What is the Highly Skilled Foreign Professional System?

What is the Highly Skilled Foreign Professional System?

Introduction of the Highly Skilled Foreign Professional System in Japan

The Highly Skilled Foreign Professional system, which began in May 2012, is a program that recognizes foreign nationals with high-level abilities and qualifications expected to contribute to Japan’s economic growth, among other things, as “Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals.”

This program provides various preferential treatments in terms of immigration control, such as a five-year period of stay, and others.

Background of the Introduction of the Highly Skilled Foreign Professional System in Japan

While investing in Japanese youth and re-educating middle-aged and older individuals is important, there are high expectations for foreign high-skilled talent to provide immediate support.
Additionally, there are expectations for the synergistic effects of innovation that these foreign workers may bring.
Furthermore, international students are also viewed as important sources of high-skilled talent and expected to not only contribute to the revitalization of Japan’s economy, but also to promote globalization within educational institutions and among younger generations.

(Annual Economic and Fiscal Report for Fiscal Year 2013 by the Japanese Cabinet Office)

Background of the introduction of this system is that, amid Japan’s declining population and rapid aging, there was a growing need to utilize foreign talent. Additionally, in order to attract highly skilled individuals who are active overseas and aim to promote innovation and enhance global competitiveness, the development of a more flexible residency system became necessary.

Is it necessary to have Japanese language skills to be eligible for the Highly Skilled Foreign Professional system?

No, it is not mandatory, although it is a subject for additional points. It can be compensated for by other points.

In fact, many talented foreign professionals who are active in Japan have no interest in learning Japanese, but are contributing to Japan’s growth and success by using English as their main language.

Is the application process difficult?

You calculate your own points and submit an application with the necessary documents to the Immigration Services Agency.

The websites of many well-known universities in Japan provide clear instructions, so please use them as a reference.