Work While You Study in Japan: Some of the Part Time Jobs Perfect for International Students

Hone skills you cannot acquire at school by having part time jobs while studying in Japan, or simply want to have more pocket money or simply a mix of both? Here are some perfect part time jobs for international students studying in Japan.

Benefits of Working while Studying

It is never bad to have extra cash to spare, especially if you're a student as unexpected needs and expenses may appear anytime. Working part time can alleviate this problem; moreover, it's a great way to improve your Japanese language skills. Having money to spend, students can have more leisure during their free time. Working can also give skills not usually acquired in school. It gives them independence, a way to provide for themselves, and can naturally draw them closer to the community. It serves as a practice in managing time efficiently, preparing him for heavier loads in the future.

Recommended Jobs for Foreign Students

Students do not really need to search for jobs because language schools themselves give all the support that you may need. They help you from writing your resume to looking for part-time jobs.

  • Students are usually employed by the schools to teach the English language, or for those students who has a budget, individual private tutor as part-time jobs are being offered.

  • If teaching is not your style, you could do labor intensive jobs like fruit-picking. Fruit-picking is a great option because it does not require you to be fluent in Japanese, and the work involved is simple. 

  • Housekeeping like maids or janitors in Hotels, support staff like park attendants or valet attendants, and the like are viable options if you possess basic Japanese language.

  • Working at supermarkets, restaurants or convenience stores can improve your Japanese skills very quickly!

  • For those foreign students that have excellent Japanese skills, you could work as translators and transcribers as freelancers or under a small business.

  • You can indirectly find jobs through referrals from your teachers, friends, and acquaintances, or you can search the web for job listings, or visit the nearby bulletin board in your area for job offerings.

As it stands, Japan is currently under an economic challenge where the population is aging and the birth rate is declining, causing the labor force to shrink. Therefore, landing a job is not a matter of if you will find a job, but when will you find it.

Work Permit and Things to remember

Applying for Work Permit

Japan is very strict when it comes to rules, and this is true regarding international students who want to work part-time. If you engage in part-time work without permission, you may be subject to punishment that includes deportation, so it is best you follow the rules set by the government.

There are certain documents that you need to have beforehand. 

  1. Passport

  2. Residence Card

  3. Student ID Card

  4. "Application for Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted." The form is available at the Immigration Services Agency of Japan website.

If you are a foreign student and currently studying, you obviously have your student visa, plus the things listed from numbers 1 to 3. All that is left to do is fill up the document in number 4, apply and submit it to the immigration office. Once your permission is granted, the immigration will stamp your residence card, and will also put a sticker in your passport.

※ Immigration Services Agency of Japan, “Application for Permission to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted”

Work Restrictions

You now have your work permit. But before you find or accept jobs, it is essential to know which jobs are allowed for you to partake. Generally, any jobs related to adult entertainment, whether direct or indirect, are not allowed.

These types of jobs are and may not be limited to:

  • Hostess Bars or cabaret (restaurants that serve alcohol are fine)

  • Gambling Establishments e.g., a pachinko or game parlor

  • Love hotels

  • Adult goods or video stores

  • Massage parlors

  • Or anything related to the sex trade

As a student, you can only work up to 28 hours a week in total. If you happen to have multiple jobs, ensure you are within the given hours. When school is not in session (school breaks or vacations), students can work up to 8 hours per day. 

Going to the Immigration Office

  • When applying for a "work permit," it is best to fill out the form before you arrive in Japan. If you have any intention to work, doing so will enable you to work right away. You can wait up to a month before receiving your work permit if you happen to apply on a later date after coming to Japan.

  • The immigration office is always crowded by people. It is best to arrive early before the doors open; otherwise, you might have to spend several hours waiting.

Scams and Illegal Activities that target Foreign Students

Foreigners are highly targeted by scammers that promise to give money if you let them "borrow" your personal documents. Your documents are then used to purchase services for illegal use, or open contracts for cell phones, laptops and other gadgets. It would be best if you were careful not to be deceived. Take special care of these belongings:

  • Residence Card

  • Bank Book

  • ATM Card

  • Passport

  • Driver's Licence

  • Student Visa

Ignorance of the law excuses no one, and even more if you are inside Japan, where rules dominate the country. Being a foreigner does not exempt you from punishments brought about by criminal or illegal activities. If someone asks for a small favor in return, he/she will give you money, be vigilant to reject the offer quickly. Some of the suspicious acts are:

  • Receiving packages for someone else, giving, delivering or carrying on behalf of other people for later on pick up

  • Ordering products online using the information of others

  • Assisting to withdraw money from Automated Teller Machines on other people’s behalf, without verifying the owner of the bank card account

Making "easy money" can be tempting, but do not let temptation get the best of you. Money can be easily earned, even for a foreign student. Always remember that your primary goal in Japan is to study, working part-time is just secondary. Do not let work distract you from your studies.

Working part-time in Japan, a conclusion

Nowadays, It is common to see students working during their free hours. It is practical and economic, a great way to learn the essence of time and the value of hard work. And with Japan's labor force slowly declining, more and more opportunities open to foreign students. This is the perfect time to work while studying in Japan. So what are you waiting for? Apply now!

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