Working in Japan

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Working in Japan
Can you study at a Japanese language school while working remotely?
June 7, 2023  |  By Amélie Marie Nishizawa

With remote work and online freelancing getting popular these days, you may wonder if you can study at a Japanese language school while working remotely. 

What Japanese Immigration says… 

Language school students cannot work more than 28 hours per week during the school term and more than 40 hours during the holidays. So, while you can keep working remotely, you should ensure you respect Japanese immigration rules so as not to get into any trouble. 

Before you start working, you need to obtain a work permit. You can learn more about this process in the basics of working as a student in Japan. You can also find more information on the Immigration Services Agency of Japan official website

Breaking the rules will not only have consequences for you and your residency status, it will also impact your school and possibly your employer. Please act responsibly. 

What Japanese language schools say…

Most Japanese language schools will recommend that you not work remotely and to prioritize your studies. While immigration officials won’t look into your situation work-wise as long as you respect the 28-hour rule, your attendance rate is still crucial to keeping your student visa. You should ensure that you attend at least 80% of your classes—though some schools set 90% as a rule. The ideal, of course, is 100%! 

Attendance matters for visa extension and new university student and work visa applications. Your grades matter, too, so you can’t fall behind or you may also jeopardize your stay. 

Schools estimate that you should set aside roughly two hours per day for homework on top of your daily three hours of class—and ideally some more for review. They also recommend not working for the first two to three months in order for you to have a smooth transition in Japan and to adjust to the school rhythm. 

We recommend that you discuss this with your employer. A lighter work schedule—at least at first—so you can figure out how school schedule, time difference and work go together. 

If you’re freelancing with clients, we recommend lowering the numbers of projects you take on.


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