How to find a part-time job in Japan

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Whether you are a student or an employment worker, you are able to work a part-time job on the side to make money. It does matter what type of visa you currently hold as well as what type of part-time you can do.

What visa status do you have?

Student visa

As a student, part-time is one of the best ways you can learn about Japanese culture and make some money on the side. Many times you can even equip yourself with professional experiences that get you ready when you are in the workforce.

Here comes the tricky part: you cannot work to make money, but you can work to support your living expense. What is the difference? Working to earn money is qualified as a working visa, which you don’t hold. However, the part-time engagement is for you to make a living minimum to support your study.

Also, before you start working, you need to check the back of your Zai-ryu card. At the bottom left corner, as long as it has a black stamp granting you 資格外活動許可(shikakugai katsudo kyoka), you are qualified to work.

The permission grants you 28 hours per week. However, you cannot work in organizations with activities against the law or sex/gambling-related organizations. Not even a cleanse job for these organizations.

You can work up to 40 hours per week (8 hours per day) during school holidays with a permission letter from the school. Please make sure you get it before the holiday starts from your responsible office and keep it in case MOJ checks.

Zairyu card with permission to work
Dependent visa

A dependent visa is almost the same as a student visa in terms of a part-time job. The permission grants you 28 hours per week. However, you cannot work in organizations with activities against the law or sex/gambling-related organizations. Not even a cleanse job for these organizations.

Please note if you are not a student, you do not have the opportunity to get the 40 hours permission.

Work visa and others

Work visa is very tricky. Let’s say if you are an engineer, can you work as a waiter at an izakaya? Absolutely no! However, you can work for a side engineering job. Here is why.

In Japanese, the permission is called 資格外活動許可. The English translation is “permission to engage in activity other than permitted under the status of residence previously granted.” This means your working visa allows you to work for engineering-related activities, but working at an izakaya is not related to engineering.

For other visas, the same logic applies. Since you are responsible for applying before starting part-time, you should consult the immigration bureau. It is even better if you can be qualified for individual permission. Continue reading to see how to apply!

How to apply for working permission (資格外活動許可)

Usually, when you enter Japan as a student or a dependent, the airport immigration officer will give you a form and asks you to sign the name. Then, check the back of your Zai-ryu card for the black stamp.

If you do not have the stamp, workplaces usually won’t accept you. In that case, you need to go to the closest immigration bureau to sign the form. Here is the official site where you can find the closest one to you.

Regarding special activity or individual permission, you can find the requirement here.

Where can I apply for part-time jobs (Japanese and non-Japanese speaking)

Between the spectrum of earning vs. experience vs. Japanese level, the choices of part-time jobs are huge.

Below we’ll link to a few useful resources – Keep scrolling!


If the amount is a concern, you should definitely look for jobs to leverage your strength to maximize your output. For example, if you have taken some public examination with excellent performance, you are better to be a tutor at those subjects!

SAT, GRE, or Japanese college entrance exams are always the most popular ones. Top university tutors usually make on average 3000 yen per hour. (There have been cases of 8000 per hour).

English teachers are in huge demand, but the salary is usually limited: from 1000 yen to 1500 yen.

In a nutshell: Japanese standard examination tutor > American standard examination tutor > language tutor

Other than academic strength, if you are a risk-taker or a sportsman, there are many opportunities that you can use your physical strength to make money. For example, the rickshaw cart or physical trainer can make up to 3000 yen per hour, but the cases of hiring a foreigner without language ability are rare.

EDUBAL(high Japanese proficiency required)

Gaijin Pot


The best experiences always get you a glimpse of local culture. Working at izakaya, restaurants, or a local hotel can always get you to understand the service side of Japanese culture. In addition, you will have opportunities to make lots of friends.

The cons will be many of those require you to clean and move a lot. The pay will be just around 1000 yen, and maybe with a few extra after 10 pm.


Language ability

If you just arrived in Japan with a language below N3, the possibility for you to get a Japanese-speaking job is almost zero. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot work. Instead, many opportunities give you exposure to the Japanese to get you ready!

Supermarket shelving jobs, cleaning jobs, or kitchen jobs are always in high demand. Many people who work in the back are foreigners who have limited ability in Japanese. The pay is the same as restaurants, so you don’t have to worry about getting less paid.

Here are some foreigner friendly websites you can find these jobs.


Disclaimer: The information provided above is for educational purposes only. We are not in any financial relationship with any of the mentioned organizations above. If you are seeking visa and legal advice, please consult professionals or lawyers.

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