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SOFA status vs. Work Visa - Spouse employment 2022/11/18 03:55
Hi all! I have a unique scenario I'm hoping this thread can help me answer. I am accompanying my husband on his PCS orders to Okinawa, Japan. I will be based in Okinawa, but will be looking for opportunities/doing independent consulting business across APAC (i.e. Singapore).

I qualify for SOFA status, since I'm a dependent no PCS orders. Here are my questions;

1) When applying for jobs within Japan (off-base), what's the difference between having SOFA and applying for a work Visa. I know you can't have both, but what are the pros and cons to each? I know a lot of companies may not accept SOFA.

2) What are the tax implications on a Japanese company employing me remotely in Japan?

3) With SOFA status, am I able to work for companies based out of surrounding countries (i.e. singapore, australia)?

4) What are the tax implications for doing independent consulting business across APAC (not just in Japan)?

4) What terminology do I use when companies are asking me if I require sponsorship to work in the country (Japan)?

Apologies if these questions have been asked before.
by Julie (guest)  

Re: SOFA status vs. Work Visa - Spouse employment 2022/11/22 10:42
As far as I know, SOFA dependent status will let you stay on base, work on base, go out of the base for daily activities, but you will not have any resident status for Japan, I believe. Correct me if I am mistaken (a local Japanese here).

1) If you want to be gemployedh by a Japanese company off base, youfd need to be under the Japanese immigration system, meaning youfd need to get a visa/resident status for Japan. For this, you will need to qualify for the requirements for one of the several types of work visa, which might include at least a bachelorfs degree, or several or more years of experience in relevant field, etc., and find a potential employer making you an offer to employ you.
2) I donft quite understand your question – if you are employed by a Japanese company in Japan, youfd be employed glocally.h
For 3), I have no idea.
For 4), youfd need to find out if that is possible in the first place. You might have to retain an immigration lawyer, then a tax attorney/international tax accountant, etc., to find out exactly what you need.
5: if you want a job off-base, yes, you do need to get the employer to sponsor you for a visa/resident status.

This is AFAIK. I hope someone who is more knowledgeable can pitch in with more info.

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