Business Visa


Japan has concluded visa exemptions with 61 countries and regions (April 2010). Most Europeans can stay up to 3 months without a visa. Irish, Austrian, German, Liechtenstein and British citizens may stay even up to 6 months.
However, if you wish to work in Japan you do need a visa. Therefore, you need a visa if you either stay beyond the visa exemption period or you wish to work in Japan.

Visa Categories

Japan has 14 categories for working visas. In our context the “Investor/Business Manager” and “Intra-Company Transferee” categories are of relevance.

In addition there are 3 special visa categories which may be relevant

  • spouse etc. of a Japanese national
  • spouse etc. of a permanent resident
  • long term resident

Holders of these special visas may engage in any work.

Visa Requirements

The requirements for both visa types (Investor/Business Manger, Intra-Company Transferee) are identical.
Visas may be granted for 1 year or for 3 years.

In addition to the visa application form, passport and foto you normally need a Certificate of Eligibility.
A Certificate of Eligibility is issued by a regional immigration authority e.g. Japanese consulate in Germany. It is some sort of pre visa. You may use it to travel to Japan and to obtain a (real) visa within one week – although Japan does not guarantee that a visa will be issued in all cases! Basically the Certificate of Eligibility means that the Japanese Authorities have checked all necessary data e.g. company, type of activity.

For Intra-Company Transferees it may be easier to obtain a visa even without a Certificate of Eligibility if they work for a stock-exchange listed company or a well known company.

Alien Registration Card

Once you arrived in Japan you need to register with the Immigration Office. You will then receive a Alien Registration Card featuring your photo, address, passport number, landing date in Japan.