Work and study in Japan under JPEPA (Caregiver and Nurse)

Recently, there are circulating news in regard to Japan hiring Filipino skilled workers particularly in medical/ health care field – Nurse and Caregivers. This is actually an ongoing economic agreement of the Philippines and Japan for almost a decade already, and part of it Japan opens its one sector; the hospital and aged-care facilities, to foreign workers. The laws in relation to this program have been getting better and better as the years passed-by but Japan’s government is also looking into getting the program more efficient yet effective. Which means they consider cutting the costs while assisting accepted applicants from studying basic Japanese, providing all the needs of the candidates during the language study course under TESDA [in Philippines] and JICWELS [in Japan; Jicwels- the direct government employer of applicants] up to the assistance they provide through the hospitals and facilities until the nurse or caregiver candidate takes the licensure or board exam.

 

On the news broadcasted by PTV (a Philippine government TV network) it was mentioned that Japan is looking into hiring thousands of Filipino Health care workers. To make sure, I verified the said news from POEA’s official website, it showed that the last hiring of Nurses/ Caregivers was last July 2016. There are also circulating posts mostly on facebook that few private agencies connected to POEA conduct the hiring  / manpower pooling. But BEWARE because POEA’s site announced that there is no advise yet from Japan government regarding the allowed agencies to process the hiring and publicized warning against those agencies who are already hiring Filipino nurses and caregivers bound for Japan.

 

 

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[2017March17 **UPDATE

A news from GMA News was released today, announcing POEA has already opened the HIRING OF FILIPINO NURSE and CAREWORKER.

(For the news’ video please proceed at the end. (for some instance it is not allowing me to embed the video in the middle of this post.)

Here, the video news from GMA’s facebook page. I am trying to open POEA’s website to verify the information but it is not loading, maybe there is too much traffic. Will post update later.]

>>filing is until MAY 31, 2017. ( I haven’t verified this myself but an applicant told me so.)

 

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*candidate – term they use for accepted applicants.

 

News source:

PTV www.facebook.com

What is JPEPA? ,  more on this link wikipedia.

Read this warning from POEA: Warning on illegal recruitment of caregivers for Japan

 

It is true that Japan is in dire need of health care providers because of the rising aging population yet only few Japanese apply for the said jobs. The EPA program initially hired Indonesians only, followed by Filipinos and just recently Vietnamese. Originally, to be a nurse candidate a three year experience is required; and four year bachelor graduate or care-giver graduate for caregiver candidates. Also under experienced/ under board nurses were allowed to be a caregiver candidate. But the qualifications have been downgraded lately to allow more applicants. They want someone who is 100% willing to finish the program and if possible but not required to pass the Japan board exam.

 

To be a JPEPA candidate – is a good opportunity because of many reasons but is also accompanied by great deal of draw backs.

 

 

TESDA Philippines

(faces have been blurred for privacy purposes)

Japan training center

 

ADVANTAGES:

