Visa Question

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Chris64
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Visa Question

Post by Chris64 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:31 am

What is the visa/permit situation for a foreigner like me, to either buy or rent a property and start something long term? I can go to the Japanese embassy in Cape Town and talk to somebody there to get all the info but am a bit worried about doing something that might later prejudice my application.

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Visa Question

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:04 am

Moved your post over to it's own topic.

Renting or buying a property present no problems as far as I'm aware, you are free to do either. There are various types of visas, including ones for spouses, workers, students, and someone setting up a business and in addition to that after a certain time period if you fulfil certain criteria you can apply for long term residency or naturalise into a Japanese citizen.

There is some more information here

June Advisors Group

They also offer consulting services if you want to set up a business in Japan

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Re: Visa Question

Post by LeeB » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:26 am

That points chart is interesting.

http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_3/ ... _forms.pdf

If you look at the "Age" points, once you hit 40, you get zero points. (That was similar to Australia's 'points' system. Points were given based on age, but IIRC those points were calculated based on the date of visa grant, not at the time of the application so if you went over a certain age, your application could be rejected. Our visa's took quite a long time to get approved and they were also based on an allocation - so many visa per area in Japan.)

Anyway, as I have stated, I think it is more important who you know than the rules as I was able to get PR long before that 10 year minimum period prior to this new change!

I also notice that they set a minimum salary of 3 million yen for the application which would eliminate most, if not all people at the 'burn'em and churn'em type English language schools from applying as well as some university lecturers. I see I would have maxed out the points under that table for this category. I doubt that given the current conditions in the university/education sector one would be able to do that so a side income would probably be needed.

And finally from the website, as I have indicated in other posts, the tax situation in Japan for certain visa holders has turned out to be quite bad:

"Japan has recently introduced an “exit tax” on unrealized gains of certain financial assets valued at 100 million yen or more (in Japan or overseas), and while this tax generally does not apply to work visa holders, it will be imposed on holders of relationship-type visas (e.g. Permanent Resident, Spouse etc. of Japanese national visa, etc.) who have resided in Japan for a certain period of time when they leave Japan permanently."

https://www.juridique.jp/visa/pr.php

So caution is indeed in order for those people with the appropriate visas if and when they ever decide to leave Japan.

As well as the above tax there is the change in tax on income for those acquiring the above visas and even more importantly, the imposition of inheritance tax which will apply for a period AFTER you leave Japan.

And don't forget, Japan does require you to list certain assets even if overseas regardless of your visa based on their value/and or your income.

These changes really are big disincentives for people with large income or assets from moving to Japan either for a long period of time or establishing a sort of lasting link to the country through marriage.

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Re: Visa Question

Post by LeeB » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:32 am

"Renting or buying a property present no problems as far as I'm aware, you are free to do either."

As far as I am aware, the only requirements for buying any type of real estate are:

1. The MOF has to be notified of the purchase if done by a foreigner. (I wonder if that is really undertaken or the RE agent does it for you??)

2. Certain areas in Japan may require approval of purchase of large areas or tracts of farmland - again I'm not certain about this, but I recall reading something about this a number of years ago. I doubt that a purchase of most houses or farms would fall under this requirement though.

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Re: Visa Question - Property

Post by Chris64 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:41 pm

I have not read through the pages in links above, yet.
But,
If I am allowed to own property, either a farm or a house with business premises on the ground floor, would there be any issues then if I earn a living from my property?

I am quite interested in mushroom farming and would like to do that on my farm...
Does anybody forsee any problems?

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gonbechan
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Re: Visa Question

Post by gonbechan » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:57 pm

The only problem I can see is securing a property loan for which you would need permanent residence visa.
But if you were to buy the property with cash, I don't see you having any problems.
That is just for purchasing, though. I am not sure what the requirements are for a visa, but I am sure that site has most of the info you need.

