So, you have taken the plunge and own a property. What’s next?
Can I stay there?
Yes, you could if you secure a proper visa. Depending on the country you’re from, your tourist visa may allow you a stay of between 14 days to 3 months.
If you wish to live and work in Japan, you will need to apply to one of the visa categories. Trying to get a visa opens up a whole new can of worms. A Japanese visa is not at all easy to obtain as Japan remains wary of outsiders. It will take awhile more before Japan loosens its conservative stance on foreign immigration.
There’s a great deal of information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s website. Already, when you click through, you see this:
Due to the complex nature of visa requirements, we are UNABLE to respond to visa-related inquiries made through this website at the moment. We advise you to contact the Consular Section of the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan nearest you for more information and advice. Thank you.
There are several different visa categories. Click here for the different types of visa. Applying for a visa is not straightforward. You will need to hire the services of Gyoseishoshi (immigration) Lawyers. You need to spend some money for these guys to guide through the process. Do not attempt to apply yourself unless you are assured of the following Japanese connections and abilities:
- You can speak like a native Japanese and you are aware of Japanese customs and etiquette.
- You have a ready local Japanese sponsor or Guarantor, who is prepared to take the fall and be responsible for you in case you try anything foolish in Japan.
- You have specialised skills and knowledge which Japan currently needs.
You have been cautioned.
|Purpose of Entry||Example|
|1||Activities for research, research guidance or education at colleges||Professor|
|2||Activities to engage in language instruction at junior high schools and high schools, etc.||Junior high school teacher|
|3||Activities for the arts that provide an income||Composer, Photographer|
|4||Academic or artistic activities that provide no income, or activities for the purpose of pursuing learning and acquiring Japanese culture or arts||Study tea ceremony, judo|
|5||Religious activities conducted by foreign religious workers dispatched by foreign religious organisations||Bishop, Missionary|
|6||Journalistic activities conducted on the basis of a contract with a foreign press organisation||Journalist, News Photographer|
|7||Activities of research who have been transferred to a business office in Japan for a limited period of time||Researcher assigned to a foreign firm|
|8||Activities of specialists who have been transferred to a business office in Japan for a limited period of time||Employee assigned to a foreign firm|
|9||Investment, Operation or Manager||President, Director of a foreign firm|
|10||Activities to engage in research that provide income||Researcher of a government body or company|
|11||Activities to engage in services which require knowledge pertinent to natural science fields||Engineer of mechanical engineering|
|12||Activities to engage in services which require knowledge pertinent to human science fields||Interpreter, Designer|
|13||Activities to engage in services which require skills belonging to special fields||Foreign cuisine chef, Sport’s instructor|
|14||Designated activities to engage in research, business related to research or information-processing-related services||Researcher or Information-technology engineer of a designated organization|
|16||Study||College student, Pre-college student|
|17||Training||Technical or Professional trainee|
|18||Dependent who intends to live with his or her supporter|
|19||Dependent who intends to live with his or her supporter whose status is Designated Activities(a/b)|
|20||Dependent who intends to live with his or her supporter whose status is Designated Activities(EPA Nurse/ EPA Certified Careworker)|
|21||Spouse or child of Japanese national, Permanent resident, etc.||Spouse of Japanese national|
|22||Other purpose||Lawyer, Doctor, Amateur sports athlete, Nurse and Certified carewoker candidates under EPA|
The next best option is to lease out your property. Most foreign owners would simply leave it to the real estate company to handle this on their behalf. Normally, the lease would be on a two-year contract. A standard lease comes with the usual property shenanigans which again, leads you to your next cycle of liaison and paper pushing.
Compared to the prohibitive, time-consuming and complicated hoops of applying for a long-term visa to live in Japan, this might make a saner choice.