Japanese Visa Scams – Avoiding Fake Recruiters

This article will help you separate real job offers from scams in Japan. 

Since starting in the Japanese recruiting business I am regularly contacted by job seekers who have been targeted by visa scammers. The scammers either post their job offers to Facebook communities or send phishing emails offering Japanese working visas for large upfront payments. In the end, these positions either end up never coming through or the “recruiter” ends up disappearing and all of their accounts are blocked or unreachable. While scammers are a constant worry when looking for jobs on the internet, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself so you don’t end up paying a lot for nothing.

1. Are they just offering the visa?

Almost all working visas in Japan require the applicant has a job offer or contract. Make sure you are being offered a job and not just a visa.

This may seem strange, but you need a job offer when applying for a Japanese work visa. There are some exceptions, but in general this is the rule for visas here. There are a few special visas–the Specified Skilled Worker visa–that you can get without a job. In general you should not trust a visa-only offer. 

NOTE: You should be especially careful of anyone offering to get you a Specialist in Engineering, Humanities or International Services visa. This visa is impossible to apply for without a contract from a company. 

2.Does the salary seem too good to be true?

Be wary of the Japanese salary on offer. Abnormally high salaries are a clear warning sign that the posting might be a scam.

While this may seem obvious, check the salary being offered. Does the job post make sense for what the “recruiter” is telling you? Basic starting salaries for full-time employees in Japan are usually around 180,000~250,000 JPY per month. Of course there are jobs that offer more or less based on the city and field of employment. I recommend checking the average salary in your field online.

NOTE: While I wish I could make 300,000 JPY per month cleaning hotel rooms, such salaries are very unlikely. If the offer looks too good to be true it probably is. 

3.Ask for documentation.

In general you should be able to request additional information about the job you are requesting. This should include information about visa sponsorship and support.

Legally accredited recruiting companies should be able to give more information for their jobs. Ask your recruiter to see the japanese job offer form (求人票), or at least provide basic information. You can check that basic information by looking up the company homepage.  Alternatively, look for an agent that is not going to charge you upfront. In Japan it is normal for recruiting agents to introduce workers to visa sponsoring companies in Japan for free. At crobo we charge the hiring company so you don’t have to worry about fees.

NOTE: If the recruiter refuses to give you information about the job, like the name of the company or other basic information, it might be a sign that they don’t really have a job to offer you in the first place.



If you’re looking for a job in Japan please contact us here at crobo co., ltd. We have positions in hotels, restaurants, travel industry jobs and other fields.  We help foreigners find jobs with visa sponsorship . The team at crobo is committed to creating a “cross border” culture. We aim to create a Japan where differences are celebrated and respected. A Japan where one’s sex, gender, race, religion or nationality does not hinder their chance at building a life here.

We here at crobo offer 100% free job introductions and placement for foreigners and work with companies that provide visa support.