  • It is only regulated by POEA directly to Japan government.
  • The hiring process is impressive.
  • For those who love and want to know more about the puzzling nature and culture of Japan and Japanese, this chance to study and immerse one self is a good opportunity.
  • No money involved for the accepted candidates.
  • Everything is FREE. Japan government render its full assistance during the candidates Japanese language training all the way until a candidate will be able to pass the Japan licensure exam for nurse or caregiver.
  • Few months of plain Japanese language study conducted at TESDA prior to arrival in Japan for another Language study. ALL FREE, transportation, medical examination and with ALLOWANCE.
  • If you passed the medical exam while in the Philippines, the papers like visa, work permit and travel itineraries will be processed by the staff of JICWELS or the facilitators. Everything is spontaneous.
  • An extension of half a year or a year is implemented for Japanese language study in Japan before a candidate proceeds to his / her facility or hospital. This is the FAVORITE part of the candidates.
  • Candidates are in-housed in a training center that looks like a hotel with training facilities. Everyone get to have their own room with private bathroom and a tub. Meals are provided three times a day in a buffet style. And bonus is the ALLOWANCE given every month.
  • The training center also have karaoke rooms,  party rooms and gym. Everything, everywhere during the training is convenient.
  • During the study in Japan, it will be a combination of the language used daily and medical terms. Students are engaged to a conversation with Japanese volunteers.
  • This is the time where candidates are allowed to do home visit if invited by a Japanese host.
  • Everyone is allowed to go out during rest days or even after class but curfew regulated.
  • The training center does not only cater JPEPA candidates but also other foreigner trainees, so you get to encounter other nationalities.
  • Though it is said that a hired nurse or caregiver candidate is already priced or paid by the Japan government for a certain amount that is used for the training and all the studies until the exam, every candidate has their own will if they choose to continue or not even with a signed contract.
  • During the in-house study in Japan, everyone also receive same benefits as the Japanese just like the health insurance.
  • Though the processing of different documents for legalities is complicated the facilitators will be fully assisting everyone. A JPEPA candidate does not hold a working visa but rather a tokutei katsudou visa or designated activities- which strictly conducted by law.
  • To learn a new language (which is considered difficult) can be considered as a long term investment and a treasure that cannot be taken away from you.
  • Even if you don’t plan to settle in Japan, your Japanese proficiency will lead you to a good paying jobs or other opportunities.
  • The experience you acquire during the stressful work-study days will have a great impact in your growth.
  • The books, training, exams, fares to training, accommodation are all provided.
  • Japan is only 4 hours flight from the Philippines. And cheap fares are available.
  • JPEPA candidates are privileged and can easily sponsor their families to visit Japan.
  • As a candidate your visa is renewed yearly but after passing the board exam the visa status will be different and extends up to three years.
  • Travel opportunities. (during the in house language training days, candidates are given free tour to few famous spots.)
  • If you hold whatever visa released by Japan, there are countries that you can travel visa-free even using a Philippine passport (like Taiwan and the possibility of getting approved when applying travelling visa to different countries).
               check my story here how I got a Schengen Visa for Europe 

 

DISADVANTAGES

  • If you have a job prior to being accepted as a candidate, that would require you to leave your job to be able to attend the in-house Japanese language training at TESDA.
  • Being accepted does not mean assurance of proceeding to the next step which is traveling to Japan. Medical exam in the Philippines takes place during the last weeks of the study in TESDA, even if you did great on your Japanese language classes if you failed the medical exam you will not be allowed to continue.
  • During the flight to Japan, since the tickets are purchased  by the facilitator you are not allowed to add extra kilos for your baggage. You need to really sort out your basic clothes and necessities because you will be required to bring all your books and notes.
  • Though the training in Philippines is composed of Japanese instructors, there are also Filipino teachers and most of the staff are Filipino. But in Japan, everyone is Japanese and only few are able to speak English and most of the time they don’t encourage use of english for training purposes. So, if you don’t find the language interesting it will be a BIG BIG challenge.
  • Japanese itself is difficult. Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. BUT Filipinos are good at adopting the pronunciation.
  • The training center in Japan is housing different nationalities, thus caution is needed because sometimes misunderstanding and harm is evident.
  • Filipino and Japanese have a huge gap and difference, especially on values and thinking. Imagine the storm this will cause to a culture and values-centered Filipino.
  • Japanese work ethics, senpai-kouhai (senior-newbie) culture, relationship building is different from that of filipinos or western style.
  • Just like Japanese employees, JPEPA trainees have the right for a number of days paid leave (usually 10 days and gets longer year after year) a year supported also by the signed contract. But this varies on the hospital you are in, some may allow you some may not. Considering Japanese workers are also apprehensive with long days being away from work. You should check this before you sign the contract.
  • It’s never a joke to prepare for the board exam when they only allow trainees few chances.
  • Even if you are called candidate, the other staff at your work place will not consider you as a trainee but rather you equal to them. Prepare to do tasks you don’t expect.
  • During the study course in Japan, everyone is pampered and well taken care of. Thus, will make the candidate shocked or frustrated or hard to cope up when transferred already to his/her respected facility/ hospital.

