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Several Issues Arise in Changing TITP Visa to SSW Visa

Hi everyone!

Filipinos are undeniably in demand abroad and are also well-known for being hardworking which is why many companies here in Japan prefer a Filipino worker.

There are a lot of TITP visa holders right now in Japan who do not want to go back in the Philippines due to the current Coronavirus pandemic and lack of available jobs when they return. As much as possible they wanted to continue working here in Japan. Just in time, as the government of Japan established a new status of residence “Specified Skilled Worker” last 2019 of April which aimed to address the labor shortage in Japan by accepting experienced foreign workers and allowing current TITP visa holders in Japan to switch their visa to SSW visa.

However, the change of visa to SSW visa is not as easy as what everybody thinks.The process could be quite complicated too depending on each trainees situation. There are some trainees who request for our help to assist and support them to have their visa changed and also to help them look for a new company willing to hire them. Unfortunately, there are certain cases before that the trainee’s current company and kumiai are threatening them if they won’t go home, others were being forced to go back in the Philippines and some companies and kumiai are not supportive. I feel really sorry for those Filipino trainees who experience this worse situation despite the fact that these trainees can actually continue to stay in Japan as long as we follow the rules set by POLO in terms of hiring a trainee and converting to SSW visa.

According to POLO, a Japanese company who wants to hire a Filipino worker must first find a partner Philippine Recruitment Agency (PRA)  in the Philippines. Once they found a partner, the partner PRA will be responsible for any documents that may be needed in the Philippines and they will also take care of submitting verified documents to POEA. PRA is also responsible for monitoring and reporting the status of Filipino workers abroad. Aside from the paper works, POLO might invite the employer as well for an interview in their office.

Moreover, many Japanese companies are interested in hiring a Filipino trainee who is currently in Japan but there are instances where we experience some employers who ended up refusing to hire a Filipino trainee when they found out about how much fee they are required to pay to a Philippine Recruitment Agency (PRA). Other employers are also complaining about the complicated process they have to go through just to hire a Filipino trainee. Of course, we explain in detailed the reason why they have to follow this process and we also reiterate that this is a rule set by POLO and the Philippine government to protect the Filipino workers abroad. They completely understand the fact that they need to be registered at POLO before they hire a Filipino, but what causes them to have second thoughts are the money that they have to shell out and the process.

There were a few Japanese company who even mentioned that if this scenario continues, even if they love to hire Filipino workers, they might end up choosing the much easier process of other countries and those who offer a reasonable fee. We cannot prevent them too from comparing however, we always do our best to promote our Filipino workers and highlighting numerous advantages of a Filipino worker. We also provide a concise explanation about the importance as to why POLO requires a licensed Philippine Recruitment Agency (PRA) to complete the registration with them.

Despite these issues and comments we receive from some of the employers/Accepting Organizations, we strive really hard to continue supporting and assisting our beloved Filipino workers and the partnership we have with our AO’s and PRA. As much as possible we wanted to continuously create a harmonious relationship between our partners for the sake of our Filipino workers and at the same time, help Japanese companies to resolve their manpower shortage by introducing competent and hardworking Filipinos.

What can you say about the current process?

Do you think there is a possibility that these rules set by the Philippine government might change in the near future?

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