Business Manager (BM)


(amended in November, 2019)

Visa Status called Business Manager (経営・管理 Keiei-Kanri) (hereafter referred to as “Business Manager” or “BM“) is applied to a representative director, business owner and manager who engage in managing and organizing the business activities in Japan. To be applicable to BM visa status, you must actually engage in the management of the business in Japan.

You cannot be applicable to BM visa status in case;

  • You are not going to engage in the management activity in Japan.
  • You will just invest your money into a company in Japan and will not going to work as a business manager in Japan.

Examples of Occupation

  • CEO or Representative Director who engage in the activity in the business management of the company in Japan.
  • CEO/Representative Director, COO, CFO, CTO or any directors who engage in execution, determination or audit of the business of the company in Japan.
  • Factory manager, manager, branch office representative and others who engage in operating the factory and the business in Japan.

You may consider other visa status such as “Intra-Company Transferee”, “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities” and “Highly Skilled Professional” depending on the situation.


Regardless of which visa status you will apply for, you need to satisfy the criteria first.
>> BASIC CRITERIA of visa status

Basic requirements for Business Manager are as follows:

  1. You must engage in the business management of the company or any business entity in Japan to conduct the business.
    • You cannot obtain Business Manager visa only by the investment into a Japanese company.
    • You must engage in conducting and managing the business most of the time. You will need to hire staff if it is considered that the business requires to hire specific staff for the operation; e.g. kitchen/floor staff for a restaurant and/or café, teacher for a language/culture school, designers for design business etc.
  2. You (the company) are required to satisfy either A or B below in order to certify the scale of business and financial stability;
    [A] The business should be invested at least 5 million yen (should need more investment depending or company structure or its business).
    [B] The company should hire at least 2 employees among Japanese nationals or foreign nationals with particular visa status, such as Permanent Resident (including Special Permanent Resident), Spouse/Child of Japanese National or Spouse/Child of Permanent Resident (or Special Permanent Resident) and Long-term Resident.
  3. Physical independent office space for the business must be found in Japan. Virtual office is not applicable. You will need to rent the office space in advance of the application for BM visa status and necessary office equipment (e.g. desk and chair, PC, printer etc.) for the business has to be installed already.
  4. Business Plan should be specific, reasonable, and feasible, and you need to explain it in the Business Plan and financial plan with specific figures and reasonable description. Immigration Office judges your eligibility for Business Manager visa comprehensively – considering by amount of your investment into the company, business stability and credibility, balance of predictable operating profit and loss, amount of employee, types of business and so on. Employment of staff may be required depending on the business – especially in case the business requires staff for specific job duties to make you concentrate on conducting the management (kitchen/floor staff for a restaurant and/or café, teacher for a language/culture school, designers for design business etc.). In addition, the business should be planned as the company will not be in deficit.
  5. You have to prove that the business is ready to start right after your BM visa application is approved and you have done necessary report/notification/application for the business: your company has to be set up already and necessary report/notification to the authorities (e.g. Tax Offices etc.) has to be done. Also, it is required to obtain license or permit before you apply for BM visa if necessary.
  6. You must be paid regularly for your work/duties in Japan enough to make a living. You are supposed to be paid equal to or more than that of Japanese nationals who engage in the same field of your job duties (considered as around 200,000JPY at least monthly in case you don’t have any dependent).
  7. [in case of applying as an employed manager] You must have 3 years experience (including the period of enrolling in graduate school) of the business management.

In addition to above requirements, you need to be prepared for specific conditions case by case.

Immigration Office judges your eligibility for the Business Manager visa comprehensively – considering not only by the amount of your investment into the company, but also by the business stability and credibility, balance of predictable profit and loss, amount of employee, types of business and so on.


If you would like to set up a company in Japan by your own investment and you are not reside in Japan yet, it would be difficult to make a rent contract for the office space as well as to process company registration in Japan. In some cases, it is not easy to rent an office in Japan without a resident in Japan. In order to set up a Kabushiki Kaisha (KK), you will need a personal bank account in Japan or at the overseas branch office of the Japanese Bank.