WHAT CAN I SAY:

  • Always follow the laws and rules during the training because failure to do so affects the next batches of candidates. It might lead to more strict policies.
  • Adopt the culture, embrace the areas where you think is right and contributes to your growth but don’t forget your own values. Practice to combine the ones that you used to have and the ones you just learned.
  • Japanese are one of the great nationalities you’ll ever meet, or if you are lucky to be able to build a friendship with. Treasure the trust they give you. First impression matters to them.
  • If you are maligned speak up (politely), find someone you trust to vent out your thoughts.
  • Do your best to finish the program you entered (being a jpepa) because you were bought for a great amount of price when you were hired. The government and people around you already invested on you.
  • Do not expect everyone to be nice to you. People may or may not like you, remember everyone has their own battles learn to understand.
  • Three years is not that long, invest on your Japanese language proficiency which you can have for the rest of your life and might open new opportunities for you.
  • Japanese system is very clear. concise, convenient and not corrupted. Know your rights as a foreign worker. Process the tax refunds by yourself because no one will do that for you unless the hospital you are working will assist you.
  • If stopping is unavoidable, before going back to the Philippines or exiting Japan. PLEASE settle your bills, leave a money on your bank book that can cover all your remaining bills. And NEVER exit without settling your contract with your MOBILEPHONE provider. Pay for the contract termination or ask your provider for an advise. Do NOT escape, because of this issue Japan’s phone companies have been imposing strict rules to foreigners wishing to sign contract with them.

 

I know there are still a lot of facts and points that can be added to this. Feel free to share your ideas and experience.

 

 

Thumbs Up!

49 comments on “Work and study in Japan under JPEPA (Caregiver and Nurse)”

  1. Darlyn Labustro says:

    i am interested to work and study to japan i am caregiver and health care services ncIO tesda certified only

    1. rochell says:

      Just make sure to undergo legal process to avoid conflict along the way, care givers are in demand here.Good luck!

    2. Neil Bontong says:

      Im interested to apply as caregiver im Nursing Aide.and i have an experience in almost 4 years and 9 months in government hospital.1 year and 6 months in emergency room.6 months medical ward.8 months philhealth ward.and private ward to present

      1. rochell says:

        You have a good number of years of experience. Try to always check the website of POEA they might release announcement for this year’s caregiver recruitment bound to Japan. Check POEA’s website http://www.poea.gov.ph/

    3. Neil Bontong says:

      im interested to apply as caregiver im nursing aide.i have my experience in almost 4 years n 9 months,1 year and 6 monthsin emergency room.6 months in medical ward.8 months philhealth ward.and private ward to present

  2. Anna Okui says:

    I am a registered nurse in the Philippines but don’t have hospital experience. I worked as a PDN for 7months and that’s it. I am now living in Japan and i was thinking of going back to my profession. What is the step/process that i need to do to be able to study under JPEPA? Or is it possible to study under JPEPA if i am already here in Japan?

    1. rochell says:

      As far as I know, JPEPA candidate hiring is done in the Philippines because of the need to be first evaluated by POEA. Then the first Japanese language class takes place in the Ph. If you have enough Japanese skills how about seeking an advise at Japan’s Ministry of Labor. Best of luck!

  3. Jennifer de Los Santos says:

    I’m interested to apply as caregiver I have an experience in pathology for 6 mos. And I’m graduate of caregiver in marry the queen.

    1. rochell says:

      Please visit POEA’s website, keep posted if they are already opening the hiring of caregivers.

  4. Joye says:

    Hi. I’m a Nurse. May I ask if how can I enroll in TESDA with Japanese Language Training? Is it free? How many months will it take? Do I have to enroll first before the POEA release new post for job hiring in Japan?

