Business Manager Visa

A Business Manager Visa is required for starting and/or running a business.

Common types of job which can be carried out on a Business Manager Visa include Company President, Director, Auditor, General Manager, Factory Manager and Branch Manager.

Abolition of Investor Category

Previously, there were two categories for this visa: the Investor Category and Business Manager Category. However, in April 2015, the Investor Category was abolished, leading to a name change from the old “Investor/Business Manager Visa” to the current “Business Manager Visa” (keiei/kanri biza).

Due to the abolition of the Investor Category, those applying for a Business Manager Visa must now more than ever be able to show their intention to be involved in the actual running of the company. In other words, simply investing is not enough.

Why Apply to Us? 

In addition to submitting your visa application form and other necessary documents, we are able to help get your business ideas across to the immigration authorities. Using our years of experience and expert legal knowledge, we can produce high quality documents explaining your business plans, financial predictions and other personal and professional reasons for wishing to do business in Japan.

Whether you are starting from scratch or looking to continue running an existing business, we can help you find the best strategy to gain, renew or change your Japanese visa.

**Below we provide a basic outline of the requirements for this visa. However, depending on recent changes in the law and even the part of Japan in which you are applying, details may vary. We cannot take responsibility for the content of this page, so please contact us for a free consultation service in which we will gladly discuss your specific case in relation to the most recent information.**


In order to be eligible for a Business Manager Visa, you must meet the following basic requirements.

N.B. These are general requirements and do not necessarily reflect the reality of what may be needed for your specific application.

Office Space

・You must have or have clear plans to secure an office space in which business can be carried out.

There are strict standards as to what is accepted as appropriate office space. For example, an office must be distinctly separated from any living space. It also cannot be a virtual office and must specifically have stated in the lease that its intended purpose is as office space.

Size of Enterprise

You must reach one of the following requirements:

・Having 2 or more full time employees besides yourself.*

・Having capital or overall investment capital of over ¥5m. The source of this money will be checked as part of the application process.

・Having other aspects of your business which are judged as equivalent to one of the above.

*Depending on the nature of your business, you may struggle to get a visa without employees. Furthermore, please be aware that if you are employing non-Japanese workers, they will need to be eligible to work in Japan. Applying for working visas for your employees comes with a whole new set of requirements including those relating to pay and benefits, so please check our Working Visa information here or get in touch for specific advice.

Stability & Durability

You must be able to demonstrate the future stability and durability of your business. This is generally done through detailed documents showing your business plans, market evaluation, sales predictions and other objective data.

Such data is especially important when it comes to renewing a Business Manager Visa. In general, your financial records for the last two terms will be checked, with the likelihood of your visa renewal being refused going up significantly in the case of large losses and debts.

Requirements When Engaging in Direct Management

The Japanese name for the Business Manager Visa contains two words: keiei (経営) and kanri (管理).

While the precise difference is somewhat hard to distinguish, in basic terms, keiei refers to management of the entire business, whereas kanri refers to more direct management of everyday operations, managing staff and so on.

For those engaging in the latter (kanri), the following special requirements apply:

・Management (keiei or kanri) experience of 3 years or more.

・Work done on the Business Management Visa must be rewarded with payment the same or more than what a Japanese citizen would receive for the same work.

Educational Background

The Business Manager Visa is rare among work related visas for its lack of requirements regarding educational background.

However, if you have studied management (keiei or kanri) at postgraduate level in Japan, the amount of time spent studying can be put towards the 3 years of management experience necessary when engaging in direct management (see above).

Additional Points to Remember

In addition to the above, it is important to bear in mind the following when applying for a Business Manager Visa.

★ You must be able to show that you personally are truly carrying out the management of the business. This will naturally be important when renewing your visa as well as when first applying for it.

★ You must be able to show that management of the business is your main occupation.

★ You must be able to show that you (the applicant) are the person investing in the business.

How Does the Application Process Work?

There are two different ways to acquire a Business Manager Visa.

① First gaining a 4 month visa on which to carry out the main procedures to set up your business, then applying to renew your visa as a 1 year* visa.

② Completing the establishment of your business prior to applying for a Business Manager Visa.

*In some cases, you may be able to get a longer term visa. However, it is most common to start with a 1 year visa, with the length extending gradually depending on the progress of your business as well as other factors.

As for how exactly these two different methods unfold, the following shows the general order of events should you apply for our services. Depending on your personal situation and ability to come to Japan, you may prefer one method over the other.

① 4 Month Visa → Renewal

① Authorization of Articles of Incorporation

※In order to do this you must know the amount of your investment capital, where your office will be, the official purposes of your business and who the directors will be.

② Application for Certificate of Eligibility for a Business Manager Visa (4 months)

※Steps 2 and 3 omitted in the case that a temporary co-representative acts as your inviter.

③ Entrance to Japan on a Business Manager Visa (4 months)

④ Establishment of Company

⑤ Post-Establishment Written Notifications (relating to tax, social insurance etc)

⑥ Renewal of Business Manager Visa

② Establish Company → Visa Application

① Acquisition of Signature Certificates of all involved in establishing the company in Japan

② Establishing information necessary for the application

③ Payment of initial fees; gathering of necessary documents

④ Making Articles of Incorporation and official company seal

⑤ Checking contents of Articles of Incorporation

⑥ Stamping of official seal on Articles of Incorporation and Power of Attorney; custody of signature certificate

⑦ Authorization of Articles of Incorporation (electronic authorization; Public Notary authorization)

⑧ Transfer of investment capital to personal account of the main individual involved in establishing the company in Japan

⑨ Submitting evidence to us of transfer of investment capital; stamping official seal on other documents

⑩ Registration procedure with Legal Affairs Bureau carried out by Shihoshoshi Lawyer

⑪ Establishment of Company

⑫ Application for Certificate of Eligibility (Business Manager Visa)

⑬ Entry to Japan

What Now?

The application procedure for Business Manager Visas is highly laborious – especially when you have never done it before, and even more so if you are not competent in Japanese.

In order for your visa application and the establishment of your company to be processed as smoothly and quickly as possible, we recommend that you take advantage of our free consultation service to get advice tailored to your specific situation.

For any further queries about any of the above or about how to establish your business in Japan, please do not hesitate to contact us!

*Please be aware that the contents of this site are naturally subject to change, meaning that we cannot guarantee their accuracy at the point of access.*
*For up-to-date information, please contact us directly.*