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switching from spouse visa to work visa 2021/8/29 06:41
Anyone have experience with or information about switching from a spouse visa to a work visa sponsored by one's own sole proprietorship or a kabushiki gaisha one starts?

I've read it's possible to sponsor one's own work visa through one's own company if I start a sole proprietorship or kabushiki gaisha with at least 5,000,000 yen transferred from abroad to my company account to capitalize the new business. Is this true?

Does Japan immigration dept. refuse this kind of visa status change on the basis that a work visa isn't needed unless/until you get divorced?

What's the procedure to start one's own company in such a way that it'll be possible to successfully apply for a work visa for oneself?

Any good online Japanese-language and English-language resources you could suggest about starting a sole proprietorship or kabushiki gaisha and then using it as a basis to apply for a work visa for oneself?
by el forestero  

Re: switching from spouse visa to work visa 2021/8/30 04:51
Ask yourself: why you will divorce?
Why you will separate from your love one?
If our intention is to stay japan at any cost, then japanese immigration can deport us.
by Jim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: switching from spouse visa to work visa 2021/8/30 07:21
I've read it's possible to sponsor one's own work visa through one's own company if I start a sole proprietorship or kabushiki gaisha with at least 5,000,000 yen transferred from abroad to my company account to capitalize the new business. Is this true?

It is a business manager visa category (used to be business/investor) and it is one of the hardest categories to obtain a visa with. The 5M yen does not have to be from overseas. There are a ton of other requirements as well (like demonstrating the ability to run a company and physical premises), and establishing a GK can be a bit tricky - I paid for professional legal advice when setting up my company some years ago (and I think it was worth it).
https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/long/visa1.html
I do not know if you can self sponsor via sole proprietorship.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: switching from spouse visa to work visa 2021/8/30 07:34
I paid for professional legal advice when setting up my company some years ago (and I think it was worth it)

Thanks for your helpful reply. How much did that legal advice cost, and which advisor did you hire?
by el forestero rate this post as useful

Re: switching from spouse visa to work visa 2021/8/30 08:44
@ el forestero

1) You can change from a marriage visa to a work visa, provided that you found a company that will sponsor you.

However, from what I've seen and heard, this is usually done when the marriage visa is about to expire. So instead of applying for an extension based on marriage, the person submits for a work visa. This is also done in the case of divorce, and then the foreign person submits for a work visa.

The issue with changing from a marriage visa to work visa is that immigration might become suspicious if the foreign person was only married for a short time. Like you just got married 3 months ago, got a marriage visa, and then suddenly want to switch to a work visa. This is legal to do, but expect that they will scrutinize such situations more thoroughly.

On the flip side of that, often immigration only gives 1 year marriage visas at first (sometimes 2X or 3X in a row), particularly to couples that are newly married (or married for less than 3 years). Switching over from a 1 year marriage visa that is about to expire to a work visa, should not be an issue, particularly if the foreign person is working for a good company and meets all other requirements.

If the foreign person is under a 3 year marriage visa, it is often a more unusual case to switch to a work visa. The reason for this is that the married person can apply for permanent residence on the 4th year of marriage (and provided they have been living in Japan for at least 1 year). Keep in mind that immigration doesn't usually give permanent residency so quickly, so it might not be granted until the 5th to 7th year of marriage.

If you switch over to a work visa, then you will have to have stayed in Japan for 10 years before applying for permanent residency. While this seems like a disadvantage, keep in mind that work visas can be issued for 5 years (particularly for good jobs), you don't need a spouse to be a guarantor, nor have to worry about any visa issues if you get divorced.

I have also known people that made sure their job and the company they work for could and would sponsor a work visa, and then switched when the marriage visa (usually of the 1 year kind) was about to expire. You have to make it clear to the company that you plan to do such, so that it will not be a surprise.

2) There is no such thing as a "self-sponsored" work visa.

If you apply for a work visa, there has to be a company that is sponsoring you. Where some people get confused by the "self-sponsor" term, which I have heard some say, that is not an official term or type of visa. What they are usually referring to is when somebody that is an independent contractor or sole proprietorship is working for multiple companies.

For an example, the person is say an English teacher or graphic designer that has made a deal to work for 3 different companies. However, 1 of the 3 companies has to be the main sponsor on the work visa. And, that company is agreeing to allow you to work at the other companies. Either they get the money from the other companies and then pay you, or they pay you more than 30,000 dollars (3,300,000 yen) and allow you to file your taxes yourself (to officially account for the other companies you do work for). Very important to know, is that immigration will ask for your income tax, resident tax, and possibly health insurance per each extension. Another key point is that even if dealing with 3 companies, only 1 company can be the sponsor on the work visa paperwork.

3) Investor/Business Manager visa

This is a very hard visa to get, and not something to play with. To be worth it, the person should have a lot of money and/or their business is doing very well. Immigration will scrutinize this very deeply. Not only do you need 5 million yen in the bank, but you will need: 1) A place of business (so are paying rent for that). 2) Have an employee who is Japanese or a permanent resident (so paying their salary and other requirements). 3) Have an accountant, who can provide any paperwork requested.

Likely you will need an immigration lawyer to help your through the complicated process and paperwork. It will be even more difficult for a person to attempt to submit the paperwork on their own.

Also, the Investor/Business Manager visa is for 5 years, just like the regular work visa. Contrast that with permanent residency, which has less requirements, and is renewed every 7 years. When you have to renew/extend your Investor/Business Manager visa, immigration is going to check you meet all the requirements again (bank balance, employee, place of business, taxes, etc...). Despite the difficulty, I have heard that there can be various tax benefits to having it.
by Rejo rate this post as useful

Re: switching from spouse visa to work visa 2021/8/30 09:51
Thanks for the helpful reply!
by el forestero rate this post as useful

Re: switching from spouse visa to work visa 2021/8/31 08:07
@rejo - your comments on the business manager visa are not quite correct - typically it is granted for one year initially and assessed each time it is renewed. I have a string of one-year renewals. There are a couple of other subtle errors in your comments, but those are a bit trickier for most people to know about as that is what the internet would tell you. My lawyers who deal with this all the time know the requirements are slightly different. But, yes, I have a physical office, pay for my accountant to keep all the financials and tax requirements straight and use a good/skilled specialist immigration lawyer.
@el forestero - for the company establishment it was bundled with a batch of other services. Actually incorporating a company is not expensive, but getting someone else to do it for you might cost 60,000 yen. Bundle with a change of status, then maybe 150k. Last time I checked the company I use was not, however, taking on new clients, so might not be much use to you. However, they do have a lot of useful information on their website (June Associates https://www.juridique.jp/).
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: switching from spouse visa to work visa 2021/8/31 09:03
@JapanCustomTours

Not claiming to be an expert. I just know of a few people that went through the process and obtained the Investor/Business Manager visa. So my knowledge of it is from what they told me over beers after work and hearing their stories (over an extended period of time).

I'm not at all surprised that immigration gave you a string of 1 year renewals. Seen the multiple 1 year for work and marriage visas too. The odd thing though is that some people don't have such a hard time, while others do. Some get 3 or 5 year extensions sooner than others.
by Rejo rate this post as useful

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