Anyone here done freelance work via "Permission to Engage In Other Activities"?


Soon I will be moving to Japan to teach English as an ALT for a year (Instructor Visa). I think doing it for only a year would be a cool thing to do (besides, my Japanese language ability right now is limited) and I plan to use use all the free time ALTs tend to have to switch tech stacks.

However, I’ve been networking and it looks like some opportunities to do some development work on the side are potentially in the future. I know this is probably the type of stuff to consult with an immigration lawyer, but I’m just speculating at this point. Nonetheless, has anyone here been in a similar situation? I’d like to at least know as much as possible about the procedure in case the opportunity comes up.

From all the research I’ve done, it looks like the idea is to go to immigration with the paperwork filled out and a contract from at least one client.

I’ve seen stories and questions from people who did things like switching full-time jobs from ALT to Developer, or get the “Permission to Engage In Other Activities” to do simple stuff like work at a grocery store, but not quite what I would be potentially be doing.

EDIT: I have a computer science degree. I know that either a proper degree or 10 years relevant experience is required for getting a regular engineering visa.

EDIT 2: Maybe I’m misunderstanding how the “Permission to Engage In Other Activities” works. Would freelance work not be relevant for this?

As long as you’re applying for the activities directly rather than doing them in secret it seems like it could work. You might run into a problem with your employer contract more than anything though.

I believe these visas are more about switching jobs than doing side jobs, and many employers explicitly prohibit side work.

Definately check with a lawyer though, and read any contract language from your prospective employer carefully.