Getting Part-Time Jobs in Japan
It is estimated that more than 75% of foreign students get part-time jobs in Japan.
Should you need income to cover your daily expenses, you too may want to consider finding a part-time job or “arbeit” (アルバイト arubaito). Usually, students find work in services industry such as fast food shops, restaurants, cafés, hotels, or in marketing, teaching etc.
We always recommend our students to work, at least a few hours per week. Beside the financial issue, this is another way to practice the language and improve quickly. Immersion is the best way to learn a language and working makes the immersion experiencemore complete. Further, part-time jobs enable foreign students to get acquainted with work in Japan and some of the rules and customs. In case you intend to look for a job in Japan after your Japanese language program, “arbeit” will have been a priceless experience.
Visa and work restriction:
As a student, you are allowed to work up to 28 hours per week (and up to 40 hours during long holidays). First you must get a permission from the immigration office “Shikakugai-katsudokyoka”(Engaging in Activities other than Status Qualification). But this is usually a mere formality.
But do not forget: before you start looking for a job, you must apply for the permission. Once you get the permission (which, again, is (almost) always granted), it will be effective and valid even if you change jobs. When you extend your visa, the permission can also be extended.
To apply, you must submit the form “Application for Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted Under the Status of Residence Previously Granted” and show your passport. The form is available at the Immigration Bureau and there is no fee to apply. Note that you may submit the form at your entry in Japan (i.e. at the airport).
Click here to check where is the nearest Immigration Bureau.
Important: work in adult entertainment business is strictly prohibited. This includes bars and nightclubs that provide companions for customers, adult entertainment businesses, and gambling businesses such as pachinko parlors, mahjong parlors, etc.
When you get hired, make sure that you understand the terms under which you will be working: the working days, schedule, payment, day of payment, contact person name and telephone number in case of emergency, etc. It’s helpful to write down all the details in order to avoid trouble or misunderstandings.
Although it’s only a part-time job, you are not allowed to be late at work or take a day off without prior permission and with valid reason. If for any reason you get late to work or need a day off, please contact, inform and discuss it with your employer beforehand.
Salaries are usually around 1,000 Yens per hour. Obviously, it depends on qualifications and positions. If you work for a language school (which some foreign students do), you may earn 2,000 Yens or more per hour.
Finding part-time jobs:
First, as people often ask us, here is a disclaimer: we, at Motivist Japan, may be able to help you find a job in Tokyo and Chiba. However, please keep in mind that we are an educational agency, not a job agency. We will help our students if we can but we offer no guarantee at all!
There are many ways to look for part-time jobs. Check bulletin boards, newspaper ads, “job magazines” (check the free publications in the conbinis – the most famous is Townwork, pick the one with the Yellow cover). You will also find a lot of resources on the internet, in forums etc. You may also want to visit your local “Hello Work” office (employment agency).
Some suggestions of online resources:
http://baito.mynavi.jp/ (in Japanese)
https://baitalk.jp/ (in Japanese)
Google, and you will find more resources!
Also worth noting: Japanese language schools have international student advisers. They will be able to help and guide you where to look and find a job. Also you will learn a lot about job search technique from your classmates or seniors who are studying at the same school.