top of page
Image by Nastuh Abootalebi
Business Manager VISA
A Guide to Obtaining a Business Manager VISA

After coming to Japan with a Startup VISA, your next goal should be to obtain a Business Manager VISA. During your one-year period of stay with a Startup VISA, you must fulfill all the requirements for obtaining a Business Manager VISA and apply for it. By obtaining a Business Manager VISA and switching your status of residence, you will be able to officially stay in Japan for an extended period of time as a business manager. This will explain the Business Manager VISA system, its requirements, and the procedures for obtaining one in detail.

Image by Freeman Zhou
What is a Business Manager VISA?

A Business Manager VISA is a type of VISA for managers and administrators of a business. If you have a Business Manager VISA, there is no restriction on the type of business you can run, besides illegal businesses.

When do you need a Business Manager VISA?

When you are to work as a representative director or in a similar position in a company in Japan, you will need to obtain a Business Manager VISA.

If any of the following cases is applicable to you, you will need to obtain a Business Manager VISA:


  • You have established a business in Japan, and you are working as a manager or an administrator of that business.
  • You are an administrator of an existing company in Japan and working as a manager or an administrator.  
  • You are a manager of a Japanese company that has been merged with a company you established in your home country, and you are currently managing or administrating that company.
Period of Stay

At the time of initial issuance of a Business Manager VISA, the period of stay granted could be 3 months, 4 months, 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years, after which the VISA must be renewed to extend your period of stay. If you were in Japan with a Startup VISA, the period of stay granted at the time of initial issuance is usually 1 year. In each renewal, you are granted to extend your period of stay for 1, 3, or 5 years based on your business progress.

The Requirements for obtaining a Business Manager VISA

To obtain a Business Manager VISA, you need to meet the following requirements

a. Establish a company in Japan


Before applying for a Business Manager VISA, you must have completed the establishment of your company.


b. Obtain a business license (if necessary)


If you are starting a business that requires you to obtain a license, you must obtain the license in advance before applying for a Business Manager VISA.


Some of the businesses that require a license are: 


  • Restaurants which require licenses, such as a restaurant business license and a notification to the fire department. 

  • Accommodation Businesses which require hotel business license. 

  • Travel Businesses which require travel business permission.


c. Own an independent business office


In order to obtain a business manager VISA, you must have an office space contracted in the name of your corporations used for the running of your business. Rental offices with independent private rooms and incubation offices are also accepted as business offices. However, virtual offices are not permitted. 


The criteria for a business office:


  • The contract must be made under the name of a corporation for business use.
  • There must be a joint guarantor.
  • Office equipment must be set up, such as phones, computers, and photocopy machines.
  • There must be enough space for running your type of business.
  • There must be a space for administrative and management work. Business Manager VISA only allows you to manage a business; thus, you are required to have an office space to carry out your administrative work. It is worth noting that even if you start a shop business such as a restaurant, you are not permitted to cook or serve customers by yourself.
  • It must not be a short-term lease space that has been contracted monthly.

If you are using a part of your residential house as a place of business, the landlord and tenant must approve the use of the property for business purposes. There must be a room specifically for business purposes with facilities for conducting business, arrangements for the payment of utility bills by the corporation must be clearly laid out, and a signboard must be displayed.


 d. The Business Scale


One of the following criteria must be met:


1. Have at least two full-time employees living in Japan

There must be at least two full-time employees living in Japan besides the Business Manager VISA holder. In cases where these two employees are of foreign nationals, only those with the following status would be accepted to meet the criteria: 



  • Special Permanent Resident

  • Permanent Resident

  • Spouse or Child of Japanese National

  • Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident

  • Long-term Resident


    It should be noted that part-time employees and temporary or contract employees do not meet the criteria.


2. Have at least 5 million Japanese yen as capital


The source of this capital has to be proven. In addition, if the applicant borrowed a sufficient amount of capital from relatives in their home country, it is necessary to prove the legitimacy of the process of fundraising. Therefore, you must submit documents to show the financial situation and remittance records of your lender to the Immigration Bureau. Additionally, the applicant’s investment ratio is considered important when the Immigration Bureau examines the application. 


*You are allowed to use the capital for business purposes before applying for a Business Manager VISA.


3. Have a scale of business that is equivalent to either a or b.


e. The sustainability of your business


Your business will be assessed based on your business plan by the Immigration Bureau if it is deemed stable and sustainable. A business plan should contain a very detailed business management schedule and strategy. In addition to the company profile, business description, and profit and loss plan, it should include a vision for the future, customers and partnerships, suppliers, competitive analysis, sales strategy, and financial plan. All application documents must be submitted in Japanese.


Key points in creating a business plan will be explained in a future article!


f. Experiences and Salary (For Administrators only)


Suppose you are to work as an administrator of an existing company, i.e., the director or a hired president of a Japanese company. In that case, you are required to have a minimum of three years of experience in business administration and earn the same or higher salary as a Japanese citizen working in an equivalent position.


If you meet all of the above requirements (a - f), you can apply for a change in the VISA status to a Business Manager VISA with the necessary documents to the Immigration Bureau.

bottom of page