Japan Digital Nomad Visa: Requirements and How to Apply

Japan is a one-of-a-kind destination for digital nomads who appreciate the fusion of rich cultural heritage and futuristic infrastructure. From the tranquillity of a Zen garden in Kyoto to the neon cityscapes of Tokyo, there’s plenty to experience across the landscapes.

But what kind of visa will you need to legally work remotely and immerse in Japan? The answer is Japan's upcoming Digital Nomad Visa, announced to launch in March 2024 to attract international talent.

This guide will outline everything you need to know about the Japan Digital Nomad Visa, including eligibility criteria, application process, costs, timelines, and benefits of choosing this route. As a bonus, we’ll share guidance on navigating taxes as a digital nomad in Japan based on residency status and income sources.

Read on to discover how the Land of the Rising Sun can be your next location-independent base for remote work and cultural discovery!

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Our content is based on research from official sources and intended for informational purposes only. We do not provide visa application services. For dedicated visa assistance, please consult a specialized provider.

Does Japan Have a Digital Nomad Visa?

Neon signs in Japan

Yes, Japan is introducing a new digital nomad visa beginning in March 2024. This visa will allow foreign nationals who work remotely to stay in the country for up to six months. It is intended to attract international talents and foster cultural exchanges in Japan.

Benefits of the Japan Digital Nomad Visa

The Japan Digital Nomad Visa offers several key benefits for remote workers and digital nomads:

  • Stays up to 6 months, increased from the standard 90-day limit for visa-free entries
  • Ability to explore Japan's diverse regions, from tranquil countryside to coastal villages to major cities like Tokyo and Osaka
  • Option to bring dependents like a legally married spouse and children on the same visa
  • Access to Japan's advanced infrastructure and internet connectivity suitable for remote work.

Who Can Apply for the Japan Digital Nomad Visa?

To be eligible for the Japan Digital Nomad Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Work remotely as an employee, freelancer, or business owner for a company registered outside of Japan
  2. Have a minimum annual income of at least 10 million Japanese Yen, which is roughly $68,000 USD at the time of writing
  3. Hold a passport from a country that has visa-free entry and double taxation agreements with Japan, like the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and European Union nations.
Double-check your eligibility by verifying if your country shows up on both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan webiste for visa-free entry requirements and the official website of the Ministry of Finance for double-taxation agreements.

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How to Apply for the Japan Digital Nomad Visa as a Digital Nomad

Japan's authorities are still finalizing the application specifics for the Digital Nomad Visa. Once the Immigration Services Agency provides detailed guidelines, this section will be updated.

Documents Required for Applying for the Japan Digital Nomad Visa

Red gate in Japan

To apply for the Japan Digital Nomad Visa, the required documents include:

  • A valid passport with at least six months of validity and two blank pages
  • A passport-sized photo taken within the last six months
  • Proof of remote work like an employment contract, employer letter, or client invoices
  • Income statements demonstrating earnings over $68,300 USD from non-Japan entities, such as bank records or tax returns
  • Comprehensive health insurance for yourself and any family members covering your whole Japan stay.

How Much Does the Japan Digital Nomad Visa Cost?

The official fees for Japan's Digital Nomad Visa are still to be confirmed. Costs will likely vary based on embassy location and nationality.

Timeline for Applying For the Japan Digital Nomad Visa

Details on the exact timeline for applying for the Japan Digital Nomad Visa have not been provided yet.


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What if I’m Not Eligible for the Japan Digital Nomads as a Digital Nomad?

If you are not eligible for the Japan digital nomad visa, you may still have some other options to live and work in Japan as a remote worker:

  1. Tourist Visa: For short-term visits, many countries are eligible for visa-free entry to Japan for up to 90 days. This could be a temporary solution for digital nomads wanting to experience Japan for a short period
  2. Work Visas: Japan offers a variety of work visas that cater to different professions. These visas are based on specific criteria such as job offers from Japanese companies, professional skills, and qualifications.
  3. Other Digital Nomad Visas: Digital nomad hotspots like IndonesiaCroatiaCosta Rica, or Portugal all offer unique cultural experiences, activities, and visa criteria worth exploring.

Paying Taxes as a Digital Nomad in Japan

Mountain view in rural Japan

Paying taxes as a digital nomad in Japan can be complex, and the specifics depend on your residency status, income sources, and duration of stay in Japan. Here's a general overview based on the information available:

  1. Residency Status and Tax Liability: Your tax liability in Japan largely depends on your residency status. Japan categorizes residents into "non-permanent residents" and "permanent residents" for tax purposes. Non-permanent residents are taxed on their Japan-sourced income and on any overseas income that is remitted to Japan, whereas permanent residents are taxed on their worldwide income​​.
  2. Income from Japanese Sources: If you earn income from Japanese sources, you may be required to pay taxes in Japan. This includes any work done for Japanese companies or income earned through services provided within Japan​​.
  3. Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs): Japan has DTAs with many countries to avoid double taxation for individuals working internationally. These agreements allow for tax credits or exemptions in one of the countries to prevent being taxed twice on the same income. It's important to understand how these treaties apply to your specific situation​​.
  4. Tax Filing Requirements: Even as a digital nomad, if you are considered a resident for tax purposes in Japan and have income to report, you will need to file an annual tax return with the Japanese tax authorities. The tax year in Japan runs from January 1st to December 31st, with tax returns due in March of the following year​​.
  5. Health Insurance and Pension Contributions: Residents in Japan, including those on work visas, are typically required to enroll in the national health insurance and pension systems, which involves monthly contributions based on income. How this applies to digital nomads specifically under the new visa category may require clarification from Japanese immigration and tax authorities​​.
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Given the complexity and potential variation in tax obligations as a digital nomad in Japan, it's recommended that you seek advice from a professional tax consultant prior to deciding to work remotely from Japan. It's also important to monitor your income and expenses and ensure your tax returns are submitted promptly.

Are You Ready To Live and Work in Japan as a Digital Nomad?

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