Continuing to Job-Hunt after Graduation(Visa-Sponsored Students Only)
If you plan to stay in Japan after graduation to continue looking for a full-time job, you will need to apply for a change in your visa status, from "College Student" to "Designated Activities" status. The intent of the “Designated Activity Visa for the Purpose of Job Hunting” (job hunting visa) is to allow students who have been seriously looking for a full-time job to continue the job hunting process after they graduate. As such, the Immigration Bureau of Japan requires applicants to show documented proof of job hunting activities as part of the application screening.
Obtaining a Recommendation Letter for a Job Hunting Visa Application
You need a recommendation letter from the Career Development Office to apply for a job hunting visa. In order to issue this recommendation letter, the Career Development Office needs to verify that you have been actively searching for a job while you were a student (i.e., look over the same evidence you plan to submit to Immigration).
To be eligible to request a recommendation letter, you must:
- have graduated from TUJ
- submit proof that you continuously applied for full-time jobs in Japan during your final semester (at least 3 full-time job applications each month)
You have 30 days from the diploma date to either change your visa status or leave Japan. You must request the recommendation letter at least a few days before you plan to visit Immigration with your visa application documents.
TUJ is unable to issue a recommendation letter after 30 days from the diploma date. If your student visa expires earlier than 30 days after the diploma date, you must apply for the job hunting visa by the expiration date of your student visa.
How to request a recommendation letter
- Download the Request for Letter of Recommendation for Job Hunting Visa below.
- Read the instructions carefully and fill out the request form.
- Submit the form and evidence in one email to email@example.com. “Evidence” can be emails from employers to schedule interviews or notifying you of a rejection, screenshots of notifications that your online application has been submitted, etc. Make sure to put the evidence in chronological order, to match the request forms.
- We may reject incomplete applications. Double check the request form is fully filled out and all the evidence of job hunting is properly attached before sending.
- If you do not receive an email confirming receipt of your email within 1 business day, please contact the Career Development Office.
The Career Development Office cannot answer questions regarding the visa application itself. For a list of documents required for the application, please see the application information of Designated Activity Visa on the Ministry of Justice website. You can also contact the Immigration Bureau of Japan with questions regarding your application.
Note: TUJ recommendation is discretionary and may be rejected if you have a history of academic or campus misconduct, a criminal record, or other notable trouble with university staff, faculty, or other students.
Q: Do I need to show evidence of getting interviews? What if the jobs I apply for never even respond to me?
A: You only need to provide evidence of the initial application. This is the part that is fully within your control. If employers do not get back to you or do not move you forward to interviews, it will not affect our ability to issue the recommendation letter.
Q: If I get a job offer, do I need to accept it? Am I only eligible for this visa if I haven’t gotten any offers?
A: No, you are not required to accept an offer you do not want. You can turn down the offer, continue job hunting, and remain eligible for the job hunting visa.
Q: I haven’t decided whether I will stay in Japan or not. Can I begin job hunting after I make the decision to stay?
A: If you think there is even a 1% chance you might need this visa, please begin applying for jobs in the first month of your final semester so that you will be eligible if you do decide to stay.
Q: My part-time job said they could definitely hire me after I graduate and I prefer to work there, so I don’t need to do any other job hunting, right?
A: Until you have an official offer in writing, we recommend applying for jobs in order to stay eligible for the job hunting visa if it should become necessary.
Q: I am too busy with classes to focus on job hunting but I want to stay in Japan. What should I do?
A: Make some time to job hunt, even if you are only doing the minimum of 3 applications per month. Online job applications do not take long to submit. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your classes, we encourage you to take advantage of the TLC and proactively talk to your professors about your courses.
Q: What if I don’t know whether I will graduate or not?
A: It is your responsibility to keep track of your own academic progress. If you think there is even a slight chance it could be your final semester, please start applying to jobs during the first month.