LEGAL/ACCOUNTING SERVICES or 法律・会計業務 (hereinafter referred to as “LEGAL/ACCOUNTING“) is a VISA STATUS to engage in working as a qualified/licensed professionals during their period of stay in Japan.
Occupation which requires a specific license or qualification prescribed by law such as;
lawyer, attorney, solicitor, barrister, judicial scrivener, land and house investigator, chartered/public accountant, tax accountant, labor and social security attorney, patent attorney, maritime procedure agent, administrative scrivener（弁護士、司法書士、土地家屋調査士、外国法事務弁護士、公認会計士、外国公認会計士、税理士、社会保険労務士、弁理士、海事代理士、行政書士）
IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH VISA PROCEDURES IN JAPAN, JUMP TO INTRODUCTORY PAGES BELOW FIRST:
Immigration Office judges your eligibility for LEGAL/ACCOUNTING visa status comprehensively – In order to be eligible for the visa status, you need to have specific career, work experience and/or educational background in the related field you wish to engage in and to satisfy other basic requirements.
Here’s the list of basic requirements for LEGAL/ACCOUNTING visa status;
Regardless of which visa status you apply for, you need to satisfy basic criteria first;
>> WHAT IS VISA STATUS?
Basically, LEGAL/ACCOUNTING visa status is granted to engage in working as a professional which requires a specific license or qualification prescribed by Japanese law such as; lawyer/attorney, judicial scrivener, land and house investigator, registered foreign lawyer, chartered/public accountant, tax accountant, labor and social security attorney, patent attorney, maritime procedure agent, administrative scrivener（弁護士、司法書士、土地家屋調査士、外国法事務弁護士、公認会計士、外国公認会計士、税理士、社会保険労務士、弁理士、海事代理士、行政書士）.
Also, you must complete a relevant registration for the organization to engage in the job in Japan. For example, in case you are a lawyer/attorney, you have to register Nichi-Ben-Ren (Japan Federation of Bar Associations).
Since these professional job are exclusive and they are generally considered they receive relevant fees as the same as Japanese professional, there are no fee requirement for fees to be paid in Japan. However, it would be better to prove that you are capable of making stable income in Japan if you would like longer or maximum period of stay for Legal/Accounting visa.
In case of Registered Foreign Lawyer (外国法事務弁護士)
Refer to the following pages on the website of the Ministry of Justice of Japan for the overview and laws and regulations to engage in working as a registered foreign lawyer.
>> Gaikokuho-Jimu-Bengoshi (Gaiben/Registered Foreign Lawyers)
In case of Foreign Chartered/Public Accountant (外国公認会計士)
Refer to the following PDF on the website of the Financial Services Agency of Japan for the laws and regulations to engage in working as a certified public accountant.
>> Certified Public Accountants Act
Especially, there are some clauses you should know to engage in working as a certified public accountant in Japan.
- Article 2 (Services of Certified Public Accountants)
- Article 16-2 (Special Provisions for Those Qualified in Foreign Jurisdictions)
HOW to PROCESS
In case you are currently residing outside Japan yet or you are staying in Japan as a TEMPORARY VISITOR:
>> COE APPLICATION
In case you have been living in Japan under 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 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
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
- Documents to prove the qualification or license (e.g. certificate, license etc.)
In case of EXTENTION of PERIOD of STAY
- Application form
- Residence Card and Passport
- 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.