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Re: Visa Question

Post by Shizuman » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:58 pm

I rekon you would have to be careful about land classification, i have friends who run english schools out of their houses no problems but if you buy agricultural land and dont have the appropriate licence you cant legally use the land. Im sure ZN has much more information about it and theres a few threads on the topic. Im in the process of getting the licence because in my area they are bending over backwards to get people to become farmers but ive been told that that is not always the case and as i think LeeB said (sorry if im miss quoting anyone) Its got a lot to do with who you know also. Check out the threads regarding buying sanrin or mountain land mate theres a fair bit around too.

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gonbechan
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Re: Visa Question

Post by gonbechan » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:06 pm

Very very much what Shizuman says.
Avoid agricultural land no matter what the estate agent says to you.
Sanrin (mountain/forest land) is your best bet as just about anything goes.

Zasso I thnk has some great advice on this.

Chris64
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Re: Visa Question

Post by Chris64 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:37 am

With my current plan - the mushroom thing - good land is the last thing I need. I assume mountain or forest would be cheaper and the less agriculturally purposed the land is, the better. I can actually turn any building into a grow space. Anyhow, I still have 2 years before I can make my move and have ample time to work things out.

“ Know the right people” Who, or in what position would they be and how do you get to “know” them? In South Africa, that means greasing the right palms...

I appreciate the info you guys are sharing, thank you!

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Re: Visa Question

Post by LeeB » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:14 am

“ Know the right people”

How to answer that..............

Even though I think Japan has changed quite a bit from when I first went there 40 years ago (Geez..........????) I still think that Japan is relations based society and as such 'who you know' will help you out.

As most foreigners don't have the school system connections in Japan (Unless you've done an exchange program, made friends, and then those people move up in the society) that is pretty much closed to them. I did have that opportunity to do one, but with middle level business and government types who over the years moved up. That really helped once I moved back to Japan.

Another 'benefit' of having been in Japan that many years ago was that there were relatively few foreigners compared to now. The yen was cheaper than chips and that made the income many people earned very bad in US dollar terms so that was a dis-incentive to many highly qualified top earners who could pull down multiples of what they could make in Japan from going there. So if you had the 'right' skills at the 'right' time, and the 'right' place, you had it made. If you made yourself 'visible', you had many opportunities.

For example, when I was looking for adjunct work at universities in the field of business and finance I was able obtain employment at a well known university. They needed someone and the the question was: "When can you teach? We'll arrange our schedule for you so that you can teach here."

Later, as more foreigners came to Japan (The increase in the value of the yen had much to do with it as it went from the 300 - 250 area to the 80 yen per dollar area) it was: We have these these time slots open, you can either teach then or forget it (For English classes, but not mostly my specialty areas for which I was much better off than those straight ESL/TESOL type teachers.)

Once you got in the door at one university other doors opened up. Professor xx knew another professor at another university and they needed a teacher................

Another avenue for a foreigner is of course, marriage to a Japanese national. IMO while you will never be fully accepted into Japanese society, this does help. It opens up that spouse visa and then you can go on that path to PR. The in-laws, hopefully, will accept you and help you out with more connections.

Next, what about your kids? Yeah, I know it sounds opportunistic, but it gets your feet into another bunch of doors. One of the mothers at the local kindy was a full time professor at a Junior College. Guess what? Yep, another opportunity to teach. Picked up other work as well from that 'connection'.

(One word of caution on that. Some universities will only hire for a certain number of years and with the new labor laws regarding conversion of part time to full time positions, I doubt that there would be any universities that would hire you for say eight or nine years in row now. One benefit from being there at that time.)

And as for teaching, you never know what kind of connections you can make.

For example, one of my students had a brother who was a doctor and needed some translation work done. That in turn led to another class and more translation work. (In fact, that student actually visited me in both the USA and Australia over the years!!!!)

Oh, and once, I did have a very different kind of student................a bar 'mama' who wanted to learn English for travel and for her 'customers'. She used to keep a baseball bat behind the door at her apartment. I also met her 'boyfriend'................

That was one type of connection I didn't need............

Finally, volunteer. Yep, your get your face out there and get it noticed.