Q_iconI established a trading company with my friend and we would both like to apply for a Business Manager visa. The capital totals 10 million yen, with both of us investing 5 million yen each. I specialize in foreign transactions such as customs clearance and import-export operations. My friend is in charge of quality control and inventory of imported goods and accounting. For this case, is it possible for two people to be granted Business Manager visas?

A_dark_iconEven if each has invested 5 million yen in capital, it does not guarantee that Business Manager visas are to be approved for two people at the same company.

★ Explanation ★

Even if two people invest 5 million yen each and establish a company with a capital of 10 million yen, it will be examined comprehensively whether the business requires two managers ― if it is necessary to have both managers, how much work is there, what roles are there, etc.

information-on-stockholderFor example, instances where there is a high possibility for all foreigners to be eligible for the Business Manager visa, it would be the following:

  • ① By taking into account the scale of the business and the amount of work, etc., reasonable grounds are found regarding what each foreign national could do in the management of the business;
  • ② Each foreign national makes a significant investment;
  • ③ The contents of the business conducted by each foreign national is clarified, regarding those related to business management or administration;
  • ④ Each foreign national is to be paid a considerable amount of compensation for work related to management or administration

For reference, the following 2 scenarios are shown as examples in the “clarification of criteria for resident status Business Manager visa (when 2 or more foreigners jointly operate a business)” issued by the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice.

【Case 1】

Foreign nationals A and B invested 5 million yen each to set up Company X, which operates a business of importing goods in Japan. A is a specialist in foreign transactions such as customs clearance and import and export business, and B specializes in quality control, inventory, and accounting of goods. A, from the aspect of foreign transactions, and B from the aspect of management of the imported goods and accounting, evaluate the business situation of Company X, and jointly decide on the management policies. Remuneration for A and B is to be paid from the business income in accordance to each of their investment amounts.


Foreigners C and D invested 6 million yen and 8 million yen respectively to jointly establish Company Y, which operates a transportation business in Japan. After setting each area where C and D are responsible for conducting the shipping service, they each manage the businesses in their areas where they are in charge. The management policies for Company Y will be decided by C and D collectively, and their compensation will be paid from the business income at rates according to the amount of their investments.

Let’s go back to the question where one person specializes in foreign transactions and import-export operations, while the other person is responsible for quality control, inventory, and accounting operations. Although this case is similar to Case 1, it can be said that, initially, there is a high possibility that the activities related to management as stated by the Business Manager visa will not be carried out.

For a newly established corporation, the scale of the business is still small, so when conducting business with your friends and such, it is recommended to consider that one will have to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for the resident status of “Business Manager” while the other will have “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services”; or that you consider applying for the change in status of residence.