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Amended immigration control law was enforced in 1st, April, 2015 and category of ” Highly skilled foreign professional = Kodo senmon shoku = 高度専門職 ” was established.
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Some years have passed since enforcement of this amended law though, some foreign nationals do not know this treatment.
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What is Highly skilled foreign professional ?

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There are two kinds of Highly skilled foreign professional ( Highly skilled foreign professional Type1 ( = kodo senmonshoku type1 ) and Highly skilled foreign professional Type2 ( = kodo senmonshoku Type2  )
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Now, I will explain Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1
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A foreign national who has already status of residence of designated activity of skilled worker ( = kodo jinzai ) as of 1st, April, 2015 is deemed that she or he ( hereinafter referred to “she” ) has status of residence of Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1.
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So, status of residence of designated activity of skilled worker is automatically converted into Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1.
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In Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1, there are three categories.
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Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1 (a) : A person who engages in advanced academic research activities etc.
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A person who has very high skill or knowledge in specific domain, she can be included in Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1 (a).
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Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1 (b) : A person who has advanced skill or knowledge and engage in work that requires such skill or knowledge.
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Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1 (c) : A person who has advanced skill or knowledge and engage in management of business.
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Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1 and Type 2 can apply for seven kinds of preferential treatments.
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There is not difference between Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1 and Highly skilled foreign professional Type2 in these treatments.linkedin, but deleted
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Even before amendment of immigration control law in 1st, April, 2015, highly skilled worker ( Kodo jinzai ) had this preferential treatment.
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1)    Highly skilled foreign professional can engage in multiple kinds of activities at the same time.
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In the case of ordinary status of residence, she can only engage in one kind of activity basically.
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However in the case of Highly skilled foreign professional, she can engage in activities those are included in multiple domain at the same time.
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For example, if Highly skilled foreign professional is hired by a company and working as salaried worker, she can use her advanced skill and knowledge and start her own business at the same time.
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2)    Period of Highly skilled foreign professional is 5 years.
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Of course, she can apply for extension of this period.
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3)    She can obtain permanent residency easily compared to other persons who have other kind of status of residence.
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In general, a foreign national tries to obtain permanent residence, she is required to have been living in Japan for more than 10 years.
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However in the case of Highly skilled foreign professional, if she has engaged in activity as Highly skilled foreign professional for more than 5 years, she can apply for permanent residence.
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4)    A person who applies for Highly skilled foreign professional can receive certificate of eligibility ( COE ) swiftly than other foreign nationals who hope to obtain other kind of COE.
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Immigration bureau processes the application from potential Highly skilled foreign professional prior to other foreign nationals who apply for other kind of status of residence.
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So, Highly skilled foreign professional may be able to receive certificate of eligibility within about ten days.
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In the case of foreign nationals who hope to obtain other kind of COE, it will take from 2 weeks to 3 months.

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5)    Spouse of Highly skilled foreign professional can engage in work easily without permit.
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In the case spouse ( Assumed Jack ) of Highly skilled foreign professional hopes to engage in activity of Engineer & Specialist in Humanities & International Services ( Gijutsu, Jinbun Chishiki, Kokusai Gyomu ), even if Jack does not satisfy academic background nor work experience, Jack is allowed to work in these fields.
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So, Jack may be able to work in Japan easily.
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6) Highly skilled foreign professional can invite her parents from her home country
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In other kind of status of residence, she can not invite her parents basically.
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However in the case of Highly skilled foreign professional, if following requirements are satisfied, she can invite her parents or her parents in law to Japan.
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a ) The amount of annual household income is 8 million yen or more and
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b) She has a child of 7 years old or less.
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7) She can invite housemaid

In the case of Highly skilled foreign professional, if following requirements are satisfied, she can invite her housemaid to Japan.
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It means her housemaid can obtain status of residence in Japan.
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a)    The amount of annual household income is 10 million yen or more, and
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b)    The amount of her housemaid’s monthly salary is 200 thousand yen or more.
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In order to become Highly skilled foreign professional, she needs to acquire more than 70 points.

This is called Point based preferential immigration treatment for Highly skilled foreign professional.
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Point calculation table was released by Japanese government.

According to this table, she can calculate her points.
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Her academic background, work experience, prospective annual income in Japan, age ( younger is better ) can accumulate some points and when she can acquire points of 70 or more, she can become Highly skilled foreign professional.
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And according to situation she needs to prepare necessary documents, like diploma, certificate issued by her former employer etc.
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If she has graduated from university in Japan or she majored in Japanese language in foreign university and graduated or passed Japanese language skill test N1, she may have more chance to acquire enough points.

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Demerit of Highly skilled foreign professional
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In the case she becomes Highly skilled foreign professional in Japan, designated paper shall be issued to her.
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On this document, information of her employer shall be indicated and this paper is attached to her passport.
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It means that she can be Highly skilled foreign professional as far as she works in specific employer.
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So, if she resigns from her current office, she needs to change her status of residence from Highly skilled foreign professional to other category of status of residence.

On the other hand, in case of “ Engineer & Specialist in Humanities & International Services ( Gijutsu, Jinbun Chishiki, Kokusai Gyomu ) ”, even if she has resigned her current office and engage in “ Engineer & Specialist in Humanities & International Services ( Gijutsu, Jinbun Chishiki, Kokusai Gyomu ) “ in other company, she does not always need to change her status of residence.
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As for Highly skilled foreign professional Type 2.
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In the case she has engaged in activity as Highly skilled foreign professional for 3 years or more,
She can convert her Highly skilled foreign professional Type 1 to Highly skilled foreign professional Type 2.
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At the time of her conversion, she needs to sustain point of 70 or more and her behavior in Japan should be reasonable.

In the case of Highly skilled foreign professional Type 2, there is not category like (a), (b),(c).

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Merit of Highly skilled foreign professional Type 2, there is not limitation to live in Japan.
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So, she can live in Japan permanently.
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Seven preferential treatments are also applied.
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She can engage in almost all kinds of work, excluding unskilled work.
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So, she can not work in convenience store.
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However even in the case of Highly skilled foreign professional Type 2, if she has not engaged in activity of Highly skilled foreign professional for 6 months or more,her status of Highly skilled foreign professional may be revoked.
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And if she has changed or lost her job, she needs to change her status of residence.
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