Japan to allow permanent residence for highly skilled foreigners

Tokyo, Nov 15 (IANS) Japan will allow highly qualified foreign professionals to apply for permanent residence after just a year in the country, it was announced on Tuesday.

Under the current policy, highly skilled foreign nationals can apply for permanent residence only after spending five years in the country.

The plan, set to come into force March 2017, is aimed at boosting the country’s economy by attracting more foreign talent, especially in the backdrop of an ageing population and a tight labour market, Efe news reported.

Academic history, work experience and annual income will be some of the parameters by which the Japanese immigration bureau will decide on the suitability of a candidate.

The government is also considering prioritizing those with large investments in Japan and those who have graduated from prestigious universities.

Permanent residence in Japan, which has a strict immigration policy and where less than 2 percent of the population was born outside the country, allows foreigners many advantages including access to bank loans.