Immigration is one of the primary concerns for any contractor hoping to start working in Japan. Permanent employees will find it easy to get their Japan work permit because they’ll receive “sponsorship” for their entire stay from their prospective employer.
There are many statuses of residence for individuals working in Japan, each allowing the holder to work in a specific field (e.g. professor, artists, religious activities, business manager, legal/accounting services, medical services, researcher, education, engineering, entertainment and skilled labour). These various Japanese residence permits are dependent on this sponsorship because it confirms that you’ll be earning money during your stay in the country. Contracting in Japan is difficult because the work visa is tied to one employer, so you have to change it to suit each new contract. Thankfully, umbrella companies provide a convenient and effective solution to this issue.
As your permanent employer, umbrella companies are able to sponsor you for your working visa provided they’re on the register of approved sponsors. Many different companies offer this service, because it makes contracting in Japan infinitely simpler and saves you the hassle of continuous paperwork. Instead of changing your work visa every time you get a new contract, you can just work how you ordinarily would under the same visa. They protect you from the bureaucratic “rain” of legal compliance with the Japanese immigration authorities. They can even deal with the Japanese Embassy directly.
Through their service you may be able to use a tourist visa (including business visa) to get started quickly and then transition to a working visa in Japan. It depends on your specific visa requirements. Be aware you may have to register for a residence permit in Japan.