Osaka Lift-Off
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vol.2 Visa for foreigners and status of residence in Japan (1)

1. Visa

Foreign start-up entrepreneurs wishing to enter Japan to conduct preparations, such as selection of a facility for business, hiring staff, etc., in order to open/establish a representative office, branch, or company are required to obtain a “Temporary Visitor” visa at a Japanese diplomatic establishment. Foreigners show such visa at a port of entry of an airport or seaport in order to get landing permission, and then enter Japan.

Nationals of countries/regions with ordinary visa exemption arrangements with Japan do not require a visa for application for landing permission for short-term stays. However, please note that the waiver of visa requirements is not applicable in the case of stays exceeding the period of time stipulated in each arrangement. (From August 18, 2022, Canadian nationals and U.S. nationals are able to apply for a short-term stay visa for the purpose of Business, Visiting Relatives and Tourism, on HYPERLINK ““Japan eVISA.)

As visa waiver measures may be suspended due to border control measures against COVID-19, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s website to see the latest information such as countries/regions with which Japan has implemented ordinary visa exemption measures, etc.

Engaging in paid activities in Japan with a “Temporary Visitor” visa is prohibited. You need to start with the procedure for obtaining status of residence as soon as possible in order to work continually at a representative office, a branch, or a company when you enter full-scale business operation starting phase (the early stage). Engaging in the operation of an income-producing business or paid activities does not fall under the category of “Temporary Visitor” visa no matter how short the term of stay in Japan is.

2. Status of Residence

When a foreigner wishes to stay in Japan for work, etc., s/he must obtain a status of residence where the activities to be engaged in are applicable from among 29 categories (36 types) of status of residence stipulated in the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (Immigration Regulation).

The applicable status of residence varies depending on the activity and conditions of the intended activity, and the required documents differ for each case. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with a specialist such as solicitor (Gyoseishoshi) for details.

This column is based on the information as of September 1, 2022. Please note that this information is subject to change at any time.

A topic of the next column “Visa for foreigners and status of residence in Japan (2)” is the status of residence for start-up entrepreneurs and “Startup Visa” system in Osaka City, Certified Foreign Entrepreneurship Promotion Organization.

Website goes live September 30th 2022.

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