- Visa and Immigration Procedure in Japan
- Japan's new Immigration system from April 2015
- Change of Immigration system in July 2012
- Visa requirements in Japan
- How to obtain a visa for Japan
- Visa renewal in Japan
- Where to apply for a visa for Japan
- Required documents
- Re-entry permit
- Resident Card
- Getting a new passport
- Changing jobs in Japan
- Self sponsorship
- Sending employees to Japan
- Work permission for student and "dependent" visa holders
- Working holiday visa in Japan
- Marriage in Japan
- Divorce and visa
- Permanent resident
- Certificate of Eligibility (COE) rejected
- Overstay in Japan
- Starting business and visa in Japan
- Employment of foreign workers
- Japanese descendants (nikkei)
- Make a plan of your future in Japan
- Setting up business in Japan
- Incorporation, setting up an office/company in Japan
Visa & Immigration procedure in Japan
Changing jobs in Japan
Your working visa is valid until it expires, even if you change your job. Your former employer can not take your visa away, and you can work at a new place under the visa you obtained with your former employer, if the type of activities remains the same.
If the type of activities changes however (for example from English teacher to an IT engineer), the category of your visa will no longer be appropriate, so you will need to change your visa (status of residence) as well.
If you don't work full time for just one employer but work for a few different employers or have signed contract with several clients as a freelancer, it is still possible to get a work visa. This procedure is often referred to as self sponsorship.
There is no such thing as "self sponsor visa" however, so you will be applying for an ordinary working visa such as "Specialist in Humanities and International Services" or "Engineer".
You will need to prove that your contracts with different employers/clients are stable and that they will generate enough income to support yourself (approximately 200,000 yen/month at the minimum).
This means that you already need to have conracts signed with different employers/clients when applying for a work visa as self sponsorship.
It is also required to get a certain number of documents such as the registry certificate, financial statements, withholding tax report from one of the main employer / client and have them stamp their official seal on the application form as a main "visa sponsor".
If you are planning to start a new business but don't have fixed clients as yet, you might like to consider applying for the "Investor/Business Manager" visa.
Private lessons don't count unless they are organized continuously by a Japanese company.
Sending employees to Japan
When a foreign company wishes to send an employee to Japan without having a hosting structure in Japan, it is firstly required to set up at least a representative office. To do this, there is no registration procedure required, but it is necessary to have a dedicated/phisical office space.
It is then possible to apply for the "Intra-Company Transferee" visa if the visa applicant has worked more than one year at the overseas company that is sending you to Japan.
If you haven't worked long enough for your company to apply for the Intra-Company Transferee visa, you can still try to get other visa such as "Specialist in Humanities and International Services" or "Engineer".
However a representative office doesn't allow you to engage in the commercial activities in Japan, so you might like to consider setting up a branch office or a subsidiary depending on the company's intended activities in Japan.
If the visa applicant becomes the Representative Director of a Japanese subsidiary, the appropriate visa satatus to ask for is "Investor / Business Manager" visa.
Work permission for student and "dependent" visa holders
Students and "dependent" visa holders are not allowed to work full time, but they can work part time if they ask for the permission in advance at the Immigration office.
It is called "Permission to engage in activities other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted". You will be working illegally if you don't obtain this permission in advance.
This Permission allows you to work within 28 hours a week and there is no restriction in the type of activities (except for the sex industry) or limit in terms of the amount of income.
If you have a dependent visa and are covered by your spouse's social security, you might want to be careful with the limits over which you will need to start paying for the social security contribution indemendently:
- less than 3/4 of working hours compared to regular workers
- less than 1.3 million yen of annual income
- less than half the annual income of that of your spouse
These limits are different according to the type of social security that your spouse has joined, so it is higly recommended to check with his/her employer or the organization in charge of his/her social security.
If you wish to work on full time, it is necessary to change your visa status to an appropriate working visa. It is necessary to satisfy the requirements such as your educational or professional background, job description and financial performance of the employer.
Working holiday visa in Japan
Japanese Government currently has agreements on Working Holiday Visa with UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Denmark, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. Each agreement is slightly different in its way of how it works (length, age limit, etc.)
You need to be a citizen of each country and to live in the country at the moment of application. You need to provide a proof that you have sufficient money to support yourself during the initial days of your stay in Japan. The application is to be submitted to the Japanese Embassy or Consulate close to where you live. It is not possible to submit the application at the Immigration office in Japan.
For more detail, please also see the following web sites:
It is possible to change a working holiday visa to a work visa if you find a job in Japan that falls under the work visa categories, provided that you satisfy all the requirements.
Certified as an Immigration Lawyer by the immigration office, we can help you with obtaining an appropriate visa and with other immigration procedures.