Thursday, May 1, 2008

"Easier visa for Japanese Speakers" plan announced

I wrote in January about a tentative suggestion that Japanese language ability be counted in your favour when applying for visas.

Now, Asahi Shimbun reports in Japanese and English that a firm plan is being announced today. And it seems it might really be an easing of restrictions as a way to encourage language ability (rather than a roundabout way of imposing further restrictions on those with little language skill). Among other things, the article mentions extending visa durations to five rather than the current three years; and relaxed qualifications for the professional visas. As it happens, the vague rumours of a revamped Japanese Language Proficiency Test seem to be solidifying as well, with documents floating around suggesting the possibility of testing language use in some manner, not just understanding.


pm215 said...

Your link to the English version of the article seems to be broken. Searching the Asahi site turns up this one:
although I think the contents are not exactly the same.

Janne Morén said...

Thanks. It seems like the same article though; wonder why the URL changed.

Richard said...

Have there been any further updates in Japan in regards to visas and language ability?

Janne Morén said...

Nothing in particular. The JLPT is indeed changing as planned, but when (or if) the changed visa rules will happen depends on a lot of external factors, not the least of which is which party will be in power next year. I've seen nothing to suggest it won't happen, though.