VISA (Statuses of Residence)

In order to live in Japan, a foreigner needs to obtain a VISA (Status of Residence) appropriate to his or her activities or status in Japan. A Visa is issued if the foreigner’s activities or status meet the conditions set out in Japan’s Immigration Control Act.

There are currently 29 different Visa types in Japan.
Japanese visas can be roughly divided into two categories.
One is Activity-Type VISA given by activities conducted in Japan,
and the other is Status-Type vise given by status or position in Japan.
(Please refer to the [Visas in Japan and work] table below.)

visas in Japan and work


【Visa to operate a business.】
If you have one of the following Status-Type visas, you can run a business under the same conditions as a Japanese national with this visa, as there are no work restrictions.
“Permanent Resident”,
“Spouse or Child of Japanese National”,
“Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident”,
“Long-Term Resident”


If you do not have one of the Status-Type vises above,
you must obtain a “Business Manager” VISA to run a business.
 (Please refer to the [Business Manager description] below.)

Business Manager description


Authorized activities


Period of Stay

Business Manager

Activities to engage in the operation of international trade or other business in Japan or to manage the said business (except for activities to engage in the operation or management of the business which may not be legally conducted without the qualification given in the column of “Legal/Accounting Services”).

Manager or operator of a company, etc.



Below are the main requirements for obtaining a” Business Manager “VISA.

(1) The business scale of the company satisfies either a) or b) or the combination of a) and b).

  1. a) Business scale of 5 million yen or more
    (In many cases, proof of the scale of the business is proved by the amount of capital of the company.)
  2. b) Hiring two or more full-time employees.
    (The above-mentioned full-time employees should be Japanese or” those who hold Status-Type Visa Such as “permanent residents”, “spouses or child of Japanese”,” spouses or child of permanent resident”, “Long-term residents).

(2) An independent office (business facility) is secured for business in Japan.

(3) It is necessary to submit a feasible business plan.

To obtain the VISA, it is required to establish a company to meet the above requirements.

In addition, depending on the content of the business, there are some businesses that require prior permission from the relevant ministry or agency to carry out the business, as required by law.
In that case, it is necessary to establish a company that meets the requirements for permission.
Please be careful when deciding on the business facility and creating the company’s articles of incorporation.

※  “Highly Skilled Professionals” VISA holders can also run a company,
but only if the company performs work related to the main activity carried out by the foreigner.