Entry Procedures ＜Landing Procedures for foreign nationals (Article 6, Immigration Control Act)＞
A foreign national must satisfy the following conditions for landing in Japan (Article 7, Paragraph 1 of the Immigration Control Act) before he is permitted to enter the country with the status of residence and period of stay authorized.
- The foreign national must hold a valid passport with a valid visa issued by a Japanese counsular officer;
- The activities that the foreign national will be engaged in Japan as stated in the application must be true;
- The activities that the foreign national will be engaged in while in Japan as stated in the application must fall under one of the statuses of residence. (For some of the statuses of residence, the foreign national must, in addition, satisfy the landing permission requirements stipulated by the Ministerial Ordinance to Provide for Criteria pursuant to Article 7, Paragraph 1 (2) of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.)
- The period of stay as requested in the application must comply with the provisions of the Ministry of Justice Ordinance.
- The foreign national must not fall under any of the grounds for denial of landing.
An application for landing must be filed at a port of entry or departure in the procedures specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice. A foreign national intending to file an application for landing must provide an immigration inspector with personal identification information (fingerprints and a photograph of his/her face), except for cases where the provision of such information is exempted under laws and regulations.
In the case where a foreign national is not found to conform to the conditions for landing as a result of an examination by an immigration inspector, he/she shall be delivered to a special inquiry officer for a hearing. The same shall apply in the case where a foreign national who is not exempted from the provision of personal identification information (fingerprints and a photograph of his/her face) has rejected the provision of such information.
A foreign national who is found to conform to the conditions for landing as a result of a hearing will be permitted to land in Japan immediately, but a foreign national who is found not to conform to the conditions for landing may choose either to follow the findings by the special inquiry officer or to file an objection and if he/she has chosen to follow the findings, he/she will be ordered to leave Japan. When a foreign national files an objection, he/she may file an objection to the Minister of Justice within three days after the findings were made.
If the Minister of Justice receives an objection from a foreign national whom a special inquiry officer has found not to conform to the conditions for landing, the Minister will decide whether the objection is with reason: that is, whether the foreign national conforms to the conditions for landing. If the Minister decides that the objection is with reason, permission to land will promptly be given to him. If the Minister decides that the objection is without reason, however, the foreign national will be ordered to leave Japan (Article 11, Paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 of the Immigration Control Act). If a foreign national who is ordered to leave Japan fails to do so without delay, he will be deported.
The Minister of Justice may, even if an objection is found to be without reason, give special permission for landing to a foreign national if the foreign national has received re-entry permission or if the Minister finds that there are special extenuating circumstances that warrant the foreign national to land (the "special permission for landing" provided for in Article 12 of the Immigration Control Act).
Japanese landing examination procedures for foreign nationals allow a foreign national who is not immediately permitted to land ample opportunity to assert and prove that he does, in fact, meet the conditions for landing. To ensure that the examination is conducted carefully, it is composed of three steps.
* A "special inquiry officer" refers to an immigration inspector designated by the Minister of Justice,who is authorized to hold hearings for landing examination procedures and deportation procedures.