TOPWorking in Kobe


We have compiled information that non-Japanese citizens should know about working in Kobe, such as the working environment and systems in Japan, the flow of job hunting, and business styles. Make sure to check it and prepare in advance so that you can work without any concerns.

Working environment / system in Japan

Status of



Social welfare
/ Tax

I got a job in Kobe.


What kind of procedures are required?

You must first obtain a Status of Residence that allows you to work in Japan.

In the case of joining a Japanese company from overseas

Before entering Japan
  • Company

    Apply for and obtain a "Certificate of Eligibility" at Immigration Services Agency of Japan

  • Employer

    Apply for and obtain a visa by presenting the "Certificate of Eligibility" at the Japanese Embassy (Consulate)

  • Immigration

    Obtain a
    Residence Card

    Present your visa / Certificate of Eligibility and enter Japan, obtain a Residence Card

When a person living in Japan joins a company or changes jobs

If you are a non-Japanese citizen, you must undergo procedures at Immigration Services Agency of Japan where you live.

For international students (Application for Change of Status of Residence)
After deciding where to work, international students must change the Status of Residence of “Studying Abroad” to a Status of Residence that allows employment before entering the company.
When changing jobs
There are times when the Status of Residence may change when the type of work changes after changing jobs, which requires procedures.

* Please refer to the website of the Ministry of Justice for details.

What is Status of Residence?

The Status of Residence is determined by the type of occupation in which you are engaged. As a general rule, you must not engage in activities outside the range of the activities specified in the Status of Residence.

Main status of residence which will allow working (type of activities and term of residence are limited)
Status of Residence Applicable examples
Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services (ESI) Mechanical engineering engineer, system engineer, technology development, design, quality control, planning, finance, sales, marketing, interpretation, translation, language guidance, public relations, advertising or overseas transaction business, design, product development, etc.
Business Manager Business owners, managers, etc.
Legal/Accounting Services Attorneys, certified public accountants, etc.
Researcher Government agencies, corporate researchers, etc.
Intra-company Transferee Transferees from foreign offices, etc.
Highly Skilled Professional (HSP) Advanced human resources based on a point system of education, work experience, and annual income.
Nursing Care Those who have Japanese nursing care worker status* However, there are also statuses of residence for technical internship, specified skills, and specified activities under the EPA agreement.
Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) Workers in specific industrial fields Qualification of the system to cope with the shortage of skilled workers in Japan
Technical Intern Training (TIT) International cooperation activities for the transfer of Japanese technology and knowledge to developing countries.
Main status of residence based on status and position(type of activities is not limited/ term of residence is limited, partly unlimited)
Status of Residence Applicable examples
Permanent Resident (PR) Those who have received permission to reside permanently
Spouse or Child of Japanese National (SCJN) Spouse of Japanese, biological child, special adoption
Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident (SCPR) Spouse of permanent resident / special permanent resident, biological child who was born in Japan and continues to reside in Japan
Main status of residence which will not allow working
Status of Residence Applicable examples
Student Those who study abroad in Japanese schools
Dependent Spouses and children supported by working foreigners

* part-time job within 28 hours a week might be possible

Residence Card

For medium-to-long-term residents, the card will be issued at the airport where you landed (those who have been determined to stay for over 3 months) when entering Japan.

Residence Card sample
[Click to enlarge]

在留カード(表) 在留カード(裏)

"Immigration Services Agency of Japan website
What is a Residence Card?"

Do I sign a contract with a company when working for it?

Yes! People who work at a company will sign a work contract.

How are the conditions presented?

It will be presented in a Notice of Working Conditions.

Notice of Working Conditions

A work contract is signed after a Notice of Working Conditions is issued. The following contents must be stated in a Notice of Working Conditions. Be sure to check it before signing a contract.

  • Duration of work contract
  • Location of work & details of work tasks
  • Starting & finishing & break times
  • Salary
  • Vacation days
  • Matters related to ceasing work

Notice of Working Conditions sample
[Click to enlarge]

労働条件通知書サンプル1 労働条件通知書サンプル2 労働条件通知書サンプル3

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website Notice of Working Conditions English version

Can you tell us more about the salary system in Japan?

Japanese salary is paid by take-home pay." Some people say that the amount is less than what was presented when joining the company. However, this is because the tax is deducted from the total amount paid by the company (called gross).

How much does the gross and the take-home pay differ in amount?

It depends on the content of the deduction. The take-home pay you can receive will be approximately 80% (75% - 85%) of the gross.