    1. rochell says:

      I don’t know if TESDA is offering Japanese language classes aside from the class of successful jpepa candidates, you can however call TESDA and inquire if they have free classes offered. During my time, we studied japanese language in TESDA for 3 months only then another 6 months here in japan before we started working, yes everything was free. But i know the duration already changed prior to succeeding batches, they studied in the Philippines longer. I think you have to wait for POEA’s post first, they screen applicants then successful ones proceed to studying the language. P.S POEA and JPEPA’s rules and regulations might changed or will change. Please contact POEA.

  5. Joanne Grace C. De Guzman says:

    I’m interested to apply, I’m currently in Saudi Arabia and will finished my contract in October 2017.

    1. rochell says:

      for job posting inquiries please contact POEA or visit POEA’s website. Good luck!

  6. May says:

    It’s my dream to go to Japan. When I found this article, and read it, the first thing I thought was, “this is too good to be true” . Is this really true?
    If yes, I have a lot of follow-up questions. Plus, I don’t have the qualifications they need for nurses. I’m a nurse by profession and I am currently working as a government employee in a government school in their clinic department. It’s still related, but i’m not entitled as “nurse” yet there. I worked in the hospital for only 10months, unfortunately. I wish I stayed longer. I had regrets.
    Nevertheless, I’m gaining knowledge in my current job. My other concerns also for this program is the expenses on legal documents. I’m pretty much a novice in that area. Thank you for reading!

    1. rochell says:

      Hi May, that would be a very good start, your love to come here in Japan. But please be reminded that sometimes hardships beat the benefits of being here that’s why many GAVE UP along the way. I think I shed more tears working here compared to when I was way back in the Philippines. Well, at least you already finished 10 months, few more to go, mabilis lang ang panahon. When POEA released the hiring, I used my own resources. Just like when you apply for a job, you spend for your resumes, transcript of records, trips to POEA and etc. But once accepted as candidate the training, signing of contract and documents for travel were prepared by the facilitator- Japan system, very efficient.

  7. Abby says:

    Love this article. Sana matanggap ako 🙂

    1. rochell says:

      Go Abby! Best of Luck!

  8. Hracry says:

    Hello im a registered nurse here in the Philippines with 1 yr hospital experience As a staff nurse,can I be qualified to Apply as a caregiver?since i can’t apply as a nurse because i lack experience!I’ve also started taking japanese lesson.Thank you.i hope you could answer my question’ 😃

    1. rochell says:

      Pleace check the post of POEA for the requirement 🙂

  9. gin says:

    tanong lang po, dapat ba contnuous 3 years experience ka sa hospital just to qualify as a nurse in japan? thanks!

    1. rochell says:

      I think okey naman basta ung total ng certified experience is 3 years. But to be sure, please check with POEA re: the qualifications.

  10. Annabelle Ansay says:

    Hi, I am ex abroad. I have 2 years in hospital experience here in the Philippines and 5 years in medical center in Qatar. I went last Monday there in POEA but no one is answering my query and just gave me a paper for list of requirements.

    1. rochell says:

      Hello, yes review the indicated requirements on the paper they gave you. If you think you have the qualifications then apply for the post you want. Good luck!

    2. charlene says:

      Hello Annabelle I would like to ask if what are the list of requirements that they give you?

  11. chester says:

    Hi, I’m a care giver here in Japan for almost 5 years now. It’s a good paying job. But is a strenuous work. My program is a little different with yours. I applied at CHED in UP diliman for a scholarship for two years in a technical school here. It was another program JPEPA used to have. I had a student visa for 2 years. And upon graduating it was changed into tokutei katsudo visa. I had fun at school. Now I’m working in a hospital here as a care giver. I’m a licensed nurse in the Philippines. I didn’t have the two years experience as a nurse. So there was no way for me to apply as a nurse here. Now they let EPA care givers take the RN board exam here but the you have to apply for it on your own. Studies and etc. JICWELS said that an Indonesian had already tried it but unfortunately didn’t pass the test since the applicant didn’t get the support for studies from her company. She had only self studied before the exam. But it’s not impossible to be a nurse as long as you’re going to pass the exam. Just letting your readers know this news. I however won’t work here in Japan as a nurse. It’s the worse place to be a nurse. All my japanese workmates who are nurses are always stressed. Though the pay is really good. If you guys don’t mind a stressful day then good for you. I’m now contented with my profession as a care giver. The pay is not as good as a nurse but it’s not as stressful.

