Support for International Students・Foreign professionals

The Kyoto Overseas Business Center aims to strengthen the international competitiveness of Kyoto prefecture’s industries, expand employment, cycle to the local economy. We support entrepreneurship to develop an international economic hub for foreigners who wish to start a business in Kyoto prefecture.

To Kyoto, The Capital of Startup

Kyoto has a strong image as a tourist city, but actually it is one of Japan’s leading manufacturing cities, with the long history of traditional industries that have been inherited over the years, there are located many leading industries and Global Niche Top companies.
Starting with Kyoto University, which has many Nobel Prize winner professors. There are the most advanced academic research institutes such as AI, IoT, and life sciences concentrated in Kyoto, it has an environment which constantly produces innovative companies.
The global accelerator PLUG AND PLAY established a base in Kyoto, and the construction of a high-level ecosystem is progressing. Of course, we provide a living environment wrapped in the essence of Japanese culture.

Applying for a startup visa (Kyoto Prefectural Government Foreign Startup Business Promotion Project)

Foreigners who wish to start a business in Kyoto Prefecture can use the system for foreigner entrepreneurial activity promotion business to stay in Japan with a status of residence “Designated Activities” for up to one year in preparation for starting a business.

To use this system to obtain the status of residence “Designated Activities”, prepare and submit a entrepreneurship activity plan and other required documents about the business you are going to start. You need to get a confirmation from Kyoto Prefecture.

Startup activity plan confirmation
Kyoto Prefecture will issue a “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan” to those who have confirmed the startup preparation activity plan. After receiving the certificate, please apply to the Regional Immigration Bureau to approve the status of residence “Designated Activities”.
*Kyoto Prefecture is certified as a “Foreign Entrepreneurship Promotion Organization” based on the notification of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

1.Outline of Startup visa system in Kyoto

In cooperation with Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto City and JETRO Kyoto in line with Kyoto Prefectural Government Foreign Startup Business Promotion Project, not only support for visa issuance centered on the Kyoto Overseas Business Center, but also (1) manufacturing, life innovation, providing social advice from specialists regarding markets such as business, etc., (2) Support by administrative scriveners, judicial scriveners, etc. when establishing a corporation, (3) Free provision of coworking space (*) and support for rent etc..
*“STC” (shared office) operated by Kyoto Institute of Advanced Technology, shared offices provided by Kyoto Prefectural Cooperation Offices, etc.

2.Target of Project

Foreign nationals wishing to start business in Kyoto Prefecture

3.Business Target

A project that applies to the following fields for the purpose of strengthening the international competitiveness of Kyoto prefecture’s industries, expanding employment, circulating to the local economy, and developing as an international economic hub.

  1. (1) Manufacturing fields such as traditional industries and advanced industries
  2. (2) AI・IoT・Information and communication field
  3. (3) Environment ・Energy field
  4. (4) Life sciences ・wellness
  5. (5) Social business field
  6. (6) Culture ・Art ・Contents
  7. (7) Fields related to agriculture, forestry and fisheries, food culture of Kyoto
  8. (8) Tourism field (excluding tourist souvenir sales facilities and restaurants mainly used for tourists)
  9. (9) Other, fields recognized by the Governor of Kyoto

*Please also refer to Question 38, “Kyoto Prefectural Government Foreign Startup Business Promotion Project (Startup Visa) Q & A”

4.Application procedure

Those who apply for confirmation of the startup preparation activity plan to Kyoto Prefecture, please follow the procedure below.

(1)Pre-consultation

Please be sure to apply for Pre-consultation before applying. The Pre-consultation will provide an overview of how to prepare for a business.
First of all, please contact “12. The consultation and support desk” by e-mail.
Please write your name, address, nationality, current profession, and outline of the new business you plan to do in Kyoto (up to about 200 words) in the main body. The title of the email should be “Pre-consultation”.

At that time, if you also submit the business plan presentation materials (or the draft that you filled out in the “Startup Preparation Activity Plan” (Form 1-2)), you will be able to respond smoothly to the consultation, so please prepare as much as possible.

Depending on the progress of the business plan, it will take some time from the Pre-consultation to the issuance of the“Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan”. Please apply for the Pre-consultation with a sufficient period of time.

(2)Support for creating Startup Preparation Activity Plan

After the Pre-consultation, please receive “Support for creating Startup Preparation Activity Plan”at “12. The consultation and support desk”. The concierge (*) will assist you in preparing a business startup activity plan.

* Concierge: Will support for foreigners who start a new business and support creating a startup preparation activity plan for foreigners starting a new business in Kyoto Prefecture.

(3)Application for confirmation of startup activity plan

Be sure to receive (1) Pre-consultation, (2) Support for creating Startup Preparation Activity Plan before applying.
Please apply as follows. When submitting, please contact the “12. The consultation and support desk” in advance and discuss the visit date. Also, please fill out all the documents to be submitted in Japanese or English.
Please make sure that application documents are brought to “The consultation and support desk” by the applicant himself/herself or a designated agent (*1).

