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Startup Visa (Entrepreneurial Incentives for Foreigners)

Japanese

 As the City of Kitakyushu has been designated as a national strategic special zone, it will soon be easier for foreign nationals to start a business in the city by using the “Startup Visa (Entrepreneurial Incentives for Foreigners)”.

Overview

 For a foreign national seeking to start a business in Japan, it is currently mandatory to obtain the “Business Manager” status of residence. The visa applicant has to therefore satisfy requirements such as employing at least two full-time staff, or having at least five million yen as business capital or the total amount of capital contributions to the business, in addition to establishing a business office. These requirements have proved to be difficult hurdles for foreign nationals.

 With the “Startup Visa” however, a six-month “Business Manager” status of residence may be granted even if such requirements are not met. The applicant is required to submit the Plan for Business Startup Activities, etc. to the City of Kitakyushu. The City of Kitakyushu will then confirm if the applicant is likely to fulfill the requirements. Thereupon the immigration bureau assesses the applicant on the basis of such confirmation.

 Since foreign nationals have the six-month period to fulfill the requirements, they are able to complete the necessary procedures while preparing to launch their new business.
 

Application for the “Startup Visa”

 To obtain the “Business Manager” status of residence under this scheme, it is necessary to prepare, and submit to the City of Kitakyushu, the Plan of Business Startup Activities, etc. for the business that the applicant plans to start in the City of Kitakyushu, and to receive the City of Kitakyushu’s confirmation of business startup activities.

 The confirmation of business startup activities means that the City of Kitakyushu has assessed whether the applicant, based on the business plan described in his/her Plan for Business Startup Activities, etc., is likely to receive the ordinary status of residence (Business Manager) after a six-month period of stay. Acquisition of confirmation means that the applicant is regarded as likely to succeed in obtaining the status of residence concerned.

 The “Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activity” will be issued to foreign nationals who are granted the Confirmation of Business Startup Activities. Upon receiving the certificate, please apply to the Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau for a Certificate of Eligibility for the status of residence concerned (Business Manager).
 

Eligible persons

Foreign nationals wishing to start a new business in the City of Kitakyushu
(Currently, those who live abroad are eligible.)

Eligible businesses

(1) Eligible businesses are those which are expected to promote the Kitakyushu New Growth Strategy, the aim of which is the promotion of the Comprehensive Strategy of Regional Empowerment for Kitakyushu’s Growth.

(2) Eligible businesses are those which are expected to strengthen the global competitiveness of industries in the City of Kitakyushu and/or to promote job growth in the city.

Documents to be submitted

To apply for the confirmation of business startup activities, foreign nationals must prepare and submit all of the following documents.
Attention: Please fill in the documents in Japanese.

● Application Form for Confirmation of Business Startup Activities
● Plan for Business Startup Activities
● Time Schedule of Business Startup Activities
● Applicant’s Resume
● Documents clarifying where the applicant will be residing for six months after arrival in Japan (e.g. a copy of the lease contract/application form)
● Documents showing the applicant’s cash deposit balance, such as a copy of the applicant’s bank passbook
● A copy of the passport (the page showing the identification details)

Application form
(Appended Form No.1) Application Form for Confirmation of Business Startup Activities(Word:20KB)
(Appended Form No.1-2) Plan for Business Startup Activities(Word:29KB)
(Appended Form No.1-3) Time Schedule of Business Startup Activities(Word:21KB)
(Appended Form No.1-4) Applicant‘s Resume(Word:32KB)
(Appended Form No.1-5) Written Pledge(Word:21KB)
(Appended Form No.1-6) Notice of Change(Word:22KB)

Related documents 
Implementation outline of the Business Startup Program for Foreign Nationals in the Kitakyushu City National Strategic Special Zone(PDF:327KB)

Application desk

Regional Revitalization Promotion Office, Planning and Coordination Bureau, City of Kitakyushu

●Address:1-1 Jonai, Kokurakita-Ku, Kitakyushu City, 803-8501 JAPAN

● Telephone: International Calling +81-93-582-2174

● Email:tokku(at)mail2.city.kitakyushu.jp
 *Please replace “at” with “@”.

●Office hours: 9am to 12pm, 1pm to 4pm (closed on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, and any other non-business days of the Kitakyushu City Government Office)

 *Please let us know in advance that you are submitting an application.
 *Please note that application documents will not be accepted by mail or other methods.

Please make sure that application documents are brought to the designated point of contact by either of the following persons.

(1) Applicant himself / herself
(2) An attorney at law or certified administrative scrivener (Gyoseishoshi) who has notified, through the bar association or certified administrative scrivener association of the attorney at law or certified administrative scrivener, the director of the regional immigration bureau having jurisdiction over the area where such association is located.
(3) Applicant's legal representative
(4) Staff of the business office in Japan of the business which the applicant manages or administers
(5) The person (or a staff member, in the case of a corporation) who has been entrusted by the applicant with the establishment of a place of business in Japan.

*If the application documents are to be submitted by a person falling under (2)~(5), please also submit documentation that verifies the position and the relationship between this person and the applying foreign national.

Issuance of the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities

 This is a certificate to be issued to foreign nationals who have been granted confirmation of business startup activities. When the confirmation of business startup activities is granted, the Kitakyushu City Government’s person in charge will contact the applicant at the point of contact stated in the application form. After being contacted, please come to the Kitakyushu City Hall to receive the certificate.

Application for a Certificate of Eligibility for the status of residence (Business Manager) to the Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau

 Upon receiving the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities, please apply to the Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau for a Certificate of Eligibility for the status of residence concerned (Business Manager). For more information on visa procedures, please directly contact the Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau.

Kitakyushu branch office, Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau

●Address:5-3 Jonai, Kokurakita-Ku, Kitakyushu City, 803-8501 JAPAN
*From October 1, 2018, it will be located at the following address.
 (After change) 5-1 Jonai, Kokurakita-Ku, Kitakyushu City
●Telephone: 093-582-6915
● Office hours: 9am to 12pm, 1pm to 4pm (closed on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, and any other non-business days of the Kitakyushu Branch Office of theFukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau)

After receiving approval for the status of residence (Business Manager) (check of the progress of business startup activities)

 Foreign nationals who received the status of residence concerned (Business Manager) under this scheme, should submit the following documents to the City of Kitakyushu as soon as possible upon arrival in Japan.
Attention: Please fill in the documents in Japanese.

●Notification of Landing
● A copy of the residence card (front / back)

Application form
(Appended Form No.7) Notification of Landing(Word:20KB)

 Furthermore, foreign nationals are subject to checks conducted by the City of Kitakyushu on the progress of business startup activities during the six-month period of stay. These checks will be conducted by Kitakyushu City officials, etc. three times during the six-month period of stay.

 During these checks, you may be requested to provide information such as your office lease contract, staff employment contracts, and bank passbooks. Furthermore, if the progress of business startup activities is not satisfactory, you may be instructed to return to your home country.

Uploader:

International Policy Division,
Planning and Coordination Bureau,
CITY OF KITAKYUSHU
1-1 Jonai, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8501 JAPAN
Tel: 093-582-2146
(International Calling +81-93-582-2146)
Fax: 093-582-2176