    P.S. To the readers and future applicants, if you love your long vacation on your previous jobs I warn you Japan isn’t as understanding as other countries when it comes to long vacations. It is VERY HARD to ask for a leave for more than 10 days. Take into consideration where you come from in the Philippines. I am from the province which is very far from Manila. It takes a day to travel. So if you get a leave for ten days most likely you only have a week to be with your family. These is always the concern of my filipino friends here. It is your right yo get the leave since it is written in your contract. But your japanese co-workers won’t understand why you need to get a long leave. Sometimes you will feel like you owe them a lot getting that leave. So yeah. Just think about this really carefully. I’m not discouraging you guys. I am just stating a fact on what to expect once you work here.

    P.S.S. I love this article. Very informative. Kudos!

    1. rochell says:

      Hello Chester. Yes, I agree that there is a process where an EPA candidate who came here as caregiver but a registered nurse in the Philippines can advance their careers as a nurse here in Japan. But with many considerations, first you should pass the caregiver license, pass the JLPT N1 and loads of documents depending on the demands of Japan’s Dept of Labor. And there are 2 types of exam the junkango or seikango most probably I suggest the junkango first. In the future when I’m done with the process I will blog about it too. And yes as i mentioned being here is not all glory and bliss. As I mentioned, being an EPA is a good opportunity but full of drawbacks, especially with the nature of work that Filipino’s are used to and the work ethics here. And I also mentioned about the prolonged vacations here aren’t that accepted. But I don’t suggest this goes the same for all facilities, because I know there are a lot of facilities who also allow EPA to go on vacation and avail the paid leave. And I also have few nurses friends who are happy with the hospitals they are in. With my other EPA friends we always say, every other facility has advantage and disadvantage. Some give big salaries, some just enough, or others give different opportunities for growth and advanced studies, some don’t have support. And there are EPA who goes on vacation almost every year some just can’t. So it still depends. But true, being an EPA is too good to be true at first but takes a lot of perseverance to continue but is all worth it at the end. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Keep the spirit up.:)

    2. Katrina Ambas says:

      Hi ! I will be going to the interview this coming Saturday.. any tips on how the flow of the interview will be like? Super nervous! Hahaha thanks for this vlog! Super helpful 🤗

  12. yorel says:

    Hi rochell, really impressed how informative your blog is. Just submitted all the required documents at POEA as care worker(caregiver) and hopeful that I’ll pass to be a candidate for the JPEPA program.I remembered Last 2013,was year that I tried to enroll for that program but sadly it was up to the last drop of minute of that day was the deadline of submittion.THEN I Lost hope, and everything that was happening in my life seems to be not ony favor, coz when I went home to my province, I had the experience of a lifetime , because of HAIYAN… That I forgot the chance of applying abroad. After four year here I am, giving life another chance and I Know this time it will be like my redemption… Don’t give up guys, may 31 is the deadline from POEA.

    1. rochell says:

      Hello Yorel! Wow what an inspiration that despite of your circumstances you were able to move forward. That is commendable. Great to hear you were able to submit now your requirements on time. Let’s see the result, then mail me or get back to me about your result , okay? I pray whatever the result is will bring good on you. God bless.

      1. Yorel says:

        I got a mssgs this morning,good news that i got through on the selection as careworker. Need to attend the pre recruitment briefing this june 27 @POEA… i feel anxious but excited, just hoping for the best.

        1. rochell says:

          Wow! Congrats Yorel. Few more steps pa keep up that faith!

  13. joan says:

    Hello Yorel .. As i read your comment . I finally decided to fly in Manila this May to submit those requirements too since the poea in our province wont accept it . Im hesistant at first since my colleague says the POEA in Manila is not accepting applicant yet for that said job posting.your comment help me to decide to fly or not .. .Thank you for this informative comment 🙂

    Thank you Rochell for this Informative Blog ..May God Bless you .

