Are you in tech and interested in working in Japan? Want to make a living while exploring its rich culture and cuisine? This article is your ultimate guide on how to get a tech job in Japan from overseas. We’ll answer all your questions, such as:
- Can I apply for a job from overseas?
- How do I get a tech job in Japan?
- What do I need to apply from overseas?
- How to move to Japan first to job hunt?
- Where do I find tech jobs in Japan?
- What do I need to apply for a job?
Can I Get a Tech Job in Japan From My Country?
Demand for tech professionals and engineers has arguably never been higher. That means that if you are qualified and experienced, your nationality will not be a barrier to finding work. If you’re looking for more details, we have articles with advice for Indians, Nepalis, and Americans.
1. Can I Apply for a Job From Overseas?
Yes, you can. In fact, we recommend it. Most tech jobs post their vacancies online, so that is where you’ll find the most opportunities. Entering Japan with a job and work visa already lined up will save you a lot of trouble.
2. How Do I Get a Tech Job in Japan?
You can go about getting a tech job in Japan in two ways – applying from abroad, or entering the country first and then starting your job hunt.
Method 1: Apply from Overseas
Applying online is probably the easiest way to find a job in Japan. Once you’ve got a job lined up, your new company will apply for a Certificate of Eligibility and send it to you. You can then use it to apply for an engineer/specialist in humanities/international services visa. Finally, you’ll receive your residence card when you arrive in Japan.
Where do you find these jobs though? We’ve got a list of resources here.
Method 2: Move to Japan First Before Job Hunting
You could also enter the country on another visa category before switching to the engineering category once you’ve found a full-time job. A designated activities visa, for example, is a good starting point and allows you to attend in-person interviews.
We help tech professionals
With World in Pro, you will find:
- English-language jobs – No need for Japanese proficiency.
- A variety of job openings – Work for top tech companies and startups in Japan.
- International applications accepted – Find a job before arriving in Japan.
3. What Do I Need to Apply From Overseas?
You’ll need qualifications, experience, or ideally both.
An undergraduate degree (or higher) is required for a Japanese work visa. However, you could also take advantage of the Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) or Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) visa categories and build skills and experience before switching to a work visa.
If you have 10 years or more experience in your field, immigration might also waive the need for a formal degree.
If you have neither experience nor formal qualifications, we recommend taking the ITPEC exam. It is based on the standard Information-Technology Engineers Examination (jōhō shori gijutsusha shiken, 情報処理技術者試験, or ITEE). It can be taken in a number of different countries and is accepted in Japan.
You might also want to take the JLPT. Although it’s not necessary to work in Japan, Japanese proficiency will make your life easier, and could mean more opportunities.
4. How to Move to Japan First to Job Hunt?
Applying from abroad may be easier in many ways, but some employers only hire candidates already in Japan and may prefer face-to-face interviews. This means that establishing yourself in Japan before looking for a tech job could open otherwise closed doors. Let’s look at your options.
Move as an English Teacher
Teaching English could be the easiest way to establish yourself in Japan. It does not require any Japanese and will give you enough time to look for tech jobs while still having an income. Within the Japanese ESL (English second language) industry there are two options.
Japanese schools employ ALTs (Assistant language teachers) to teach English courses. You can apply through the government’s JET programme or a dispatch (third party) company such as Interac. Note that this falls under the instructor visa category, so if you move into the tech industry, you’ll have to apply for a new visa.
Language schools (eikaiwa 英会話) such as Gaba, Nova, and Berlitz operate on weekends, afternoons, and evenings, and students range from toddlers to businesspeople. Language schools fall under the engineer/specialist in humanities/international services visa, so you won’t need to worry about your visa when changing jobs.
Move as a Tourist
It’s possible to come to Japan on a tourist visa for up to 3 months to look for work. However, you’ll likely be doing multiple rounds of interviews and waiting for feedback, so you won’t have enough time. Depending on your nationality, you might also need to show proof of income and employment abroad to get a tourist visa. For these reasons, we don’t recommend this route.
Move as a Student
If you are still missing some qualifications, a student visa could be the best way to enter Japan. You could study towards the necessary qualifications while building connections and settling in the country. Many universities also offer career counseling and support centers that can help you enter the job market after graduation.
If money is a problem, keep in mind that you can work part-time on a student visa, and also apply for a MEXT scholarship.
5 Where Do I Find Tech Jobs in Japan
We’ve discussed how to apply for work, but the next question is where? Let’s take a look at where to go to get hired.
The following websites let you apply directly for tech jobs:
If you’re already in Tokyo, job fairs are great for meeting potential employers face-to-face. These are aimed at foreign residents:
Do some networking at Tokyo-based, bilingual tech meetups like:
Networking and establishing connections within the tech industry can be indispensable to finding your dream job. There are some fantastic communities in Japan, such as:
If you’re worried about cultural and linguistic differences, a recruitment company might be the way to go. Services like World in Pro can connect you with Japanese tech companies and mediate between you and your new employer to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding. You can get help with job hunting, visa applications, and more. You can be one step closer to your career goals by signing up today and checking out the positions on offer.
6. What Do I Need to Apply for a Job?
We looked at the importance of experience and qualifications, but you’ll need to have some proof of these. Potential employers will typically ask you for the following documents:
- Resume or CV
Our articles on Japanese resume formats and the shokumukeirekisho resume will give you a good idea of what CVs and resumes typically look like in Japan.
Some employers in Japan want to see what the candidate looks like even before an interview, so you might want to attach a recent photo to your resume or CV.
Include examples of your work and, if possible, testimonials.
- Diploma and Certifications
It’s a good idea to include digital scans of all your qualifications and diplomas when applying online. Although this is fine for applications, immigration might ask for original documents when you apply for your visa.
Work in the Japanese Tech Industry
Inbound Technology connects foreign tech talent with Japanese companies. Chat with one of our friendly career advisors here or on LinkedIn.