Business Visas for Japan by SHIMAX Legal


Business Manager Visa


This article will provide a general overview of the “Business Manager” status of residence and a few of the requirements to apply. For purposes of this article, we will refer to a “Status of Residence” as a visa.

What is a Business Manager visa?

The Business Manager visa is the status of residence for applicants who will operate or be engaged in the management of a business. Therefore, the Business Manager visa is one type of a “Working Visa”.

This visa was formerly known as the “Investor/Business Manager” visa, but it was renamed to the Business Manager visa as a result of changes to the Immigration Act in April of 2015. Previously, the visa was based on an investment from foreign sources, but as a result of the changes, the foreign capital connection requirement was removed, and accordingly, a foreign individual could engage in the operation and management of a domestic company.

It is important to note that the hurdles to acquiring this visa are much higher than those of other visa classes, and carries a number of application risks. Therefore, even if all of the procedures for application are completed, there is no guarantee that the applicant will acquire the Business Manager visa and even if the applicant has incorporated a company and capital investments have been completed, the Business Manager visa may not be approved.

What can you do with a Business Manager visa?

Applicants who will engage in the operation or management (as a director, statutory auditor, senior manager etc) of a company should apply for the Business Manager visa. It is important that the applicant is in one of the above management type roles and is authorized to make significant decisions with respect to the execution and management of the operations of the company.

Requirements for the Business Manager Visa

Ⅰ. When applying after making a capital investment and operating the business

1. First, the business that the applicant will operate must be located in Japan. Even if business has not actually been commenced, the applicant must have secured an office facility to be used as the principal place of business. As evidence, documents such as the property registration certificate or lease agreement must be submitted to Immigration as part of the application package.

2. Minimum investment of 5 million yen, or two or more full time employees

【a. Minimum investment of 5 million yen】
In addition to a minimum 5 million yen investment in the new business, it is also important to be able to demonstrate who procured and how those funds will be used.
【b. Two or more full-time employees】
The full-time employees must either be a Japanese national, permanent resident, spouse of a Japanese national or a long-term resident.

3. Demonstration of a viable and stable business

To demonstrate this, a business plan that explains the business in detail, complete with financial projections is necessary, and that the 5 million yen will continue to be invested into the business.

4. Actual business management

It is important that the applicant possesses the authority to, and is actually engaged in the management of the company. Furthermore, an application may not be approved if there are no other employees and the applicant is performing all of the business activities themselves.

Ⅱ. When the applicant will engage in the management or administration of a business

1. The applicant must possess at least 3 years of experience in the operation or management of a business (time spent in graduate level studies in business management will count towards this requirement)

2. Earning a salary at least equal to what a Japanese person performing the same work would be paid. As a benchmark we would suggest at least 200,000 yen per month.

Note that the business must have at least 5 million yen in capital, or have employed at least two full-time employees that are a Japanese national, permanent resident, spouse of a Japanese national or long-term resident.