In addition, you will need to be in Japan at the time of submission of the COE application if you are the only representative/staff of the company in Japan as your visa sponsor.

Possibility of HSP

If you satisfy the requirements above as well as you are applicable to Highly Skilled Professional (HSP), you might want to apply for the Highly Skilled Professional visa status which you can receive a preferential Immigration treatment. (>> Go to Highly Skilled Professional.)


In case you are currently residing outside Japan yet or you are staying in Japan as a temporary visitor:
>> COE Application

In case you have been in Japan under specific status and holding Residence Card already:
>> Change of Visa Status


You are required to prepare documents which certify your eligibility for BM visa status. Basic required documents may be different depending on the situation of each applicant and business entity in Japan. However, it shall be as follows:

(1) Evidence regarding the applicant’s activity and position in Japan and previous experience.

  • Resume, C/V.
  • Documents to certify the applicant’s educational background: e.g. Certificate of Degree (Diploma)
  • Documents to certify the applicant’s position, duties and annual (or monthly) salary: e.g. Minutes of Shareholders’ Meeting, Certificate of Appointment etc.
  • [In case of being hired as a manager] Employment Contract and Documents to certify that the applicant has 3 years experience of the business management.

(2) Evidence to clarify the scope and the size of the business in Japan and the company structure.

  • Company Brochure, Leaflet or website to clarify the business entity in Japan.
  • Certificate of Company Registration (Toukijikou Shoumeisho).
  • [In case of proceeding the establishment of the new company] Articles of Incorporation (Teikan), documents to clarify the shareholders and their investment into the company, documents to clarify the company is ready for the business (provisional contract for sales/purchase etc.).
  • [In case of hiring relevant employees to satisfy the requirement] Payroll, Certificate of Residence (Juminhyo) etc. to clarify each employees and their salary.
  • [In case the business requires any license, permit or registration] Documents to certify the license etc.
  • Business Plan
  • Financial Plan as supplemental of Business Plan
  • Financial Statement as of the latest fiscal year-end (in case of existing company and having finished the first fiscal year-end and its tax return).
  • Notification of the establishment of salary payment office submitted to Tax Office.
  • Payment slip for Withholding Tax (for the past 3 months) or Application for Payment of Withholding Income Tax on a Semiannual filed to Tax Office.

(3) Evidence regarding the business entity.

  • Rent Contract or Certificate of Real Estate Registration etc. and related documents to clarify the existence of the physical office space.
  • [In case of self-employed business manager starting new company] Photos of the nameplate, mailbox, and others to certify the existence of the office space.


  • All the documents written in foreign languages need to attach the Japanese translation.
  • Additional documents may be required during the screening at the Immigration Office after submitting the application.
  • Some documents may be exempted in case your visa sponsor is classified under categories as follows: 1) listed company, 2) the total amount of annual withholding tax on the latest “Records for Salary Payment and Withholding Tax” counts 10 million JPY or more, 3) your visa sponsor can submit a copy of the latest “Records for Salary Payment and Withholding Tax”.
  • Any certificate of Japanese authorities (Tax/Income Certificate, Certificate of Residence, Certificate of Company Register etc.) has to be the one issued within 3 months before the date of application.


Each visa status has the expiration date – you can stay in Japan under the visa status during the specific period stated on Residence Card issued by Immigration Office. Period of stay shall be decided by Immigration Office depends on the applicant’s circumstance, and it shall be either of 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 4 months, or 3 months. The period of stay is granted by the Immigration Office based on each case and situation.


To extend the period of stay for Business Manager visa, the business of the company should NOT be in deficit for 2 or more consecutive fiscal years.

If the company continues to be in deficit, you should provide explanation for the reason and business plan to show how the company will improve the situation and make a profit.

In case you wish to extend the period of stay granted, you may apply for Extension of Period of Stay before the expiry date.

In case you would like to travel outside Japan temporarily under the visa status.
>> Re-Entry Permit

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