How is the “Period of Stay'' decided? Part 2.

In the last blog, I wrote about how the “Period of Stay” is decided for those who have a status of residence “Spouse of a Japanese National”.


Today, I’d like to write about the case for those who are on a status of residence “Engineer/ Specialist in Humanities/ International Services”, the most common work-related visa.

The “Period of Stay” for a status of residence “Engineer/ Specialist in Humanities/ International Services” is either “5 years”, “3 years”, “1 year” or “3 months”. How is the “Period of Stay” decided, based on the Immigration Services Agency’s guidelines?


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Five years

When the applicant meets 1,2 and 3, and also either 4 or 5.

  1. The applicant fulfills notification obligation (notification of residential address, notification of change of residential address, notification of contracting organization for example).

  2. If the applicant has a child who is in a compulsory education period, and the child currently goes to school.

  3. The applicant’s planned period of work in Japan is over three years.

  4. The contracting organization of the applicant is in category 1 or 2.

  5. In case the contracting organization of the applicant is not in category 1 or 2, the applicant held a three-year period of stay previously, and has been engaged in activities related to Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/ International Services for more than five years.

You can check an organization’s category here.


Three years

When any of the following applies.

  1. The applicant meets both 1 and 2, and also either 4 or 5 in the five-year section. The applicant’s planned period of work in Japan is over one year and within three years.

  2. The applicant held a five-year period of stay previously. However, he/she does not meet 1 or 2, but meets 4 or 5 in the five-year section at the time of extension. The applicant’s planned period of work in Japan is over one year.

  3. In case it is not applicable to five years, one year or three months.


One year

When any of the following applies.

  1. The contracting organization of the applicant is in category 4.

  2. The applicant held a three-year period of stay previously. However, he/she does not meet 1 or 2 in the five-year section at the time of extension.

  3. The Immigration Services Agency considers it is necessary to examine the applicant’s residential status once a year, considering his/her position at work, previous activities and the contracting organization’s situations.

  4. The applicant’s planned period of work in Japan is one year or less.

Three months

The applicant’s planned period of work in Japan is three months or less.


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Even if you and your friend graduated from the same university and started to work for a company in Japan, the period of stay granted may be different, depending on the category of the employer.


In order for you to aim for the longest possible period of stay, please notify the Immigration Services Agency within 14 days when you change your employer, notify the municipality within 14 days when you move to a new residential address, and pay taxes and insurance contributions accordingly.


Notification of the contracting organization can be done by using the Immigration Services Agency’s e-Notification System. The system is available in different languages.


The decision on the “Period of Stay” is ultimately left to the discretion of the Minister of Justice, and such decision is made in consideration of various factors. However, please feel free to contact us if you need help in applying for permission for an “Engineer/ Specialist in Humanities/ International Services” status of residence, or any other immigration related inquiry.