(Form No.1 of 1) Start-up preparation activity plan confirmation application (Form No.1 of 2) Entrepreneurial preparation activity plan (Form No. 3 of 3) Resume (Form No. 4 of 4) Letter of Commitment
Documents that clarify your address for one year after you arrive in Japan or change your status of residence (e.g., copy of rental agreement, copy of rental application form)
Documents that clarify the applicant’s accommodation for one year and return expenses, after landing in Japan or changing the status of residence (e.g., A copy of the applicant’s bankbook, etc.)
Documents that prove that you are fulfilling either one of the criteria under Article 5, paragraph (6) (ⅰ) (v) イ,ロ,ハ, or ニ of the Notification on the Foreign Startup Business Promotion Project (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Notification No. 256 of 2018)(*2).
e.g., graduation certificate, certificate of employment, Company Registration
A photocopy of applicant’s passport (page containing applicant’s photo and passport number). If applicant is already residing in Japan add a copy of both sides of applicant’s residence card in addition with the copy of applicant’s passport as described above.
Other documents deemed necessary by the Governor
*Example of “Other documents”: Documents that clarify the business funds of the business to be carried out in the Startup Preparation Activity Plan (copy of the applicant’s passbook, etc.)

*1
●In the event that applicant is a foreign national seeking to land in Japan, the person entrusted with the establishment of that office in Japan (in cases of a corporation, its staff member)
●An attorney at law or administrative scrivener who has notified the director of the regional immigration services bureau exercising jurisdiction over the area where the bar association or the administrative scrivener association to which the attorney or the administrative scrivener belongs is located through the association
●In either case, please also submit documentation that shows the relationship between this person and the applying foreign national, and that verifies this person is insuch position.
*2
Notification on the Foreign Startup Business Promotion Project (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Notification No. 256 of 2018)
Article 5, paragraph (6) (ⅰ) (v) イ,ロ,ハ, or ニ
イ Graduated from university or received education equivalent to or higher than the above. ロ Completed the specialized course of a vocational school in Japan. (Rules for granting titles of specialists and advanced specialists to persons who have completed a specialized course of a vocational school (1994 Ministry of Education Notification No. 84)official regulations. Limited to those who can be referred to as specialists pursuant to the provisions of Article 2 or those who can be referred to as advanced professionals pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 of the Regulations.) ハ Have at least three years of work experience related to the target field of the business aiming to start a business ニ Have been engaged in the management or management of a business related to the field in a foreign country for one year or more.

(4)Issuance of “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan”

This is a certificate to be issued to those who have been confirmed the Startup Preparation Activity Plan. Whether the application plan for entrepreneurship that you applied is appropriate in order to strengthen the international competitiveness of industries in Kyoto Prefecture and to form a base for international economic activities. In addition, we will examine and confirm whether or not it is reliable after hearing experts’ opinions.
As soon as the confirmation is made, we will contact you , after that, please come to “12. The consultation and support desk” to receive the documents by yourself or a designated agent (same as 4. (3)). It cannot be delivered by mail. Commission is free of charge.
*After receiving the “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan”, please apply for the ”Designated Activities”status of residence at the Regional Immigration Bureau. In addition, if the application is incomplete, or if it does not meet requirements in whole or in part, we will notify you by mail that the “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan” was not issued by issuing the “Notice of Results of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan” (Form No. 5)

  • Application for accreditation of status of residence “Designated Activities” to the Regional Immigration Bureau ●Those who have been issued a “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan” will be certified by the Regional Immigration Bureau of Japan, which has jurisdiction over their place of residence within 3 months, which is the validity period of the “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan”. Please apply for the issuance of a certificate of status of residence.
    ●If you live overseas, please apply for certification at the Osaka Immigration Bureau or the Kyoto branch office.
    ●For details on any of these procedures, please contact the Regional Immigration Bureau, which handles the application procedure, directly.
  • Osaka Immigration Bureau ・Labor examination department Tel: 06-4703-2101
    Osaka Immigration Bureau ・ Kyoto branch office Tel: 075-752-5997
    Web: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/soshiki/kikou/osaka.html

5.Development of startup preparation activities

Within 7 days after landing in Japan if the status of residence is specified (within 7 days after the procedure for changing status of residence is completed for those who already reside in Japan with other status of residence), please submit the “Report of Acquisition (Renewal) of Status of Residence “Designated Activities” ”(Form 9) to Kyoto Prefectural Government and carry out startup preparation activities during your period of stay. During the activity period, we will interview you at least once a month about the progress of the startup activity plan. At that time, you may be required to submit documents (*) that clarify the implementation status of the startup activity plan.
If you have any problems while proceeding with the startup preparation activities, please contact “12. The consultation and support desk”.

(*) Example of documents: Office rent and employee employment contracts, contracts with business partners, applicant’s passbook (Cost of stay, business funding, and traveling expenses to return back to your home country) etc.

