TokyoDev forum

Freelancing as a student

Hey everyone, I just got to Japan a week ago on a student visa that I got permission to work part time
with. I’ve been a software developer for 7 years and my former employer agreed to hire me as a contractor while in Japan. However I am having some issues fingering out how and if I can do this in Japan now that I am here. I have heard different things from different people and wanted to see if anyone on here knows what I can do. At this point my next step is to go to an immigration office and see if they will agree to let me do this remote part time work for a foreign company without an office in Japan.

If they say no then the only other option I can see right now is to try to find a middleman to hire me part time and then have my former employer pay for my work through that company. The only place I have found that might be able to do this is remote.com but I don’t know if they really can or want to. I wanted to see if anyone on here knows of any other options for this. I know it would be a hassle for a company here to set up but it seems like it would be good for them as well since they would take a percentage of what I earn and/or a fee. So I am hoping to find someone interested if I need to go that option.

From what I’ve heard, if you’re on a student visa with the permission and stay within the 28 hours, you should be fine. If you want to confirm this, I’d call the immigration information service, rather than going in person. It’s tricky to get through, but beats the trip.

If you do decide to go with an intermediary company, Deel is worth looking into. They specifically have an option for freelancers, which is 49 USD per month, and they don’t take any percentage.

The issue I am seeing is with being an independent contractor. I have unspecified permission to work but specified covers one person businesses where hours are hard to track. So I think I may need to get this type of permission. I have an appointment with FRESC to talk about this on Friday so hopefully they will be able to help.

Deel looks interesting. Unfortunately I think I would need to be an employee which might be an option if they are willing. It does seem like they take a $600 bite out of my paycheck though which pretty crummy but I’ll take it to continue working as a developer. I’ll still make enough money to survive.

I am also looking into remote.com but it seems like they cannot hire employees in Japan so that does not seem like an option. I could be wrong though this is all very confusing.