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The Japanese Language Proficiency needed for Working Visa in Japan

In recent years, more and more people have become fond of Japan for the animation, or for the job opportunity, therefore more people are learning the Japanese language to be qualified to get working visa. So what’s the least level of Japanese is needed, please be shared of our today’s article.

1. Where the Japanese Proficiency is needed

The residence and job content may vary according to the examination conducted by Immigration Bureau, take the “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Service” visa for example.

In the case of Engineer (technician, system engineer etc.), language ability of regular communication with the Japanese co-workers is required.

In the case of Specialist in Humanities (Marketing, Sales, Managing etc.) a high level of language capability like doing presentation is required.

In the case of International Service (interpretation, translation) a high level of language capability and understanding of Japanese culture and terminologies is required.

If your residence is “skilled labor”, the skills and knowledge are considered more important, while the language capability is not required.

2. The proof of Japanese language proficiency

There is no interview with the examiners of your visa, so the language capability is not tested in this way.

To prove how well is your language ability, you need to participate in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test(JLPT).

The test can be taken outside of Japan, if you apply for highly-skilled professional visa, the test result will be added to your point evaluation.

3. Japanese Language Proficiency Test(JLPT)

The test is designed for the foreigners who are expected to communicate with Japanese without major barriers. The candidate must be those whose native language is not Japanese.

There are 5 levels of certification available, from the easiest N5 to the hardest N1.

N1: The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances.

N2:The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations, and in a    variety of circumstances to a certain degree.

N3:The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.

N4:The ability to understand basic Japanese.

N5:The ability to understand some basic Japanese.

  • Schedule of the test

First test in 2020.7.5

Second test in 2020.12.6

※The test in 2020 (July) of JLPT was cancelled at all testing sites, in Japan and overseas due to the situation of COVID-19

  • Test Registration Process

Sign up for “MyJLPT” at the official website of JLPT. Fill in your information after logging in, once the test fee payment is complete, the registration is confirmed.

Once the certification is received, you can use it as proving document when applying for schools, companies, and for visa, especially the certification of JLPT is regarded as important document for visa application.

For Specified Skilled Worker, both the skill test and language proficiency test are required. At least N4 is required from above test or pass the “Japan Foundation Test for Basic Japanese”

 organized by The Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services.

There is also other test called Japanese Language Test (nihongokentei) that is similar to JLPT.

4. About the Japanese Language Test

The Japanese Language Test is designed for those whose native language is Japanese. Anyone who speaks the language can take the test.

The test includes Chinese character, expression, honorific, meaning, phrase, grammar and mixed questions.

Even though for Japanese who speaks the language everyday, there might be misuse of the language from time to time, the test helps people to correct the what’s been used wrongly.

  • Test schedule

First time: 2020.6.13

Second time: 2020.11.14

  •  The test might be cancelled due to COVID-19, please confirm at the official website.
  • Registration process
  • Sign up online

Fill in the application form online and complete the payment.

  • Sign up by mail

Download the Application Form and fill in, choose pay by bank or post office transfer, enclose the “Application Form”, “Payment Receipt”, “64 yen stamp for sending the test voucher”, and mail it to Japanese Language Test Committee. You will receive a test voucher approximately one week before the test.

  • Sign up at store

By guidance at a bookstore or a chamber of commerce near you, fill out the necessary items and pay at the store, enclose the “application”, “payment receipt”, “64 yen stamp for sending the test voucher”, and mail it to the Japanese Examination Committee. You will receive a test voucher approximately one week before the test.

5. The difference between JLPT and Japanese Language Test

Although the names are very similar, the Japanese Language Proficiency Test is for people who do not speak Japanese as their native language, while the Japanese language test is a test for people who usually use Japanese, and it is also for Japanese or foreigners who can use Japanese at a certain level.

6. Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test

There is also a Japanese language proficiency test which mainly tests whether or not you have the basic knowledge and skills necessary for engaging in Japanese language education. Although it is not a mandatory qualification to work as a Japanese teacher, in many Japanese schools, teachers are employed if he/she either passed the Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test or have completed the 420-hour Japanese Teacher Training Course.

7. Summery

Given that the interest of coming to Japan is increasing, the number of foreigners immigrating to Japan and inbound travelers are increasing as well, and employment of foreigners is accordingly increasing. It does not mean that a working visa cannot be obtained without the language certification mentioned above.

Since the certificate is an advantage in finding a job in Japan, there are many people who have passed the test to work in Japan like Chinese, Filipinos, and Vietnamese.

It is said that those who do translation/interpretation work need to have JLPT N2 or higher level.

This is just a suggestion, but if you are an interpreter or a translator, for sure you cannot work unless you speak Japanese. therefore at least N2 level is recommended.

Those who have not taken the Japanese Language Proficiency Test or those who have only N3 do not mean that they will not likely to do translation and interpretation, but they need to prove that there is no problem with the Japanese language capability.

The certificate is helpful when applying working visa. Even if you can speak Japanese well, the examiner will not be aware because there are no interviews but only examination of documents.

If you get a certificate of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, this attachment file can be very persuasive.

In fact, in some cases if you can’t speak Japanese, your business may be influenced.

If you are interested, why not give it a try?

Our group has staff who can speak multiple languages, and we also support with visa acquisition. Please feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Toll Free (Japanese): 0120-138-552 for visas

Official 0120-021-462

For English: 080-9346-2991

For Chinese: 090-8456-6196

For Korean: 090-8448-2133

For Vietnamese: 080-5510-2593

The first consultation is free of charge, please feel free to contact.

24-hour online reservation is also available.

The consultation

*We are currently accepting FaceTime interviews and business trip interviews to prevent the coronavirus infections. Please feel free contact.

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