I’m Takashi Akeyama, a representative of the Niseko VISA & Immigration Support Centre. As the only administrative Scrivener office in Hokkaido specializing in VISA & Immigration and tourism, we help foreigners living in Hokkaido, mainly in Niseko, Otaru and Sapporo areas, to apply new or extend VISA, to change the status, such as working visas and spouse visas etc..

When a foreigner starts a business, he/she obtains a ‘management’ visa. Before applying for this visa, the company must be established and ready to open and ready to start business. The company to be established must meet various rules and requirements to obtain a ‘management’ visa. When a foreigner starts a business, he/she obtains a ‘management’ visa. Before applying for this visa, the company must be established and ready to open and ready to start business. The company to be established must meet various rules and requirements to obtain a ‘management’ visa. In this article, we will explain whether it is acceptable to use a home office as well as an office to obtain a ‘management’ visa.

Can you get a management visa with a “Home Office”?

In principle, a Home office is not permitted when setting up a company to obtain a management visa. You must always have an office in a separate location from your home. For example, if you apply to use an unused room in the three-bedroom flat you currently live in as your office, you are likely to be refused a management visa. The living space where you live and the office space where you conduct your business must be completely separate.

Exception. When can a ‘management’ visa be granted for a home and office?

Detached houses of two or more stories.

The residence space and office space must be completely separated by a floor.

The entrance to the residence and the entrance to the office must be separate.

If these three conditions are met, an exception may be made for a home and office. In such cases, it is advisable to submit drawings of the residence and office as supporting documents when applying.  

Do you need an office?

The main activities of the Management visa are ‘management’ and ‘administration’. Therefore, without an office to do this, the activities specified in the visa cannot be carried out, so an office is essential. For example, an office is always necessary even if the company is not mainly engaged in office work, such as an osteopathic clinic, restaurant or beauty salon. Taking it to the extreme, it is no exaggeration to say that a company without an office will not be able to obtain a management visa. The office must be equipped with desks and chairs for doing office work, and office equipment such as a computer, so that a place for doing office work for ‘management’ and ‘administration’ can be set up before the visa application is submitted.

Is the office in shop permitted?

For example, a seat at the back of the seating area in a restaurant is a special seat for the manager, where he/she places a laptop computer and does office work. If the manager moves to another location during lunchtime and uses that area as customer seating, “a management visa is not a permit. If the business type is a shop business, it is necessary to set up an independent office in a separate space from the customer seating area and the shop. If the shop is too small to provide a separate space, you will need to rent an office elsewhere or rent a private room in a rented office and use that as your office.


The requirements for the office of the company to be established to apply for a management visa are,

(i) A location separate from the home

(ii) A separate location from the shop

(iii) Permanent independent space.

These three points must always be satisfied. In the examination process for a Management Visa, there is no on-site inspection, where the officer visits the shop or office to make sure that the visa is granted or not. However, depending on the category of company applying, the applicant may be required to submit ‘documents that clarify the existence of office space’. Specifically, the applicant is instructed to submit a certified copy of the property register, a lease agreement and other documents. Under ‘other materials’, the applicant is required to submit office drawings and photographs to prove the existence of adequate office space. The Management Visa is only applied for once all preparations for opening the business have been completed and the business is ready to operate. As for the office, everything must be ready at the time of submitting the application, including the office equipment such as desks, chairs and computers as well as the location. ‘There are many other detailed requirements that have to be fulfilled under the Management Visa. If you are unsure about the procedure, we recommend that you ask an Administrative Scrivener’s Office to handle the comprehensive procedure from the stage of setting up the company, with a view to getting a Management Visa approved.

The Niseko VISA & Immigration Support Centre help and support foreign nationals who are trying to overcome language, cultural and custom barriers and live as a member of Japanese society. If you have any questions or enquiries about this article, or about the establishment of the company and status of residence ‘Management’, please feel free to contact us by phone or via the ‘Free Consultation Form’ on our website.

Japanese version of this article is here.