Examining Japan Business Manager Visa: Tightening Requirements in a Changing Landscape

Recently, the Budget Committee of Japan’s House of Representatives has been discussing various proposals to address the numerous issues Japan is currently facing. Among these, the proposed reforms concerning the application for Japan Business Manager Visa have garnered significant attention. Let’s first take a look at the statements made by the legislators.


Firstly, Kitagamikeiro from Japan’s House of Representatives has conducted a statistical analysis of the number of applicants for business manager visas, revealing that over time, Chinese applicants have come to represent 70% of the total. According to official statistics released by the Immigration Bureau, in 2022, there were a total of 3,354 applications for business manager visas, of which 2,214 were from mainland China. This clearly demonstrates the tremendous appeal of the business management visa to Chinese nationals, which may not serve the initiatives of the Japanese Government to attract international entrepreneurs with this immigration route.



“One last thing about the business manager visa, why are more and more Chinese getting this visa?”

“If you just look at the total number, it seems that Chinese only make up half of the total, and if you just look at the earliest 2015 figures, Chinese only make up half of the total.”

“But if you look at the most recent figures (after 2022) Chinese make up 70% of the foreigners getting this visa.”


Next, Kitagamikeiro compared the conditions for applying for similar visas in other developed countries, revealing that the threshold for Japan Business Manager Visa is already quite low.


“Look here on the right, if you pay more than 5 million yen in capital, you can get a visa, and you can bring your family and children all together to come and live in Japan. “

“You’ll need to pay 30 million to 44 million yen for a similar investment visa in the US.“

“In Australia, you need 19.4 million yen to 48.5 million yen for a business visa, and in Singapore, you need 1.1 billion yen for an investment visa.”


Due to these circumstances, some legislators have questioned the current situation and believe it is necessary to tighten the application requirements for the business manager visa.


“So aren’t we a little less strict with these conditions?”

“As one of the ways to deal with this, I propose to make the conditions for the Japan Business Manager Visa more stringent.”


The Japan Business Manager Visa has very low requirements for applicants. Whether they are full-time mothers, retirees, or fresh guaduates just entering society, even if one does not speak Japanese or have academic qualifications, they can still apply for the visa. In contrast, other developed countries often set barriers to raise bar for the issuance of an immigrant visa, such as academic qualifications, world rank of the educational institution, and even IELTS scores in some cases. This poses significant challenges for those who want to secure a second residency as a backup.


The proposal to tighten application requirements is still just a suggestion and has not been officially implemented. Professionals in the industry, such as administrative and other practitioners, have already noticed some changes. Currently, starting with Tokyo, the number of visa rejections has significantly increased. Although there have not been noticeable changes in other cities, the approval times are gradually lengthening. For example, an application of a Globevisa’s client was submitted to the Tokyo Immigration Bureau on December 27, 2023, was not approved until April 19, 2024. The usual approval period of 2-3 months has now extended to four and a half months.


Therefore we have to pay high attention to this shifting attitudes of the visa processing, and make the materials more detailed in the process of applying for the visa.


At the same time, this also reflects Japan’s favorable treatment of its citizens in terms of welfare policies. So, how can one legally obtain a residency visa in Japan? There are three ways: Business Manager Visa, Traditional Highly Skilled Professional Visa, and Special Highly Skilled Professional Visa.


Regardless of which type of business manager visa, you only need to register a Japanese company with a paid-in capital of 5 million yen to bring your whole family to obtain Japanese residency. There are no age, language, or educational restrictions, and no need to provide a certificate of no criminal record. Highly skilled individuals can obtain permanent residency in as little as 1 year and can apply with both spouses’ parents and the entire family.


So, who is suitable for Japan Business Manager Visa?

1. People worried about future national policies who want a backup second residency.

2. Those considering their children’s education.

3. Those considering their own retirement issues in the future.

4. People who like Japanese culture and living environment.

5. Those who value Japan’s superior healthcare system.


All business manager visa applications have the same required conditions, procedures, and detailed project costs. It is just that the Highly Skilled Professional Visa has higher income requirements for applicants and requires relevant tax proof. Anyone who wants to apply for a Business Manager Visa should plan ahead!


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