New visa regulations for foreign students announced in Japan

Tokyo: The Japanese government announced on Thursday that it will be relaxing visa regulations to allow foreign students to stay and seek employment in the country, as reported by the Emirates News Agency (WAM) citing local media.

According to the Japanese Immigration Services Agency, the government will now permit students who have completed their studies at government technical schools to work in sectors unrelated to their field of study. This move is expected to increase the number of foreign students staying in Japan to work to 3,000 per year.

Previously, many foreign students who obtained technical skills and proficiency in the Japanese language at specific technical schools had to return to their home countries after failing to find employment that matched their skills or knowledge.

In addition, the government is expanding the scope of foreign students who can stay in Japan to work under the “designated activities” visa, allowing them to work in various fields. Previously, this visa was only available to students who had graduated from universities.

Students with high skills and equivalent to an associate degree, including those who have completed a four-year program at specified technical schools, are eligible to apply for this visa.

According to a survey by the Japan Student Services Organization in 2021, out of approximately 2,000 foreign students enrolled in technical schools in the country, about 75 percent want to work in Japan.

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