Foreign nationals are required to obtain respective long-term visa prior to engaging in any work or work related activity in Japan.
We often assist our clients with their visa applications when they plan to enter Japan to form legal presence or seek employment or need to extend or change the type of existing visa. In either case a "sponsoring" entity, either corporate or individual in a form of a Japanese spouse is required.
The most common type of visa that we assist our clients with:
- Investor / Business Manager
- Intra-Company Transferee
- Specialist in Humanities and International Services
The process of obtaining visa consists of two steps:
1. Obtaining "Certificate of Eligibility"
A Certificate of Eligibility is issued before a visa application by a regional immigration authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice as evidence that the foreign national meets the conditions for landing in Japan, including the requirements that the activity in which the foreign national wishes to engage in Japan at the time of the landing examination is not fraudulent and is an activity that comes under a status of residence (excluding Temporary Visitor Status) stipulated in the Immigration Control Act. (For details go to the Ministry of Justice, Immigration Bureau.)Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
2. Visa Application or Change of Status
A foreign national in possession of a Certificate of Eligibility can get a visa issued more easily at an embassy or consulate within the standard processing period (five working days). (However, issuance of the visa is not guaranteed.) Furthermore, there is the advantage that if the certificate is shown to the immigration officer at the time of the landing application the foreign national can more easily demonstrate that their status of residence conforms to the conditions for landing in Japan such as control, etc.
Also, foreign nationals in possession of a valid Certificate of Eligibility can change their status while visiting Japan on a short term visitor status. This application is called "Change of Status". The actual application has two parts, one for the individual and one to be prepared and executed by the sponsoring organization or individual.
In July 2012 the visa systems was simplified. Under the new system, a residence card is issued to applicable persons in addition to landing permission, permission for change of status of residence, and permission for extension of the residence period, etc. The card is equipped with an IC chip to prevent forgery and alteration, and the chip records all or part of the information included on the card. The resident card works as an ID and also proof of visa for foreign nationals while in Japan.
You can find more general information about visa categories here: