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Software developer moving to Japan with my family?


I have been a Frontend React/React-Native developer for the past 4 years and I was a native Android developer before that for about 3 years (and before I was doing some Java & C# ~1-2 years). I’m French so I started my career initially in France but quickly we moved to London and now I’m living in Scotland, Edinburgh.

I have a project with my wife and my daughter to move to Japan. I would like to get an idea, if on the paper it’s possible or not to move there.

The plan is for me to work as a Frontend developer and my wife at the beginning would stay with our daughter and if there is a nursery we could find with people speaking english/japanese it would be ideal (she would go there probably part time if it’s possible to start… but there are some researches I need to do too).

I saw eventually I could get a sponsorship from a company which would hire me or I need to apply to an Engineer VISA? Is it correct? Moving with my familly + finding a job, I guess it’s quite challenging but do you think it’s something possible regarding my work experience? We are quite open regarding the location.

This project is for ~mid-end of 2022 (which means I should have 5y+ XP in frontend dev and my daugther will be 3y/o). Regarding my Japanese level, I’m a beginner at the moment I know my hiragana & katakana + some vocabulary… that’s it. I plan to start to take private lessons in September.

Thank you, any feedback would be much appreciated.


You’d apply for a job, and the company sponsors the visa. Typically it is an Engineer or Highly Skilled Professional visa. Either of those visa statuses would permit your wife and daughter in turn to get a dependent visa.

Medium to large tech companies in Japan will offer relocation packages that include helping your family get settled.

Japan offers subsidized nursery school. However, depending on the are you live in, actually getting into can be challenging to impossible unless both parents are working full time. It would be in Japanese.

Alternatively, there are private, unsubsidized “international” nursery schools, where the staff speaks English (though often many to all of the kids are Japanese, so they won’t use much English). These tend to be rather expensive - for ones in central Tokyo I saw prices of ¥200,000 to ¥300,000 per month for full time.

Your actual chances of getting a job aren’t so dependent on the years of experience, but more on how attractive a candidate you are. To relocate an overseas developer, companies often look for signals that indicate someone’s talented, such as working for a “famous” company, significant open source contributions, well-written technical articles, etc.

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Thank you very much for taking the time to read my block of text you gave me a lot of details, it’s very helpful.