How to calculate your salary

The "take-home pay" is the amount that will be transferred to your bank account on the payday. In contrast, the "gross" is the total amount paid before deducting social insurance premiums and tax.

1.Gross - 2.Amount deducted = Take-home pay1.Gross - 2.Amount deducted = Take-home pay
The base amount as stipulated in the Notice of Working Conditions.
Various allowances
Dependent allowances, various business allowances, etc.*
Extra-hour work allowance
Premium amount paid for work that exceeds the designed working hours set by the company (overtime allowance)
Commuting fee
Covering the cost of a commuter pass, etc. from your home to the workplace. *
Special salary paid separately from your basic salary. *

* The set amount varies depending on the company. There are times when it is not paid.

2.Amount deducted
Income tax
Tax levied on an individual's annual income
Residence tax
Tax paid to the residing local government
Employment insurance
Insurance that allows you to receive unemployment benefits when losing a job
Health insurance
Medical insurance that allows you to see a medical institution in case of an illness or injury
Insurance to receive pension benefits starting at age 65
Nursing care insurance premium
Insurance for receiving long-term care that requires
participation when you are 40 years old or older

Example of annual income

  • case1

    24-year-old engineer Non-managerial position /
    Monthly income: 240,000 yen
    Bonus: 300,000 yen x 2 times

    (240,000 yen x 12 months) + (300,000 yen x 2 times)
    = Total salary of 3.48 million yen annually

    Total salary of 3.48 million yen - approx. 0.76 million yen in deductions = Take-home pay of 2.72 million yenTotal salary of 3.48 million yen - approx. 0.76 million yen in deductions = Take-home pay of 2.72 million yen
  • case2

    28-year-old sales supervisor leader /
    Monthly income: 300,000 yen
    Bonus: 500,000 yen x 2 times

    (300,000 yen x 12 months) + (500,000 yen x 2 times)
    = Total salary of 4.6 million yen annually

    Total salary of 4.6 million yen - approx. 1.1 million yen in deductions = Take-home pay of 3.5 million yenTotal salary of 4.6 million yen - approx. 1.1 million yen in deductions = Take-home pay of 3.5 million yen

I hear that the social welfare system in Japan is extensive. What kind of welfare can I receive?

You can receive various welfare based on the social insurance premiums paid from your salary.

I also want to know about the tax system.

The tax related to salary are income tax and residence tax. The tax related to daily life is consumption tax.

Japanese social insurance system

This is an insurance non-Japanese citizens must also enter when working in Japan.

Workers' accident
This is a system in which insurance money is paid in the event of illnesses or injuries during the commute.
This is a system in which insurance money is paid for a certain period so that you can find your next job with peace of mind when you lose a job.
Health in-
This is a system in which a part of the cost of getting injured or sick is borne. The insurance money is also paid at the time of childbirth or death.
National pension &
pension in-
This is a system in which insurance money is paid in the event of old age (65 years old or older in principle), disability or death. At the time of death, it will be paid to the bereaved family.
* Lump-sum withdrawal payment: Depending on the period of joining the insurance, some money will be paid to non-Japanese citizens if they make a claim after returning to their home country.

Tax (tax regarding salary)

Income tax" paid to the country and "residence tax" paid to the residing local government are tax people working in Japan must pay.

Income tax Income tax is incurred for the entire amount earned from January to December of any given year. Estimated income tax payments are automatically deducted from your monthly paycheck, with the correct tax amount adjusted in December (year-end adjustment).
Residence tax This tax is payable to the local municipal authority wherever you are registered as living on January 1 of each year. The amount of tax changes depending on the amount of income you earned in the previous year, as well as whether you have a family, etc.

Job hunting in Japan

Job hunting for
new graduates

Job search


It's about time to prepare for job hunting.

I'm still in the third year of college. I still have over a year before graduation.

Japanese students are preparing for job hunting from the third year of university.

Really? I want to work in Japan. Could you give me some advice about job hunting so I don’t fall behind other students?

New graduate job hunting schedule

Most Japanese companies hire students who are scheduled to graduate every year and have them join the company in April. They often disclose employment information and accept registrations to proceed with the selection, such as interviews when hiring new graduates from universities. You must start the preparation early and gather information so that you can join the company you prefer.


* The schedule above is a general schedule for new graduate job hunting of Japanese companies.

How to proceed with job hunting

Finish preparing the self-promotion and the motivation for applying early. Register for a company selection process after you have completed your self-promotion and motivation for applying.

  • Self-analysis

    Create your

  • Industry

    Create your motivation
    for applying

  • Company

    Join an internship

  • Application

    Create Entry Sheet
    Apply for a company

* You will find your strengths that can be utilized in work by experiencing the actual work at a company.

