VISA Application

Business Manager Visa (Former Investor/Business Manager Visa)

As of April 1, 2015, the former Investor/Business Manager Visa was changed to the Business Manager Visa.

Business Manager  image Since then, it has become possible for foreigners to operate or manage business of Japanese domestic capital as well as that of foreign capital. Previously, it was necessary for an applicant himself to invest in the business at least 5 million yen. It has then become allowable that someone other than the applicant invests the business. This is a large change. The business plan, however, is now required to contain more detailed accounts than before. Inspection for the Visa is now very strict. Care should also be taken if the applicant is a joint investor or if there are two representatives for the business. In the actual inspection, the Immigration Bureau comprehensively checks the credibility, stability and continuity of the business plan, the size of the business, the process of acquiring the investment and other documents including the applicant's career. It is thus necessary to carefully prepare the necessary documents depending on the applicant's situation. In addition, it is also necessary to prepare many documents which are not listed in the document list issued by the Bureau.


Setting Up a Company
Setting Up Company
Setting up company in Japan to start business 
Business Investment
Business Investment
Investing in business and starting its management
Business Management
Business Management
Managing business for investors

Frequently Consulted Businesses

Running a restaurant
Running restaurant
IT business
IT business
Online business
Online business
Real estate investment business
Real estate investment business
Used product business
Used product business
Running a convenient store
Running a convenient store
Travel agency
Travel agency
Construction business
Construction business
Recently, an increasing number of people from the wealthy class and real estate agents in China consult us on real estate investment in Japan. It is, however, impossible to obtain a Business Manager Visa or permanent residency simply by purchasing real estate in Japan. To obtain a Business Manager Visa, the feasibility, size and so on of the business are also important.

The period of stay for the Visa can be "3 or 4 months" or "1, 3 or 5 year(s)."

The Business Manager Visa is for those who actually mange business. Normally, they are presidents or executives who actually mange the business. Since a large amount of investment is necessary to start a business, the application for the Visa accompanies some risks. If the Visa is not approved, you may lose the investment and therefore it is necessary to carefully prepare for the application. Recently, many applicants are requested to submit additional documents by the Immigration Bureau, and it is thus necessary to consider various aspects for application.

In a basic case of application, you need to prepare an investment of at least 5 million yen and to deposit it in a Japanese bank account. You are also responsible for proving how you have acquired the investment. A sound one-year business plan is also necessary. You then need to make a contract for an office to carry out the business plan in Japan and to establish a company. Some offices are not rented to foreigners. If your business needs a store, you also need to make a contract for a store place and even to obtain a license for the business if required. A license is required, for example, for operating a restaurant, importing and selling alcoholic drinks, job placement, used car trading and real estate business. It is thus necessary to check in advance if your intended business requires a license. In short, you need to prepare as much as possible in such a way that you can immediately start your business after visa approval, before you actually apply for a Visa at the Bureau.

There is no restriction on the type of business you intend to operate as long as it is not against Japanese laws. If you have already employed or made contracts with future employees, you need to submit the relevant documents of employment to the Bureau. If you have not yet employed any employees, you need to explain your employment situation to the Bureau.

The application for a Business Manager Visa requires a lot of preparation, procedures and documents and involves different procedures for different investment plans, requiring a wide range of legal knowledge. In reality, however, there are only a few specialists for the Visa who fully understand the inspection criteria of the Bureau and can give proper advice to applicants. There are many applicants who come to our office after being turned down by other offices although their business plans seem to be fully approvable to us. It is also possible to obtain a Visa for investing in or being installed as a president of an existing company. In addition, renewing a Visa needs care. There are some foreigners who could obtain a Visa but could not renew it later. Since the Bureau requires more documents than before for inspection these days, you need to prepare carefully. We offer applicants proper advice while considering even the renewal of Visas. Please feel free to consult us for dependable services.

Approval Criteria for the Visa

For Business Management

1. An office for operating the business exists in Japan.

2. As for the size of the business, any of the following applies.

a. Other than the manager or executive who operates the business, at least two full-time employees who live in Japan are employed.

b. The amount of company capital or investment is at least 5 million yen.

c. The size of the business is considered to be equivalent to a or b above.

For Managing Business as an Executive on Behalf of a Foreign Manager

・ The applicant has an experience of more than three years in business management or operation (including the period of studying business management at a graduate school).

・ The applicant is to receive at least the same payment as the Japanese equivalent.

* In addition, the continuity and stability of the business is also inspected.


Important to prove how you have prepared your investment

The necessary amount of investment of at least 5 million yen includes not only the company capital but also the rent for the office, expenses for OA equipment, such as a copying machine, salaries for employees, etc. Many applicants register their company incorporation with a company capital of more than 5 million yen. Since Immigration Control Law as well as Corporation Law is relevant in the process of registering company incorporation, care must be taken. It is also important to prove how you have prepared your investment.

Securing a space for stably operating the business, in accord with the criteria

We receive many inquiries about office space. According to the inspection criteria, an enough space for stably operating the business must be secured. Although it is desirable to have an office separately from your home, it is also possible to set up an office within you home. While it might be acceptable if you have your office space clearly separated from you living area, it depends on the room layout of your home. We also offer you information on rental offices.

Having a usiness size of more than a certain degree

It is necessary to employ at least two full-time employees other than the manager. While they can be either Japanese or foreigners with permanent residency, employing Japanese or permanent residents has advantage from the viewpoint of investment and business management. For some types of business, however, employing two employees is not required.

Required to have social insurance for full-time employees

In Japan, you are required to have social insurance for yourself even if you, as the president, are the only person working at your company. Thus, you must have social insurance for your employees, which includes workers' accident insurance, employment insurance, health insurance and welfare pension insurance.

