How to Apply for a Japan Startup Visa?


Japan Startup Visa Program allows you to start your innovative business in this country. The requirements for obtaining this visa are not very complicated. You must provide documentation to be eligible for the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activity.

In the following, we explain the application process, the requirements, the Certificate of Eligibility definition, and more.

What is a Japan Startup Visa?

A Japan startup visa is a temporary visa that allows entrepreneurs who do not have sufficient money and time to obtain the business manager visa to start their own business in Japan. To obtain this visa, you must prove that you are running an innovative business in a selected municipality. Local municipalities that offer startup visas are:


Municipalities Validity Municipalities Validity
Tokyo 6 months Kobe city 1 year
Kanagawa Prefecture 6 months Ibaraki Prefecture 1 year
Sendai City 6 months Hokkaido 1 year
Kitakyushu City 6 months Mie Prefecture 1 year
Niigata City 6 months Fukuoka City 1 year
Kyoto 1 year Gifu Prefecture 1 year
Aichi Prefecture 1 year Osaka City 1 year


Keep in mind that holders of long-term Japan visas, such as work and family visas, cannot apply for a startup visa.


What is the difference between the business manager visa and the startup visa?

A startup visa has less strict requirements in comparison with the business manager visa. For example, those who want to apply for a startup visa do not need to invest at least 5 million yen in Japan. They also do not need to have an established operation in Japan before applying for a visa.

What are the requirements for a Japan startup visa?

If you are applying for a Japan startup visa, you must provide the following documents:

  • All applicants for this visa must present a valid passport.
  • Completing the visa application form is mandatory. Citizens of CIS countries (Commonwealth of Independent States) must submit two completed forms. The countries of CIS are:


Azerbaijan Armenia Belarus Georgia
Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Moldova Russia
Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Ukraine


  • Certificate of Eligibility is required for startup visa applicants (the original and one copy)
  • Chinese nationals must provide the following documents to be eligible for the Japan startup visa:
  • Copy of the Chinese Family Register
  • Temporary Residence Permit or Certificate (If the individuals do not have a family register within the area under the jurisdiction of the embassy or consulate where the application will be submitted)
  • Your resume
  • Other documents such as the copy of your bank book
  • The document that can explain where the applicant will be residing for six months after coming to Japan.


What is the Japan Certificate of Eligibility?

Any foreigner who enters Japan for non-temporary reasons needs a Certificate of Eligibility. You must apply for this document before receiving a long-term visa. Immigration services in Japan issue this certificate, so you need a sponsor and proxy in this country to obtain this certificate on your behalf. The issuance of the Certificate of Eligibility facilitates the visa application process. Remember that this certificate is not a substitute for a visa but a prerequisite for obtaining a visa.


How to apply for a startup visa?

  • You must first prepare all the necessary documents. The requirements for this visa vary depending on the region. But we have explained the general documents that you have to provide in the previous section.
  • You must submit your documents to the government agency and participate in an interview. Your application will be evaluated at this stage, and you will be invited to participate in an interview for the final assessment. The Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activity then is issued to you. The issuance of this document indicates that you are eligible to receive a startup visa.
  • Then you have to apply for a visa. After issuing the Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activity, you have three months to send your certificate to the local immigration bureau. Your Certificate of Eligibility will then be issued within one month. After receiving this certificate, you can go to the Japan embassy and apply for a visa.


How you got your startup visa in Japan: first-hand experience

If you have experience getting a startup visa, you can tell your story to us and other readers. Your first-hand experience will help people looking to get a start-up visa to make better decisions. In this segment, we look forward to hearing from you.


Let’s sum up …

In this section, we reviewed the important issues related to Japan Startup Visa, including requirements, processing time, validity, the application process, and other details. If you want to initiate an innovative business in Japan, you can consider a startup visa as an option. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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Comment (1)

  • Koki Reply

    Wow! Thank you for identifying the difference between business and startup visas.

    April 18, 2021 at 12:58 pm

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