Companies may also refer to a candidateʼs level of Japanese language when hiring. It may be to your advantage to obtain a qualification for the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test before starting job hunting.

Source: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Official Website

! Information about the latest job hunting !

Reference: JASSO Japan Student Services Organization website "Job Hunting Guide for International Students"

Steps and points for hiring decisions

The "points" listed here are general points and may differ depending on the company. Be sure to study the interview trend of companies by studying the companyʼs website.

Steps Features / Points
Company information
Companies publicize their business contents for job hunting students. They look at your "manners" and "work consciousness".
Resume / entry sheet Fill at least 80% of the space. Write neatly if you are handwriting it! Do not over-edit the photo.
Written exam The exam differs depending on the company you apply. Your “basic ability” will be judged. There are books on how to prepare for the exam.
Group discussion Divide into groups of 4 - 6 people and discuss a given theme in groups. The interviewer objectively evaluates the situation. Instead of trying to create a situation in which only you stand out, show a willingness to listen to other applicants' stories.
First interview Many companies tend to hold a group interview. The interviewers are young employees (on-site personnel and human resources). Your “first impression” and “communication skills” will be judged.
Second interview The interviewers are field managers and mid-career employees of the Human Resources Department. Your “potential of being successful at the company” and “enthusiasm for the company” will be judged
Final interview Interviewers are executives and managers. Your “motivation for applying," "intention to join the company," "whether you share the belief of the corporate philosophy” will be judged.

Participate in Job Fair for Non-Japanese Job-seekers

The Job Fair for Non-Japanese Job-seekers is a joint information session held by many companies together. You can learn about the explanations of many companies in a single day. Kobe City holds a "The Job Fair for Non-Japanese Job-seekers" every year.

Registration on job hunting websites

Register on a job hunting website before starting job hunting. You can get the following information on the website:
- Information about internships and joint information sessions
- Information necessary for job hunting, such as registering for a company selection
process and internship application admissions.

If you are looking for a job in Kobe, use a job search site. You can search for the job you want by selecting the type of industry, job title, qualifications, etc.

Hello Work Kobe(Japanese language only)
KOBE Living Guide Life in Japan How to find a job
Pasona Global Search
Osaka Employment Service Center for Foreigners

What kind of skills are needed to be successful in a Japanese company?

Many companies require communication skills.

I see. What other skills are needed?

The ability to consider something from various perspectives Japanese will not see is also a skill companies expect from their non-Japanese employees.

I asked the person in charge at the Japanese company!

What kind of talent are you looking for?
  • Communication skills

    Can you work while communicating extensively with the people around you?

  • Expertise

    Do you have the expertise required by the company?

  • Initiative

    Can you take the initiative to work?

  • Cooperativeness

    Can you work as a "team" cooperating with the people you work with?

  • Faithfulness

    Can you work studiously and diligently?

  • Sprint of
    taking on things

    Can you take on any task without fear of failure?

What are the reasons for hiring a non-Japanese talent?
  • Because non-Japanese talents tend to have a high motivation toward work
  • Because it is necessary to respond to globalization (business that requires language skills, communication with overseas, etc.)
  • Because we want excellent talent regardless of nationality
  • Because it positively influences Japanese employees and leads to the invigoration within the company
What skills do you especially want from non-Japanese talent?
  • Language ability

    Do you have sufficient Japanese ability to communicate with Japanese employees?

  • Diverse values

    Can you express your opinions and act from a global perspective and ideas that are different from Japanese?

  • Enthusiasm

    Do you have a solid reason that shows you want to work for this company?

Japanese business attire and commuting situation



Proper grooming allows you to make a good impression.

I want my colleagues, bosses, and clients to have a good impression of me.

I agree. Grooming can be one of the business skills.

Please tell me what I should address.

About dress codes

Although dress codes vary depending on the company, the business etiquette you should address is the same. It is said that people often judge by appearance. It is crucial to practice proper grooming as basic business etiquette.

  • photo
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I'm wondering how to commute from my home to work. I used to commute on my motorcycle in my home country.

Many people commute by train or bus in urban areas in Japan. Kobe City also has extensive public transportations, such as trains and buses.

I feel anxious because I've never used a Japanese train or bus.

You don't need to worry as the vending machines at stations and announcements on the premises are increasingly becoming multilingual.

The appeal of commuting unique to Kobe


Short commute!

The many residential areas near the business area make commuting short in Kobe.

