be denied if the applicant’s Japanese language proficiency is deemed insufficient to fully perform the job duties. This includes understanding commands, instructions, and guidance adequately. In cases where communication in English is viable (i.e., with Japanese colleagues and clients who can converse in English), language proficiency is less likely to be an issue. However, for non-English speakers like those native in Chinese or Vietnamese, the Immigration Bureau is more likely to scrutinize Japanese language skills.
Although there’s no explicit benchmark for Japanese proficiency, JLPT N3 or higher is generally desirable if English communication isn’t possible. This is because, under the Specified Skilled Worker Visa (SSW), which assumes N4-level Japanese, there might be a need for guidance and support in the native language, indicating that N4 proficiency might be insufficient (hence the preference for N3 or higher).
Documenting Adequate Language Proficiency When Japanese language skills are questioned, it’s crucial to substantiate that the applicant can understand and execute work tasks in both Japanese and their native language. This can involve presenting bilingual manuals, systems, machinery, and documents used in the workplace, as well as the status of translators and interpreters within the company.
If a visa application has previously been denied due to language concerns, a detailed and rational explanation accompanied by convincing evidence is necessary.
Seeking Professional Guidance
Given the dependence on specific job roles and the employer’s internal setup, the exact approach to arguing and demonstrating this aspect varies. Therefore, consulting with a specialist is advisable to navigate this aspect of the work visa application process effectively.
Immigration consultant, Financial advisor
He has 18 years experience in Investment Banking at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley. He had provided financial advisory more than 500 entrepreneurs and senior management.
He currently supports many foreign entrepreneurs in Japan, taking advantage of the experience of an investment banker. He is the best expert of Business VISA in Japan.
Gyoseishoshi Immigration Lawyer
CMA(Japanese financial analyst license)
CFP (Certified Financial Planner)
MBA in Entrepreneurship