As per reports, Japan is making preparations for launching a new 2-year start-up visa for international students. The new visa will allow international students graduating from specific universities in Japan to stay on in the country for up to 2 years for setting up a new business.
Recently, Japan has opened its borders for international travellers and is allowing entry into the country to foreigners that hold long-term Japanese visas.
As per the official statistics with the Japan Student Services Organization, as of May 2019, universities in Japan hosted a record high of approximately 140,000 foreign students.
In 2019, as many as 25,942 international students were granted Japan work visas after graduating from Japanese universities.
Typically, foreign students intending to start a business in Japan are required to obtain a new visa as a business manager soon after their graduation, failing which they have to return to their home country.
However, in order to be able to secure a visa as a business manager, the international student would have to fulfil certain conditions. These include having an office in Japan, employing a minimum of 2 workers along with possessing at least 5 million yen [$47,800] in capital. Conditions that have deterred many a would-be entrepreneurs in the past.
As a solution, Japan has been offering – in limited parts of Japan from fiscal year 2018 – a 1-year transition period for foreign graduates.
Nevertheless, being geographically limited, the program met with much criticism. Moreover, many were of the view that 1 year was too short a time for starting a new business.
According to the Justice Ministry, around 560 individuals transitioned from a Japanese student visa to a business manager visa in 2018. Of these, only a few were entrepreneurs.
With the new visa, more international students graduating from universities in Japan will be able to fulfil their entrepreneurial ambitions within Japan.
In order to be eligible for the transitional status, a foreign student will be required to have graduated from any of the nearly 40 universities, such as Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo, in Japan.
They will also be required to have received a recommendation from their respective schools, based on their business plans and resumes.
The qualifying schools are a part of an initiative by the government of Japan to globalize Japan’s universities, along with assisting international students find jobs in Japan.
While the COVID-19 pandemic might have stalled global mobility to a certain extent at the moment, the Japanese government believes the heated competition for talent worldwide will resume once the coronavirus pandemic is under control.
Through the new transitional visa specifically targeted at international students graduating from Japanese universities, Tokyo wants a head start on enticing aspiring entrepreneurs. Applications for the new visa are to open shortly.
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