Revision of Ministry of Justice public notice to support employment of international students

Press release

May 28, 2019 (Reiwa 1)
Immigration Services Agency

In order to support the employment of international students who have graduated from or completed coursework for a university or graduate school in Japan (hereinafter "graduates of Japanese universities"), a portion of the Ministerial Order "Establishing Activities in the Right-Hand Column of Appended Table 1-5 pursuant to the provision of Article 7, Paragraph 1, Item 2 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act" was amended on May 30 of this year. Graduates of Japanese universities who wish to work in a wide range of tasks that require smooth communication and the use of Japanese are approved to enter and reside in Japan under the "Designated Activities" status of residence.

1. History and background

In the Japan Revitalization Strategy 2016, the Cabinet decided to provide job search support for foreign students in order to increase the percentage of foreign students who find employment in Japan from the current 30 percent to 50 percent.
At a related Ministerial Conference on December 25, 2018, the "Comprehensive Measures for Acceptance and Coexistence of Foreign Nationals" was approved. From the perspective of employment support for international students, the government revised the public notice concerning status of residence in order to expand the range of industries in which university graduates could find employment.
The aim of these measures is to encourage excellent foreign human resources who have graduated from or completed coursework at a Japanese university or graduate school to remain in Japan. The public notice of the Ministry of Justice was amended in order to expand the employment opportunities of foreign students in Japan who are expected to contribute to the revitalization of Japanese society and its economy.

2. Outline of the revision

Under the current system, statuses of residence for employment purposes are not recognized when the main work is service work in restaurants or retailers, or manufacturing work, etc. However, there is a growing need among private companies in many occupations to hire international students who have acquired a wide range of knowledge at universities or graduate schools and possess strong language skills due to the growing demand for inbound workers and expectations that these graduates will serve as a bridge for foreign employees and technical interns who lack Japanese language skills.
Based on these hiring needs and past Cabinet decisions, it is expected that graduates of Japanese universities will be able to utilize the knowledge and practical skills acquired at university or graduate school. When performing tasks that make use of their Japanese skills, this revision hereby approves of a wide range of duties and approves of their activities under the "Designated Activities" status of residence.

3. Enforcement date

May 30, 2019 (Reiwa 1) (planned date)

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