Partners & Spouses

Work Opportunities

RIKEN does not have any specific program for hiring the partners of employees, but if your partner is also a researcher, they may be able to find a full or part-time position at RIKEN. There are also a small but growing number of positions available for foreign personnel in RIKEN’s administrative divisions.

Your partner may also look for a job outside RIKEN. Jobs in Japan for non-Japanese speaking people can be somewhat limited, but they do exist, particularly in major urban centers such as Tokyo or Kobe. Teaching English or another language may be an option, especially if your spouse has teaching qualifications.

When a partner or spouse searches for a job in Japan, they should be careful to confirm that the job they find will be in reasonable commuting distance from the RIKEN facility where their partner or spouse is assigned. Japan’s public transportation system is excellent, but commuting long distances on the trains can be tiring.


If you are married, your spouse will be able to apply for a dependent visa. Although the dependent visa is not a work visa, your spouse may apply for a permit to engage in activity other than that permitted by the status of residence previously granted, which will enable them to work for up to 28 hours/week.

If your spouse is able to find a full-time job in Japan, it may be possible to change your spouse’s dependent visa to a work visa. You do not actually need a company to "sponsor" you in Japan—you simply need a contract or other document from your employer that indicates you will earn the minimum salary required by the immigration authorities, and you can submit all the necessary forms and documents yourself. Please note, you must change your visa status before you start working.

Individuals who are not legally married are not eligible for dependent visas and will have to apply for their own visas to live and work in Japan.

Studying Japanese

If your partner would like to study the Japanese language, there are many options, from free on-campus classes in basic Japanese open to employees and their family members at some of the RIKEN campuses, to a wide range of Japanese language schools and tutoring services available in all major urban areas.