BUSINESS MANAGER (hereinafter referred to as “BM“) is a VISA STATUS to engage in business management and related activity in Japan. You must actually manage the business in Japan as a business manager – you cannot get approved of BM visa status if you only do the investment in Japanese company. If you don’t need to stay in Japan for the business management, you cannot be applicable to this visa status.
- CEO or Representative Director who engages in management of business in Japan.
- CEO/Representative Director, COO, CFO, CTO or any directors who engage in execution, determination or audit of the business in Japan.
- Factory manager, manager, branch office representative and others who engage in management of operation of the factory in Japan.
IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH VISA PROCEDURES IN JAPAN, JUMP TO INTRODUCTORY PAGES BELOW FIRST:
- BASIC REQUIREMENTS
- POINTS TO NOTE
- HOW to PROCESS
- PERIOD of STAY
- BASIC REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
Immigration Office judges your eligibility for BM visa status comprehensively – considering not only by the amount of your investment into the company, but also by your career as a business manager or related experience/background, the business stability and credibility, balance of predictable profit and loss, amount of employee, types of business and so on.
Here’s the list of basic requirements for BM.
Regardless of which visa status you apply for, you need to satisfy basic criteria first;
>> WHAT IS VISA STATUS?
You must engage in the business management of the company or any business entity in Japan in order to conduct and execute the business.
- You cannot obtain BM visa status only by the investment into a Japanese company.
- You must engage in conducting and managing the business most of the time. You will need to hire staff if the business generally requires to hire specific staff for the operation; e.g. cook and kitchen/floor staff for a restaurant and/or café, teacher for a language/culture school, designers for design business etc.
Corporate entity you will manage the business as a business manager has to satisfy either A or B below in order to certify the scale of business and financial stability;
[A] The business must be invested at least 5 million yen (should need more investment or initial capital depending on the company structure and/or type of business).
[B] The corporate entity must hire at least 2 employees of Japanese nationals or foreign nationals with particular visa status among PERMANENT RESIDENT, SPOUSE/CHILD of JAPANESE, or SPOUSE/CHILD of PERMANENT RESIDENT and LONG-TERM RESIDENT.
Also, the business must not be in heavy deficit.
Virtual office is not applicable.
The office space has to be individually separated from other entity or living space. It has to be rented for the business purpose in advance of the application for BM visa status. The rent contract must be made in the name of the corporate entity. Also, the office space must be ready for the business – a minimum of office equipment should be installed such as pair(s) of desk and chair, a laptop, a shelf etc. Mails can be reached to the office address with the name of corporate entity.
Business Plan for 1 or 2 years is required.
The plan must be specific, reasonable, and feasible, and you need to explain it in the Business Plan and financial plan with specific figures and reasonable explanation. The business should be planned as the company will not be in deficit. Employment of staff is a must in case of specific business – especially in case of restaurant/cafe business (staff for cook, hall/floor staff etc.), accommodation/hotel business (staff for housekeeping, front staff, cook etc.), language school business (staff for teachers/instructors), design business (staff for designers) etc. BM visa holders must focus on conducting the business management.
You have to prove that the business is ready to start.
Necessary administrative/registration (corporate registration as well as reports/notifications for tax offices etc.) has to be done before the application. Required permit/license for the business must be obtained if necessary – generally, your BM visa status will not be approved until the necessary permit/license is issued.
You must be paid regularly for your work/duties in Japan enough to make a living as a business manager. You are supposed to be paid equal to or more than that of Japanese nationals who engage in the same field of your job duties (considered as around JPY 200,000 at least monthly in case you don’t have any dependent).
You must have at least 3 years of work experience for managing the operation of business. The period of 3 years can be include the period of graduate school.
POINTS TO NOTE
Necessity of Partner Living in Japan
If you would like to apply for BM by setting up a corporate entity in Japan with your own investment but you haven’t lived in Japan yet, it would be difficult to make a rent contract for the office space as well as to process corporate registration in Japan. In some cases, it is not easy to rent an office space in Japan without a resident in Japan. In addition, you will need a personal bank account in Japan or at the overseas branch office of the Japanese Bank in order to make an investment to set up a Kabushiki Kaisha (KK). Therefore, you might want to have a partner who is a resident in Japan already.
Necessity of Entering Japan for COE Application
You will need to be in Japan at the time of submission of the COE application in case you are the only representative/staff of the company in Japan to be your visa sponsor.
Possibility of NOT BE ABLE to Extend of Period of Stay
To extend the period of stay for BM, the business of the company should NOT be in deficit for 2 or more consecutive fiscal years. If the company continues to be in deficit, you should provide explanation for the reason and business plan to show how the company will improve the situation and make a profit. In case of the heavy deficit, the Immigration Office would ask you to provide the documents of financial evaluation provided by the licensed/qualified Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant (中小企業診断士) or Certified Public Accountant (公認会計士) etc.
