How Can I Change My Visa Status to Work in Japan After Graduation?

I'd like to stay and work in Japan after graduation.
Then I heard I need to change my visa type.
Is that correct?

If you work for a company, you need to change your Status of Residence to Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services Visa.

Instead of working for a company, I want to start my own trade business with my home country.

I see.
To start a business, you need to change your Status of Residence to Business Manager Visa.
Now, let me briefly explain the requirements for obtaining Business Manager Visa to start your own business.

Documents Required to Change to Business Manager Visa

In this section, assume you change your Status of Residence from Student Visa to Business Manager Visa to start a small private business.

Required Documents

The required documents are as follows:

Application Form

Application Form for Change of Status of Residence (在留資格変更許可申請書) 

You can get the form via this page on the Immigration Services Agency of Japan. Select "Business Manager".

There are many items to fill in, which should base on facts about you.

Other Documents

You need to attach some necessary documents, to certify your entry items on the application form.

Documents Describing Your Business

Business Plan (事業計画書)

It's important to show that your business will be on track with your viable plans.

It's also effective to attach your company information materials.

Articles of Incorporation (定款)

It's a document required to establish a company, which includes the company name, head office location, purpose, names of board members, your investment amount, etc.

Certificate of All Historical Matters (登記事項証明書)

It's a document to show that your company has registered as a certified company by the Registry Office.

This means that you need to register your company before you get the Status of Residence.

Documents about Your Office

Real Estate Lease Agreement (賃貸借契約書)

If you rent an office for your business, you need a lease agreement.

You also need to submit photos and a map of your office.

Other Necessary Documents

Materials about Business Partners

Showing that you have had trading partners is a good way to convince that your company will be on track.

License (or Copy of the Permit Application)

If your business requires prescribed permission, you need a license or a copy of the permit application.

Types of Procedures for Obtaining Status of Residence

There are three procedures related to the Status of Residence as below: 

1. To Get a New Status of Residence

If you have not got any Status of Residence now, you need to submit an “Application for permission to acquire Status of Residence” (在留資格認定証明書交付申請).

2. To Change to Another Status of Residence

As in the example of this article, when changing from a Student Visa to a Business Manager Visa, you need to submit an “Application for change of Status of Residence” (在留資格変更許可申請).

3. To Extend Your Period of Stay

If you have a certain Status of Residence and want to continue staying, you need to submit an “Application for extension of period of stay” (在留期間更新許可申請).


We briefly explained the requirements for application, based on the example case to change from Student Visa to Business Manager Visa.

We also explained three types of procedures for obtaining the Status of Residence.

We hope that this article will help you.

If you find it difficult to apply on your own, we recommend you consult a Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialist (Gyosei-shoshi) as an expert.