Employment retainment support for technical interns whose training may not continue due to the COVID-19 pandemic

To assist technical interns and foreign national specified skilled workers whose training and/or employment may have been terminated as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Immigration Services Agency is working with related ministries/agencies to provide re-employment in specially designated industrial fields (14 fields from the specified skills system). Additionally, the Immigration Services Agency is granting changes in status of residence to "Designated Activities" (under certain conditions) to allow these interns/workers to continue their employment and residence in Japan.

Download the informational pamphlet here.

1. Eligible individuals

(1) Foreign nationals who, due to issues with their accepting organization as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (such as bankruptcy, downsizing, the termination of fixed-term employment, the withdrawal of an employment offer, etc.), are having difficulty continuing to reside in Japan under their current status of residence.
(Note) Those who currently hold the following status of residence are eligible for assistance:

  1. Technical intern trainees and specified skilled workers
  2. Foreign nationals who have been working with the status of residence of "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" or "Skilled Labor"
  3. International students who have completed their courses of study

(2) Foreign nationals who have completed their technical intern training but are finding it difficult to return to their home country due to airport closures and/or reduced travel options resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Eligible as of September 7, 2020.)

* Only for those who fall under the conditions outlined in (1) and (2) who wish to remain in Japan to acquire the skills necessary to work in specified skilled labor.

* Even those who have already spent a year in Japan under these measures may be eligible for an extension of period of stay, should returning to their country of origin prove to be difficult. However, the maximum period of stay that can be granted is six months.

2. Procedures for application for change of status of residence

For foreign nationals who have signed an employment contract from a new accepting organization (limited to those in the 14 fields from the specified skilled worker system), the following documents must be submitted to the nearest Regional Immigration Services Bureau (including district immigration offices and branch offices) to apply for a change in status of residence to "Designated Activities."

Required documents

(Note 1) Limited to foreign nationals who have been dismissed or are having difficulty returning home and are eligible for re-employment as a specified skilled worker in the three manufacturing sectors (forges/foundries, industrial machinery, electrics and electrical information) or technical interns who have passed Technical Intern Training (ii) in good standing and are exempt from the skills exam.
(Note 2) Those who require assistance in obtaining employment with a new accepting organization should refer to the "Employment Matching Support System" section below.
(Note 3) For those who have been granted a change in status of residence to "Designated Activities (maximum one year, work permitted)" whose accepting organization then has difficulty maintaining said offer of employment, please submit a "Report on acceptance difficulties" to your nearest District Immigration Office or Regional Immigration Services Bureau as soon as possible.

3. Employment Matching Support System

Before a foreign national may apply for a change in status of residence, an employment contract must be finalized between them and the new accepting organization.
In order to help ensure the smooth transition to a new appointment, the Immigration Services Agency is working with related ministries to provide re-employment in specialized industrial fields by matching applicants with contracting organizations.
Those who finalize an employment contract with a new accepting organization without the aid of the support system will still be eligible to apply for a change in status of residence to "Designated Activities."

(1) How to receive employment matching support

Those interested in the service will need to submit a "Consent for the Treatment of Personal Information" form (found on this page) to the Immigration Services Agency in order to be matched to a position in their specialized field of choice.
Specifically, the personal information provided to the Immigration Services Agency in the "Consent for the Treatment of Personal Information" form will be shared with the appropriate ministries/agencies related to the applicant's specialized field of choice. Ideally, the applicant will then be contacted by a company that is currently hiring (or by an employment agency), resulting in their re-employment.

Where to send the consent form:

  • For foreign nationals with the "Specified Skilled Worker" status who are now unemployed: the Regional Immigration Services Bureau which services their area of residence
  • For foreign nationals with other statuses of residence who are now unemployed: 1-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8973 出入国在留管理庁 在留管理支援部 在留管理課 雇用維持支援担当
  • For foreign nationals who have completed their technical intern training and are having difficulty returning home: 1-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8973 出入国在留管理庁 在留管理支援部 在留管理課 雇用維持支援担当

* For information regarding the process, please refer to the "Summary" section of the "Employment Retainment Support Image" posted on this page.
* There are notes based on an applicant's current status of residence which affect how they must submit their consent form. For more details, please see the guide on how to complete the "Consent for the Treatment of Personal Information" form listed below in (2).

(2) Documents related to the Matching Support System

(3) Jobseeker information

A list has been posted of organizations to which the contact information of foreign nationals who wish to receive employment matching support has been forwarded.
Those wishing to employ a foreign national should contact the related organization to which that information has been given.
The list of organizations can be found here.

(4) Employer information

A list of companies that are eligible for employment retainment support and are seeking to employ foreign national specified skilled workers has been posted.
Foreign nationals wishing to find work in Japan through the employment retainment support system should contact the company directly.
The list of employers can be found here.

For companies who would like to be added to the list, please complete the registration form and send it to the email address listed below.

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