New Language Test for Foreign Workers to be Explored by Gov’t

The government is studying the idea of introducing a common Japanese language test for applicants seeking one of the two new visa types for foreign workers, according to a report by the Japan Times.

For this initiative, the foreign ministry and the Japan Foundation, an independent administrative arm of the government, will make the necessary preparations for this change.

New Language Test for Foreign Workers to be Explored by Gov’t

What to Expect from the New Language Test for Foreign Workers

According to the report, the type 1 visa status will be granted to foreign workers with certain professional skills whereas the type 2 visa will be granted to those with higher skills or specializations. The government aims to launch the new resident statuses by April of next year.

The language test, which has been an integral requirement for immigration movement in the country, will be given to type 1 visa applicants. They will need to have Japanese skills good enough to carry out activities and transactions in daily life.

Furthermore, the new language test will likely be introduced by April next year, at the earliest, and will be given up to six times in a year, particularly in Southeast Asian nations from which Japan has accepted a number of applicants under its existing on-the-job training initiative for foreign workers.

The applicant’s professional competencies and knowledge will be tested through paper and other practical exams for each industry.

Holders of type 1 visa status will be allowed to find work in any of the 14 industries with the highest demand for workers as determined by the government, which include construction, nursing care, agriculture, and automobile maintenance.

For automobile maintenance, for example, applicants will be given a series of tests to determine whether they possess skills equivalent to those required for grade three under Japan’s national certification program for automobile technicians.

Furthermore, professional skill tests for the type 2 status won’t be given until after the first year of the program as the government expects no applications for this visa category within the first year of the initiative.

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