Here are answers to questions from those working under the Specified Skilled Worker system.
About the Specified Skilled Worker system
I am currently in SSW1 category, but how can I advance to SSW2 category?
To advance to SSW2 category, you must have an experience as a team leader, and you must have passed the Skill Certification Grade 1 or the Evaluation Exam for SSW2 in construction field. As it is necessary to prepare together with the company, and if you want to advance to SSW2, please consult with your company as soon as possible.
Please check JAC website for information on the details of the Evaluation Exam for SSW2 in construction field.
Do I need to work for 5 years in SSW1 category, to advance to SSW2 category?
If you meet the requirements to apply for the SSW2 category, you can advance to SSW2 category without having to wait for 5 years. Please consult with your company and proceed with the preparations, like acquisition of qualifications in a well-planned manner.
I would like to return to my home country for 2 years after working for 2 years as SSW1, can I come back?
In SSW1 category, you can work for a total of 5 years. However, the company will need to go through the process of accepting you again when you return, and you may need to catch up on the on-site technology. Please consult well with your company.
Do we need to receive salary on monthly basis? It seems I get more on daily basis.
For SSWs in the construction field, the salary should be paid on monthly basis, so that your salary will not fluctuate significantly due to the weather conditions or company business factors. If you are paid appropriately on monthly basis, you will never be in unfavorable condition, compared to daily basis.
I am not sure if I can use my paid leave in my company. What should I do?
For health care and refreshment purposes, 10 days of paid leave are granted to employees who have worked for 6 months continuously and have worked at least 80% or more of the working time, and another 11 days at the time you have worked for 1 year and 6 months. After that, paid leaves will be granted according to the period you have worked for. (However, paid leaves will expire if they are not used for two years.)
It is also required for companies to ensure that at least 5 days of paid leave per year should be taken in a planned manner.
Please check with your company of the remaining days of your paid leave and then consult with your company about using them for such occasions as temporary return to your home country.
About the Job Category
Can I perform new tasks that I have not experienced in my technical training?
As the construction works for SSWs have been reorganized into three categories, civil engineering, construction, and lifelines/equipment, you may engage in the work that you have not experienced during the technical training, etc., as long as the work belongs to the same work category. When you and your company discuss about such tasks, please check with the company in detail about the training required to prevent accidents, safety and health education, and salary increase associated with the expanded scope of work.
I would like to change company/job, how should I do that?
SSWs can change company/job, but first, try to sort out why you are thinking about resigning your present company. If you have any doubts about the content of your work or working conditions, you may be able to continue working if you can resolve those issues with the present company.
If you want to change job/company, JAC provides support for finding a new company. You can also search for a company/job at public employment services such as Hello Work.
【Other information and consultation services in native languages】
Foreign Resident Support Center (FRESC)：
Consultation Hotline for Foreign Workers (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)：
Japan Pension Services website：
Migrant Workers Office （MWO）：