Japan’s One-Year Startup Visa (Status of Residence) has just started in Fukuoka, Aichi, Gifu, Kobe, and Osaka on April 2019.
Now, only in Tokyo and Fukuoka Prefecture, foreign startup founders can reside for 6 months to make the necessary preparations for getting business manager visas (BMVs).
Normally foreign nationals wishing to launch a business in Japan have to obtain directly BMVs. BMVs require an office, at least two full-time employees, a capital of over 5 million yen (about US$34,000), etc. Getting BMVs is very difficult for foreigners.
On the other hand, holders of new startup visas will be allowed to reside anywhere in the local government concerned for one year for their business preparations.
First, foreign entrepreneurs submit their resumes, passports, residences, secure funding during their stays, and business plans, to the local government concerned. Business plans require business contents, offices, definite business activity plans, funds, nominating executives, etc.
The local government screens them and publishes a certificate confirming business startup activities. A certificate holder applies for startup visas to the Immigration Bureau.
Japan’s Startup Visas started in April 2019.