Skill Shortage Jobs in Japan With Work VISA in 2024 (Application Process)

In 2024, Japan is a treasure trove of opportunities for global talents, thanks to its skill shortages in cutting-edge fields like AI, robotics, and healthcare. With streamlined work visa programs like the Specified Skilled Worker and Highly Skilled Professionals, Japan not only opens its doors to global talent but also simplifies the pathway to experiencing its rich culture and advanced work environment.

Understanding Japan’s Skill Shortage:

The Buzz:

  • Hotspots: Sectors like manufacturing, IT, healthcare, and professional services are in urgent need of talent. Imagine being part of Japan’s technological revolution or contributing to its healthcare system!
  • Skills in Demand: Technical expertise, problem-solving, and communication skills top the list. Knowledge of AI, cybersecurity, or healthcare, coupled with Japanese language proficiency, can set you apart.
  • Regional Variations: While cities offer more opportunities, don’t overlook the potential in rural areas, especially in healthcare and manufacturing.

The Forecast for 2024:

In 2024, Japan anticipates a heightened demand in sectors such as AI, truck driving, and rural healthcare, driven by new regulations and technological advancements. This trend, fueled by demographic shifts, is expected to offer long-term career opportunities, signaling a robust job market for these areas.

Job Seeker’s Toolbox:

  • Upskilling: Embrace online courses and certifications to stay competitive.
  • Networking: Engage with industry professionals and participate in Japanese language communities.
  • Programs to Consider: Dive into Japan’s skill shortage immigration programs like the SSW and HSP, offering streamlined visa processes and potential residency pathways.

List of Skill Shortage Jobs in Japan for 2024

As of 2024, Japan is experiencing a significant skill shortage in various sectors, largely influenced by its aging population and rapid technological advancements. The most notable areas of shortage and their future projections include:

  • Information Technology: With the tech industry evolving rapidly, there’s a high demand for skills in AI, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and software development. The projection for 2024 indicates a continued or even increased demand in these areas.
  • Healthcare: Japan’s aging population has led to a growing need for healthcare professionals, including nurses, doctors, and caregivers. The demand in this sector is expected to remain high in 2024, reflecting the demographic trends.
  • Manufacturing and Construction: There’s a shortage of skilled laborers like welders, machinists, and construction workers, attributed to an aging workforce and a decline in interest among younger generations in these trades. This trend is likely to persist into 2024.
  • Professional Services: Fields such as financial services, business analysis, marketing, and data science, especially in sectors like FinTech, are seeing increased demand. The projection for 2024 suggests a continuous need for these skills, driven by economic growth and digital transformation.
  • Transportation: With new regulations, particularly in truck driving, there’s an emerging demand for skilled drivers and logistics professionals. This need is anticipated to grow in 2024.
  • Eldercare: Parallel to healthcare, eldercare services are in demand due to the aging population. This includes not only medical professionals but also support staff for eldercare facilities.
  • Education and Training: As Japan focuses on upskilling its workforce, there’s a growing need for educators and trainers, especially in technical and language education.
  • Robotics and Automation: As Japan continues to be a leader in robotics, skills in designing, programming, and maintaining robotic systems are in high demand.

3 Types of Japanese Skill Shortage Immigration Programs 2024

For the above mentioned skill shortage jobs in Japan; following 3 types of skill shortage immigration programs are being offered by Japanese immigration department in 2024:

1# Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) Program:

    • It is for skills in labor-shortage fields.
    • Two types of visas come under it: Type 1 for a broad range of skills, and Type 2 for specialized skills.
    • Offers benefits like quick visa processing and pathways to residency.

2# Highly Skilled Professionals (HSP) Program:

    • Targets top-tier talents in crucial economic and tech sectors.
    • Benefits include fast-tracked residency eligibility and tax exemptions.

3# Other Noteworthy Programs:

    • J-Skip Visa: For high-skilled professionals in AI, robotics, and biotech.
    • Future Creation Individual Visa (J-Find Visa): For entrepreneurs and innovators, providing flexible visa status and support systems.

Duration of these Japanese Work Visas:

    • SSW Program: Type 1 and Type 2 Visas, allowing up to five years stay.
    • HSP Program: Highly Skilled Professional Visa, with long-term stay and renewal options.
    • Other Programs: J-Skip and J-Find Visas offer unique benefits tailored to specific professional categories.

Who’d Stand Eligible for Japanese Skill Shortage Programs?

You can apply for a skill shortage job in Japan with a skill shortage work visa if the following requirements are met:

    • Age: Typically 18 or above.
    • Education/Qualifications: Varies from university degrees to specific skill certifications.
    • Work Experience: Generally 3-5 years in the relevant field.
    • Financial Stability: Proof of financial resources is essential.
    • Health and Legal: Medical examination and clean criminal record.

Language Proficiency Requirements for Skill Shortage Programs in Japan:

    • SSW Program: JLPT Level 3 or higher for Type 1, and Level 2 or higher for Type 2
    • HSP Program: No mandatory requirement, but Japanese proficiency is advantageous.
    • Other Programs: Varies, but basic Japanese skills are generally recommended.

Finding and Securing a Skill Shortage Job in Japan in 2024:

  1. Identify Your Skills and Target Areas: Match your expertise with Japan’s shortage areas.
  2. Choose Your Visa Program: Research and consult experts on the best fit for your career path.
  3. Develop Language Skills: Aim for at least JLPT Level 3 proficiency.
  4. Research Potential Employers: Use job boards and network within your industry (Links given below)
  5. Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter: Align your application with Japanese business etiquette.
  6. Apply and Prepare for Interviews: Follow application guidelines and practice for interviews.
  7. Secure Your Visa: Gather required visa documents and apply through the chosen program.
  8. Begin Your Career in Japan: Complete all legal formalities and immerse yourself in the culture.

Where to find Skill Shortage Jobs in Japan in 2024?

As Japan confronts its skill shortage, the door is wide open for skilled professionals seeking to embark on an enriching career journey. With the right skills, cultural understanding, and strategic approach to Japan’s unique immigration programs, you can unlock a world of professional possibilities in this dynamic and culturally rich nation. The journey requires preparation, resilience, and adaptability, but the rewards of working and living in Japan can be transformative. Start planning, upskill strategically, and take the leap towards an exciting career in Japan

Dr. Philip Morgan

(Associate Editor) Dr. Philip Morgan is a postdoctoral fellow and lead author at He earned his Master's and Ph.D. from Stanford before pursuing research in the U.S. on a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship. Leveraging his diverse academic background, Dr. Morgan creates informative articles on scholarships, internships, and fellowships for international students. His expertise and passion empower students to achieve their academic goals through international education opportunities.

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