Japanese Professionals and Visa Self-Sponsorship


We are often asked whether it is necessary to hire a Japanese professional when it comes to “self-sponsoring” a visa in Japan.

The Japan Visa Handbook strongly recommends that you engage two types of professionals if you plan to utilize the visa self-sponsorship route in Japan.

1. A certified immigration specialist (“gyoseishoshi”).

As we discuss in the book, your goal is to project a professional image and utilizing a gyoseishoshi will help.

2. A Japanese tax accountant (“zeirishi”).

A zeirishi is able to assist with nearly anything on the financial and tax side of establishing and running your business.

A zeirishi’s key roles will include:

a. Handling the actual incorporation.

b. Making (essential) initial corporate tax filings after the company has been legally established.

c. Handling ongoing tax (and other compliance) issues for the new company.

Even a modest business will need to file annual tax returns. In addition, payroll for Japanese employees is complex and requires deductions for taxes, social insurance, and labor insurance.

d. Assistance with Japanese individual tax matters.

As a company owner it is highly likely that you will need to file an annual individual tax return. The 2013 edition of the Japan Visa Handbook includes a new section on Japan tax planning.