[Specific skills] How do you hire foreigners in the hotel business? Comment on visa requirements and exam content

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By utilizing the newly created status of residence "Specific Skill No. 1", employment opportunities for foreigners have been expanded at accommodation facilities such as hotels and inns.
If you pass the exam, you will be able to work for up to 5 years regardless of your academic or professional background. The specific skill No. 1 visa will have a great impact on solving the labor shortage in the accommodation industry.

Here, we will explain the points for hiring foreigners with specific skills No. 1 at accommodation facilities and the contents of the Japanese language / skill evaluation test that foreigners take.


The background to accepting foreigners with specific skill No. 1 at accommodation facilities is the increase in foreigners visiting Japan and labor shortage

First, let's look at the current state of the accommodation industry.
Behind the expansion of acceptance of foreigners is the demand for accommodation facilities due to the increase in foreign visitors to Japan and the labor shortage due to the decrease in the working population..

The government has set a goal to achieve 2030 visits to foreigners in 6000.
The current level has dropped to the lowest level due to the influence of the new coronavirus, and the accommodation industry as a whole is rather overcrowded due to the fact that there were no spectators at the Olympic Games.
On the other hand, the government has already estimated that there is a labor shortage of 3 people in the industry, and the acquisition of human resources in anticipation of after-corona has already begun.
The expected labor shortage is still insufficient even in light of efforts to improve work efficiency, improve productivity through IT, and promote employment of women and the elderly..

The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan in 2018 is 2, 890 million, an increase of about 2013 compared to 3.4.
Given the increase in the number of tourists in the future, it is expected that there will be a labor shortage of 5 people in the next five years.

In response to this labor shortage, the government has set the accommodation industry to accept 5 foreigners with special skills over the next five years.
This number is the 1th largest number in the 14 industrial fields that accept foreigners with specific skill No. 7.
Acceptance is carried out under the jurisdiction of the Japan Tourism Agency of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism..


What is the scope of work permitted when hiring foreigners at hotels and inns?

When applying for a status of residence, the work content that a foreigner engages in is an important point that determines whether or not a permit is granted.
If you do not fall within the defined business scope, your application may be disapproved, so please check in advance.

Below, we will introduce the scope of work permitted in the accommodation industry..

Recognized duties are front, plan, public information, customer service, restaurant service

The business of the accommodation business defined by the status of residence of Specific Skill No. 1 is the following business related to the provision of accommodation services.

・ Planning and public relations
・ Customer service
・ Restaurant service, etc.

In addition, it is permissible to carry out related tasks such as selling souvenirs in the accommodation facility and inspecting and exchanging equipment in the facility.
However,It is not allowed to do only related workSo please be careful.

The advantage that the specific skill No. 1 visa brings to the accommodation industry is that the number of foreigners who can obtain a work visa has expanded.
Let's compare the range of status of residence that can be worked so far and specific skills in a table.

【Previous Status of Residence and Scope of Specific Skills Visa】

Type of status of residence (Visa)frontPlanning and PRCustomer serviceRestaurant serviceRemarks
Specified skills

Educational background and work history


business Administration××××Only managerial positions etc. involved in management are possible
Technology · Humanities · International work



××Relevant educational or professional background is required.



×××Foreign food cooks can apply. Senior career.

Until now, the only people who can obtain a work visa at an accommodation facility are professionals who have a related educational background, such as planning, public relations, and accounting.
Or limited to some, such as foreign cooks with skilled skills.

With the Specific Skill No. 1 visa, it is possible to hire foreigners in the position of field staff.
As a result, we will be able to respond to foreign visitors to Japan, such as having front desk staff who can handle multiple languages..

Accommodations that do not accept a specific skill No. 1 visa | Working at backpackers and love hotels

Even in the same accommodation business, those who fall under the category of "simple lodging business" or "boarding house business" cannot hire foreigners with specific skill No. 1.
P.3 Operational guidelines for accepting foreigners with specific skills related to specific fields

In addition, we can not work in facilities such as love hotel which falls under the Sex Sales Act.
It is stipulated that the confirmation of such a business form is judged by whether the business establishment that employs foreigners has obtained a permit for operating an inn or hotel.
Business formats to which the status of residence of a specific skill cannot be applied

