How to hire foreigners with a status of residence "specific skills" in nursing care? Explanation of conditions and test contents

What is the specific skill "nursing care"?

Demand for nursing care is increasing year by year due to the declining birth rate and the aging of the population.

Up until now, there have been three statuses of residence that foreigners can work in the field of long-term care.
However, it is hard to say that sufficient manpower is still secured, and from 2019 ``Specified skillsHas been added as a status of residence to work in the field of nursing care.

Here, we will introduce detailed information on the permitted work content, required examinations, application conditions, etc. when hiring foreigners using a specific skill visa (residence status) in the nursing care field.

Background and prospects for accepting foreigners with specific skills in the field of care

The status of residence of a specific skill allows foreigners to work only in 14 industrial fields where it is recognized that there is a shortage of human resources.
Above all, there is information that the long-term care field is a serious seller market.
According to the information in 2017, the ratio of job offers to applicants is 1.54 times the national average, while the ratio of long-term care is 3.64 times, which is 2 points higher.
Based on the information, the government estimates that about 2020 additional human resources will be claimed by the end of 26.
Against the backdrop of this labor shortage, we anticipate accepting up to 5 specific-skilled foreigners over the next five years.

As of 2019, there are approximately 4,300 foreigners working in the nursing care field.
This includes people using the existing EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement), the nursing care status of residence, and the technical intern training system.
There is no doubt that the creation of specific skills will increase the number of foreigners who can work in the care field.
Please know the conditions for applying for the status of residence for specific skills and the conditions required for business establishments, and use them for employment appropriately.
However, looking at the materials related to specific skills, there is a limit to the number of foreigners with specific skills that can be hired.
The maximum number of people is the same as the number of full-time long-term care staff who work with foreigners with specific skills.
If you are planning to hire a company, please make a hiring plan for foreigners with specific skills based on the number of Japanese employees in your company.

Scope of care that is permitted by the status of residence of a specific skill

In the field of long-term care, foreigners who have obtained a status of residence of a specific skill can perform physical care and related support services.
In particular,

  • ・ Assistance for users such as bathing, eating, and excretion
  • ・ Recreation at the facility (accepting facility)

The above implementation is included.

However,Visit system services such as visit careIs not covered.
Please note that it is not possible to hire foreigners using the status of residence of a specific skill in a business where a home helper visits the user's home directly and assists with physical care and cleaning.

In the field of nursing care, conditions required for foreigners to obtain a specific skills visa

The nursing care fieldSpecific Skill 1Only allowed.
There is no application in long-term care in the field of Specific Skill No. 2.
Therefore, foreigners with a specific skill of residence can work.Up to 5 yearsAnd,In order to stay in Japan for more than 5 years, you will need to change your status of residence to another one.

In the field of nursing care, as with other industries, the following 4 points are the basic application conditions.

  • ・ Being over 18 years old
  • ・ Must have passed the prescribed Japanese Language Proficiency Test
  • ・ Must have passed the prescribed proficiency test
  • ・ Being healthy (it is essential to have a health checkup that covers all the specified items)

Also, in nursing care, in addition to the usual Japanese language proficiency test, it is necessary to pass the Japanese language examination unique to the nursing care field.
More information is provided below.

Employ foreigners with status of residence for nursing care

Contents of Japanese language ability and skill evaluation test of specific skills 1 required in the field of nursing care

The contents of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and Skills Assessment Test established in the field of care are as follows.

Employ foreigners with status of residence for nursing care

<Source:Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare"Acceptance of foreign workers with specific skills in the nursing field">

▼ Japanese language tests accepted for nursing care and required levels

In the field of nursing care, you have to pass the following Japanese exams to get a status of residence.

In addition to the above

The "Japanese Language Proficiency Test" or the "National Foundation Japan Basic Japanese Language Test" will check whether you can have some daily conversation and have a sufficient level of Japanese language skills.
In addition, the "Nursing Care Japanese Evaluation Test" evaluates whether or not the Japanese language level required for business use at the nursing care site has been reached.

▼ What is the Nursing Skills Evaluation Test?

This is a computer based testing (CBT) test.
It is conducted in the language of the test country.

[Long-term care skill evaluation test]
Department of test40 Q: Basics of care, mechanisms of mind and body, communication technology, life support technology
Practical examQuestion 5: Life support technology (exhibits photographs and tests to make decisions and judgments about the correct care procedure)

The exam pass results are valid for the 10 year from the exam date.

According to the materials, in May 2019, the results of the long-term care skill evaluation test were announced in the Philippines, and 5 people passed.
The passing rate of the exam is 74.3%.
You will find that if you study hard, you can pass the exam.

Foreigners who have passed both the Japanese Language Examination and the Proficiency Test will apply for the status of residence of a specific skill in Japan and abroad.
According to current information, of the 14 specific skill fields, the implementation of skill evaluation tests varies by field.
While there are some fields that are rarely held, we carry out tests on long-term care on a daily basis.
Therefore, if you can study properly for the exam, specific skill nursing care can be one of the fields that is easiest to challenge.

