Who can apply for Japan’s new digital nomad visa?

Known for its bustling cities, diverse natural landscapes, and vibrant pop culture scene, Japan is ideal for anyone who wants to blend work with travel – and it could become a lot easier to do so in the future, thanks to the country’s new digital nomad visa. 

In an effort to attract the best global talent, Japan is due to announce its new digital nomad visa next month. This visa will grant citizens from 49 nations the chance to reside in Japan for up to six months.

The initiative reflects Japan’s increasing openness to foreigners, driven by the need to boost the economy and international competitiveness, particularly in light of its aging population.

According to Japan’s labor ministry, the country currently hosts over two million foreign nationals, representing the highest influx in history.

Here’s an overview of Japan’s  digital nomad visa: 

What is the digital nomad visa?

The digital nomad visa permits holders to stay in Japan for up to six months, twice the duration allowed for visa-free short-term visitors, who are prohibited from engaging in employment during their stay. Renewal of the visa is only possible six months after leaving Japan, making consecutive stays unfeasible.

Accompanying family members, including children and spouses, are allowed during the digital nomad’s stay in Japan, provided they also possess private medical insurance. However, visa holders are ineligible for residency status and cannot lease long-term accommodations.

The proposed visa is currently open to public feedback before its anticipated launch by the end of March.

Who can apply?

Citizens of 49 countries and territories are eligible to apply for Japan’s digital nomad visa. This list comprises of nations with which Japan has signed tax treaties or those that enjoy visa-exempt status when visiting Japan.

Included in the list are all EU member states, along with countries such as Australia, South Korea, Singapore, and the United States.

The visa mostly targets highly skilled professionals, particularly those in the IT sector. It caters to anyone engaged in ‘designated activities,’ such as remote work for foreign companies or freelance work for overseas clients, including YouTubers earning revenue from international advertisers.

Applicants for Japan’s digital nomad visa must show an annual income of at least 10 million Japanese Yen and hold private health insurance coverage.

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