Most spouses have a visa status of “dependent.” This status does not allow the spouse to work full time.
The request for a change in visa status is done at an Immigration office in Tokyo. However, it involves statements from the employer and an Employment Agreement or Contract, so it cannot be applied for until the person has actually found employment. The tax implications for the working spouse must be investigated. Once the status of “dependent” is changed, the working spouse can no longer claim himself or herself as a dependent. The spouse is now also responsible for filling a Japanese income tax form and for payment of all taxes.
This change of status process usually takes 3-4 weeks, once all the paperwork has been completed and submitted to immigration.
A dependent is able to apply for a part time job of up to 28 hours per week without changing the visa status. However, it is required to apply for special permission from immigration.