Business Visas for Japan by SHIMAX Legal

Case Studies

Case Studies

① COE Application – Highly Skilled Professional (new company)

This case study will focus on Client W, an investment banker and entrepreneur based in Asia. Client W has numerous clients and business dealings in Japan and being based in Tokyo full-time made sense from both a business and private point of view.

As an experienced businessman with years of proven track record in his field, Client W’s plan was to setup his own investment advisory firm in Japan to work with existing clients as well as develop new local business opportunities. By investing in and incorporating his own company, he would then apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for a Highly Skilled Foreign Professional status of residence (“visa” for purposes of this article).

Client W’s incorporation and successful relocation to Japan would basically follow the steps described below.

Stage I: Incorporation

In Stage I, we assisted Client W with the incorporation of his own company in Japan. Because he would be applying for a Highly Skilled Foreign Professional (“HSP”) status as someone engaged in business management activities, the company had to be incorporated so that it would satisfy the requirements described in the “Business Manager” visa section. Specifically, this meant asking him to find and lease an office space and making a personal capital contribution of 5 million yen.

Stage II: Certificate of Eligibility (HSP)

With his company successfully incorporated, the next step was to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (“COE”) for HSP status. We worked with Client W in putting his application package, including working with him on his Businss Plan and business (financial) projections, and then filing the package to the Immigration Bureau.

Stage III: Conversion of Status of Residence

In most cases after a COE is issued, the typical procedure is to bring the COE to a Japanese consulate office abroad and apply for a visa (landing permit) and then come to Japan. However, in Client W’s case, since he was already in Japan on a short term visa-exempt stay with time remaining on his period of stay, rather than follow the normal route, we applied to convert Client W’s status of residence from “Short-Term” to his new “HSP” status.

With the successful conversion to HSP status, Client W was issued a Residence Card and became legally resident in Japan.

② Change of Status of Residence – Student to Instructor

Each year, many graduating foreign students in Japan find employment opportunites with a Japanese employer. In this case study, we were contacted by a private school that had hired a graduating foreign student as an English language instructor. As a student enrolled at a university in Japan, the applicant’s current status of residence was “Student” and would need to be changed to the “Instructor” status in order to work at the school.

There were several key elements to this application, some of which include the following. First was an employment contract entered into between the employer (the school) and the applicant specifying the conditions of the employment in accordance with the relevant laws.

Second, because the applicant was still completing her university program at the time of application, in order to demonstrate her educational history, we asked her to provide a certificate of prospective graduation issued by her university, followed up by her certificate of graduation after formal graduation.

Another important factor was that the applicant in this case was from a country which is generally not known as one of the “traditional” English speaking countries. Since the applicant was going to become an English teacher, it was necessary to demonstrate that she had received education in English for at least twelve years. For this purpose, the applicant was requested to provide certifications from her schools of education received in English totalling up to at least 12 years.

Another area that we wanted to confirm was the applicant’s part-time work history during her time as a student. In principle, a person with a Student status of residence is not permitted to work, however if the person has obtained permission, the student may work part-time up to 28 hours per week. Because of cases of people not complying with this rule, Immigration has been known to check into the part-time work history of students applying to change their status of residence to ensure that they were compliant with these restrictions on working hours. For this reason, we asked the applicant to provide copies of her payslips and bank statements to show that she was not working over the permitted limit.

With these and other supporting documents prepared by the applicant, she could successfully change to the Instructor status and was able to assume her position as an English instructor at the school.