japan digital nomad visa

Want to Live in Japan? You soon can with The New Japan digital nomad visa

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Japan is changing, and 2024 is the year that if you can have enough income and work remotely to contribute to the Japanese economy, you can live in Japan with a Japan digital nomad visa.

So here’s the latest information that was just released by the Japanese government’s Immigration Services Agency (ISA) announced on the details of how you can become a digital nomad in Japan. This is different from a standard work visa in Japan, so read on to find out more.


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I’m considering this visa myself, as I fell in love with Japan on my 3-week visit and I’d love to explore more of the country. Once I can reach an income threshold with my blog, I will quit my 9-5 or go on a work sabbatical. What once felt like a dream is another step closer now.

When I was in Japan, I was blown away by the blend of modern convenience and technological prowess combined with deep respect for tradition and nature.

As I wandered through quiet temple gardens in Kyoto and then saw the bright, blinking lights of Tokyo’s skyscrapers, I felt I was getting whiplash in the best possible way.

I only scratched the surface of what Japan has to offer in my brief time there. That’s why I’m so excited they’ve announced a new digital nomad visa that will let location-independent workers stay for an extended period. No more being limited by back-to-back tourist visas

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The Ultimate Guide to Japan’s New Digital Nomad Visa in 2024

No time to read the full article? Here are the Highlights

  • Japan is launching a dedicated digital nomad visa in 2024 to attract location-independent professionals.
  • Eligibility will require remote employment proof and travel health insurance with income thresholds.
  • Alternatives like cultural visas allow temporary remote work but prohibit local employment.

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The Japan visa for nomads requirements seem pretty reasonable:

If you also love Japan and have ever dreamed of spending more immersive time there, read on for all the essential details on the digital nomad visa. I’ll share the latest info straight from the Japanese government. Whether you want to soak in cultural experiences in Kyoto, launch a startup in Tokyo or relax on Okinawa’s beaches, this could make your dream a reality.

what is a japan nomad visa?

A Japan digital nomad visa is a new type of visa being introduced in 2024 that will allow remote workers and location-independent professionals to live and work in Japan for an extended period of time.

The Japan digital nomad visa will provide legal grounds for location-independent workers to combine remote work, travel and experiencing authentic Japanese culture.

Self-employed applicants are eligible for the japan nomad visa as well

the recently announced details explicitly state that self-employed individuals are also eligible for Japan’s new digital nomad visa besides regular remote workers.

This is great news for location-independent entrepreneurs like freelancers, bloggers, online teachers, web designers, app developers and other remote working professionals.

As long as you can demonstrate adequate financial means through documentation like tax returns, bank statements and client contracts validating annual earnings over the 10 million JPY (around $68,300 USD) threshold, your application can be considered.

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what is the minimum income for japan nomad visa?

the minimum income requirement for Japan’s new digital nomad visa is set at 10 million Japanese Yen annually.

This amounts to approximately $68,300 USD per year, and with the low value of the Japanese yen this is even a bit lower for US expats.  applicants would need to demonstrate proof of financial means to support themselves while working remotely in Japan.

Given this official income eligibility threshold, digital nomads would need to show tax filings, bank statements, or signed letters from employers/clients validating annual earnings of $68,300 or higher.

For solo freelancers and location-independent entrepreneurs, providing multiple documentation backups evidencing your remote work cashflows would be necessary during the visa application.

While the 10 million JPY yearly income minimum is on the higher side globally for digital nomad visas, it reflects Japan’s relatively high cost of living, especially in major metros like Tokyo and Osaka.

The good news is the six-month initial stay duration offered on this visa provides sufficient time to immerse in living the Japanese digital nomad lifestyle. Just remember to factor in finances exceeding the $68,300 annual income mandated by Japan’s Immigration Services Agency for this visa eligibility

Why Should Digital Nomads Care About Japan’s Digital Nomad Visa?

Japan has it all – rich cultural heritage, pristine natural beauty, lightning-fast internet, low crime rates and world-class infrastructure. The trouble was the lack of a dedicated remote work visa…until now.

In 2024, Japan is formally introduce a digital nomad visa tailored to the needs of location-independent professionals and remote entrepreneurs. This offers an incredible opportunity to combine work and leisure like never before.

japan digital nomad visa

You Can Legally Stay and Remote Work in Japan with The Right Visa

Gone will be the days of visa runs every few months. The digital nomad permit will allow you to stay for an initial duration of six months with options to renew.

No more worries about the legality of working on a tourist visa or facing deportation risks. The new visa gives you compliance and peace of mind.

Experience Japan’s Unique Blend of Ancient and Modern

Where else can you start your morning video conferencing with clients from a modern coworking space and end it by meditating at an ancient temple? Japan beautifully fuses history and progress.

And thanks to widespread public WiFi, you will likely enjoy seamless internet access whether crafting marketing campaigns at a trendy Tokyo café or emailing collaborators from a heritage Kyoto inn.

Develop Your Business Amidst Cultural Wonders

Imagine establishing your startup at an incubator located steps from the magnificent Osaka Castle. Or curating Instagram content from the endless photogenic spots in Japan’s sprawling capital.

