If you’ve ever dreamt of living in Japan, now’s your chance. The country is launching a digital nomad visa next month that’ll let remote workers from one of 49 nations, including Australia, stay in the country for up to six months, provided they meet some criteria.
Currently, Australians are only able to stay in Japan for up to 90 days without needing a visa and can’t legally work while there. Set to launch in late March 2024, the new visa will apply to nations that have signed a tax treaty with Japan or hold visa-exempt status in the country.
Along with Australians, the visa also applies to South Koreans, Singaporeans, and Americans. All EU countries are included, along with Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkiye, and the UK.
The visa targets highly skilled professionals, particularly those working in IT. To apply for it, you must prove you have an annual income of at least 10 million Japanese Yen, which is roughly AUD $103,800. The offer extends to self-employed and freelancing remote workers — applicants don’t need to be employed by a separate company. Applicants must also show they have private health insurance.
While you can re-apply for the visa to stay in Japan longer than six months, you’ll need to leave the country to renew it, meaning consecutive stays won’t be possible.
Spouses and kids will be allowed to accompany digital nomads during their stay in Japan, provided they too are covered by private medical insurance. Visa applicants won’t be eligible for residency in Japan and won’t be allowed to rent long-term accommodation.
The new visa was designed to boost Japan’s economic growth and consumption, the country’s government said when it announced it, as per Japan Today.
Digital nomads “can become a source of innovation”, said Justice Minister Ryuji Koizumi during a press conference. “While many countries are making efforts to attract them, we hope those people will work in Japan too.”