Japanese visa reforms to attract foreign business investors

July 20, 2015
Japan visa status reforms aim to attract foreign business/investor

On April 1, the amendment to the immigration control and refugee act has become law. Under which, the residence status of foreign residents have been changed to business manager replacing the investor/business manager.

Until now, the foreign national have to manage and operate in a company that has been invested by foreign national or foreign corporation to qualify as investor/business manager. This means, any foreign manager would not qualify to be as foreign manager in a purely Japanese owned company. To obtain he/she had to obtain engineer status or specialist in international services/humanities.

The amendment has removed the requirement of business being connected to foreign investment. This new law addresses that a manager of the Japanese-owned firm and foreign-owned firm to be qualified for a different visa even they have engaged in the same type of activity.

The new changes also include an additional period of stay for four months to the old permitted stay of five years, three years, one year and three months to the old investor /manager status.

Foreign national staying more than three months are considered as a mid and long term by the immigration bureau, meaning they are issued the resident certificate upon their arrival.

And also, foreign nationals are not necessarily obliged to register a company or establish prior to submitting a certificate of eligibility, which is not a case earlier. This will enable foreign nationals to do all the paperwork and related to establishing a company in the initial four months, after the process they can apply for the long term.

As the Japanese economy is in a need of sustainable growth, relaxing the measures related to businesses would bring investment to the country. However, only time will tell how the reforms are going to work for Japan business.

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