Japan to Launch a Digital Nomad Visa in March

If six months in Japan is on your bucket list, you're going to want to hear this

A view of Tokyo, Japan. A new digital nomad visa will allow visitors to stay for up to six months.
A nice place to stay for six months, if you qualify
Getty Images

Ever dreamt of a prolonged stay in Japan, one that exceeds what the visa-free, 90-day term currently allows? You’re in luck. The country has just announced that it will become the latest to introduce a digital nomad program, with the roll out expected to begin as early as next month.

According to The Japan Times, the new six-month digital nomad visa will allow visitors from 49 countries and territories to stay in Japan under the “specified activities” visa category. They, along with their spouses and/or children, will be allowed to work remotely from anywhere in the country without being employed in Japan.

There are, of course, a few stipulations. In addition to needing private health insurance, applicants must also make a minimum of 10 million yen, or just over $67,308 (for context, when Iceland debuted its digital nomad visa it was only for people who made $88,000 a year). The country from which the applicant is traveling must also be one that Japan has signed both tax treaties as well as agreements eliminating the need for short-term visas.

Iceland’s New Remote-Work Visa Program Is Only for People Who Make More Than $88,000 a Year
The globe’s latest “digital nomad visa” is intended for those with deeper pockets

At this time, it’s not abundantly clear how to apply, nor when exactly the application will become available. Once a visa is up, however, it cannot be renewed after six months — only reapplied for six months after leaving the country. Per the report, the half-year term was decided based on a survey in which digital nomads agreed that it was an ideal span of time.

For the uninitiated, a digital nomad is a person who travels and works remotely. Once reserved for a select group of people, typically gig workers, the term came to encompass a significantly wider demographic in 2020 due to the sudden and unanimous rise of remote work. Since, destinations that include Brazil, Mexico, Barbados, Thailand, Germany, Norway and Spain have become hotbeds for digital nomads, thanks to the implementation of visa programs.

Being that Japan had some of the world’s strictest Covid-19 border controls — visa-free travel wasn’t reinstated until late 2022 — it’s no surprise that it was a little late to the party. That said, the 40 million or so digital nomads around the world would probably argue better late than never.


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