Outline of Business Manager Visa

There are many foreigners who want to start a business in Japan, and many foreigners living in Japan with business manager visas are increasing. But recently immigration office examines stricter of getting or extending visas. Prolonged examination of business manager visas and frequent denials.

What’s the “business manager visa”

A visa and a status of residence are different. But for convenience, I will call the status of residence “a visa” now.

A business manager visa is a status of residence for foreigners to "manage" a company in Japan or engage in "management" of a business as a company executive.

Simply put, it is for doing the work of the manager.


Types of business eligible for a business manager visa

There are no restrictions on the type of business as long as it is legally run in Japan.

You can run business on a wide range such as restaurant management, trading companies like importing and exporting food and daily goods, and real estate business.

Recently, business management visas have been approved for creator companies such as YouTubers.


Illegal businesses include the sale of drugs, gambling, and prostitution.



Risks and Precautions of Business Manager Visa

For a business manager visa, it is necessary to establish a company with an investment of 5 million yen or more before applying for a status of residence, and to secure  an office in advance. So upfront costs are high. If the business manager visa is not granted in the end, there is a possibility that investment such as office and company establishment expenses will be wasted.


In addition, the immigration bureau screening process is very strict, and the screening process can take as long as three months (or it takes longer). As a result, it will continue taking cost of working capital such as office rent and living expenses until the start of your business.


Therefore, we recommend that you fully consult with an expert in advance the possibility of obtaining a business manager visa and specific methods before preparations for starting a business. In addition to the requirements for a business manager visa, it is also a condition that you don't have any problems with the status of residence, such as compliance with laws in Japan.

Business Manager Visa Requirements

To obtain a business manager visa, you must fulfill the following requirements.

  1. Have an independent business office
  2. Employ above 2 full-time employees in Japan or have capital or investment of over 5 million yen
  3. Able to explain in a business plan (in Japanese) that the business can be run stably and continuously
  4. If you want to work as a business manager (general manager, branch manager, or hired president who does not invest), you need to have at least 3 years of experience in business management. And also it is necesary to get paid equal to or more than Japanese people who engaged same line of work.

Each requirement has detailed examination standard, so it is not enough to just clear it formality. For example, just because you prepare an office and capital of 5 million yen or more and create a simple business plan, you will not always be granted a business manager visa.