[COVID-19] Having a Part-time job/ changing your status of residence is possible with working visa

Due to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID19), the performance of many companies, especially in the travel industry, lodging industry, and restaurant industry, has deteriorated. Along with the deterioration of business performance, some companies are beginning to go bankrupt or closed, which is also affecting the employment of foreign employees working there.

In this way, special measures by the Immigration Bureau for foreigners who have been notified of dismissal or suspension of employment due to reasons such as bankruptcy of their employers or reduction of work due to reasons that are not for their own convenience, and which are in an economically difficult situation was announced. 


If you are dismissed, on standby at home even if you’ve been offered a job etc. due to the coronavirus,

there is a possibility that you may be permitted to have a part-time job with current status of residence or to change your status of residence to “designated activities( job hunting)” visa for re-employment.

Targets :

(1) Those who have been notified of dismissal or suspension of employment from their employer and wish to find employment

(2) Those who have been given a job offer but on standby at home and wish to return to work

(3) Those who have been ordered by the employer to shorten the number of working days and working hours and wish to continue working

If you meet any of the conditions on the above (1)-(3), it is also possible for you to have a part-time job if you apply for ” 資格外活動許可(Shikakugai katsudo kyoka)”
[a permission to engage in activity other than that permitted under the status of residence] which is either up to 6 months or until your current status of residence expires.

Note: it is necessary to submit a document that proves that you are under the situation due to your company’s decision.


Special measures:

If your current status of residence is expiring, but you still cannot find a new job by the period of stay, you may change your status of residence to ” designated activities (job hunting)” for 6 months if you wish to continue job hunting.

If your job hasn’t been settled, an additional 6 months of renewal may be allowed. In this case, you need to submit a declaration from your company indicates your dismissal or suspension is due to the employer’s decision. 

Also, it is permitted to apply for a work permission ” 資格外活動許可(Shikakugai katsudo kyoka) “ to earn living expenses during job hunting or waiting at home. 

The period of ” 資格外活動許可 (Shikakugai katsudo kyoka)” is up to 6 months after permitted or till the period of stay. 



  • When a person who is in the waiting period or during the shortened work period applies for 資格外活動許可(Shikakugai katsudo kyoka), one will need a permission from one’s current company for the application to the Immigration Bureau.
  • Those who have changed the status of residence to ” designated activities (job hunting)” for the reason of job hunting or waiting at home will have to renew the status of residence immediately in order to go back to work or work in a new company once you find a new job.
How to apply for 資格外活動許可(Shikakugai katsudo kyoka)

-a permission to engage in activity other than that permitted under the status of residence:

  1. Visit the Immigration Bureau and submit these documents:
    • “Application for permission to engage in activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted” form:  Working Permission Application Form (PDF)
    • Residence Card or Alien Registration Card
    • Copy of your passport showing a) your personal information and b) “Landing Permission” stamp
    • Your original passport
  2. Pick up the permit at the Immigration Bureau:
    Immigration will send you a postcard notifying you that your permit is ready. Take the postcard along with your Residence Card and passport to Immigration to get your permit.
  3. Give a copy of your work permit to your employer.

If you are a skilled labor dismissed from work or on standby at home because of the Coronavirus pandemic:

“Skilled Labor (技能 Ginou)” is applied to those who engage in skilled profession such as chef and cook of foreign cuisine, carpenter of foreign architecture, chaser of jewelry, sommelier, athletic and sports trainer, pilot, and other occupation which require special skills during their period of stay in Japan.

Since your visa application must be sponsored by the specific entity/ organization/ company who is willing to hire you in Japan to engage in the activities applicable to the visa, it will be even harder to change job than foreigners with other types of working visa.

Here are some advice for you:

  1. If you are under employment but have been told to standby at home or your working time has been reduced, you may apply for “資格外活動許可(Shikakugai katsudo kyoka)” as mentioned on the above to earn living expenses during this hard time.
  2. If you are dismissed and find it difficult to find a new job because of limited options, you can consider about changing your residence of status to “specified skilled worker(i)”, which can be accepted in all 14 industries:
Specified Skilled Worker (i)

Residency status for the foreign nationals engaged in work requiring skills that need considerable degree of knowledge or experience belonging to the specified industrial field.

(1) Nursing care

(2) Building cleaning

(3) Material Processing industry

(4) Industrial machinery manufacturing industry

(5) Electric and electronic information related industry

(6) Construction

(7) Shipbuilding and ship-related industry

(8) Automobile maintenance

(9) Aviation

(10) Lodging

(11) Agriculture

(12) Fisheries

(13) Food and beverages manufacturing industry

(14) Food service industry


The following steps are required to obtain a “Specified Skilled” visa:

  1. Pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N4 ↑:
    Japanese Proficiency Evaluation Test (JPET)
  2. In order to work in Japan, take the necessary Skill Evaluation Test and pass it.
  3. Find a sponsor company (employer) who will hire you directly in Japan.
  4. A Japanese Sponsor Company applies for a Certificate of Eligibility. In that case,passing certificates of 1. and 2. are required.
  5. A Certificate of Eligibility will arrive from the Japanese Sponsor Company.
  6. Apply for a visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country.
  7. With a visa and Certificate of Eligibility, you will undergo Immigration in Japan and will be issued a Residence Card.
  8. Labor starts under the Sponsor Company. You can reside up to 5 years (in the case of “Specified skilled No. 1”).
  9. If the job category falls under the category of “Specified Skilled No. 2”, an application for visa change can be made after working for 5 years. It opens the way to permanent residence.

Since it might take a few months to fulfill all the conditions to get a “Specified Skilled” visa, it is recommended to change your visa to “designated activities (job hunting)” first so that you can prepare for the test and cetera for the “Specified Skilled” visa, meanwhile you can continue job hunting and earn living expenses by applying “資格外活動許可(Shikakugai katsudo kyoka)“.


If you are interested in (1)Nursing care, (13)Food and beverages manufacturing industry and (14)Food service industry field, feel free to contact us Tokyo Job.

We provide several free supports that you need.


Read more about: [SSW] Specified Skilled Worker visa (特定技能)