tokyodev forum

Question about work experience for Engineer Visa


I’m researching my visa-options at the moment and as it seems, to be able to work in IT, the Engineer Visa would be my first go to option. My B and C options are the highly skilled workers and the English teacher visas - but these would require to work in a different industry.

Anyway, I don’t have a university degree but I work since 2005 continously in the IT-industry which would qualify me theoretically for the Engineer Visa (at least 10 years work experience). Now, the problem in my situation is, that the software/programming language I’m specialized in, is not very popular in Japan in therfor there are only a handful of companies who I would fit in with my specific skill set.

To get around this problem and to open more oppurtinities I do consider to move to another field in IT, Data Science or Machine Learning to be precise. Assuming I can convince an employer of my skills in one of the fields, would the Visa bureau demand that I prove work experience in the specific field “Data Science”/“Machine Learning”?
Or is it enough to have “Software Engineer”, “Software developer” etc. in one’s vita?

My inner voice tells me, that it depends on the civil servant processing the application. But, I would be happy when if this is not possible, that someone could confirm if it is absolutly necessary to have the specific job title in the vita to be granted a visa for the field in IT? If so, I wouldn’t focus on this visa route and consider my B and C option…


Hello Hannes

What’s your programming language(s)?
There’s enough demand on the IT market for more people. Usually big enough companies accept people even it isn’t that exact language/framework/library.

Hi Damax,

That’s good news :slight_smile:
I’m specialized in the programming of a ERP-Software of Microsoft. It’s similar to SAP or Oracle.

I know some Python and can read C#.
Before applying for job outside of my current skillset, I would invest in training to not to have to jump into ice cold water.

For obtaining an Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services visa via work experience, there isn’t any formal guidelines, and everything is handled on a case by case basis. I’ve just published an article on obtaining a visa as a software engineer, and I’m including everything I know about the work experience route.

As for your specific case, I’m not a specialist, but it’s my impression that immigration would be looking for experience that establishes you as a professional in software development. I doubt they’re going to make a distinction between coding or machine learning.

The bigger issue will be finding a company that’s willing to hire you and sponsor your visa. Generally, Japanese companies will only hire someone with relevant professional experience. So if you just do some training in machine learning, it probably won’t be enough on it’s own.

Ace, great article!!

Yeah, in regard to the switch – that’s a tough cookie, but I have to consider my options.