・ Simple lodging business: Business with a structure and facilities that allow a large number of people to share the accommodation
 (Example: bed house, mountain lodge, ski lodge, youth hostel, capsule hotel)
・ Boarding house business: Business that allows guests to stay for a period of one month or more
・ When it falls under the "facility" stipulated in Article 2, Paragraph 6, Item 4 of the Customs Business Law (Example: Love Hotel)

In addition, it is not possible to have a foreigner with a specific skill perform the "entertainment" stipulated in Article 2, Paragraph 3 of the Customs Business Law.
P.6 Operational guidelines for accepting foreigners with specific skills related to specific fields


Requirements for foreign workers to obtain a status of residence of Specific Skill No. 1 at an accommodation facility

Acceptance in the accommodation business is only the specific skill 1.

You do not need to have a specific academic background or career, just like any other status of residence you can work with.
What is required is whether or not the skill level required by the accommodation industry is met, and the following three points are required of foreigners at the time of application..

・ Being over 18 years old
・ Must have passed the prescribed Japanese Language Proficiency Test
・ Must have passed the prescribed skill evaluation test

In addition, although the specific skills 1 can be transferred on the exam exemption for the completion of skills internship 2, there is no acceptance of technical intern in the accommodation industry at the present time of 2019.
In addition, it was said that foreigners staying in a specific activity (internship) could not take the skill evaluation test introduced below in the operation where the specific skill system has just been enforced, but as of 2021, they will stay legally. All foreigners over the age of 18 are eligible to take the exam.


Contents of the Japanese Language Examination and Proficiency Test for Specific Skill No. 1 required in the accommodation industry

We will explain the details of the Japanese language test and skill evaluation test that foreigners must pass when applying for a specific skill visa at the accommodation.

Japanese language exam and required level

Japanese language ability is judged by the following 2 exams.

【Overseas】 The Japan Foundation Japanese Language Foundation Test
[Domestic / Overseas] Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N4 or above)

What is the accommodation industry skill evaluation test?

For foreigners who wish to work in the Japanese accommodation industry, this exam is a test that measures whether they have the necessary knowledge for business from both writing and practical skills.

General incorporated corporation accommodation skill examination centerHosted by

SubjectsMessageQuestions range
Department of testMark sheet type for 60Knowledge and skills pertaining to front desks for accommodation, planning and public relations, customer service, and restaurant services
Practical examJudgment test by speaking about 5 minutes

We have established a minimum line for each subject, with X NUM X% or higher as the pass criteria.
After passing the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test and the Accommodation Skills Measurement Test, foreigners who have an employment contract with a business operator can apply for a status of residence of Specific Skill No. 1.

In the first skill measurement test conducted on April 2019, 4, more than 14 foreigners took the test nationwide..

Conducting body, date, and place of Japanese language examination and technical examination of accommodation work

Test nameImplementermethodNumber of timesPlace
Japanese language proficiency test[Domestic] Independent administrative institution Japan Foundationmark sheetConducted 2 times a yearEach prefecture
【International】 Japan International Education Support Association1 times to 2 timesConfirm with the local implementation organization
The Japan Foundation Japanese Language Foundation TestIndependent administrative agency Japan FoundationCBT methodAbout 6 times, only overseasConfirm with the local implementation organization
Accommodation skill measurement testGeneral corporate judicial person accommodation business skill examination centerWriting, practical skills

[Domestic] Year XNUM times

[Outside of country] in preparation

In Japan, it will be implemented in Tokyo, Osaka and other areas

<Reference:General corporate judicial person accommodation business skill examination center>


Five points to note when hiring foreigners with specific skill No. 1 at accommodation facilities such as hotels and inns

In fact, there are points that companies and organizations that are accepting organizations should be aware of when foreigners are hired with specific skills status at a hotel or inn.

  1. Employers join the council (within 1 months after hiring the first foreigner with specific skills)
  2. Only direct employment is possible (consignment or dispatch is NG)
  3. Employment contract is only permitted for full time staff
  4. Up to 5 years of employment (renewal every year)
  5. Have an obligation to implement an appropriate support plan

I will explain in detail below.

