Working in Japan

外国人の国家試験受験について

外国人の就労 For Foreign Physical Therapist

In order for foreign physical therapists to work in Japan, they must take and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. With respect to the approval of qualifications required for taking the examination, please carry out the procedures below.
The criteria and procedures for giving approval to the qualifications required for taking the National Examination for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists according to Article 11, Paragraph 3 and Article 12, Paragraph 3 of the Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists Law (Law No. 137 of 1965) are indicated below.

1. Eligible Candidates

Candidates who have graduated from a foreign physical therapy school or training institution, or have received a license in a foreign country equivalent to the license of a physical therapist in Japan.

2. Method of Screening

By means of a review of the application documents of eligible candidates, a decision will be made based on the criteria below with respect to whether or not eligible candidates equal or surpass graduates from a physical therapy school in Japan in terms of qualifications.

3. Approval Criteria

Approval of qualifications for taking the National Physical Therapy Examination will be given to candidates who satisfy the approval criteria from items 1. to 6. below:
  1. Years of training at a foreign physical therapy school or training institutiona) Admission requirements of the physical therapy school or training institution- Must be a graduate of high school or higher (number of years in school must be 12 or more)b) Years required for graduation from the physical therapy school or training institution- Must be 3 years or more (however, years of schooling at an earlier school, for which credit was given at the time of entering the physical therapy school or training institution, can be included)
  2. Class time of educational coursesWith respect to physical therapist, total class time of 2430 hours or more and the number of credits (or number of hours) for specialty courses stipulated in the rules at the physical therapy school or training institution (Ordinance of Ministry of Education and Health and Welfare, No. 3 of 1966) must generally be completed.
  3. Results in specialty coursesGood results required.
  4. Educational environmentThe education and training curriculum must meet the standards stipulated in the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (or World Federation of Occupational Therapists).
  5. After graduating from a school of physical therapy, whether or not the candidate obtains a physical therapy license from the applicable countryNo such a license is required.
  6. Japanese proficiencyCandidates who have not graduated from a junior high school and high school in Japan must have passed Level 1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

4. Required Documents

The applicant will submit the following documents as the application:
  1. Request for approval of qualifications for the National Physical Therapy Examination
  2. Statement of Reasons for applying for approval of qualifications for the National Physical Therapy Examination
  3. Resume (for education, all schools from the equivalent of Japan’s elementary school to the physical therapy school or training institution from which the applicant graduated, with the date of entry and date of graduation for each of the schools, with western calendar years, shall be entered. Also, for the applicant’s work background, as much detail as possible shall be entered.)
  4. Certificate of matters entered on the applicant’s alien registration records (if the applicant has Japanese citizenship, a certified extract or a certified copy of the applicant’s family register)
  5. A medical certificate from a physician (only certificates from physicians qualified in Japan, and which were issued within one month of the date of application, will be acceptable.)
  6. Photographs (3 copies: must be taken within 6 months of the date of application, and be a frontal shot without a hat on, with dimensions of 6×4cm)
  7. A copy of a physical therapy license acquired in a foreign country
  8. A copy of pass certificates of qualifying exams in foreign countries, or the original letter certifying passing of examination
  9. A copy of the graduation diploma, or the original certificate of graduation, from the foreign physiotherapy school or training institution from which the applicant graduated
  10. A copy of calendar year academic records or the original calendar year academic transcripts from the foreign physical therapy school or training institution from which the applicant graduated
  11. A document verifying the curriculum and number of hours completed from the foreign physical therapy school or training institution from which the applicant graduated
  12. A document giving the facility information from the foreign physical therapy school or training institution from which the applicant graduated (it should be from the time the applicant graduated and in the prescribed form)
  13. If the applicant has acquired a physical therapy license in a foreign country, an abstract of the related clauses in the law pursuant to which the license was issued
  14. If the applicant has been trained at a hospital or similar facility in Japan, a copy of the applicable certificate
  15. A pamphlet of the foreign physical therapy (or occupational therapy) school or training institution from which the applicant graduated
  16. If the applicant has not graduated from a junior high school and high school in Japan, a copy of the Certificate of Japanese Language Proficiency for Level 1 as well as a copy of the Score Report

* Preparation Notes

  1. One copy of the documents should be submitted.
  2. For attached documents which are written in languages other than Japanese, a complete translation of the document should also be submitted.
  3. Regarding items (7) to (12) in the document list above, the documents to be submitted and their Japanese translations shall both be submitted with a certificate from an official organization (the applicable country’s embassy, consulate, foreign ministry or similar organization) confirming that the documents are true.
  4. Regarding the documents mentioned in items (7) to (10) and item (16) in the document list above, the applicant should bring the originals (the original will be returned after verification).
  5. Applications for approval must always be carried out by the applicant in person. Applications by mail or through a representative will not be accepted.
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