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Visa & Immigration procedure in Japan

Starting 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.

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.

The establishment of a company in Japan has become much easier since 1st May 2006. (Please see the page on the incorporation in Japan)

If you don't have a visa that allows you to work and that you wish to obtain one for this occasion by starting your own business, the visa you need is that of "Investor / Business Manager".

It is in this case necessary to satisfy the required conditions (see the page on the visa and immigration procedures in Japan), and to establish, before asking for a visa (status of residence), a company with a capital of 5 millions yen or more. You need to make sure that you are eligible for this Investors visa in advance, as a comapny can be established regardless of your visa status (even under a tourist visa). However you are not allowed to run a company without living in Japan with an appropreate visa.

In the case where you're not eligible for the visa (status of residence) "Investor, Business Manager" (lack of the amount of investment, etc.), the alternative options would be to find Japanese partners or other foreign 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 advise



Employment of foreign workers

If you intend to employ people of foreign national, 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 content of the job and the profile the applicant correspond well to the type of visa (status of residence) asked.

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. A visa (status of residence) is granted according to the nature of activities and the performance of the employing company, as well as the qualification of the candidate.

Even if his/her education and the work experience correspond to the requirements of the visa (status of residence) already obtained, it can not be renewed if the new work is considered to be incoherent to the qualification of the applicant or the nature of the visa (status of residence) asked, or when the new employer is considered to be financially incapable of employing another personnel.

>> 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 advise



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 advise



Make a plan of your future in Japan

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 are the kind of jobs offered to people of foreign nationals in Japan, knowing that you will not be able to obtain a working visa if you don't have a job waiting for you in Japan.

Does your profile correspond enough to the one sought ?

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 advise



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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