Chances of getting work visa for someone with incomplete degree

Hi everyone,

In 2015 I dropped out from a university degree in Computer Engineering, having up to this day 210 out of the 240 credits… so it’s like three years and a half of completed education with a remaining semester.
Taking into account that I’ve been working in my field for around 5.5 - 6 years, which is your opinion regarding my chances of obtaining a work visa when applying from abroad for Software Engineering roles like the ones advertised on this website?

I’d like to read your thoughts and comments on this matter, because more often than not I come across posts of IT people that got their visas without meeting the threshold of ten years of experience (applicable for those who didn’t obtain a university degree).
Given the situation, at this point I’m considering on applying to some jobs from my country and see what happens.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks in advance, regards

If your 5.5 years of professional experience comes after your 3.5 years of education, that comes to 9 years. Still short of the 10 years required, but theoretically you might get approved.

That being said, you need to find a company that’s willing to hire you and sponsor your visa. Getting a job from overseas is already tough in the first place, and the uncertainty your situation creates makes it even less likely you’ll find one.

If I were in your situation, I’d consider finishing the degree as you’re so close, and it would unequivocally make you eligible for a visa. If you could do it evenings and weekends, it shouldn’t be such a burden.

It’s ultimately up to the discretion of immigration controllers in Japan, but I would not be super optimistic unfortunately. The two criteria are either 10 years’ experience or a bachelor’s degree - strictly following the letter of the law would deem you ineligible. You would be relying on your prospective company making a compelling case for an exception, and a sympathetic immigration officer exercising their ability to ignore the guidelines in your particular case. You would also likely be relying on them considering your incomplete degree to count towards your overall years of experience. None of these are things that I would feel very confident relying on, and you’d be relying on them all.

I would second the opinion that completing your degree would be the easiest way to resolve this. You would immediately become clearly eligible for a visa and - combined with your years of experience - a very attractive hire for a company in Japan.