Work & Study in Japan


Many international students decide to work and study in Japan at the same time in order to pay their tuition and living costs. We have already discussed the cost of living and studying in Japan.

However, according to JASSO statistics, 75% of international students in Japan work part-time. That said, there are conditions to be met in order to work while studying. In addition, international students have a specific number of daily and monthly work hours allowed. These vary depending on whether you are studying or on summer vacation.

Whether you can work on a student visa in Japan?

In general, international students on a student visa are not expected to work. But they can apply for part-time work as long as it does not interfere with their studies.

There are some bans on the types of work they can do. Finally, if you study and work in Japan, the income you earn must be used only to finance your studies and your life in the country. It is forbidden to use the money to earn income or transfer it abroad.

In order to work and study in Japan, students must obtain permission from the Japanese Minister of Justice. In addition, your potential employer must commonly report to the Employment Service Center if he/she intends to hire foreigners.

See also our guide on scholarships to study in Japan.

Work permit for students in Japan

International students must follow the following recommendations in order to work and study in Japan at the same time:

  •  Your work hours do not overlap with your class hours.
  •  You have an official waiver that allows you to exceed the working hours permitted by your student visa. You can obtain this waiver at your local regional immigration office. You do not need this waiver if you are working as a research assistant or teaching assistant at your university.
  • You may not work more than 28 hours per week during your university studies. However, during the vacations, you are allowed a maximum of 8 hours per day. If you want more hours, you will need to get another waiver form that allows you to work more than 28 hours per week while in school.
    See this list of regional immigration offices in Japan.

Documents needed to apply for a work permit

  •  Apply for a waiver to work more hours than your student visa allows. You can obtain the form from the regional immigration offices.
  • A document indicating the student’s additional activities. For example, you can provide a letter from your employer indicating their desire to hire you.
  • A copy of your visa or a “Zairyu card”. This foreign resident card is a document that every foreigner on Japanese soil must have.
  • A copy of your passport.
  • A copy of your certificate of qualification that you should have requested beforehand with your visa. For more information, see our article on obtaining a student visa in Japan.
  • A document that proves your identity as an applicant. If you have a student card, this will do.
  • Laws and regulations do not allow international students to work in the entertainment industry which may offend public decency. For example, international students are not allowed to work in bars, even for customer service.

How many hours can a student work in Japan?

With a student visa, foreign students can work up to 28 hours per week with permission. During long school vacations, summer or spring break, they can work up to 8 hours per day.

It should be noted that this total is a combination of all hours, regardless of how many places you work. For example, if you have two jobs, you have a 14-hour limit for each.

Also, if you drop out of school, you not only lose your student status but also your work permit.

Part-time job salaries in Japan for international students

The minimum hourly wage in Japan is 1000 yen, but it may vary slightly depending on the city or region where you live. Also keep in mind that in cities where the cost of living is higher, the average minimum wage increases accordingly. For instance, in Tokyo, the average minimum income for a student is 1,041 yen per hour. Also, if you can get teaching jobs, you can earn a higher rate.

How to find a part-time job?

There is very little joblessness in the Japanese labor market. And for foreign students, there are many bait, or odd jobs, that they can do in places like restaurants, hotels, stores, video game publishers…

In general, if you don’t know or can’t speak Japanese very well, you can always provide tutoring services, teaching English or your native language. However, you will get more job opportunities in Japan if you have a better command of the language.

If you want to work part-time and study in Japan, there are several ways to find a paid job:

  1. The international student office at your university or college.
  2. Advertisements in newspapers or job magazines.
  3. Employment agencies.
  4. Your friends and acquaintances.
  5. Bulletin boards at your university, school, or university housing.

Job sites in Japan