Immigration to Japan

The decision to immigrate to Japan is, of course, a life-changing affair. Not only are you leaving your home country, but you are also moving to a country with a completely foreign culture. In our blog we would like to help you with the immigration to Japan. If you have some questions after reading the blog, feel free to contact us.


Despite this, numerous people have already decided to establish a new residence in the Land of the Rising Sun. In this article you will learn what barriers you can expect when immigrating to Japan. In addition, we will tell you what you need to consider.

Learn about the culture before immigration to Japan

For an immigration to Japan you should of course first know how the Japanese culture works. Because especially for the western culture Japan offers one or the other intense culture shock. The differences are so immense that you will quickly regret moving to Japan without any prior knowledge.


Above all, you should definitely deal with the language in advance. Because in Japan you will not get far with the English language, only a few locals speak it.


This is often due to the Japanese’s inner sense of shame. In their culture, mistakes are considered a flaw that they want to avoid at all costs. For this reason, many of them do not dare to speak English at all.


For a simple vacation in Japan, a few basic skills are quite sufficient. However, if you are thinking about immigrating to Japan, you should know a bit more than the basic vocabulary. You should also learn the Japanese characters.

Apply for your visa for your immigration to Japan

The next step is to start thinking about the process for getting your visa. This also means that you need to think about why you want to emigrate to Japan.


If you only want to emigrate for a few weeks or months, then the tourist visa is perfectly sufficient. As a citizen of the EU or Switzerland you can even safely ignore this, because in this case you are even allowed to enter Japan completely visa-free. Then you are allowed to stay in Japan for up to 90 days.


However, you will certainly plan to live in Japan a little longer. Of course, you will also need to earn money to live in Japan, so you will need a job accordingly.


For people younger than 30 years old, Japan offers a working holiday visa. If you are older, on the other hand, you will need to apply for a regular work visa. This, in addition to giving you a residence permit for Japan, also entitles you to work in this Far Eastern country.


You must apply for the visa in advance at the Japanese consulate. In addition to your valid passport and a passport photo, you will also need a “Certificate of Eligibility”. Your future employer in Japan must apply for this and send you the original. If you show up at the consulate with only a copy, your application for a work visa will be rejected in any case.

How to obtain permanent resident status

However, if you decide to immigrate to Japan on a long-term basis, you will not be able to do much with the two visa categories mentioned above. In this case, there is no way around obtaining permanent resident status.


Obtaining permanent resident status in Japan is much more difficult. One possibility would be that you already know a Japanese person and you both already have a deep connection to each other. In this case, you only need to get married in order for you to immigrate to Japan on a long-term basis.


The second option, to obtain “Permanent Residence Status”, takes a bit longer. For this, you need to live in Japan for at least ten years. At the same time, however, this means that you will have to deal with the visa process again every year.

Social insurance in Japan

Before you immigrate to Japan, you will certainly be concerned about the social insurance situation there. We can reassure you. Once you hold a position as an employee in Japan, you will enjoy one of the best social security systems in the world.


In particular, Japan’s health care system has several advantages. You don’t have to pay anything extra, in fact your insurance premiums cover all costs. Even for the dentist, you do not need to expect any payments of your own.

Consider the cost of living when immigrating to Japan

If you work in Japan, you will certainly earn a little more than in your previous home country. Only as a Swiss you would be an exception. However, you should not think that you can afford more.


On the other hand, the cost of living in Japan is also higher. Food and visits to restaurants will cost you significantly more than in most European countries. Only the Swiss, because of the high price level in Switzerland, find Japan comparatively cheap.


On average, you will earn about 3,000 euros or 3,250 CHF per month as an employee in Japan. Depending on how frugally you live, your monthly expenses will be between 2,000 and 2,500 euros or 2,100 to 2,700 CHF. By Japanese standards, that doesn’t leave you with too much.

As you can see, there are a few things to consider when immigrating to Japan. From applying for a visa, to the foreign culture, to the higher costs. But you should not be put off. After all, immigrating to Japan is also a unique experience that no one can take away from you. You will definitely have a great adventure.


Do you have any questions or do you need help with your move to Japan? Then we are happy to help you with words and deeds!

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