Japan offers the right environment to grow personally and professionally. You’ll return with a global perspective and cultural insights that enrich your business.

What Are The Anticipated Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for Japan nomad Visa?

While Japan is still finalizing details for its pioneer digital nomad visa, you can expect criteria similar to existing long-term permits regarding:

Proof of Remote Employment or Location Independence: Requirements 

To validate working remotely, you may need:

  • A letter from an overseas employer specifying the remote work arrangement
  • Self-employment certificates

Without local employment, you must show financial means to support your lifestyle.

Sufficient Income Thresholds

Although unspecified yet, you’ll likely have to furnish bank statements or tax documents indicating funds of approximately:

  • $2,000 per month for individuals
  • $3,000 monthly for couples
  • Additional $500 per dependent child

International Travel Medical Insurance

Proof of health coverage with emergency medical evacuation may be necessary with minimum policy values around:

  • $100,000 for hospitalization
  • $25,000 for evacuations

The Perfect insurance is Safetywing which also covers travel insurance and medical for digital nomads.

Clear Criminal History

A background clearance certificate showing no serious convictions will probably be required.

How To Apply for Japan Digital Nomad Visa Application Process Step By Step

Here is a step-by-step overview of what the application process could potentially involve for Japan’s digital nomad visa:

  1. Check Eligibility First determine if you meet expected eligibility criteria regarding remote income, travel insurance, clean record etc.
  2. Prepare Documents Get required supporting documents like bank statements, employment letter, CV, insurance paperwork etc. Ensure proper formats and validity.
  3. Complete Application Access correct digital nomad visa application form online. Fill carefully and sign. Double check all information entered.
  4. Pay Processing Fees Fees will likely be around $100-150. Payment portal options could include credit card, wire transfer etc. Save receipt.
  5. Schedule Biometrics
    Visit authorized enrollment locations to provide fingerprints and facial photograph data. Will be used for background checks.
  6. Wait For Approval Wait time will vary from 4-8 weeks depending on applicant volumes. Check online application status dashboard regularly.
  7. Interview If Necessary
    Some applicants may get called for an in-person visa interview at their nearest consulate. Be prepared to discuss key aspects.
  8. Get Visa Stamped Time to collect your approval letter! Head to the Japanese consulate to get the visa stamped on a blank visa page of your passport.
  9. Enter Japan
    Book your flight and start your Japanese digital nomad journey! Breeze through immigration by presenting passport, visa docs etc.

What Are Some Alternatives Until The Official Visa Launch?

If you urgently want to work from Japan before the dedicated digital nomad permit launches, two feasible options are:

Cultural Activities Visa Japan

This allows location-independent endeavors but strictly prohibits local Japanese employment. You can stay up to 3 years.

Designated Activities Visa Japan

Geared toward remote entrepreneurs, you can do broad business activities but need about $100,000 in capital.

Both require detailed application evidence and immigration pre-approval.

Bringing Family With You with Japan’s digital nomad visa

Yes, the new digital nomad visa for Japan is expected to allow you to bring family members along during your stay. Here are key details:

Eligible Family Spouses and dependent children under 20 years old will likely be eligible for residency under your digital nomad visa.

Separate Dependent Visa
Each family member will have to apply separately for a “Dependent” category visa sponsored by you. They cannot directly apply for the digital nomad visa.

Health Insurance Mandatory Family members will need mandatory health coverage just like the primary visa holder to show they won’t burden Japan’s medical system.

No Local Employment Allowed While they can reside with you in Japan, family members on dependent visas cannot seek employment directly within Japan based on current policies.

Access To Facilities Family members will have access to facilities related to daily living like opening a bank account, getting a phone connection etc. based on your sponsorship.

So with some reasonable conditions, you can absolutely have your spouse and children accompany you on your digital nomad experience in Japan! Just ensure everyone applies for and maintains the right visas.

Which Cities Should Digital Nomads in Japan Prioritize for Work And Leisure?


As a massive metropolis and economic powerhouse, Tokyo needs no introduction. It tops every digital nomad destination wishlist with its perfect balance of hyper-modern infrastructure and vibrant heritage.

From sipping artisan coffee at its countless hip cafes to unwinding at the picturesque Shinjuku Gyoen park, Tokyo hits all the right notes.

Osaka living as a digital nomad in Japan

The city proudly embraces its tagline “kuidaore” which means eating oneself bankrupt! Alongside amazing local cuisine, Osaka wows with attractions spanning the soaring Umeda Sky Building to the majestic Osaka Castle.

When you need a break from work, karaoke bars beckon for some leisurely singing with new friends!

Kyoto living as a digital nomad in Japan

Few cities can match Kyoto’s history as the imperial capital for over a millennium. It houses several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over 2000 religious monuments.

One moment you’re presenting to clients on Zoom from an exquisite Machiya-style coworking space, the next you’re meditating amidst serene bamboo groves.

What Should You Know Before Committing to living in japan with a nomad visa?

Despite Japan’s many advantages, be aware of a few key considerations:

High Living Expenses, Especially Housing

While moving to small towns can cut costs, accommodation and amenities in big cities like Tokyo quickly add up. Shared spaces or extended-stay lodging could save over 50% over standalone apartments.

