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Remote Work and Digital Nomad Visas

Remote Work at Foreign Countries

I got the similar types of questions from customers frequently : (1) my partner will go to the United States for entering the school and I will go with him. Then, I plan to continue the current work of Japan remotely in the US. Is this possible? (asked by Japanese), or (2) I want to work continuously even after I will come to Japan. Is this possible to do so without having working visa? (asked by Foreigner). Answers are both NO. Both Japan and the US will not allow the foreigners to work without legitimate status as worker. If they do work without permission, it is Illegal Work and they may be encounter forced repatriation. Many people think the investigator of immigration bureau does not notice such matters. However, they actually check the detailed activities of foreigners. Once such activity come in light, illegal worker will not be able to enter this country for along time after they are forced to go back to their countries. So, be careful.

Because the work at home, not do at workplace became usual during and after the Covid-19 crisis, it is reasonable thought for people that it may be OK to bring the work at the original country after entering the foreign countries. However, at least, Japan and the US do not allow the foreign worker do the remote work after entering the country. Foreigners must obtain the working visa or labor permission (the residence certificate as of Japan) when they maintain their works after entering another country. This is reasonable from the tax point of view. If person, entering and staying the foreign country while paying the tax to their own countries through the work, use the resource and benefit of that countries for free. Rather, the people, coming to the US without having the visa and illegally working, are more useful to the US than the remote worker since they pay the tax to IRS through the employers.


Digital Nomad Visas

Digital Nomad Visas is the one for the foreigners who have work at their own countries and stay temporary to some country with remote work via PC or internet. As I wrote above, the US and Japan currently do not provide such permission. However, more than 50 countries, including European Countries, such as Germany and Spain (I wish I want to go), provide Digital Nomad Visas. The main reason of this permission may be Covid-19 crisis. The countries earning lots of foreign currency by tourism suffer from Covid-19 –  drastically decrease the tourists and still not back to the condition before. The person, having Digital Nomad Visa, will not pay the withholding tax but at least purchase the goods and products through the long stay at that country.  Although lots of countries providing Digital Nomad Visas require the applicants having minimum monthly salary, it’s worth to try since staying at foreign countries will be the good asset during the life.

Not clearly remember but I saw the news that Japanese government begin considering the Digital Nomad Visa to be one of the residence statuses via online. So far, lots of foreigners want to stay temporary or permanently in Japan (the most queries to me on Relocate World are the people like this) though, current Japanese immigration law  requires the foreigners to obtain the residence certificate sponsored by employers or establishing the company (meaning, capital must be more than JPY5M and business office has to be existed). These requirements are difficult for the freelance or retired person having decent asset, property and stable income but not intend to establish the companies. If the government is considering Digital Nomad Visa, I want it to create the Investor Visa like the US as well.

Digital Nomad Visa Service Site

David Cantor, who is a founder of Relocate World (I am an Ambassador of this service) is now managing Citizen Remote, which is Application and Portal Site for helping the customer obtaining Digital Nomad Visa.  Citizen Remote contains the countries that provide Digital Nomad Visa, each country’s requirements and connect the customers and professionals who help the process of Digital Nomad Visa. Although David wants me to be a partner, I am not sure to be because Japan does not provide Digital Nomad Visa. I’m afraid customers chased me the queries but can’t obtain the compensation at all even I will be an partner.

Either way, if the person is planning to stay the foreign country temporary by obtaining Digital Nomad Visa, Citizen Remote is good tool and I recommend to be a member of this service.

**Additional Information
February 2, 2024, Japanese government announced it begins the Digital Nomad Visa. The period of stay is 6 months and (1) the nationality of foreigners are countries participating visa waiver program, (2) yearly salary is more than JPY10M and (3) purchase private health insurance policy. These requirements are not so hard for foreigners because I of the weak yen, lots of middle class person’s salary may over JPY10M. This Visa also allow to bring the spouse and children. I highly recommend to apply this status if the foreigner wants to stay as trial basis. Although there is some issue whether the application system is easy to handle, or application can be done by in English, something new that has a lot of potential.


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