Japan is getting ready introduce a one-year startup visa program from 2018 in order to lure foreign entrepreneurs.
The Land of the Rising Sun is expecting to cause competition for talent among the country’s natives to rev up its economy. To be overseen by the trade and justice ministries, the program will take a trial a project nationally from 2018. To be approved by the cabinet on 8 December, it is to be included in an economic package.
The ministries are said to be looking to review laws and ordinances related to it, with the governing tactical special zones to be included in it. Startup visa holders will be allowed to reside in any location in Japan for a year if plans are submitted by them that show that they can open offices and acquire funding when they are residing in the country.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, as per the current system, a foreign entrepreneur wishing to float a company in Japan must secure a business management visa, and also open a Japanese office. Applicants need to hire at least two full-time employees or invest over $44,385 (5 million yen).
Fukuoka and Tokyo Prefecture, however, are special zones where overseas startup entrepreneurs are allowed to stay for six months to make the required preparations for the business management visa. This visa did not take off as only about 30 of them were granted in the last two years. Most overseas entrepreneurs felt that six months was too short a period.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will also establish a model to aid local and regional governments to proactively woo foreign startups.
Certain Japanese will be certified for providing assistance to accountants and lawyers who can converse in foreign languages and also help out in finding office spaces and accommodation.
Enterprises backed by locals will be referred by the ministry to public-private funds and lenders affiliated to the government.
By introducing this startup visa, Japan is expecting to boost its competitiveness globally by coming up with a more welcoming environment to attract expertise from the US, Asia and Europe.
If you are looking to migrate to Japan, get in touch with Y-Axis, a leading company for immigration services, to apply for a visa.