Japan is Giving Permanent Residency to Foreigners Working in the Anime Industry

Foreigners working in anime-related fields for at least one year in Japan can soon get permanent residency rights, the country’s Immigration Bureau has announced.

The new rule, which takes effect in 2018, follows changes in the bureau’s “points-based preferential immigration treatment for highly skilled foreign professionals” announced earlier this year.

One of such changes allows certain foreigners working in three “Cool Japan” fields — advanced academic research activities, advanced specialized/technical activities, and advanced business management activities — to qualify for permanent residency after just one year of work instead of five.

Apparently, the fourth field is everything that has to do with anime, including activities related to Japanese fashion and pop culture, Nikkei reported.

The loosened restriction certainly appeals to professionals immersed in anime, but on top of the one-year work prerequisite, recall that one must be “highly skilled” in order to qualify. In addition, the bureau will most likely look at other factors, such as academic background, professional work experiences and annual income, to name a few.

Foreigners who score 70 points in the bureau’s evaluation may qualify for permanent residency after three years, SoraNews24 noted. To make it in just one year, however, one must achieve 80.

It is also worth noting that those who already make 25 million yen ($225,000) in a year will only get 40 points, so even a strong income alone is not enough to make someone a permanent resident.

Simply put, the whole process is not a piece of cake, but we have to give it to Japan for at least becoming more open. Its workforce needs help, after all.

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