The appeal of Japanʼs public transportation

  • Operates on time
    without delay
  • Clean, bright, and safe to
    use station premises
  • Displays in languages of
    various countries
  • You can get on and off
    with a transportation
    IC card.

Transportation IC card

Transportation IC card ICOCA

Employment support measures for non-Japanese citizens in Kobe City

Kobe City supports non-Japanese citizens to find employment
in Kobe through various projects.

1.Job Fair for Non-Japanese Job-seekers

We hold Job Fair for Non-Japanese Job-seekers annually in Kobe to provide matching opportunities with local companies. It has been greatly received by the participating companies, resulting in many employments.


Past holding results
•2017 Local companies 20 companies Participating non-Japanese citizens 240 people
•2018 Local companies 33 companies Participating non-Japanese citizens 540 people
•2019 Local companies 41 companies Participating non-Japanese citizens 473 people
•2020 Local companies 20 companies Participating non-Japanese citizens 510 people
•2021 Local companies 25 companies Participating non-Japanese citizens 890 people
•2022 Local companies 33 companies Participating non-Japanese citizens 922 people
•2023 Local companies 60 companies Participating non-Japanese citizens 868 people


2.Holding seminars, study sessions, etc. (KOBE Global Human Resources Working)

We hold seminars, study sessions, workshops, etc., for international students.

  • Job hunting seminars at each school
  • Job hunting seminars about how to fill in entry sheets
  • Job interview simulations
  • Workshops between corporate representatives and international students
  • Company tours for international students


An employment information website for non-Japanese citizens who want to work in Kobe. Information, such as interviews of non-Japanese citizens working in Kobe, employment information, living information, employment procedures are posted.



Although the website is not exclusively for non-Japanese citizens, it provides information about employment in Kobe.


5.Life consultation

The Kobe International Community Center (KICC) provides a wide range of living support for non-Japanese citizens.

“Kobe Living Guide"
A guide for non-Japanese citizens living in Kobe
Kobe International Community Center (KICC)
Address Asta Kunizuka 1-Bankan, South Building 4F 5-3-1, Udezuka-cho, Nagata-ku, Kobe
Hours of operation Mon - Fri 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
(Closed on Sundays, Japanese public holidays, and year-end and New Year holidays)
TEL 078-742-8721

6.Kobe Employment Service Corner for Foreigners
[Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare]

A consultation service (“Hello Work”) of the country (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) to support the employment of international students and non-Japanese citizens looking for a job. In addition to employment consultation, you can receive services, such as job information service and employment reference for free.

Kobe Employment Service Corner for Foreigners(Japanese only)
Kobe Employment Service Center
Address Hello Work Kobe 2F (5) Corner, 1-3-1, Aioi-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe
Supported language English, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese

Nursing care industry information in Kobe City

topic 01

Number of foreign caregivers working in Kobe is increasing year by year.

The number of nursing care
providers in Kobe is: Approximately

2,700 locations

*Inpatient facilities, day-care service offices, home-visit service offices, home care support offices, etc.


of residential facilities in Kobe have hired or are considering hiring foreign employees.

*According to the 2019 survey of residential facilities (special nursing homes: 40.8% with foreign staff and 35.5% are considering hiring foreign staff)

The number of foreign caregivers accepted:The number of people certified in technical training programs is planned to increase

12 times

compared to the last year from 2019!

(2019.3 14 people / 2020.3 168 people)

Every year the number of caregiver candidates accepted under the EPA increases!

Number of caregiver candidates
accepted under the EPA(in Kobe City)

topic 02

Appeal of nursing job and support by Kobe City

The appeals of becoming a nurse
  • It is a rewording job that people who receive your care will be greatful.
  • Your sense of self-worth will grow by being involved with a wide variety of people. You also have the chance to enjoy skills outside of nursing like drawing or music.
  • While working as a nurse. you can improve other skills in addition to nursing such as communication and Japanese language skills.
The appeals of being a nurse in Kobe
  • Further career advancement
    while working in Kobe

    The city of Kobe provides support for caregivers to acquire expertise and advance their careers. Those who have passed the City of Kobe's original Elderly Care Worker Certification System will receive a monthly stipend of

    10,000 yenfor up to five years until they pass their nursing care worker certification.

  • Student Testimonial

    I was able to learn the technical terms used in the workplace in depth in this lecture. This gave me the confidence to move on to the next step of becoming a care worker.

*Caregiver is a national license in the field of nursing and welfare. Acquiring the license will give you expertise for the job and status of residence in Japan.

Life and Education Support for Foreign Nursing Staff

After arriving in Japan there are many different types of support that you can receive.