Departmental Bulletin Paper Low Benefit with a High Cost : An Assessment of Japan’s Highly Skilled Foreign Professional Visa

Green, David

269pp.405 - 432 , 2017-01-31 , 名古屋大学大学院法学研究科
In the global race for the best and the brightest, Japan’s point-based Highly Skilled Foreign Professional visa, implemented in May 2012, represents a new step in trying to attract skilled foreign labor. Benefits offered under the visa are internationally competitive and previously unavailable in Japan, yet the policy has fallen considerably short of its aim. This paper briefly compares other highly skilled migration schemes to the new Japanese visa, and offers an assessment of the visa from the academic applicant perspective. Results indicate that while the residency benefits offered are often positively regarded, they strongly favor longer term residents. Other visa benefits appear to be of questionable merit. The Highly Skilled Foreign Professional visa further suffers from unclear application requirements and inconsistencies in administration, greatly increasing the amount of time and effort required to navigate the process. To improve its attractiveness, additional consideration can be given to information dissemination, and offering more differentiated categories of highly skilled worker entry with relevant and enticing benefits.

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