- August 19, 2023
- Posted by: Aki Kojima
- Category: Individual & Self-Employed
In today’s digital age, remote work has become increasingly popular, especially in the wake of the global pandemic. Many individuals are now pondering the feasibility of working remotely in Japan for companies headquartered abroad. This article aims to shed light on this topic and provide clarity for those considering such an arrangement.
The Basics of Remote Work in Japan
If you’re a foreigner residing in Japan and considering working remotely for a company based outside the country, you first need to know that you’ll require a working visa. This is similar to the visa you’d need if you were employed by a company physically located in Japan. The primary consideration here isn’t where your employer is based but where you are when working.
The Implications for Japanese Citizens and Foreign Residents
The rules aren’t just limited to foreigners. Japanese citizens or foreign residents in Japan who wish to work remotely for a company in another country would also need a visa for the country they intend to work from. This emphasizes the importance of understanding the visa regulations of both Japan and the country where the employer is based.
Exceptions to the Rule
There are certain exceptions to be aware of. For instance, if you work remotely for a Japanese company but live and work outside Japan, you won’t need a Japanese work visa. This is because Japan’s work visas are tied to one’s ‘residential status’. As long as the company can establish an employment relationship and manage tax withholdings, they can employ foreign remote workers living abroad.
A Word of Caution for Dependent Visa Holders
For those residing in Japan on a Dependent Visa, it’s essential to be cautious. If you’re working full-time, defined as more than 28 hours a week, and your activities fall outside the scope of your visa, you risk jeopardizing your residential status in Japan.
Remote work offers many opportunities, but it’s crucial to be well-informed about the regulations, especially when considering working remotely in a country like Japan. Ensure you have the proper visa and permissions before starting your remote work journey. It might also be worth considering changes to the system, such as receiving a refund upon departure from Japan rather than at the point of purchase, to streamline the process further.