I. Can a Freelancer or a Self-Employed Worker get a Working Visa in Japan ?
If you wish to work in Japan as a freelancer or a self-employed, is it possible to get a working visa ?
Otherwise, is it possible for a working visa holder in Japan to get permission for change or extension of the current working visa, as a freelancer or a self-employed ?
One of the most popular working visas in Japan, an "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" visa can be permitted on a condition that the applicant should work as a specialized worker in Japan under a contract (contracts?, not clear in Japanese language) with a Japanese organization (organizations?, not clear in Japanese language).
This is the reason why an "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" visa holder typically works as an employed worker entering into an employment contract with a Japanese company.
If an "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" visa holder want to change its current job as an employee with a Japanese company to a new job as a freelancer or a self-employed worker, is it necessary to get permission for change of the current visa ?
Otherwise, is it possible to get permission for extension of the current "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" visa after changing the job as an employee to a job as a freelancer or a self-employed worker ?
It is our opinion that the answers to the above questions shall depends on if the "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" visa holder can enter into any contact with a Japanese company or organization, as a freelance or self-employed worker.
The contract should be a long term and continuous contract like a business entrustment contract, or should not be a spot contract, as the contract should be recognized as a condition of a middle term or long term visa.
If an "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" visa holder choose working as a freelancer or self-employed and not entering into any contract with a Japanese company or organization, it should be necessary to get permission for change of its visa to another working visa.
Immigration Contral and Refugee Recognition Act("ICRRA", hereafter) or the immigration law of Japan defines approximately twenty types of working visas.
Not only on an "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" visa but also on many other working visas, it is required to enter into a contract with any company or institution in Japan.
There are some exceptions of this requirement should be as follows:
"artist", "high skilled professional(i)(c)", "business manager", "lawyer/accountant", "medical care", "entertainer"
ICRRA doesn't explicitly require for visa holders of these types of visas to be employed by or to belong to any company or institution in Japan.
"Artist" visa, "lawyer/accountant" visa or "medical care" visa is a visa for a special skilled professional like a painter or a qualified specialist like a lawyer or a doctor.
It is necessary to have a contract with a promoter to get an "Entertainer" visa.
It can be said that an ordinary or regular freelancer or self employed worker needs to get a "business manager" visa, in order to live and to work in Japan.
* A "high skilled professional(i)(c)" visa is a special type visa of a "business manager" visa.
II. Conditions of Permission for Business Manager Visa
In order to get a "business manager" visa as a freelancer or a self employed worker, the immigration law of Japan and related regulations define several conditions to be prepared.
First of all, it is necessary to found a company with cash investment of more than five million Japanese yen.
Otherwise, it is required to fire more than two full time employees, but it should be unrealistic for a freelancer to hire employees from the start of its business.
The invested cash can be disbursed for the corporate expenses including wages, while it might be difficult to prepare five million yen in advance.
Second, it is necessary to have an office or a workplace for its business.
If you want to open a restaurant in Japan, it should be clear cut to rent some place.
It might be unnecessary expense to pat for the rent, if you want to do your business with just a computer.
A so called "share office" might be an option but it might not be accepted in the course of examination for the visa application.
Required conditions are not limited in these two, while these two conditions can be main obstacles for the application.
Regarding how to found a company in Japan, please refer to "Startup in Japan" page of ours.
III. Foreign Entrepreneurs Program by Local Governments
If you are intending to move into Japan and to start your job as a freelancer or a self employed worker, it should be difficult to fulfill each requiremnet to apply for a "business manager" visa.
Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture have a special program for foreign entrepreneurs.
It is able to obtain pre-approval from Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture by submitting required documents such as a business plan without founding a company or renting an office.
With this pre-approval, it is relatively easy to get a "interim business manager" visa for six months from Tokyo Immigration Services Bureau.
This "interim business manager" visa can be extended if the visa holder has prepared the regulated requirement for a "business manager" visa in the six months period.
Please refer to the webpage of Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture.
We can help you to apply for a business manager visa by preparing an application form & the required documents, attending the regional immigration services bureau or Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture, filing the application, negotiating or communicating with the regional immigration services bureau and so on.
IV. How to Contact Us
If you need any assistance or have any questions, please feel free to send your request or inquiry to us via "contact us" page.
You can also contact us via instant messaging service, WhatsApp or Telegram.
@ +81 90 6188 1648
You can also contact us via WhatsApp or Telegram,
@ +81 90 6188 1648.
Otherwise, you can contact us by phone or by email !
Mobile : 090-6188-1648
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuo-Ku District, Tokyo , Japan
Postal Code: 〒103-0012
TEL : 090-6188-1648