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Visa & Immigration procedure in Japan

Running your own business and visa in Japan

If you already have a visa (status of residence) that has no restriction in the type of your activities such as Permanent Resident, Spouse or Child of Japanese National, you are free to choose your business structure whether it is a sole proprietor (kojin jigyo) or a company (KK or GK).

In some cases it is recommended to establish a company in Japan in order to show a certain credibility to your business relations such as your office's landloard, clients and suppliers or to better manage the relation between several investors and directors. (Please see the page on the incorporation in Japan)


If you would like to start a business in Japan but don't have a long term visa that allows you to do so, it is necessary to apply for the Investor / Business Manager visa.


There are conditions to satisfy in order to qualify for the Investor / Business Manager visa (see the page on the visa and immigration procedures in Japan), and in most cases, it is required to register a company with at least 5 millions yen capital before you can apply for the visa.

You need to make sure that you are eligible for this Business Manager visa in advance, as it is technically possible to register a comapny even if you don't satisfy the visa requirements, although you won't be allowed to run the company without having an appropreate visa.

In the case where you are not eligible for the Investor / Business Manager visa (lack of investment funds, etc.), the alternative options would be to find a Japanese partner or other investors, and apply for another type of visa status such as "Specialist in Humanities / International Services" or "Engineer".

>> Different types of visa in Japan

>> How to obtain and renew your visa in Japan

>> Required documents for visa applications in Japan

>> Ask for personalized advice



Employing foreign workers

If you intend to employ foreign nationals in Japan, it is necessary to make sure that they legally have the right to work in Japan, as you can be in a lot of trouble employing someone who doesn't have, or is unlikely to obtain an appropreate visa status.

If your future employees already have a visa (status of residence) such as "Permanent Resident" or "Spouse or Child of Japanese National", there is no problem. If they don't have an appropreate working visa (status of residence) yet, they have to get one.

It is necessary in this case to make sure that the job description matches the applicant's educational or professional background as well as to the type of visa (status of residence) they have or are to apply for.

The fact that your future employee already has a working visa (status of residence) such as Specialist in Humanities or Skilled Labor doesn't mean that you can legally continue to employ them.

There are some conditions that the employer has to meet such as the type of business and the financial performance, on top of the requirements that the employee has to satisfy.

Even if his/her education and the work experience satisfy the visa requirements, it may not be renewed if the new job description doesn't match the applicant's background or visa category he/she has, or when the new employer is considered to be financially incapable of employing another staff.

>> Different types of visa in Japan

>> How to obtain and renew your visa in Japan

>> Required documents for visa applications in Japan

>> Ask for personalized advice



Japanese descendants (nikkei)

If you have a Japanese grand parent, or if your spouse is a child or a grandchild of Japanese national, you are eligible for a "Long Term Resident" visa. As it belongs to the group of visa granted according to the family status, this visa doesn't have any restriction as for the type of work you choose.

If one of your parents has or had the Japanese nationality at the time of your birth, you are eligle for a "Child / Spouse of Japanese National" visa.

In both cases, it is required to track down and identify your Japanese family's koseki (family registry).

>> How to obtain and renew your visa in Japan

>> Required documents for visa applications in Japan

>> Ask for personalized advice



Plan your life ahead

If you wish to work and stay in Japan for a long time and maybe want to apply for a Permanent Residency one day, it is necessary to plan ahead.

If you wish to obtain a working visa in Japan, make sure that you have a degree or a relevant work experience required. If staying in Japan is a part of your future projects, the studies, the training and the work experience you choose are very important, and they need to be chosen in the way that would allow you to obtain an appropriate visa.

It is also essential to see what kind of jobs are open to foreign nationals in Japan as well as the requirements to get the job and qualify for the work visa, knowing that you will not be able to obtain a working visa if you don't have a job waiting for you in Japan.

If your final objective is to obtain the Permanent Residency, it is necessary to make sure that your consecutive stay is not cut off in the middle, and that you maintain a stable job / income and pay taxes.

>> Different types of visa in Japan

>> How to obtain and renew your visa in Japan

>> Required documents for visa applications in Japan

>> Permanent resident in Japan

>> Ask for personalized advice



Certified as an Immigration Lawyer by the immigration office, we can help you with obtaining an appropriate visa and with other immigration procedures.

For more information, click here.



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