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Maids in Japan (Domestic Help)

Japanese citizens are not allowed to sponsor or hire foreign maids. Foreigners who wish to do so are eligible so long as they hold a high position in the company.

You can get the forms to apply and information about what's required for a Certificate of Eligibility at Immigration. Assuming you are in Tokyo, suggest you go to the main office in Otemachi. It will be vastly easier and more productive if you speak fluent Japanese or go with someone who does.

Nothing with Immigration should be assumed to be "easy". They are pretty cautious about bringing in unskilled people as those are the folks who are most likely to overstay in their minds.

Since requirements do change from time to time, it is best to go there and get their current list of documents regarding the applicant and sponsor. When last checked, the sponsor had to be "#1 or #2" in their company. It is unknown if this is still the case.

For an original Certificate of Employment (rather than a simple extension), it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. And they will not tell you ahead of time what it will be. Many conditions & requirements are not clearly written out. Also, you can easily find someone else with seemingly the same circumstances have a different result. You have to be patient with Immigration.

If you give up on sponsorship, there are people around who have sponsorship, but not full schedules, so they're available to work.

I believe the minimum contract one must show Immigration with the application is for 150,000/month salary. Reality varies from this both lower and higher, depending on how many hours per week one needs help. There are some other costs to bear in mind, such as social insurance premiums, flights home (as negotiated), etc.

Searching for A Sitter

If you have the resources, an immigration specialist can help a lot. You can see them advertised in some of the English magazines, etc. They are less than a lawyer, but registered with Immigration to act on others' behalf. Since, they deal with Immigration all the time, they are (should be) adept at preparing all the documents in the form which is most acceptable to Immigration. They have their own fee which you should be clear about. It can be anywhere from 25-100,000 depending on the situation. 50 is probably average.

The French company, Euromaman, can be reached at Address your inquiry to M. Bertrand Roussel who will handle your request in English. The German agency, Perfect Partners, has also placed caregivers in Japan. For help in English, ask for Sabine Hoppe at Perfect Partners. Their email address is

In the Tokyo area there are babysitting agencies that will send a caregiver or maid to your home. English is not always spoken and these companies tend to be a little more expensive than hiring a sitter directly. However, the following childcare services can be especially useful when taking care of a new baby or as a backup when your regular babysitter isn't available.

Homeaid, Tel: (813) 3781 7536

Baby Life Center, Tel: (813) 3485 0630

Kinder Network, Tel: (813) 3486 8278

Tom Sawyer, Tel: (813) 3770 9530

Poppins Service, Tel: (813) 3447 2100

Tokyo Domestic, Tel: (813) 3584 4769

Kids World is part of a chain of private child-care facilities that has expanded its locations throughout Tokyo since first opening in 1994.

Each location is staffed by at least one native English speaker in addition to other bilingual teachers. Drop-in service is available and several parents have mentioned how much their children enjoy the fun activities at Kids World. The many convenient locations in central Tokyo have made this company especially popular among the foreign community. For more information, contact the head office at 0120-001527.

The largest listing of babysitters in the Tokyo/Yokohama area can be found on the electronic Tokyo Area Babysitting Bulletin Board which just recently became part of the new Website. The information is free, and I am amazed at the sheer number of babysitters, organized efficiently by location. This is an invaluable resource for parents, so be sure to check out the website.

Agency Address Telephone/Fax Website
Duskin Merry Maids 4-44, Miharu-cho,
Japan 238-0014
T: (814) 6824 8960
F: (814) 6824 5915
Molly Maids




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