    1. rochell says:

      Hi Joan, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope everything goes well with you too. If you have decided then go for it because it says on POEA’s site that application is until May 31. Godbless in your endeavor

  14. Charlie says:

    hi im interested. im undergraduate of nursing but i work in tertiary hospital in ortigas pasig city as a nursing attendant for 8 years. am i qualified? ty

    1. Charlie says:

      as a caregiver. ty

    2. rochell says:

      Hello Charlie, please ask POEA what will be their take for undergraduates with good years of experience. Good luck!

      1. Charlie says:

        ty mam..

  15. Jose Capitulo says:

    Hi Rochelle! Do you have any idea when would they announce those short listed applicants for Nursing and Caregiving hiring? Or if how many weeks does it take before they release the result of screening? Thank you! Godbless

    1. rochell says:

      Hi! I think its already out. Check POEA website 🙂

  16. Zah says:

    hello there rochell! read your post and I found it really helpful. I’m kinda in doubt tho. I’m a filipino muslim wearing a hijab, so it concerns me if there is any discrimination in the work-feild and is it allowed to wear hijab during work? I surely read some articles about indonesian nurses being part of the program but I haven’t had any answer to question. Hope you can enlighten me. And pahabol question pa (hehehe), are there any interview with the employer or any kind of interview for that matter. It stresses me sometimes being in such situation despite having done it a couple of times XDDDD

    Thank you so much and God bless!

    1. rochell says:

      Hi Zah! With your question regarding hijab I can’t give you exact answers and marami din opinions from different point of view. Just open your mind na most of them are not used to seeing people wearing hijab. You’re right there are Indonesian JPEPA who wears hijab and some dont, and so far wala naman kami naririnig na they were discriminated blatantly bec of hijab. From my experience, Japanese are very careful with discrimination and they’re known to be good at controlling their own opinions and comments. So if ever may nuances man sila most likely hindi sila open. But remember kahit saan may discrimination, not only for those who wear hijab but generally for Filipinos. We can’t blame them naman din if may first impression sila about us na hindi naten magugustuhan, kaya it is also our responsibility to show them the best sides of being Filipino. Build your first impression and work on it.

  17. lahlahbellls says:

    Hi…if I were accepted as a nurse candidate at POEA..where would I study my japanese language?..at TESDA also?…and Do I get to go home everyday or are we required to stay at a training facility at TESDA for 6 months? thank you

    1. rochell says:

      from my experience we studied in TESDA Taguig and we were housed there. you are not allowed to go home and sleep at your house every single day. You can actually go out but you are required to sleep in the dorm. most of the time you are studying naman kulang pa ung oras mo to study so better focus nalang sa pagaaral ng japanese para hindi mahirapan when you are here na. My advice is, really, invest on being expert on japanese language. it will take you far in the long run.

  18. lan says:

    hi, can you give us tips on the interview process of JPEPA? We will have an interview next week. thanks

    1. rochell says:

      Hi Ian, SMILE and be comfortable. Show your being Filipino and explain your goals and why Japan 🙂

  19. Katrina Ambas says:

    Hi ! I will be going to the interview this coming Saturday.. any tips on how the flow of the interview will be like? Super nervous! Hahaha thanks for this vlog! Super helpful 🤗

    1. rochell says:

      Hi Katrina, WOW! Congratulations. You can make it. Just keep calm and SMILE.

  20. aiza says:

    hi i would like to ask, if you are a bsn graduate do you still need to take the tesda for caregiver?

    1. rochell says:

      What do you mean? Do you mean: “if you are a BSN graduate and would like to apply for the caregiver offer of the JPEPA would you sill need to enroll to a caregiving program or would you still need a caregiver certificate?” If this is what you meant, from what I know, if you are BSN graduate and under board or not a board passer then you can go directly to POEA and submit the requirements for caregiver. No need for caregiver certificates or training. I think the certificate of training are required for those other degrees who want to apply as a caregiver.

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