(Form No. 9)
Report of Acquisition (Renewal) of Status of Residence “Designated Activities”

6.Application procedure for renewal of status of residence “Designated Activities”

To apply for renewal of the status of residence ” Designated Activities ” after 6 months, you will need to obtain “Startup Preparation Activity Plan Confirmation Certificate (for renewal)” again.
Apply for renewal of confirmation of the startup preparation activity plan at the Kyoto Prefecture, recieve “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan (for Renewal) “, and go to the Regional Immigration Bureau.

The following documents are required to apply for the “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan (for Renewal) ” to Kyoto Prefecture. All documents must be submitted by the principal or designated agent (4) (3)) to “12. The consultation and support desk” at least 2 months before the renewal date.

(Form No. 1 of 2)
Start-up preparation activity plan confirmation application (update)
(Form No. 2 of 2)
Entrepreneur preparation activity plan (update)
Documents clarifying the applicant’s residence for six months after landing or after the period of stay is renewed (a copy of the lease contract, etc.)
Documents that clarify the applicant’s accommodation for six months and return expenses, after updating the status of residence (e.g., A copy of the applicant’s bankbook, etc.)
Other documents required by the Governor.

*Example of “Other documents”: Documents that clarify the business funds of the business to be carried out in the Startup Preparation Activity Plan (For Renewal) (copy of the applicant’s passbook, etc.)

7.After renewing the status of residence “Designated Activities” - Check of the progress of the startup preparation activities

Within 7 days after the renewal of the status of residence ” Designated Activities” is completed 6 months later, please submit the ” Report for Acquisition (Renewal) of Status of Residence “Designated Activities”” (Form 9) to Kyoto Prefectural Government and continue to carry out startup preparation activities to meet the requirements for obtaining the status of residence “Business Manager”. We will continue to hold interviews to confirm the progress of the startup activity plan at least once a month. At that time, you may be required to submit documents (*) that clarify the implementation status of the startup activity plan.

(*) Example of documents: Office rent and employee employment contracts, contracts with business partners, applicant’s passbook (Cost of stay, business funding, and traveling expenses to return back to your home country) etc.

8.Change of residence status to “Business Manager”

If you continue to stay in Japan and manage your business after the expiration of the period of “Designated Activities”, you may change your status of residence to “Business Manager” apply at the Regional Immigration Bureau that has jurisdiction over your place of residence.

9.Change of application content

If there is any change(when the applicant’s residence, contact information, etc.) in the content of the application after applying for confirmation of the startup preparation activity plan to the “12. consultation and support desk “, please immediately submit the following documents to the recipient. The same applies to renewal applications.

(Form No. 3)
Change notification form
Documents that can confirm the changed matters (e.g. copy of lease agreement)

10.Important

If you are denied the acquisition or renewal of ” Designated Activities” status or ” Business Manager” status, or If your “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan “or “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan (For Renewal) ” is cancelled as per the following section 11, you will be required to return to your home country.
Please secure the return travel expenses (equivalent to a one-way ticket to your home country) separately from the business funds. The cost of returning to your home country may be checked with your passbook, etc. at the time of the monthly interview.
And please contact the “12. consultation and support desk” at least one week before departure regarding your return destination and return date.

*Responsibility for applicant’s startup preparation activities and life while staying in Japan and profits and losses incurred when carrying out applicant’s startup preparation activities are all attributed to the applicant. The applicant shall be liable to a third party for the damages arising as a result thereof.

11.Cancellation of “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan”

If the person who receives the “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan” or “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan (For Renewal)” experiences any of the following subjects from the date of issuance of the certificate to the expiration date, we may cancel the issuance of the “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan” or “Certificate of Confirmation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan (For Renewal)”.

When it is found that the applicant has received confirmation of the startup preparation activity due to false application or other fraudulent acts or submission of documents with false statements.
If applicant is involved in any criminal activities, or is found to be a member of a gangster, etc.
If the applicant did not immediately respond to the Kyoto Prefectural Government and / or specialists claimed by the Kyoto Prefectural Government with confirming the progress of the startup activity plan, etc..

In addition, if the confirmation of startup preparation activity is canceled, the “Notification of Cancellation of Startup Preparation Activity Plan Confirmation” (Form 7) will be sent by mail.

12.The consultation and support desk

Submission JETRO Kyoto Trade Information Center (Kyoto Overseas Business Center)
Address KYOTO KEIZAI CENTER Shijyo-dori Muromachi-higashiiru, kankobokocho 78banchi, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto. 3rd floor.
Tel 075-341-1021 (Weekdays 9am~6pm)
E-MAIL KYO-startup@jetro.go.jp
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/startupcapitalkyoto/
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/startup-capital-kyoto/

13.Q&A

  • Questions and Answers about “Kyoto Prefectural Government Foreign Startup Business Promotion Project (Startup Visa) Q & A”(PDF) Startup Visa Q&A(PDF)

14.Various Links