Japan To Introduce ‘Point System’ To Attract Foreigners

The Japanese government plans to introduce a ”point system” to give preferential treatment such as residency permit extensions to foreigners with advanced expertise, Kyodo news reported quoting government sources as saying on Sunday.

The government plans to evaluate foreigners by awarding points for their qualifications, working careers, research achievements and other qualities and to give preferential treatment when their points exceed a certain level, the sources said.

The new system will form part of a reform of the residency permit system amid intensified international competition for engineers and other experts with advanced expertise.

A Justice Ministry panel will discuss the plan soon to begin mapping out the new system.

The government is expected to study simplifying procedures for residency permits and reentry, extending the maximum duration of residency permits from three years at present and shortening the period of residency required before securing the right to permanent residency from 10 years in principle.

The ministry will decide on the jobs to be included under the new system in consultation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and other ministries and agencies.

A government panel compiled a report last month that included a study on the introduction of the new system.

Similar point systems have been introduced in Britain and Canada. In Britain, the system is applied to scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers and teachers, who can obtain the right of permanent residence in five years if they are recognised as experts with advanced expertise.