In case that the corporate entity is in deficit as well as in the state of insolvency (liabilities exceed assets) for 2 years, the Immigration Office would judge that you cannot continue the business in Japan and decline the application for EXTEND of PERIOD of STAY.
Possibility of HSP
If you satisfy the requirements above as well as you are applicable to Highly Skilled Professional (HSP), you might want to apply for HSP-c which you can receive a preferential immigration treatment and 5 years of period of stay etc.
>> HIGHLY SKILLED PROFESSIONAL (HSP)
HOW to PROCESS
In case you are currently living outside Japan or you are staying in Japan as a Temporary Visitor:
>> COE APPLICATION
In case you have been living in Japan under a specific status and holding RESIDENCE CARD already:
>> CHANGE of VISA STATUS
PERIOD of STAY
Each visa status has the expiration date – you can stay in Japan under the visa status during the specific period stated on Residence Card issued by Immigration Office. Period of stay shall be decided by Immigration Office depends on the applicant’s circumstance, and it shall be either of 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 4 months, or 3 months. The period of stay is granted by the Immigration Office based on each case and situation.
In case you wish to extend the period of stay granted, you may apply for Extension of Period of Stay before the expiry date.
>> EXTENSION OF PERIOD OF STAY (VISA RENEWAL)
In case you would like to travel outside Japan temporarily under the visa status.
>> RE-ENTRY PERMIT
NOTE: In case that the corporate entity is in deficit as well as in the state of insolvency (liabilities exceed assets) for 2 years, the Immigration Office would judge that you cannot continue the business in Japan and decline the application for EXTEND of PERIOD of STAY >> IMPORTANT NOTE
BASIC REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
The immigration office considers your eligibility for the visa status by your situation/career and by documents you provide. You are required to prepare documents which certify that the contents of the application are true and correct. The Immigration Office will request at any time if they have any questions or would like to confirm the information you provided case by case.
Specific documents are varied depending on the situation of each applicant and the host organization/company, however, the basic documents for this visa status are as follows;
In case of COE APPLICATION and CHANGE of VISA STATUS
- Application form
- [In case of CHANGE of VISA STATUS] Residence Card and Passport
- Records for Salary Payment and Withholding Tax (給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)
- CV (to confirm your educational background and work experience
- Documents to certify your job position and annual remuneration as a business manager; e.g. the Articles of Incorporation or Decision/Minutes of Shareholders’ Meeting
- Documents to certify the corporate entity you work for and the business;
- Certificate of Company Register
- Notification of the company establishment submitted to Tax Office
- Company Overview
- Company’s leaflet (if any)
- [In case the business requires permit/license] Documents to certify the permit/license
- [In case the company employs 2 or more employer to satisfy basic requirements for BM] Payroll and Certificate of Residence (住民票) for each employee
- Provisional Agreement for the business etc.
- Documents to certify physical office space;
- Rent Contract
- Floor plan and photos of the office space
- Business Plan for at least 1 complete fiscal year
- [In case of existing company which completed the tax return for the latest fiscal year] Financial Statement as of the latest fiscal year-end
- In case that the company cannot provide Records for Salary Payment and Withholding Tax (給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表);
- Notification of the establishment of salary payment office submitted to Tax Office (給与支払事務所設置届出書)
- Payment slip for Withholding Tax (for the past 3 months) or Application for Payment of Withholding Income Tax on a Semiannual submitted to Tax Office
- In case that the company does not need to submit 10 above since the company is exempted from tax withholding;
- Certificate of Exemption from Tax Withholding regarding foreign corporation (外国法人の源泉徴収に対する免除証明書) and/or documents to clarify the reason why the company doesn’t require the tax withholding.
In case of EXTENTION of PERIOD of STAY
- Application form
- Residence Card and Passport
- Records for Salary Payment and Withholding Tax (給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)
- Financial Statement as of the latest fiscal year-end
- Tax/Income Certificate and Tax Payment Certificate for the latest year’s Resident Tax (直近の住民税の課税・所得証明書および納税証明書)
- IN CASE YOU CHANGE THE CONTRACTING ENTITY (VISA SPONSOR) DURING CURRENT PERIOD OF STAY: need the almost same documents as “In case of COE APPLICATION and CHANGE of VISA STATUS” above.
NOTE / REMARK
- All the documents written in foreign languages need to attach the Japanese translation.
- Additional documents may be requested by the Immigration Office during the screening.
- Some documents may be exempted in case your visa sponsor is classified under specific categories as follows: 1) listed corporation, government related organization, Independent administrative institution and other organization specified in this category 2) the total amount of annual withholding tax on the latest “Records for Salary Payment and Withholding Tax (給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)” counts 10 million JPY or more, 3) your visa sponsor can submit a copy of the latest “Records for Salary Payment and Withholding Tax”.
- Any certificate issued by the Japanese authorities (Tax/Income Certificate, Certificate of Residence, Certificate of Company Register etc.) has to be the one issued within 3 months before the date of application.