Six months business management resident status

Foreign nationals wishing to start up business in Japan need to obtain a “business manager” visa. To receive this status of residence, in addition to opening an office, the applicant must employ at least two people full-time, or invest at least 5 million yen in Japan. This presents a high hurdle to prospective foreign entrepreneurs.

In this program to increase foreign entrepreneurs, applicants can receive the status of residence (business manager) for half a year even if these conditions are not met if business plans and other necessary information are submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirms that the applicant has prospects for fulfilling the conditions within that half-year.

(How does a start-up visa differ from a regular business management visa granted by the Immigration Bureau? Please see here.)

1. Preparing a plan for business startup activities

A business plan is the essence of this program.

The submitted Plan for Business Startup Activities and other documents are assessed from the perspective of whether you have a high likelihood of fulfilling the conditions for Business Manager status after the six-month preparation period (startup activity period), in which case, confirmation of business startup activities will be granted. 

Your Plan for Business Startup Activities should describe business plans that are feasible, with this feasibility supported by a certain level of evidence. 

If you have no idea about the customers, unit sales price, costs, and so on, we recommend that you apply after establishing a concrete image of your business by gathering more information in your field of expertise.

2. Documents to be submitted

The following documents are to be prepared in Japanese. 
-Application for confirmation of business startup activities
-Plan for business startup activities Word Format, sample 
-Applicant’s resume Word Format 
-Copy of applicant’s passport (section with photo, name, and signature)
-Document that can clarify where the applicant will be residing for 6 months after coming to Japan (e.g. copy of lease contract, copy of the application for lease)
-Other necessary documents (e.g. copy of bank book, documents that show bank balance)

3. Apply to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for confirmation of start-up activity.

Not available by mail, persons below are requested to bring documents to the application desk.

Persons who can bring 

  • The applicant himself/herself
  • Staff of the Japan Immigration Association
  • Attorney at law or an Gyosei shoshi (administrative scrivener, immigration lawyer). However, if the applicant is located in a foreign country, this shall be a person (or staff member, in the case of a corporation) that has been entrusted by the applicant with the establishment of a business entity in Japan.

4. Interview between the applicant and Tokyo Metropolitan Government officials

After the Tokyo government receives the submitted application documents, the Tokyo government official will conduct an interview with the applicant. 

Based on the application documents and interview, they will make assessments from the perspective of the applicant’s possibility of attaining the regular “business manager” visa status after the 6-month preparatory period.

The gyosei-shoshi (immigration lawyer) is allowed to interview on behalf of the applicant.

5. Examination by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government

  • What type of business will you be conducting? 
  • Where do we do business? 
  • Where do you want to open a business? 
  • What kind of preparation and activities will you go through to start your business? Specific plans for the project’s launch.
  • How much funding is required to start a business (start-up activities)? How do we get that funding?
  • Who will be on the company’s board, and what role will they play?
  • What scale of the business will be conducted?
  • Have you secured housing for the period until you start your business?
  • Do you have enough money to live on?

6. Response by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government

About 2 weeks after application.

Receive a Certificate of Confirmation of start-up Activities. The certificate is valid for 3 months, during which time you can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility.

7. Apply to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau for a Certificate of Eligibility for Business Management 

Those who have received the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities must apply to the Tokyo Immigration Bureau for the Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence (Business Manager)

You do not have to meet the following requirements for a business management visa at this point.

  • Established company with a capital of more than $5 million
  • Secure an office

8. Approval of the 6-month business management visa from Tokyo Immigration Bureau

9. Landing Japan and start-up 6 months activity

  • Decide where you want to live. Register as a resident in that municipality.

  • Open a personal bank account.
  • Set up a company
  • Sign a lease agreement for the office.

10. Receive confirmation from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government every two months on start-up activities during the six months.

11. Extension of the period of stay 

The business management visa will expire in six months. You need to renew your visa period. You need to meet the following requirements.

  • A company with a capital of 5 million yen or more has been established.
  • Secure an office