Requirements for the business owner (host organization) of the hotel business

In addition to the requirements of the regular host institution, accommodation companies and organizations that accept specific skilled foreigners need to meet the following:

Accommodation industry

  • Running inn business with permission of inn / hotel business
  • Joining a conference established by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
  • Provide the necessary cooperation to the council

Businesses that accept foreigners with specific skills for the first time need to join the council within 4 months after entry of the foreigners.
Incidentally,Since the council must be joined by the host organization to which the foreigner with specific skills belongs, it is not possible to entrust the membership to a registration support organization.

For more information about the council, please contact below.

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Tourism Industry Division Tourism Human Resources Policy Office
Phone: 03-5253-8367

Only direct employment is possible for hiring in the accommodation industry, and affiliation by dispatch is not permitted.

In the accommodation industry, only direct contracts with hotels and inns are allowed for employment of foreigners with specific skills, so the affiliation is the accommodation facility.
In the case of acceptance by dispatch, the status of residence of Specific Skill No. 1 cannot be used..

Employment contract full-time: be aware of peak season fluctuations

Employment contracts with foreigners who apply for status of residence for specific skills have some points that companies must comply with.

  • Specified working time is full time
  • That salary level is equal to or higher than Japanese engaged in the same duties
  • Do not unfairly discriminate against social insurance and occupational accidents on the grounds that you are a foreigner (safety consideration obligations are naturally the same as those of Japanese people)
  • To be able to take paid leave when returning to Japan temporarily (it is possible to exceed the level of Japanese people)

Above all,Specific Skill No. 1 visa is not granted unless the employment contract is full-timePlease note in particular.
As regular working hours5 days or more and 30 hours or more a week is required.
It is not possible to hire foreigners with specific skills during working hours such as part-time work and part-time work..

Employment of certain skills 1 foreigners must not exceed 5 years

The period of stay for certain skills 1 foreigners is limited.
Foreigners who use the accommodation industry's specific skill No. 1 can be hired for a total of up to 5 years per person, and must be renewed annually.
After employment for 5, the foreigner must either return to his home country or obtain an appropriate status of residence other than specific skills.
If you are hiring a large number of foreigners, make a hiring plan based on the maximum stay of 5 years..

With the support plan that the host organization should carry out

When hiring a Foreigner with Specific Skill No. 1, the host organization must formulate and implement an appropriate support plan.
The required assistance plans include pre-entry guidance, airport transfers, support for securing a residence, and the provision of information necessary for work and life.
These support plans areIt must be done by the company to which it belongs.


It can be used in such situations!An example of an operation case in which the status of residence of Specific Skill No. 1 is utilized in the accommodation industry

Finally, we will introduce an example of operation that can be expected at accommodation facilities, under what circumstances the status of residence of Specific Skill No. 1 can be utilized.

I would like to employ a multilingual staff at the hotel

Demand for multilingualism is increasing in tourist destinations as the government still has a tourism-oriented policy.
Being able to support not only English but also languages ​​such as Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, which have many foreign visitors to Japan, is a great advantage as an accommodation facility.
At a hotel or inn you want to hire foreigners who are fluent in language for the front desk staff, you can use the status of residence for specific skills.

I would like to invite staff working at overseas hotels of group companies to Japan

The specific skill visa can be used not only for foreigners who are already resident in Japan but also for attracting foreigners from overseas after completing the technical intern training or passing the exam.
"I would like to hire staff working at overseas local hotels of group companies at hotels in Japan for several years."
"I want to call in for a certain period of time for training."
Specific skill visas are still available in these situations.

We want to employ foreigners familiar with a specific country in public relations to attract foreigners visiting Japan

Employment of marketing staff, such as public relations and planning, can also use specific skill visas.
When attracting foreigners from overseas, if there are foreigners who are familiar with the local situation, it is possible to plan more attractive package tours and devise advertising methods..


Summary: Utilization of specific skill No. 1 for the accommodation industry is an opportunity to solve the labor shortage

The status of residence of Specific Skill No. 1 has a great advantage for businesses operating the accommodation business in that it can be used in the scope of work for which a workable visa could not be obtained.
"I would like to hire staff who can speak multiple languages ​​in preparation for the increasing number of foreign visitors to Japan."
"I want to hire a part-time international student who works in the field as a full-time employee."
"I want to hire local staff to attract customers from overseas."
In such cases, you can utilize Specific Skill No. 1.
However, when hiring foreigners with specific skills, we must not forget the obligations required of the host company.
Let's hire after understanding the contents of the employment contract and the implementation of the support plan.


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