Tests required for application for Specified Skilled Worker 2 (SSW2) visa in the Manufacturing Sector

If you’re interested in applying for the Specified Skilled Worker 2 (SSW2) visa, you have to decide which of the two routes you are going to take, and prepare for the required tests.

The ideal candidate for the SSW2 visa is someone with advanced skills gained through work experience, who can lead, guide, and supervise workers on-site.

To obtain an SSW2 visa, you must meet the requirements for one of two (2) routes.

Either route requires at least three years of work experience in the manufacturing industry at a company based in Japan. If you have completed three years of technical intern training, then you are qualified to take the tests.

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Route 1: Skills Aptitude Test

The prospective applicant going through the Skills Aptitude Test route is required to take the Level 1 Skills Aptitude Test of her job category.

This is the highest level that even Japanese workers can take and requires mastery of your work. Both written and practical test are required.

This route is two ranks harder than Route 2, and is not recommended for most applicants.

Route 2: Specified Skills 2 Evaluation Test

This route is easier compared with the first, but requires two tests:

  1. Level 3 Business Career Skills Aptitude Test in either A. Production Control Planning (生産管理プランニング), or B. Production Control Operation (生産管理オペレーション). This is the lowest level of the test which evaluates skills for the planning and operation of a manufacturing site.

    Testing fee is ¥8,320 (¥7,920 testing fee+¥400 application fee).

  2. Manufacturing Sector Specified Skilled Worker 2 Evaluation Test. The contents of this special written test is similar to Level 3 Skills Aptitude Test which is (optionally) administered to technical intern trainees before they finish three (3) years of training.

    Testing fee for this is ¥15,000.

Sample questions for Route 2

The sample questions and the test itself are conducted only in Japanese. Download the sample questions below to assess your ability to take and pass the tests.

(There are no sample questions for Route 1. If you chose this path, you probably already know where to look.)

1. Level 3 Business Career Skills Aptitude Test sample questions

The sample questions below are from the Japan Vocational Ability Development Association (JAVADA) website.

  • PDF Production Control Planning
  • PDF Production Control Operation

2. Manufacturing Sector Specified Skilled Worker 2 Evaluation Test sample questions

The sample questions below are from the Specified Skilled Foreign Human Resources System portal.

Machining and metal processing Electric and electronic equipment assembly Metal surface treatment
Sample questions PDF PDF PDF
Included skills Casting, Forging, Die casting, Machining, Metal press, Iron work, Factory sheet metal work, Finishing, Machine inspection, Machine maintenance, Electric equipment assembling, Plastic molding, Painting, Welding, Industrial packaging Machining, Finishing, Machine inspection, Machine maintenance, Electronic equipment assembling, Electric equipment assembling, Print wiring board manufacturing, Plastic molding, Industrial packaging Electroplating, Aluminum anodizing

Understanding Levels of Skills Aptitude Test

Aptitude tests in Japan are classified into three (3) levels:

  1. Level 1 (highest, hardest)
  2. Level 2
  3. Level 3 (lowest, easiest)

If you were a former technical intern trainee, the first aptitude test that you took before your first year was over was the Basic Level, which is lower than the normal Level 3 that Japanese workers take.

You probably took the Level 3 test before your three years of training was over, and Level 2 before your 5 years of training was over (if you had an extension of two years).

Required Japanese Language Skill

There is no Japanese language skill test (like JLPT) required for SSW2 visa application.

However, to understand and answer the questions of the Skills Aptitude Test, the prospective SSW2 applicant should have the language level of JLPT N2.

If you only have JPLT N3, you might still be able to understand the test provided that you have knowledge of around 2,000 characters of the Joyo Kanji, and be able to memorize the techinical vocabulary.

For reference: 製造分野特定技能2号評価試験

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