Procedure to Obtain a Visa (for Applicants from Abroad)

1. Set up an office for the company headquarters and establish the company.

2. Acquire a store space and carry out its interior work.

3. Apply for a license (only if it is necessary).

4. Prepare documents for applying for a Visa.

5. Apply for a Visa at the Bureau.

6. A Certificate of Eligibility for Resident Status for a Business Manager Visa is issued to you.

7. Together with the Certificate, apply for a Visa at the Japanese Consulate in your country.

8. After a Business Management Visa is issued to you, you come to Japan.

Renewal of a Visa

You can apply for the renewal of your Visa on and after three months before your allowed period of stay expires. The important thing in the renewal inspection is the state of your business. If the state of your business differs largely from the initial business plan and does not satisfy the condition for Visa approval, your Visa may not be renewed. It is necessary to prepare a business plan considering even the renewal of the Visa.

Examples of Approved Business Manager Visas

After working at trading company in the home country, established company in Japan.
The applicant worked at trading company in his home country.  With this experience, he wanted to operate trading company in Japan. The company capital was million yen, and he employed two employees. Obtained one-year Visa.
An overseas company established subsidiary in Japan.
An overseas company wanted to establish subsidiary in Japan to start business in Japan.  They wanted to appoint person from their headquarters to the representative of the subsidiary to operate it.  The capital of the subsidiary was million yen, and they employed two employees.  Obtained one-year Visa.
An overseas company established their branch in Japan.
An overseas company wanted to establish branch office in Japan to start business in Japan.  They wanted to appoint person from their headquarters to the representative of the branch to operate it.  They employed two employees.  Obtained one-year Visa.
former foreign student established company.
After graduating from school in Japan, the applicant wanted to utilize his knowledge gained at the school and to establish an accessory design company to operate business.  His parents offered him million yen as the support fund.  Initially he employed one employee.  Obtained ?one-year Visa.
former foreign student started business after working at Japanese company.
After graduating school in Japan, the applicant worked at Japanese company.  He wanted to establish an online business company.  He used his own million yen together with million yen as support fund from his parents to make company capital of million yen.  Initially he employed one employee.  Obtained one-year Visa.
After working at restaurant in Japan, opened his own restaurant.
The applicant worked as an Indian curry cook for many years in Japan.  He saved enough money to open his own restaurant.  He invested his own fund of million yen and employed two cooks and two wait staffs.  Obtained one-year Visa.
After working in show business in Japan, started business.
The applicant worked as an entertainer in Japan and wanted to produce cosmetics in Japan and to sell them overseas.  She obtained million yen from an overseas investor and, together with her own fund of 500,000 yen, made company capital of 8.5 million yen.  She became the president of the company and employed two employees.  Obtained one-year Visa.
After increasing investment in an existing company in Japan, became its manager.
The applicant increased his investment in an existing trading company in Japan and wanted to manage the company as its representative.  The company had full-time employee and part-time employee.  Obtained one-year Visa.
Purchased an existing restaurant in Japan and became its owner.
The applicant wanted to purchase an existing restaurant in Japan and to operate it.  The restaurant had cook and two part-time employees.  Obtained one-year Visa.
Before applying for a Business Manager Visa, it is necessary to carefully consider the range of necessary documents and the application procedure, depending on the applicant's career, preparation and business plan. Since it requires a wide range of legal knowledge, there are not many specialists who fully understand the criteria of inspection and can give proper advice to applicants. Some applicants come to our office after being turned down by other offices although their business plans seem to be fully approvable to us. If an application is approved, a one-year Visa is normally given. The renewal of the Visa should also be taken into account. Some foreigners could successfully obtain a Visa but could not renew it because they did not pay much attention to its renewal. Recently, the Bureau requires many additional documents for inspection, and thus you need to carefully prepare for the application. We offer applicants proper advice while considering even the renewal of their Visas. Please feel free to consult us for dependable services.
* It should be noted that foreigners with a short-term visa cannot involve in company management accompanying remuneration.
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Recent Situation of Inspection for Business Manager Visas

Inspection for Business Manager Visas suddenly became stricter about a year ago. The following explains the situation. While more and more foreigners apply for permission to stay in Japan, visa inspection by the Bureau has become stricter, and an increasing number of applicants cannot obtain a Business Manager Visa. The purpose of stricter inspection seems to be, because of the increase of applicants who do not satisfy criteria of visa approval, to prevent mere formality of immigration laws, to benefit Japan by doing so and to prevent improper applications. Improper applications are, for example, a case in which a foreigner actually starts business in Japan but do not employ anyone and his business remains small, a case in which a family member of a foreigner living in Japan becomes the manager of his company to live in Japan and a case in which an applicant cannot explain the movement of his investment money. We have been consulted by many such foreigners. In actual visa inspection, there are many important points such as the applicant's academic background, career, record and reason of past entrance to Japan and income, the method of fund preparation and the stability and credibility of his business plan. Some applicants come to our office after having applied for a Visa with only simple documents and business plan without knowing the situation of inspection, been requested to submit additional documents by the Bureau but been not able to submit them and eventually failed to obtain a Visa. If you intend to start business in Japan, we recommend you to apply for a Visa with support from a specialist who fully understands the current situation of visa inspection. We ask each applicant as much as possible about his/her academic background, career, record and reason of past entrance to Japan and income, the method of fund preparation and the stability and credibility of his/her business plan and propose him/her the best way of application. Whether you can obtain a Visa or not depends on the range of prepared documents and how they are made.