Foreigners who run a company in Japan and are staying under “Business Manager” and invite their family members to live with them in Japan may be concerned about whether the business status of the company will affect their application for Dependent status. One key factor in the application for “Dependent” for family members of those residing under ‘Business Manager’ is the income (executive remuneration). Often, the income is set low in order to make the company’s performance look good for your own application for “Business Manager”, and this can affect your family’s application for “Dependent”. This part explains the application for “Dependent” for family members of the manager.
Key points for applying for status of residence “Dependent”
When applying for the status of Dependent, there are three points that you must check. First, make sure that you meet these points.
Point 1: Marriage must be consummated (for wives and husbands)
When applying for a “Dependent” status, a marriage must have been consummated. It is not recognised in a common-law relationship or in a state of engagement. The marriage must be legally valid and subsisting.
The marriage can take place only in a foreign country or only in Japan, as long as it is validly established (depending on the laws of the respective country). For example, if you want to invite a family member from your home country to Japan, you do not need to register the marriage at the Japanese municipal office, but can invite them as long as the marriage is valid in your home country.
Conversely, if you get married while living in Japan, there is no problem even if you have not yet submitted the marriage certificate to the administrative authorities in your home country, as long as the marriage certificate has been submitted to and accepted by the Japanese authorities.
Point 2: Ability to provide support/receive support
Dependent visa status requires that family members be “supported” by the Business Management Visa holder. In other words, the person providing support must be “capable of providing support” and the person being supported must be “willing to receive support and stay in that status”.
Firstly, as for being “capable of providing support”, the business manager (business management visa) must be earning enough to support his/her family (executive remuneration). This is explained further in the next chapter.
We are often asked, “How much salary do I need to earn to be granted a visa?” but there are no clear criteria. This is because it depends on the number of people in your family, your assets and other factors. If your current salary is sufficient to live with your family in Japan without any problems, you should be fine.
Some ‘rumours’ that come to our office say that a monthly salary of 250,000 yen is necessary, but this information is generally false. Depending on the composition of the family, a monthly salary of 200,000 yen may be acceptable, while a monthly salary of 300,000 yen may be inadmissible.
Next, regarding “receiving support”, the person being called in can engage in part-time work by obtaining a ” Permission to engage in activities under the permitted other than the status of residence(資格外活動許可)” in addition to the ‘Dependent’ permit, but only within the scope of “support”.
Those with a ‘Dependent’ visa can engage in part-time work up to 28 hours per week if they obtain a “Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence”. If the result of this part-time work exceeds the salary of the supporter working on a work visa, the “scope of support” has been exceeded and the person is assessed as “not receiving support”.
Point 3: Living together
In particular, in the case of married couples, the principle is that they must live together.
The Japanese Immigration Service Agency focuses on “cohabitation” as one of the criteria for determining “marital status”. If the couple does not live together, the application will not be rejected in all cases, but the circumstances must be explained.
Possible examples include when one of the spouses moves out on their own for reasons such as not being able to move their children to a new school, or when a child starts living on his/her own to go to university. Particular attention should be paid to the separation of married couples, as a firm explanation is required for this.
Does the business condition of the company affect the screening results?
Perhaps this is the biggest concern for foreigners who are running a company and want to invite their family members. If the company is not in a good business condition, you may think that it will be difficult to invite family members.
The conclusion on this is that it depends.
Among those cases, there are some that are likely to be disapproved.
If it is difficult for you (the business manager) to maintain your “Business Manager” visa, there is a high possibility that your family member’s “Dependent” visa will also be denied. Dependent visa is a status of residence for living with a supporter (a family member working under a “Business Manager” visa), so if the supporter is not approved, the application for “Dependent Visa” will also be denied.
In order to maintain a “Business Manager” visa, the company’s business status will naturally be subject to examination. For example, if the company does not conduct business activities in the first place (since financial statements are submitted, it is easy to tell if there are no sales), or if the financial statements are not good, the “Business Manager” visa cannot be renewed because the company is judged to have “no business continuity”.
The Immigration Service Agency’s guidelines for the “Business Manager” status of residence specifically states “business continuity”.
Although “deficit” (no gross profit) or “insolvency” is not the only criteria, especially if the business is in bad condition for two consecutive terms, the applicant will be judged with careful consideration. For more information, please refer to the following link.
▶Reference ：Immigration Service Agency “Clarification of residence status standards for foreign business owners“
With these guidelines in place, there are sometimes those who reduce executive compensation in an attempt to make the company look better run. Reducing executive compensation may make the company profitable. However, the remuneration for executives is a “salary”, and if you do not earn enough to support your family, your family will not be granted a “Dependent” visa.
It is important to note that “company money” is not “manager’s money”, so no matter how much profit the company makes, if the manager’s remuneration is not enough to support his/her family, the “Dependent” visa will be reviewed unfavorably.
There may be some people who keep their executive compensation low for the sake of the company’s profits. Since the “Dependent” status allows them to engage in part-time work with Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence, they may be tempted to use this income to show that they can lead a stable life. However, it should be noted that “Dependent” status is based on the premise of receiving support, so it is not possible to claim a stable household income or livelihood by taking part-time work income into account.
When is the best time to invite family?
This section explains when a business owner can apply to call family members and what to consider when applying.
Can I apply for a business manager (“Business Manager” visa) and a family member at the same time?
It is possible to apply for a business manager (“Business Manager” visa) and a Dependent visa at the same time.
It depends on how many family members will be invited, but as mentioned above, as long as the executive’s remuneration is set to support the family and the business plan is credible, the application will be approved. Of course, this is assuming that the other “Dependent” requirements are met.
Failure to maintain a Business Manager (Business Management visa) will also result in the family member’s “Dependent” not being approved.
As explained on this page, the “Dependent” application does not necessarily require that the business operation be on track. Some of our clients have their entire family members immigrate with them as they start their own businesses. On the other hand, if your “Business Manager” status is not renewed, your family members will not be able to renew their “Dependent” status either. Since the examination for “Business Manager” is based on the “continuity of business”, you need to be very careful.
The business condition of the company itself does not necessarily affect the application for “Dependent Visa”, but considering that the maintenance of the “Business Manager” status is a prerequisite for the applicant, it is desirable for the applicant to receive more than sufficient remuneration from the company and to have a sound business operation when applying for “Dependent Visa”.
The above is an explanation of “”Dependent” status for family members of a person with “Business Manager” status who manages a company.
It is possible for a business manager to apply for “Business Manager” and ” Dependent Visa” for his/her family members at the same time. However, if “Business Manager” is denied, ” Dependent Visa” will also be denied. This is the same for renewal. Since the “Business Manager” examination looks at the continuity of the business, the status of the company is not irrelevant to the application for the “Dependent” visa. If you have any concerns about the relationship between management of a company and permission for Dependent stay, please contact our office.