Filipinos are very resilient in nature. They can live anywhere and thrive anywhere they choose. Go to any country and you will surely see one of our Kababayans working hard to earn money for their family back home. They are the OFWs – Overseas Filipino Workers that are considered as modern day heroes in the Philippines.

It is a common practice for Filipinos to cast their eyes to other countries for greener pasture. Whether the economy is doing great or not, most of us dream of going across the seas not just to earn big bucks, but to earn it as fast as possible! But then again, the starting steps to achieve that dream are not as easy as it sounds. It takes courage, determination, patience, start up money and solid credentials to make it to the other side.

With the many countries opening their doors to Filipino workers, we usually set our eyes on first world countries because they give higher hourly rates. Among these countries, a lot of us look into Japan to help us with our monetary worries at home. Though Japan is our neighbour in Asia, they have specific regulations for those who are seeking to be employed in their country.

One way to start working in Japan is to be an actual professional of certain career demands that they currently have. By professional, we mean having the appropriate educational background and work experience.


There are several work opportunities in Japan. The 2008 Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) has opened more doors for Filipino professionals to work in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Among the highest opportunity in Japan is with health workers. Nurses and caregivers can earn as much as Php60,000 a month when employed in Japan. If you are a graduate of nursing with a at least 3 years of relevant work experience with a reputable establishment, then you may be qualified for a job in Japan. Caregivers who have completed a 4 year course in any TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) accredited institution can also be a qualified applicant for a practice in Japan.
Should a nurses wish to apply as a caregiver, this is allowed – but not vice versa.

To begin you application, you can register online with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). You will undergo an aptitude test and will be interviewed so you can be matched with an employer in Japan. This will be facilitated by the Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services (JICWELS).

If your application is chosen, you will be given a 3 year temporary work visa. You will hold this visa as you undergo the required language and cultural training program to equip you with the communication skills to be more efficient in your task. This will also qualify you for a licensure examination that is a strict requirement for you to practice legally in the country. While training, applicants will get a monthly allowance of no more than 40,000 yen a month – which is roughly Php21,000. You are only given 3 chances to pass the examination within the 3 year visa that will be given to you.

Without the examination and licensure, you will only be considered as candidate nurses or caregivers with a visa that will allow you to stay in the country for roughly 3 years. But once you have passed the exam, then you are a licensed health professional in Japan who can work there for as long as you possible. The schedule for the licensure exam is usually every February of the year. An additional requirement for caregivers is to be employed at least 3 years prior to taking the license test. To prepare for this you need a total of Php2,650 – the Php1,500 is for the processing of your documents and medical examination while the rest is for the visa fee. Other fees like the travel fare and training costs will be shouldered by either your prospect employer or the government of Japan.

The second most popular job attraction in Japan is for Filipino Artists. The country used to accept up to 80,000 a year. However, regulations were enforced in 2005 after complaints of human trafficking became rampant. This lowered the artists down to 10,000 a year. They government also gave strict qualifications for stage actors, signers, dancers and musicians. They need to hold at least two years of study and experience elsewhere. Also, they need to get a certification from TESDA complete with an Artist Record Book (ARB). Though these regulations lowered the earning capabilities of Filipino artists, it guarantees the safety of the talented artists who make it abroad to work. Usually, Filipino artists go through an employment agency to get a job in Japan.

Other technical jobs are available in Japan like IT professionals and Engineers but most of them are through employment agencies already. Aside from the educational background and work experience (which is usually 2 years), those who know the Nihonggo language will definitely be considered above the rest.


Probably the most important requirement before you can step in the Land of the Rising Sun is by acquiring a Japan Visa. There are several types of visas that you can get. However, if you aim to work in Japan, you cannot rely on just a tourist visa to get you through. This type does not allow any paid activities for the holder. So to make your work legitimate, you need to get a temporary or permanent work visa.

Normally, a work visa requires a job offer from an employer in Japan. They will assist you in the process to expedite your arrival in their country. The temporary visa is given to those who are in need to training and licensure exam. Those who have passed and acquired their license are given a new contract and a permanent work visa (unless otherwise agreed with their employer).

You have to understand that you work visa will depend on the profession that you wish to get into. You cannot switch professions when you are holding another type of work visa.

Filipinos who are married to a Japanese national are given a spouse visa. This gives them the freedom to work in any profession within the country. Also permanent residents are given this freedom.


To apply for a work visa, Filipinos must visit the Embassy of Japan. Their office is located in 2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

There are two ways you can apply for a work visa, you can personally attend to the task or you can get the assistance from one of their accredited agencies. The list is available in HERE while the instructions are listed in this link HERE.

You can download the visa forms from this website: Click Here

Once you have filled out the application form, you need to submit it to the embassy together with a copy of your passport, a 2x2 photograph, acceptance letter from a Japanese employer, resume and other documents that may be required from your employer and your professional qualifications. The application fees can also be viewed in the official Embassy of Japan website.