How to Live and Work in Japan: For Filipinos

Ah, Japan! The land of the rising sun, cherry blossoms, sushi, and advanced technology. Perhaps you’ve dreamt of experiencing the fusion of ancient traditions and modern lifestyle, or you’re eager to delve into the unique work culture. But how does a Filipino live and work in Japan? Here, we explore three primary ways to do that.

Benefits of Living and Working in Japan

Is it worth it? Is it worth the sacrifice to go abroad for a better life?

Cultural Enrichment

Japan offers Filipinos the chance to immerse themselves in a blend of age-old traditions and modern lifestyles.

Job Opportunities

With a dynamic economy, Japan provides vast career prospects for Filipinos across multiple sectors. It’s the perfect hub for those wishing to climb the career ladder or gain international work exposure.

Quality of Life

Japan’s unmatched public services, including healthcare, transportation, and safety, make it a prime destination for Filipinos wanting a high standard of living while working overseas.


For Filipinos looking to further their academic qualifications, Japan boasts world-class universities. Moreover, residing there offers the perfect setting for mastering the Japanese language, a significant asset in the global business world.

1st Route: Student Visa

If you’re looking at the academic pathway, obtaining a student visa is your best bet. It’s one of the easiest routes to enter Japan, especially if you have a qualified sponsor, such as a family member living there or an educational institution that accepts you. However, be sure to maintain your grades and adhere to the visa guidelines, or you risk losing your visa status.

Study in any School

Choose your school! Unmei Nihongo Center has 9 partners all over Japan. You can study in a city near your relative so you can save dormitory fees.

Work Part-Time

Students have an option to work while studying. However, know that you are only allowed a maximum of 28 hour per week under a STUDENT VISA status. This is already a big help for students.

Upgrade – Work Visa

Upon graduation, many students transition into work visas, allowing them to stay in Japan and kickstart their careers. This is now possible under the Specified Skills Worker 1 (SSW-1) type of visa.

2nd Route: TITP Trainee Visa

Japan’s TITP (Technical Internship Training Program) is an initiative to accept trainees from developing countries and offer them technical skills, technology, and knowledge. If you’re interested in this route, you’d need a sending organization, usually a local manpower agency, to facilitate this. Be sure though that the job order is legitimate and up-to-date.

While the Trainee Visa can give you valuable experience and skills, it is essential to choose a credible sending organization carefully and ensure you’re well-informed about your rights and duties as a trainee.

TITP (i)

The first phase, which lasts a year or two, involves primary training in the chosen field.

TITP (ii)

After successfully completing the first phase, trainees can progress to the second phase, which lasts for a maximum of 3 years. Here, they get a deeper understanding and practical knowledge of their field.

TITP (iii)

This is the final and advanced training phase, which runs for a maximum of 5 years.

3rd Route: SSW (Specified Skill Worker)

The SSW visa allows foreigners to work in specific sectors facing a labor shortage in Japan.

The table below provides a good overview of the differences between Type 1 and Type 2. However, the specific details, such as visa duration, skill level requirements, and other criteria, are subject to change based on Japanese immigration policies. The SSW visa is a recent development (as of my last update in 2021), so it’s essential to check the most recent guidelines from the Japanese Immigration Bureau.

CriteriaSSW Type 1SSW Type 2
DurationUp to 5 YearsIndefinite
Skill LevelBasic proficiency in both skills and Japanese languageAdvanced skills and proficiency
Change JobAllowed within the same sectorAllowed across different sectors
Fly your family to JapanNot allowedAllowed
SSW Type comparison

SSW Type 1

Suitable for those with basic proficiency in a specific skill and the Japanese language. You can change jobs but only within the same sector.

SSW Type 2

Aimed at those with advanced skills and proficiency. It allows greater flexibility, including changing jobs across sectors and bringing family members to Japan. Plus, there’s no limit to the visa’s renewal, making it a great long-term option.


Living and working in Japan for Filipinos is more than just an aspiration—it’s a journey filled with enriching experiences, personal growth, and career advancements. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or someone seeking to change their career, considering to live and work in Japan may just be what you are looking for.


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