Association of Vocational Schools and Special Institutes of Miyagi Prefecture
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International students who complete their courses and gain diplomas from Japanese vocational schools must change their residence status in order to gain permission to work in Japan after graduation. However, you can only engage in activities authorized under your residence status. In some fields such as Humanities / International Services or Engineering, what you studied at school must be relevant to the work you do at your job.

It usually takes between about one to three months for the screening process to be completed after you apply for a change of residence status to allow you to work in Japan. Please contact your regional immigration office to find out how to make an Application for Change of Status of Residence once you have received an unofficial job offer.

Conditions and Procedures in Changing Your Residence Status to Work in Japan

As mentioned above, international students who graduate from vocational schools in Japan generally acquire a residence status that permits them to work as either a Specialist in Humanities / International Services or as an Engineer. Not all types of work are considered appropriate for foreign nationals seeking a job in Japan. A new residence status to work in Japan will not be approved for jobs that fall under the category of unskilled labor or in a field that does not specifically require the hiring foreign nationals.

Screening criteria

1. Does the applicant have the appropriate knowledge and skills from her or his educational and professional background?
2.Does the applicant have the appropriate knowledge and skills from her or his educational and professional background?
3.Are the employment conditions, such as the salary, appropriate for the applicant?
4.Does the hiring company’s business performance guarantee its stability and continuity?
5.Will the applicant be offered opportunities to use her or his knowledge and skills?

[Documents to be prepared by the applicant]

  • Application for Change of Status of Residence
  • A photo
  • Passport and Residence Card
    (or Certificate of Foreign Registration equivalent to a Residence Card) to be presented
  • Diploma or Advanced Diploma (certificate)
  • Vocational school Certificate of Graduation
    (or Certificate of Expected Graduation)
  • Resumé

* For more details, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Justice Immigration Bureau.

Residency management system

A new residency management system was introduced on July 9th, 2012. Anyone eligible will be issued with a Residence Card with a photo that contains basic identification information such as their name, status of residence and period of stay.

• Contact:

Sendai Regional Immigration Bureau
1-3-20 Gorin, Miyagino-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi
Telephone number: 022-256-6076
Immigration Information Center
Telephone number: 0570-013904
Telephone number: 03-5796-7112 (from IP phone, PHS, and overseas)

Health insurance for international students

International students (mid- to long-term residents) are required to sign up for National Health Insurance. You need to apply for this at your local municipal or ward office.

Working part-time (Obtaining a permit to engage in activities not permitted under your present resident status)

To work part-time, international students must follow the right procedures to obtain Permission to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted. While the number of working hours will be limited, students are allowed to work part-time as long as they do not work in prohibited places or engage in prohibited activities.


The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Japanese Student Services Organization (JASSO) offer scholarships to self- supporting international students who need financial support or to those who excel academically. In addition, some local authorities, private organizations, and schools have their own scholarships. Please contact the school if you are interested in these scholarships.

Contact information regarding various procedures

• Consultation (information service) for foreign residents in Sendai
Telephone number: 022-224-1919(Except when it is closed):
• Sendai International Center, International Exchange and Information Area (Koryu Corner)
Aobayama, Aoba-ku, Sendai
Telephone number: 022-265-2471 (9:00-20:00)

Points to remember when renting an apartment

To engage the services of real estate agencies, you usually need to have sufficient funds ready when signing a contract to cover about 5 to 6 months rent as well as money for a security deposit and a key. A Japanese guarantor will also be required if you take out a contract for a lease (this condition also applies to Japanese tenants). It would be helpful to have someone with you who can communicate well in Japanese, if possible.

Public manners in Japan

Here are a few examples you should be aware of regarding conventional codes of expected behavior in Japan.

  • ・ Refrain from talking on a cell phone when using public transport such as on trains and buses.
  • ・ Don't talk too loudly in public places.
  • ・ Dispose of waste only at a designated place.

If you fall ill, please bring your National Health Insurance card and go see a doctor as soon as possible. Call an ambulance if you feel too sick to go to the hospital on your own.

Call 119 for an ambulance.

What to do when you get sick

Information and assistance on housing
Miyagi Real Estate Transaction Association (Miyagi-ken Takuchitatemono Torihikigyo Kyokai) Free Real Estate Consulting Service
Miyagi-ken Fudosan Kaikan (Miyagi Real Estate Center) 3-4-18 Kokubun-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai
Telephone number: 022-266-9807
Health service information
General medical information and assistance service
Department of Medical Care Development, Miyagi Prefectural Government Office Building 7th Floor and other regional Health and Welfare offices
Telephone number: 022-211-3456 (Miyagi Prefectural Government)

Contact information for other inquiries

A free handbook, Life in Sendai, is made available at the following locations to provide useful information to support your life in Sendai, including disaster and emergency information.

• At each ward office’s foreign resident registration desk
Aoba Ward Office (TEL:022-225-7211)
Wakabayashi Ward Office (TEL:022-282-1111)
Izumi Ward Office (TEL:022-372-3111)
Miyagino Ward Office (TEL:022-291-2111)
Taihaku Ward Office (TEL:022-247-1111)

• Sendai International Center, International Exchange and Information Area (Koryu Corner) (TEL:022-265-2471)
• Sendai Citizens Bureau International Relations Division (TEL:022-214-1261)