How to Set Up Business in Japan Section 2. Visas and Status of Residence

(Reference1) Consultation with specialists for procedures

In Japan, administrative scriveners (gyoseishoshi lawyers) are among the specialists who can provide advice on the immigration procedures described above.
Administrative scriveners that have registered with the Immigration Bureau to serve as application agents are knowledgeable on immigration control procedures and can act as agents for the submission of applications to the Immigration Bureau for certificates of eligibility, extensions of period of stay, changes of status of residence, and re-entry permissions, etc. (As individual administrative scriveners work in distinct specialties within their broad-ranging profession, not all administrative scriveners are registered in this way to act as application agents). Administrative scriveners can also offer guidance on documents needed for applications, provide advice on preparing documents and, when necessary, can act as agent in preparing the documents. Use of these services exempts foreign applicants and companies employing foreigners from the need to appear personally at the Immigration Bureau and enable entry procedures to be proceeded accurately and promptly.

(Reference2) Flowchart of procedures for establishment of operations in Japan and acquisition of visa/status of residence

The following diagram depicts the sequence of procedures that are typically completed in order to establish and register the establishment of a new operation in Japan (subsidiary company or branch office) represented by a foreign national, along with the procedures for acquisition of a visa and status of residence.

In Japan

Entry to Japan on "Temporary visitor" visa


Research and preparations for establishment of operations in Japan (subsidiary company or branch office)


Registration of establishment of operations (Japanese subsidiary company or branch office) or preparation for establishment of operations (preparation of articles of incorporation, etc.)


Application for Certificate of Eligibility by applicant or proxy at Immigration Bureau in Japan


Certificate of Eligibility issued and sent to applicant or proxy in Japan by Immigration Bureau in Japan

  • If a foreign national who has applied for a Certificate of Eligibility is already in Japan on a temporary visitor status of residence when the Certificate of Eligibility is issued, that foreign national may be able to change his/her temporary visitor status of residence to the status of residence approved in the Certificate of Eligibility while still in Japan, without the need to apply for and receive a visa at a Japanese diplomatic mission outside Japan.

Outside Japan

Application for working visa at Japanese diplomatic mission abroad (presentation of certificate of eligibility required)


Issue of working visa by Japanese diplomatic mission abroad


In Japan

Entry into Japan (In principle, a foreign national must land in Japan within three months from the issuance date of Certificate of Eligibility): Presentation of a passport and visa, submission of Certificate of Eligibility, receipt of seal of landing verification in passport at the port of debarkation, and receipt of resident card issued to foreign nationals residing in Japan for the mid to long term

(Note) At Narita, Haneda, Chubu, Kansai, Shinchitose, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka Airports, besides having a seal of landing verification stamped in their passports, mid-to long term residents will be issued a resident card.
At other ports of entry/departure, a seal of landing verification will be stamped in the passport and a resident card will be issued after a mid-to long-term resident follows the residency procedure at the municipal office of the city/town/village. (Basically, a resident card will be mailed by the Regional Immigration Bureau to the reported place of residence).

Section2: Contents & Reference

Section2: Table of Contents

Section2. Samples of documents businesses are required to submit to authorities

These materials contain samples of documents regarding registration, visa, taxation, personnel and labor matters that are necessary when a foreign company establishes a corporation or other entity in Japan as well as descriptive examples of how to fill them out. A portion of the English content has been updated through a provisional translation. These documents are not published by competent authorities and therefore are not official. For those who are going through the official procedures, please download the latest official documents from the competent authorities and related bodies or consult a person who specializes in advising on such information and procedures.

The information contained in this documents should be used at the reader’s independent discretion. While JETRO makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides, no responsibility is accepted by JETRO for any loss or damage incurred as a result of actions based on the information provided in these documents or provided by the external links listed on these pages.