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What is the demerits of getting HSP VISA

Some engineers ask about getting Highly skilled professional VISA(高度専門職)/HSP VISA when they seek my advice regarding getting Permanent Residence in Japan by using point-based system. They thought that they have better chance to get Permanent Residence in Japan if they change their VISA status from Engineer VISA(技術・人文知識・国際業務) to HSP VISA.

There is no surprise on their idea since HSP VISA holders receive so many special treatments unlike other working VISA holders. They are allowed to engage in multiple activities. HSP VISA holders could run their own business which is relative to their main activity. So, for example, if you get HSP VISA as engineers, you could also run your IT consulting business with your ownership.

HSP VISA holders’ applications of Permanent Residence are prioritized compared with other applicants since HSP VISA was created to invite more and more “Highly skilled professionals”. The government of Japan want Highly skilled professionals to live in Japan. So, they want to prioritize Highly skilled professional VISA holders.

HSP VISA holders also could hire non-Japanese housekeepers in Japan. They could sponsor VISA for their housekeepers by meeting some conditions.

But there are also demerits for getting HSP VISA even through few of foreign citizens recognize. This is the reason why I don’t always recommend my clients to get HSP VISA before applying for Permanent Residence. Actually, if you could get enough points in future, I think you just apply for Permanent Residence with Engineer VISA and use point-based system. In this article, I’ll explain what is the demerit of getting HSP VISA for professionals in Japan.

More documentation to get VISA

First thing I want to inform you that there are more documentation when you try to get HSP VISA compared with Engineer VISA. You need to prepare point calculation sheet. And you also need to submit proofs for the point you claimed. For example, if you claim 10 points for your bachelor degree, you need to show your bachelor degree. You might be required to submit your work experience certificates to claim your points on work experience.

This is the reason why the number of HSP VISA holders is still lower than Engineer VISA. For employers, Choosing Engineer VISA is still best choice if they want to reduce the task for VISA procedure.

Difficulty when you move to new employer

This could be the big reason when you don’t choose HSP VISA. When you have Engineer VISA, you just need to report your job change to the Immigration Services Bureau(出入国在留管理局). You need to know that it’s just reporting. There is no inspection over contents of reporting or your job description like you apply for COE(在留資格認定証明書)or Change of status(在留資格変更許可).

But for HSP VISA, it is not case. The HSP VISA only cover the work activity which you engage for your employer who sponsored VISA application. So, you can’t work for new employer with HSP VISA you’ve already got.

So, what to do? It is quite strange. You need to apply for Change of Status(在留資格変更許可申請) from HSP VISA for former employer to HSP VISA for new employer. You need to prepare for point calculation sheet, you also need to prepare for evidence to prove you have 70 points. The new employer have to submit the documents like financial report(決算書), corporate guide and copy of registration(履歴事項全部証明書).

These are demerits of getting HSP VISA. If you are considering application of HSP VISA. I recommend you to consider such demerits along with merits of HSP VISA.

Daichi Ito

Immigration Law Practitioner (Gyoseishoshi)



After graduating the Faculty of Law of Hosei University in Tokyo, Daichi Ito stated Kamakura International Legal Service(行政書士鎌倉国際法務事務所) and specialize in Immigration procedures and naturalization. Now He mainly handle PR application for various clients from highly skilled professionals to spouse VISA holders.

Office Address: 124 Zyuniso, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken

Office Hour; 9:00~17:00 Monday-Friday



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