In order for a foreign national to live and work in Japan, it is necessary to have a proper visa. This requirement can make it difficult for foreign investors to start a business in Japan. However, to solve this problem and encourage foreign investment, Japan has established the “Investor/Business Manager” visa.
The Investor/Business Manager visa is available to foreign nationals who invest in or manage a business in Japan. However, the immigration authorities are often suspicious of this visa as some foreign residents in Japan may try to set up paper companies simply to acquire a Japanese visa. Therefore, the foreign national should submit evidence as part of his or her application to prove that the business is legitimate. This evidence should include proof of a rented office space, an initial investment of capital and detailed business plans.
In addition, this visa can also be used by managers who move to Japan to manage a pre-existing business. For managers coming to Japan to run a pre-existing business, there are also other options, such as the visa for intra-company transfer, that may prove more suitable depending on the circumstances.
If you have any questions about starting a business in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.