Japan to allow foreign students to apply to switch visa and start their own companies


The government on Tuesday made a decision on a regulatory reform measure to allow foreign students to start their own companies.

With the revision, foreign students will be able to switch their residence status while at university to one that allows them to undertake entrepreneurial activities.

The measure was decided on at a meeting of the Council on National Strategic Special Zones, chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It will be included in a new growth strategy to be approved at a Cabinet meeting in late June.

The government hopes that the measure will help increase the number of enterprises launched by foreign nationals, mainly in areas outside Tokyo.

At present, non-Japanese staying on a student visa cannot start a new business unless they quit or graduate from their schools, go back home and then receive a visa allowing for such an activity.

The government also decided on a measure to enable employers to pay salaries through smartphone payment services, mainly to meet the needs of foreign workers.

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