▼ Personnel in the nursing care field who are exempt from Japanese language tests and skill evaluation tests

The following foreigners can apply for the status of residence of the specified skills 1, exempt from the Japanese language exam and the skills evaluation exam.

  • ・ Technical intern training No. 2 graduate
  • ・ Persons who have completed the training facility for care workers
  • ・ Persons who have been engaged in employment / training for 4 years as candidates for care workers under the EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement)

EPA nursing care worker candidateThe condition is that the latest National Examination for Care Workers has a score of 5% or more of the passing standard score, and that all the exam subjects have a score.

For detailed procedures,Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare page

Three points to note when hiring foreigners with specific skills in the field of long-term care

When hiring a foreigner with a status of residence of a specific skill, please note the following three points regarding the long-term care facility (acceptance facility).

▼ There is an upper limit on the number of specified skilled foreigners that nursing facilities (accepting facilities) can accept

There is a limit to the human resources that can be hired with specific status of residence status.
The total number of full-time care staff such as Japanese is the upper limit in establishments.

The following people correspond to "full-time care staff such as Japanese".

  • ・ Japanese and staff working with the following status of residence
  • ・ Status of residence "Long-term care"
  • ・ Specific activity (EPA Care Worker
  • ・ Permanent resident
  • ・ Japanese spouse, etc.
  • ・ Spouse of permanent resident, etc.
  • ・ Settlement
  • ・ Special permanent resident

The application for status of residence exceeding the upper limit is not permitted.
In addition, Only full-time, full-time staff can be hiredIt is also necessary to note that.

In addition, please see below for employment conditions for specified skilled foreigners.
“How to accept specific skills! Explanation of the process and points to note when hiring foreigners [Beginner’s Guide]”

▼ Become a member of the Specific Skills Council in the field of nursing care

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare organizes establishments that accept foreigners with a status of residence of specific skills.Specific Skills CouncilIt is supposed to participate in and provide necessary cooperation.
The procedure for joining the council isMust be done within 4 months from the date of accepting a foreigner with specific skills for the first timeHowever, this subscription is very easy to forget.
Even if you get information that you are obliged to join at the acceptance stage, there are many cases where you inadvertently forget to join when you start working after obtaining the status of residence.
Specified skilled foreigners are required to be enrolled when renewing their period of stay, so if you forget to renew your period of stay, the worst case scenario isUpdate not allowedYou need to be careful as this may happen.

▼ Specified skilled foreigners are included in the placement standards immediately after being hired.

What was not possible in technical intern training is that foreigners with a status of residence of a specific skill may meet the criteria after passing the exam.Has the same ability as human resources who have completed 3 years of technical intern trainingIs considered.
for that reason,It is possible to hire without training and immediately include it in the placement criteria as well as Japanese.

However, in the framework of specific skills, the receiving establishment is obliged to implement an appropriate support plan for foreigners.
The host organization must establish a support system such as advance guidance, Japanese language support, work / life orientation, various contract procedures, establishment of a consultation desk, interpreter support in the native language, and regular interviews. It is one of the obligations.

Click here for details on the support plan
What is a registration support organization? | Necessary requirements for registration and support plan contents for specific skills 1

Relationship with status of residence in the field of long-term care other than specific skills

In the field of nursing care, there are currently 4 workable residence statuses.

  • ・ EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) * Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam
  • ・ Status of residence "Long-term care"
  • ・ Technical intern training
  • ・ Specific skill No. 1

Of these, there is a period of stay for technical intern training and specified skills.There are no regulations regarding EPA caregivers and the residence status “nursing care.”.
Therefore, if foreigners working in these countries obtain these 2 status of residence status, they can continue to employ them at their place of business.

Employ foreigners with status of residence for nursing care

<Source:Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare “Mechanism for accepting foreign nursing care personnel”>

reference:Overview of four systems that allow employment of foreign care workers
<Source:Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare “Guidebook for nursing care providers regarding employment of foreign nursing care workers”>

▼ EPA Care Worker (Candidate)

EPA nursing care worker candidate(Specific activities) refers to people who aim to obtain the Japanese national certification as a care worker while working and training at Japanese nursing care facilities based on the Economic Partnership Agreement (=EPA: Agreement for Strengthening Economic Partnership between the two countries). I'm talking about.

Current host country:
Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam

"EPA Care WorkerWhen it comes to (specific activities), you are allowed to bring your family with you, and you can renew your period of stay.

*Candidates for "EPA Care Worker" can move to "Specified Skilled Worker No. 1" if they meet certain conditions, but it is expected that nurse candidates will also be able to move to "Specified Skilled Worker No. 1". is.

▼Residence status “Nursing”

Residence status “Nursing” (Nursing care visa) is a system established in 29 with the main purpose of accepting foreigners with specialized skills.
Normally, you first enter the country with a student visa, study at a nursing care welfare training school for at least two years, pass the national examination, and then switch to a "long-term care" status of residence.
As with the "EPA Care Worker", family members are allowed to accompany them and their period of stay can be renewed.

