Japan will establish a new visa status that will make it easier for IT engineers and other workers for overseas companies to reside in the country, the Immigration Services Agency said Friday 2nd February 2024.
The planned status will allow highly skilled workers to work in Japan on a teleworking basis for up to six months while enjoying sightseeing trips, the agency said.
Japan will create the system to accept "digital nomads" who can work from anywhere they happen to be, envisaging that it will attract, among others, workers and owners of consulting companies abroad and YouTubers earning advertising fees from overseas companies.
The agency will solicit public opinions from Saturday and hopes to launch the program at the end of March.
The most similar existing status is usually used by tourists, does not allow work and allows a maximum stay of just 90 days.
To be eligible for the new status, applicants must have an annual income equivalent to 10 million yen ($68,000) or more, be a citizen of one of 50 countries and regions that have visa waiver agreements with Japan and have private health insurance.
Self-employed people will be eligible for the new status only if they do business for overseas revenue. They will be allowed to bring family members who are covered by private health insurance.
Telework has become widely practiced across the globe since the outbreak of COVID-19. There are currently some 35 million digital nomads and the number is on the rise, according to the tour information website A Brother Abroad.