Difference between a resident visa and temporary visitor visa
(1) Resident Visa
A resident visa refers to all types of visas allowing residency in Japan (including work visas, student visas, visas based on relationship with others such as spouse visas or dependent visas, permanent residency etc.), based on which non-Japanese nationals may base their lives in Japan and engage in their respective permitted activities (such as work, study, etc.). This generally refers to all typical types of visas excluding temporary visitor visas (tourist visas, temporary business visas for short business meetings/conferences, etc.).
(2) Temporary Visitor Visa
A temporary visitor visa is a visa for those who visit Japan only temporarily, for tourism, short trips to visit close family members in Japan, short business meeting/negotiations or job interviews in Japan, etc. Many countries with close diplomatic ties to Japan have a temporary visa exemption agreement with Japan, and under this agreement, nationals of these countries are exempt from having to obtain temporary visitor visas. List of current countries with temporary visitor visa exemption: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html
However, it is not possible to engage in paid activities is Japan under the temporary visa (nor is it possible to register an address in Japan). Therefore, in the case where a non-Japanese national will be engaging in paid activities in Japan, it is necessary to obtain the required resident visa (work visa, etc.), no matter how short the stay. Also, in cases where one needs to stay in Japan longer than the predetermined term for a temporary visa, or wishes to obtain and register an official address etc. (and all other activities requiring a registered address or local ID card) in Japan, the applicant must apply for a resident visa.
Resident visa – Fundamental requirements
(1) Fundamental Requirements
The most basic requirement when obtaining a resident visa is to have a visa contact in Japan (often referred to as the “visa sponsor”). This visa sponsor is an organization or individual in Japan with a specific relationship with the visa subject, who is able to provide certain documents for the application and meets the Immigration Office’s criteria as an adequate visa sponsor. In the case of a working visa, the visa sponsor is generally the employer in Japan, for a spouse visa the Japanese spouse, for a dependent visa the supporting family member and for the student visa the school.
(2) Requirements of each Visa Category
In addition to this, each visa category stipulates different requirements. Therefore, the requirements for the respective visa category sought must be fulfilled.
In the case of work visas, these requirements are usually related to (a) the applicant’s intended job description in Japan, (b) the applicant’s educational and/or professional background, (c) work conditions and (d) in some cases the structure of the sponsoring entity in Japan. It is also important to note that work visas are not granted for all jobs – as a general rule, the Japanese Immigration Law only grants work visas for jobs requiring specialist skills from non-Japanese nationals – therefore, many work areas are not covered by work visas (i.e. these positions are generally intended for Japanese nationals, or non-Japanese nationals who have a visa based on relationship to a Japanese national or the Japanese country, thus with no work restrictions.)
|Visa Category||Core Requirements|
|Engineer||Degree in corresponding field, or 10 years’ professional experience in related field|
|Investor / Manager||Physical dedicated office space, 5 million yen investment into business|
|Intra-Company Transferee||Working at a related company/office (e.g. overseas head company) for the most recent 1 year period, in an international or engineering area|
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