Japan visa - General Information

Short term Japan visa

It is perfectly understandable that for a number of people the current Japan visa system may seem overly complicated and difficult to grasp. That is why we prepared a lot of useful information, that may be interesting for those looking for a way to move to Japan as well as those already residing here.

First of all, if you need to come to Japan for business meeting, Market Research or as a tourist, you can apply for a short term visa of Japan. 

Be advised though, there’s a number of countries (e.g. European Union members) that have a special agreement with Japan. The so-called visa exemption rules apply to those countries’ nationals if they wish to come to Japan and stay here for up to 3 months (90 days).

In the page, you can find information on necessary documents to apply for Short Term Japan Visa and detailed instructions. 
Moreover in the case you hope to apply for short term Japan visa to meet with me business purpose, you may be able to receive invitation letter from me.

As you may know, in the case you come to Japan with short term Japan visa, you can not engage in business activity.

You can make preparation to start your business in Japan. So you can enter into contract, advertise your business, purchase materials. But you can not meet with customers and sell your products or services. As for details, you can refer to this page. “Short term visa and Business activity in Japan

Long term Japan visa

If you would like to find a job in Japan relating to your position and your current work experience you will need to acquire a work permit, the same goes for setting up a business in Japan and providing services with a Japanese company of our own. In both cases, you will need to take care of all kinds of formalities related to your residence status.

Remember that without an appropriate residence status it is illegal to provide services or be employed in Japan. Be careful not to get into trouble. We have already covered some topics on our blog:

It is a bit easier if you have the “haigusha” (配偶者) status — you are married to a Japanese National. Being a spouse visa holder you may engage in any type of work in Japan without restrictions. It also helps to speed your process of naturalization, provided that you wish to become a Japanese citizen.

However, just getting married is not enough, you have to obtain the so-called Certificate of Eligibility, COE (在留資格認定証明書), and it may take around 2 to 3 months to obtain this status before you can apply for a spouse visa at your local Japanese consulate.

Take a look at the list of documents you will certainly need — Getting the “Spouse of a Japanese National” status.

Long term Japan visa holders

As you may know, the Japanese law currently in force is rather strict, when it comes to getting a job that is outside of your visa-type, which makes life quite hard for everyone, who’s looking for a side-job or a part-time job.

There is a solution however called colloquially “a part-time job permit”. Or as it is known in Japan  資格外活動許可 (shikakugai katsudō kyoka).

So if you would like to engage in any type of activity, that is not permitted by your current status of residence (e.g. you are a “specialist in humanities” but would like to work as a dancer part-time), you can apply for a part-time job permit.

However the situation gets a bit trickier if you are a long-term Japan visa holder (e.g. a Japanese resident) and you wish to change jobs completely. Meaning: you moved to Japan as an engineer, but decided to pursue a career as an English teacher. Remember, that legally you cannot do that, as it is likely not permitted by your current status of residence.

Therefore your only solution is to change your residence status category. Take a look at our blog entry on How to change your residence status category in Japan for more details.  

Permanent residency in Japan

Similar to any other country in the world, If you have lived in Japan long enough without any sort of problems, you will be eligible to apply for permanent resident status  that is also known among many expats under its Japanese name “eijūken” (永住権). 

You will be able to work any type of work without restriction and you won’t have to visit your local immigration office to apply for an extension and to renew your visa. We have already covered this topic on our blog — How to become a permanent resident in Japan

If you fulfill all the requirements under the current Japanese Nationality Law and you are ready to give up your original citizenship (dual-citizenship is not allowed in Japan, as it is in some countries in Europe), you can undergo the process of naturalization and become a Japanese citizen. 

You need to have lived (Continuously) in Japan for a period of no less than 5 years and need to have sufficient capital or skills to support yourself in Japan. Moreover, you have to be at least 20 years of age and must have a history of good behavior. So having a criminal record in Japan is out of the question. 

It is a little bit easier (some requirements are less strict) if you are a spouse of a Japanese national How to become a naturalized Japanese citizen.

Reentry Permit and Japan VISA

Assumed that you have status of residence in Japan, but hope to leave Japan for a while (it may be because of covid-19). You will return to Japan several weeks or months later.

In that case when you depart from Japan, you will need to obtain Reentry Permit of Japan. Otherwise, your status of residence in Japan may become void. 

So you can refer to this page about “How to obtain Reentry Permit of Japan“.

Got some additional questions? Perhaps you need some assistance with your visa or your current residence status? Get in touch with us, by using the email address provided below:

Other than articles mentioned above, you can find many articles. You can find them in “Blog about Japanese Law and Tax” or you can search it in this website.


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