tokyodev forum

Just a few points shy?

I’m a senior software developer and I’ve been looking at trying to go work in Japan for a little bit now and I’ve learned a lot thanks to this forum. One thing I learned about was the points system.
Looking at the points system, I think I have about 60 points.
40 from salary (assuming I get a job paying somewhat similar to my current ~$120k )
10 from being 30 years old.
10 for 5 years experience in software engineering.
I also have an associates degree but my Japanese is extremely basic.

On to the question. Is there anyway I can close the gap and pick up an extra ten points? What is the easiest/quickest way to do that? If I wait till I have 10 years experience I will be 35 and will lose points for age. I think it would take a long time to pursue another degree.
Would love to hear any suggestions you might have.

I read in another thread a suggestion of taking the PhilNITS exam… Does that count as “other educational equivalent” to a bachelors or something? The subject matter looks pretty easy, but it seems like its not really given in America.

You may have already seen my article on visas for software developers. The points based highly skilled foreign professionals visa is one way to work in Japan, but not the only one.

You can become eligible for an Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services visa if you have ten years work experience. If your associates degree was related to software development, it can count towards those ten years, so you’re maybe three years from being able to get a visa that way.

Passing PhilNITS exam alone makes you eligible for the Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services visa. It is only offered in Manila, and so while I’ve heard of people traveling there just to take it, it’s probably not a feasible option as long as COVID-19 is a thing. This exam will also count as 5 points for the Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals visa, but since it already grants you eligibility for an Engineering visa, this probably isn’t relevant.

For the Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals visa, the two main options you have to pick up ten points is either obtaining a Bachelors degree, or passing the N2 Japanese proficiency exam.

In your estimation is passing the N2 proficiency exam exceedingly difficult? I started studying Japanese really consistently probably about a month ago and I believe I have hiragana down already. Though I had consumed a few books on learning Japanese prior to my first visit there early this year. Obviously I’m still a long way away from mastering the language, I’m just wondering If I’ll hit my 3 years prior to being able to pass the exam. I generally find that exams are difficult only in the inverse proportion of which you study for them but learning a new language may put a bit of a twist on that. Just curious on your thoughts.

According to this data, if you’re enrolled in full-time Japanese language school in Japan, passing N2 takes 1150-1800 hours if you already have kanji knowledge (e.g. you can read Chinese) or 1600-2800 hours otherwise.

Whether you’ll be able to attain similar results on your own is debatable. You might be able to study more efficiently on your own, but if you’re not living in Japan, you won’t have casual interactions in Japanese.

Assuming that data holds for you, and you don’t have a background in kanji, if you spent two to four hours a day studying for the exam, you should be able to pass it in two years.

Wow thanks for that data. So definitely a long way off haha.