The Japanese Visa Series, Chapter 6: Can I sponsor my own visa?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Today we reveal one of the best-kept secrets from the Immigration office
Every week, the IZANAU team is researching a new topic for our Japanese Visa Series. Today we are going to talk about an unconventional path to get your working visa approved which is perfect for freelancers or part-time employees. But before we get started, don’t forget to take a look at the previous chapters if you didn’t do it yet! Our latest article covered all you need to know about the student visa, so check it out if you are thinking of experience the Japanese education first-hand. Ready? Great, let’s dive in!
The process for obtaining a working visa seems to be kind of simple... at least, theoretically. You only have to find a full-time job, submit the required documents, and wait for the final verdict. But what would happen if you become a freelancer or you resign from your job to start working part-time with several employers? Does that mean you cannot have a working visa?
Well, we have excellent news for you - there is a way to keep your working visa safe under these conditions! Do you wonder how can it be it possible? Keep reading!
Part-time employers and freelancers welcome
If working for the same employer full-time is just not for you, maybe you are thinking of going it alone and flying with your own wings. If you are currently working as a freelancer or in several part-time jobs that grant you a stable income, you can apply for a regular working visa. But wait a second - before you run all down to the Immigration office, there are a few things you need to know:
- You have to hold a valid working visa at the moment of application. That means self-sponsored processes are only possible when renewing your current visa, but not to land in your first working visa.
- Self-sponsoring is not applicable to each and every type of visa. You can self-sponsor your own visa if it falls under the following categories - artist, journalist, researcher, engineer, specialist in humanities/international services and skilled labor.
- You need to prove you can make at least ¥3 million a year. For doing so, show contracts both with companies or individuals. Pro-tip: if you work as a private teacher, you can sign contracts with your students.
- All the jobs you wish to pursue under this visa must fall into the same category.You need to have a main employer and it has to be a company (no individuals allowed).
- If you signed contracts with companies based overseas, you can also submit them as additional salary once you have secured the required income with Japanese companies.
Your application will be likely rejected if you don’t fit these requirements, so please keep it in mind before going to the Immigration office and wasting ¥4000 in revenue stamps.
What documents do I need for applying?
The self-sponsored application is not that different from the regular one. Instead of submitting the documents provided by just one company, you will need to bring all the contracts you have signed and proofs of your financial status. The basic documents needed are the following:
- Application form correctly filled.
- Passport-sized photograph (taken within 6 months before the application).
- Contracts showing the activities you are going to engage, the income you will receive for them, the working hours and the duration of the employment.
- A 在職証明書 (zaishoku shomeisho, certificate of employment) from your current part-time employers.
- Your 退職証明書 (taishoku shomeisho, certificate of retirement) from your former employer.
- A 給与所得源泉徴収票 (kyuyo shotoku gensen choshu hyo, previous year’s income tax withholding statement) or any similar document that states you are up-to-date with your fiscal obligations - please don’t forget to pay your taxes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no mercy with debtors!
- A 個人事業の開業届出書 (kojin jigyō no kaigyō todokede-sho, certificate of sole proprietor), which is basically a document that certifies you are registered as a freelancer.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to obtain and renew a working visa in Japan - you only have to find the one that is the most suitable for your particular situation! We will keep puzzling out for you the ins and outs of the Japanese visas in our weekly series, so please stay tuned! In the meantime, why don’t you take a look at our jobs and start applying from today? Your new life in Japan is waiting for you!
*Visa applicants are responsible for their own application and IZANAU cannot be held responsible if authorities applied changes after the redaction of this article.
About the Author
Half writer, half reader. Tokyo based and deeply in love with - you can easily find me meandering around Shibuya or Shin-Okubo. Communication and marketing assistant by day, video game localizer by night.