Minimal English Outside Urban Hubs

English proficiency is highest in Tokyo and Osaka. Elsewhere, language barriers may impact daily logistics until you pick up basic Japanese. Ride-hailing apps help navigate unfamiliar locations.

Nuanced Sociocultural Etiquette

From intricate traditions of gift-giving, bowing angles for greetings and table manners, Japan has precise etiquette rules. Read up or take classes to avoid embarrassing faux pas!

Do You Meet The Remote Income Threshold For Japan Digital Nomad Visa?

While we await final financial requirements, you can use this quick checklist to assess preparedness:

▢ I have stable remote employment or established location independent business

▢ My annual income exceeds $68,500

▢ I have adequate savings to cover living costs for 6 months in Japan

▢ I can afford international health insurance

If you checked all boxes, you are likely ready to apply once Japan formalizes the digital nomad visa details!

What Supporting Documents Should You Prepare for digital nomad visa Japan?

Similar to other Japanese long-term visas, you will probably need to submit:

√ Signed Visa Application Form

√ Valid Passport

√ Passport Photos

√ Criminal Record Certificate

√ Health Insurance Documents

√ Bank Statements

√ Remote Employment Letters

√ CV Summarizing Work Expertise

Keep scanned and physical copies handy well in advance of your application timeframe.

What Would The Visa Application Process Potentially Involve for digital nomad visa?

Here are the key stages applicants might complete:

  • Submit documents and forms on the designated online portal
  • Schedule and pass biometric enrollment
  • Make the non-refundable processing fee payment
  • Wait up to 8 weeks for application review
  • Attend in-person interview at the Consulate if needed
  • Receive visa approval notification letter
  • Travel to Japan and complete landing formalities

For a smooth application, ensure you follow each requirement diligently through every step.

Can You Renew The Digital Nomad Visa Japan? What Would That Entail?

The Japanese government will likely permit renewals to extend your remote working stint. The process may necessitate:

✔️ Initiating renewal 60-90 days before expiry

✔️ Passing health checks and background verification

✔️ Furnishing updated income statements

✔️ Paying renewal administration fees

✔️ Waiting 3-4 weeks for extension approval

Plan properly so renewals don’t disrupt your Japan experience!

How Do Taxes Work If You Have Overseas Clients While Holding The Visa?

Taxation rules vary for digital nomads’ foreign earnings in Japan. Generally:

  • If staying under a year, you likely won’t pay income taxes
  • Exceeding 12 months leads to Japan tax residency
  • Then you owe 20% tax on foreign-sourced income over ¥5 million

Consult professionals to best optimize your tax liabilities.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/japan-digital-nomad-visa/

What Common Mistakes Should New Applicants Avoid for digital nomad visas in Japan?

Stress-free visa formalities involve avoiding these frequent errors:

❌ Waiting Too Long To Start Planning

❌ Underestimating Document Overheads

❌ Missing Supporting Evidence

❌ Not Checking Latest Regulations

❌ Failing To Confirm Next Steps After Approval

Allocate sufficient lead time and regularly verify updated policies for the smoothest application experience.

How Does Japan Compare To Other Top Digital Nomad Destinations In Asia?

Japan exceeds most Asian countries, like Thailand and Vietnam, regarding infrastructure and amenities crucial for digital nomads. But higher living costs in Japan limit long-term affordability compared to places like Bali and Chiang Mai.

So Japan best serves nomads wanting the total package over low expenses for a few months annually, not perpetually.

Is Japan Safe For Digital Nomads ?

Yes, Japan is widely considered an extremely safe country for digital nomads. Here are a few key reasons:

Low Crime Rates Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Violent crime is rare and public places feel very secure. You can comfortably work on your laptop in cafes, parks or co-working spaces with minimal risk of theft.

Reliable Transportation Japan’s public transit systems, like the shinkansen bullet train, are famous for their punctuality. The risk of traffic delays or accidents is also low, making it reliable for traveling across the country.

World-Class Infrastructure Japan’s infrastructure ranks among the best globally in terms of internet speeds, power grid stability, and access to amenities. You can count on seamless connectivity.

Political Stability Japan’s political environment is very stable with strong governmental institutions and lack of unrest, unlike challenges seen in some developing regions. This reassurance helps nomads focus on work.

Health Care Excellence Japan has an excellent health care system with world-class medical facilities, especially in major cities. Good to know in case you ever need treatment or hospitalization.

So if personal safety is your top priority, Japan checks all the boxes. The combination of conscientious culture, technological prowess and governance makes Japan a very safe choice for digital nomads.

The Bottom Line

Japan’s digital nomad visa in 2024 promises a legal pathway to integrate work and wanderlust for location-independent professionals. To summarize:

✅ Proof of remote work and adequate savings will likely be required

✅ Alternatives carry restrictions but permit temporary stays now

✅ Big cities offer conveniences while rural areas promise authenticity

✅ Be ready for challenges like language barriers and cultural nuances

With thorough preparation, the application process should then enable your Japanese adventure integrating the ancient and the modern

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