To work as an ALT within Japan, those without certain long term Japanese visas will  require visa sponsorship to become an ALT.  Unlike popular belief, the Specialist in Humanities visa is not accepted as a valid visa for working at public schools.  The only acceptable visa despite long term visas is the Instructor Visa.

Are you eligible for visa sponsorship?

Applicants within Japan who hold Student, Dependent, Specialist in Humanities and Designated Activities visa (depending upon the designation) can be sponsored for the Instructor visa.

Applicants within Japan who hold a Tourist, Trainee and Special Skilled Worker visa cannot be sponsored for the Instructor visa.

Applicants overseas with a bachelor’s degree or higher and 12 or more years of education in English are elidable for Instructor visa sponsorship.

Applicants (regardless of nationality) who hold the following visa status can work as an ALT without Instructor visa sponsorship:

  • Spouse, Long Term Resident, Permanent Resident and Japanese citizen

Can I become an ALT without a bachelor’s degree or higher?

If you currently hold a Spouse visa , Long Term Resident visa, Permanent Resident visa or Japanese citizenship, yes you can.  If you require visa sponsorship, it is not possible as you would not meet the minimum requirements for instructor visa sponsorship set by the immigration of Japan.

Overseas applicants visa procedure

For applicants overseas, the visa application procedure can seem daunting at first but in reality it isn’t that complicated.  Let’s go through the procedure step by step.

  • OWLS will submit a request to the Japanese immigration for the Certificate Of Eligibility
  • Once the Certificate Of Eligibility is approved, it will be sent to OWLS from the Immigration
  • OWLS will ship the Certificate Of Eligibility to the overseas applicant
  • Once the overseas applicant receives the Certificate Of Eligibility, they are required to take it to their nearest Japanese embassy for processing
  • Normally within 5 to 10 days, the Instructor visa will be processed, ready for collection
  • You are now ready to legally enter and work in Japan as an ALT