Is it Possible to Get Hired From Outside Japan?

by Aaron

Hello, I have a kind of question that may need a long answer. I'm 24 years old, and I don't have any degree done yet, though if I go full-time for schooling here in the United States, I'll have at least my associates done by late 2018.

The thing is, I've been really interested in moving to Japan. I lived in Fussa for four years as a child when my dad was stationed in Japan in the military, and ever since then, I fell in love with Japan, its culture, and its people.

I understand that teaching English is the most common way to move to Japan as a US citizen, but I don't really know where to begin with all of it. I know that if I just wanted to move and get a working visa, for the most part I would need a bachelor's degree, which would take a long time, so teaching English would be my best bet.

But, what would my first few steps be? It seems almost impossible to achieve this. I know that some people move to Japan first and then look for a job, but I don't feel safe taking that risk, and I'd rather have some sort of job lined up if possible before I even get a chance to go to Japan.

Is it possible to get hired from outside of Japan? I understand I'll pretty much need the TEFL certificate, which shouldn't be a problem for starters. But it just seems so difficult to get started with getting things going with me being outside of Japan. So, I guess I'm just lost with where I would even start. I've lived in Japan before, I've been studying Japanese by myself for two years, and I wish to move back. If you have any tips or know the general "steps" I should first take with being outside of Japan, please let me know. Thank you.

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Jan 31, 2018

by: John

Hi Aaron,

Yes your questions are lengthy. Yes in order to work in Japan you will need a Japan Specialist in Humanities / International Services Visa. 1 way around this is if you have at least 3 years of teaching experience. If you have this then you don't need the 4 year degree.

American citizens are not qualified to get a working holiday visa so that avenue isn't available to you.

Yes there are many companies that hire from the U.S. Aeon, ECC, Amity, Nova, Peppy Kids Club,
Coco etc. But all of them will require you to have a 4 year degree. It is a mandate by the Japanese government.

If you have a unique skill, meaning one that Japanese generally don't have, you could apply for that visa.

If you don't feel comfortable as you said in going and looking for a job in Japan on a tourist visa then I am afraid that the "general steps" you mentioned will be the ones you take to the door of the university to get that degree so that you can get on a plane.

Look at it this way you are already 1/2 of the way done!

Good luck!

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