Japan has released a new residency status for foreign workers and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) can apply to it.

Specified Skilled Worker is the new residency status that Filipinos can avail after taking an exam, according to ABS-CBN News.

The Labor Department confirms that this new residency status is said to benefit thousands of migrant workers in Japan.

“Filipinos who will work in Japan under its new specified skilled worker residency law will receive pay equivalent to or even better than that their local counterparts,” as written in a statement released by DOLE.

Under the new immigration law set for Filipinos, 30% of the total available jobs which is 350,000 is reserved for Filipinos. This is the agreement under the memorandum signed between the Philippines and Japan officials.

There are currently two categories of this new visa. The first is a Specified Skilled Worker (i) which allows a migrant worker to stay in Japan for a maximum of five years. The second category is the Specified Skilled Worker (ii) in which a migrant worker can stay under a contract period but extensions can be applied.

As of 2017, the total population of Filipinos in Japan already reached 260,553. This number is expected to rise as Japan opens its doors to more job that Filipinos can apply.

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