Japan’s Immigration Agency Relaxes Guidelines for Hiring Foreign Graduates of Japanese Vocational Schools

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The building that houses the Immigration Services Agency in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

The Immigration Services Agency has relaxed its guidelines in order to help boost employment of foreign nationals who graduated from Japanese vocational schools in an effort to secure staffing in the country, the agency announced Thursday.

Many foreign students who work in Japan after graduating from such schools acquire the “Engineer/Humanities Specialist” residential status. Previous guidelines stipulated that their job had to have an appreciable extent of relevance to their major subject, and this stipulation had been said to limit the kind of jobs they could take.

Under the new guidelines, the agency would “flexibly judge” relevance for students who graduated from vocational schools that are approved by an Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister to have met certain conditions, such as offering more than 300 hours of classes aimed at helping students enhance their understanding of Japan.