* Graduates of certified care workers training facilities from 29 (2017) to Reiwa 3 (2021 and the end of March 2022) do not have to pass the national exam for certified workers (failed or not taken). ) "Social Welfare Promotion / Examination CenterYou can register as a certified certified worker for a fixed period of 5 years by applying to.


  • ・ Pass the National Examination for Care Workers within 5 years after graduation
  • ・ Continued to engage in long-term care for 5 years after graduation

In any of the above cases, you can continue to maintain your nursing care worker qualification.

▼ Technical training “Nursing care”

"Technical training" Is a system whose main purpose is international cooperation, such as having Japanese technology and skills utilized for economic development in developing regions.
We accept trainees in various industries, and among Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, etc.Bilateral agreementIs tied.

  • 1st year of stay: Technical Intern Training No. 1
  • 2nd to 3rd year of residence: Technical intern training No. 2
  • 4nd to 5rd year of residence: Technical intern training No. 3

There are up to three levels of technical training, and if you pass the exam, you can move on to the next level.

Advantages of technical intern training "long-term care" and specific skill "long-term care"

▼ Benefits of technical training

☑ In principle, you cannot change jobs
✖ As a general rule, specific skills workers are allowed to change jobs, so it is possible for them to change jobs if they wish (changes for specific skills require reapplying for a status of residence, so the hurdle is not low).
☑ Many people want to have an interview
The hurdles for nursing care skill training are low because you can go to Japan if you pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (NAT-Test) Level 4.
✖ The specific skill “long-term care” has a high hurdle because you cannot go to Japan unless you pass three tests.
☑ Can work in Japan for a total of 10 years
Technical intern training is up to 5 years,Technical internship 2If you have successfully completed up to (3 years of training), you can move to Specific Skill No. 1 without an exam.
✖ In the case of specific skills, since it is not possible to transfer to specific skill No. 2, the maximum employment period is 5 years, and of course it is not possible to transfer to technical intern training.

▼ Benefits of specific skill No. 1

☑ Can be included in the staffing criteria immediately after being assigned
✖ If hired as a technical intern, six months cannot be included in staffing standards.
☑ It is possible to hire foreigners even at newly opened offices if they meet the requirements.
✖ In the case of technical intern training, trainees cannot be accepted for three years after opening.
☑ Large number of people accepted (many people can be hired)
✖ In the case of technical training, if the number of full-time care workers is 35, only 4 trainees can be hired. (Group management type/first year)
reference:Number of technical intern trainees
<Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare"About specific requirements in technical intern training "nursing care"">
☑ There are few employment restrictions
✖ Regarding technical intern training, restrictions have become stricter since the beginning of 2019.

About transition to another status of residence

If you meet certain conditions, you can apply for other status of residence besides long-term care.

[Transition] Technical intern training → Specific skills

Students who complete Technical Intern Training No. 2 can move to Specified Skilled Worker No. 1.
In the field of long-term careTechnical internship studentA foreigner who entered the country as a worker worked for 3 yearsTechnical internship 2If you complete the exam, you will be exempted from the Japanese language / skill evaluation test.Specific Skill 1It is possible to apply for.
If you receive a technical interns care worker at your site, you can hire for a longer period of time by switching to a specific skill 1 from the middle.

[Transition] Specific skills → Status of residence "Nursing care"

Since specific skill No. 2 is not recognized, the maximum stay for No. 1 is 5 years.
Specific skills are divided into 1 and 2.
No. 2 has no fixed period of stay.
However, since only No. 1 is applied in the field of long-term care, the maximum number of years that a foreigner can be hired as No. 1 specific skill is 5 years.

If you acquire the nursing care worker qualification (pass the national exam) within the 1 years that you can work as a specific skill No. 5,Status of residence "care"It is possible to work without an upper limit on the length of stay.
In addition, it will also be possible to work with “visit-based services” that are not recognized in specific skills.
(3 years of work experience required to take the Nursing Care Worker Examination)

Outline of specific skill "long-term care" skill evaluation test / long-term care Japanese evaluation test

[Test schedule / venue]

List of examinations outside Japan (updated from time to time)
List of domestic tests in Japan (updated from time to time)

[How to apply for the exam]

Exam outside Japan
Japanese domestic test

[Nursing Skills / Nursing Japanese Evaluation Test Sample Questions]

Long-term care skill evaluation test
Long-term care Japanese evaluation test

Summary: The specific skills 'nursing care' visa broadens the on-site employment gap

As mentioned above, it is easier to hire foreigners with a visa of a specific skill compared to the status of residence that allows you to work in other long-term care.
Therefore, it will be a good recruiting method for companies suffering from labor shortages.
However, the employment of foreigners with specific skills is rigorously stipulated in detail, such as the employment conditions that the host company should comply with and the support that should be provided, and there are many standards that must be met.
It is not possible to hire foreigners with specific skills unless the company establishes a system for accepting foreigners after fully understanding the system based on appropriate information.

In addition, the maximum number of years that can be employed with Specific Skill No. 1 is 5 years.
There are various career plans for long-term care workers.Depending on your will, let us know the possibility of moving to another work visa and consider an appropriate career path.

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