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Permit to engage ... ==> Work visa

Japan With Kids - Forums: Immigration/visas/re-entry permits/naturalization: Permit to engage ... ==> Work visa
By Mina on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 11:14 am:

I am on a dependent visa with permission to work upto 28 hours per week. If my company sponsors me for a work visa, should I accept it? My salary would be same in both cases. What I want to know is what are the tax implications if I change from dependent visa to work visa?
Since the money paid to me would be nearly same in both cases, would a work visa mean that I would have lower salary because of additional taxes like resident tax etc.,
Thanks for any input.

By Justin Klip on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 11:22 am:

A good question. Unfortunately we have a similar question. We are moving this week to Japan.
My wife would love to work again as well. Do dependants automatically get a work permit up to 20 (or 28) hours. For us that should be sufficient since she is a singer and will never work more then 20 hours (nett) a week. On the other hand we heard that work permits for entertainers in general have been very tight lately..
Can anybody provide us with some info

By Anne Bergasse on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 1:21 pm:

There is no tax relevance to the dependant visa or working visa, unless you are earning so little that you can be declared as a dependant on your sponsor's income tax return. If your income is at a normalish level then your tax is simply based on your declared income regardless of your visa status.
The important difference between these two visas is the source of sponsorship and the security that goes along with that. The dependant visa (source: family or spouse) allows you to work a maximum of 28 hours a week but there is no enforcement procedure at immigration to make sure that this is the case and your income declaration and tax receipt doesn't show this. Many people work on dependant visas. With a working visa (source: company sponsor) the company is bound to guarantee you and they are required to submit a contract to Immigration showing the salary and period. The process of changing your visa status is not easy and is time consuming so if a company is motivated to do this, its likely they are seeking to make your visa situation comply with strict immigration rules and/or to secure a contractual relationship with you. Hope this helps. anne

By Mina on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 5:28 pm:

Dear Anne,
Thanks for the message. I think I will reframe my question here.

If I change from Dependent visa with Work Permit to Work Visa sponsored by my company do I have to pay resident tax, health insurance and unemployment insurance or can my husband continue to do that through his company, the way it is happening now.

By Anne Bergasse on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 6:16 pm:

Your visa status has nothing to do with
those taxes you mentioned. Your husband
can apply for family health insurance to
have you covered under his insurance or
you can apply for your own. As a
resident of Japan you are subject to
resident tax if you are earning enough
income to pay income tax. No way around
that and usually this particular tax is not
paid by the company so I'm not sure how
the company is picking up this tab unless
your housing is provided. Unemployment
insurance is optional both for you and
your husband. Pension is optional only for
you and you should opt out since, as a
foreigner, you are not able to receive a
You can be a tax deduction for your
husband if your income is very very low.
Beyond that, residing in Japan, on a
dependant visa has no benefit to either
one of you, other than the sponsorship to
allow you to live and work here.

I hope that helps a bit more.

By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 12:31 am:

I wonder why you say resident's tax is not usually paid by the employer? Our company is required to withhold it and pay it for our employees.

I also wonder why you say pension is optional for Mina. I thought "technically", all wage earners were supposed to participate. (though there is more wiggle room on this than resident's tax)
Also, I thought non-Japanese can apply for pension if they pay in and live here long enough.


By Vera Andriani on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 12:02 pm:

Hello there,
I would like to get information about how to change IntraCompany-transferee visa into Investor/Business Manager Visa to enable us to sponsor maid. Is it difficult to change the status of visa? Any advice will be appreciate...Thank you

By Anne Bergasse on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 3:13 pm:

hi Scott
I'm not an expert on this, but perhaps its
different for ex-pat or foreigners re: hires
and packages. The residence tax is related
to the place you live - not the place you
work. Its not typical for a company to pay
this for a Japanese national but perhaps in
your case its part of your package.

As far as I know the law for pension has
not yet been rewritten and it is currently
the case that a foreigner is not eligible to
receive pension. What did change in the
past 5 years or so is the ability to 'opt' out
of having the tax deducted from the salary
of a foreigner and if the deduction is
made, the foreigner can now reclaim this
money when leaving the country or the

This is my understanding when I was up
on all this labor law stuff several years
ago. I would love to hear from others who
have different experiences.


By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 4:11 pm:

Hi Anne-
I'm not on a package from a big company. We own our Japanese company, so I see the payment slips go out every month to each ku that our people (both J & other) live in for their residence tax payment. I wonder why you've experienced it as not being paid....curious.

In addition to what you say about the pension reclaim, my understanding is that there's a cap of some few years' worth that can be reclaimed. But, things do change - even here.

By Anne Bergasse on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 10:57 pm:

Yes Scott, regarding the ku tax, I read in this document ( and I take from your experience, that deducting the ku tax is the practice. Perhaps I misunderstood what was deducted from my salary. I apologize for that and thank you for putting the record straight.

The 'cap' on the pension refund is (I believe) 3 years.
cheers, anne

note from admin: It appears that regardless who is collecting the residence tax, it is still the employee who is paying it, neh?

By Mina on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 10:36 am:

Anne, Scott

So it means if I change to work visa, I have to pay resident tax, health insurance and pension from my salary.

By Anne Bergasse on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 12:42 pm:

You might be covered under your
husband's health insurance already if it is
a family plan. Your resident tax may also
be covered - you can check that with his
company and with your local ku office as
to who is paying it. If its not being paid,
and you are registered as a resident, they
would have sent your tax bills to your
home. If both the insurance and ku tax are
covered by your husband's company, then
its a case whether your company can waive
the deduction in lieu. The pension - as I
mentioned before - you can opt out of
paying or pay it and plan to collect 3 years
when you leave the country.
The best people to talk to about this are
the accounting/payroll departments of
both companies. They will help you sort it
out and they may even converse with each
other to find out the best way to deal with
There is also some english information
relating to this on the web - you will have
to do a bit of searching for it under Labor
laws and taxes etc.
Hope this helps.

By Anne Bergasse on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 12:49 pm:

Your company may be able to opt out of
deducting your paycheck, if you are
already covered by your husband's
company. The best people to ask about
this are the payroll/accounting
departments of both companies. They may
even talk with each other to figure out the
best solution for you.
hope this helps.

By Mandavikapoor on Thursday, May 8, 2008 - 11:58 am:

Hi Anne,

I am on a dependent visa right now...may have an opportunity to work full time as a teacher in kindergarden, just given my interview.Can u tell me the documents required to change my status to work permit and also will the status be"instructer"?Actually I don't have a qualified degree as a teacher so the school says if they sponser me it will require many documnets like B.S. in educational filed and that I don't have. Kindly guide.

By Abinitio on Thursday, May 8, 2008 - 7:06 pm:

hi Mandavikapoor

'Instructor' status is only for teachers of Ministry accredited schools. You need to change your status to 'specialist in humanities' and need the 'change of status' application forms. To acquire this change in status you need a degree and some experience in the field. If you do not have a degree but can prove 5-10 years relevant experience, you may be able to be approved.
Hope this helps.

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