Going from a Tourist Visa to a working visa

Hello, So I just got to Japan about 3 weeks ago. I am a recent graduate of Computer Science from a college in Colorado. I thought it was a good idea to come here as a tourist and look for a job and when I find one be able to get a work visa. But I am finding a bunch of different answers on if I can or not. My question is, is it possible to transfer my visa status from a tourist visa to a work visa?
I am looking for a job in Tokyo doing either development or IT, either is fine. I do not have any professional experience yet.

Someone told me that I would have to leave Japan and then come back with a work visa, but I feel like that is a really dumb way to do things.

Thank you so much for your time!

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To get a visa, first you need to find a company that is willing to hire you. Once you have that, the company will be responsible for supplying you a visa, so its not something you need to worry about personally.

If you’re on a visa that allows residence in Japan, such as a student visa, you can change to a working visa. For changing from a tourist to working visa, it looks like the rules may have changed, hence the confusion to whether or not it is possible. Also note that immigration laws in Japan leave a lot of discretion to the person processing the application, so it is hard to get clear answers on what is and isn’t permitted.

One thing to keep in mind though is that a tourist visa lasts three months, and it will often take a couple of months to process a working visa. If you don’t receive your working visa before the tourist visa expires, you will need to leave the country.


Hi @KraseZ, I am curious if you were able to change holiday visa to work visa. I am in a similar situation, almost graduating with a Bachelor degree in computer science. Also, I do not have any japanese descendent.