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March 08, 2017

By the end of March, the Japanese Ministry of Justice will put into effect new rules allowing foreign workers to become permanent residents faster than ever. After only one year in the country, professionals from overseas can file for permanent residency in Japan.

Historically, foreigners could become permanent residents after living in Japan for a decade. And in 2012, the Ministry introduced a system to make it possible for highly-skilled workers to submit applications in as little as five years.

But the latest changes will make it possible for high-scoring applicants (a measurement based on education, career achievements, licenses, salary, proficiency in the Japanese language, and other factors) to become permanent residents in one to three years. As Business Insider noted, the Ministry has also increased the number of ways foreign workers can earn points (think: investments in Japanese businesses).

Before you book a one-way flight to Japan, keep in mind that your line of work must be considered an advanced academic research activity, or a career requiring advanced or highly specialized skills in the sciences, humanities, or business management.  

Travelers interested in leaving the country for a while may find it easier to get a work visa in New Zealand or move to Australia for four years and renounce U.S. citizenship.

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