Japan Makes Residency Easier for Foreigners Working in Anime

Do you love anime and dream of living in Japan? Well, today may be your lucky day! The Immigration Bureau of Japan has announced that it’s loosening restrictions on permanent residency requirements for any working in anime-related jobs.

Salaryman Kintaro

The move is part of a dual program to bolster Japan’s workforce with skilled immigrants and to promote their “Cool Japan” initiative. This past year, Japan re-worked their permanent residency points system to fast-track immigrants working in advanced academic research, specialized technical areas, and advanced business management. Previously, candidates had to have worked in Japan for five years before being eligible for permanent residency. The requirement has been dropped down to one year!

This program is being expanded to include immigrants working in the anime, fashion, or pop culture industries starting in 2018.

The plan is to help spread Japanese pop-culture through the use of highly skilled foreign workers. While the requirements for permanent residency have been relaxed, it’s still difficult so low-skilled or unmotived people won’t bother applying.


Aside from the having one full year of Japanese work experience, candidates still have to accumulate 80 points by the end of their first year. While the Immigration Bureau has not released a points chart for the anime industry yet, some of the requirements for teaching/business/tech industries include:

  • Holding a Ph.D. (30 points)
  • 20 million yen yearly salary (30 points)
  • Under the age of 30 (15 points)
  • Be proficient in Japanese (15 points)
  • Work for a university that receives financial support for research (10 points)


While the requirements may be different, they will still be strict enough to ensure only highly skilled workers can score permanent residency in one year. You won’t be able to waltz into a job, but with some hard work, you can make your otaku dreams come true.

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