langage change

Immigration Bureau of Japan

sp menu

Delivery of the Suspect; Investigation of violations; Hearing; Filing of an Objection, Decision, and Special permission for residence

1 Delivery of the Suspect (Article 44, Immigration Control Act)

If an immigration control officer has detained a suspect after investigation of violations, the officer must deliver the suspect to an immigration inspector together with the records and evidence within 48 hours from the time he has taken the suspect into custody. This is called "delivery of a suspect." After accepting the delivery of the foreign national the immigration inspector will examine if or not the immigration control officer has properly conducted the investigation of violations.

An immigration inspector shall, when a suspect has been delivered to him pursuant to the provision of the preceding article, promptly examine whether the suspect falls under the category of alien subject to deportation (alien who falls under any of the items of Article 24 but does not fall under the category of alien subject to a departure order; hereinafter referred to as the same).

According to Article 63 of the Immigration Control Act, if a suspect is taken into custody in the criminal procedures (e.g., detention pending trial, or serving a sentence), the immigration control authority may deport the suspect even though the suspect is not taken into custody with a written detention order. For this reason, the immigration control authority might sometimes conduct the investigation of violations, and an immigration examiner will take over the case from immigration control officer.

2 Examination (Articles 45 to 47, Immigration Control Act)

An immigration inspector shall, when a suspect has been delivered from immigration control officer, promptly examine whether the suspect falls under the category of alien subject to deportation ( foreign national who falls under any of the items of deportation but does not fall under the category of foreign national subject to a departure order). If the immigration inspector determines the suspect is a foreign national subject to deportation, and the suspect accepts his/her charge and wishes to go back to his/her home nation, then a supervising immigration inspector will issue the deportation order. In this case, the suspected foreign national will be deported from Japan.

On the other hand, if a suspect argues that the examination has some errors, or if a suspect wishes to stay in Japan, the suspect may request the hearing process, which represents the second stage of the examination.

An immigration inspector shall immediately release a suspect when he has found, as a result of examination, that the suspect does not fall under any one of the items for being deported.
In addition, if an immigration inspector has found that the departure order would be applicable to the suspect, and a supervising immigration inspector gives the departure order, an immigration inspector shall immediately release the suspect.

3 Hearing (Article 48, Immigration Control Act)

If an immigration inspector finds that deportation will be applicable to a suspect, the suspect sometimes argues an error in the immigration inspector's findings, or the suspect wishes to stay in Japan. In this case, the suspect may orally request a special inquiry officer for a hearing within 3 days from the date of notification. In this case, the suspect will go through the hearing session on him. This is called the hearing by special inquiry officer. A special inquiry officer is senior-class immigration examiner designated by the Minister of Justice.

A special inquiry officer will examine if or not the immigration inspector 's findings have error. If the special inquiry officer finds no error in the immigration inspector 's findings, and the suspect also accepts the findings and wishes to go back to his/her home nation, then a supervising immigration inspector will issue the deportation order. In this case, the suspected alien will be deported from Japan.

On the other hand, if a suspect argues that the said findings have some errors, or if a suspect finds no error in the said findings but wishes to stay in Japan, the suspect may file an objection to the Minister of Justice, which represents the third stage of the examination.

A special inquiry officer shall immediately release a suspect when he has found, as a result of hearing, that the suspect does not fall under any one of the items for being deported. In addition, if a special inquiry officer has found that the departure order would be applicable to the suspect, and a supervising immigration inspector gives the departure order, a special inquiry officer shall immediately release the suspect. In the process of hearing, the suspect or a suspect's agent may submit evidence, ask a witness questions, and make a relative or acquaintance attend the hearing after obtaining permission from special inquires officer. On the other hand, special inquires officer may summon a witness, make the witness swear an oath and request the witness to give testimony.

4 Filing of an Objection (Article 49, Immigration Control Act)

If a suspect argues that the immigration inspector's findings or the special inquiry officer's findings have some errors, or if a suspect finds no error in the said findings but wishes to stay in Japan, the suspect may seek the Minister of Justice for the final decision by filing an objection in writing to the supervising immigration inspector within 3 days from the date of notification. This is called the filing of an objection.

In the case of filing an objection, a supervising immigration inspector who has a higher rank than special inquiry officer will send the documents to the Minister of Justice. Supervising immigration inspector has the highest-rank immigration inspector and is designated by the Minister of Justice.

5 Decision by the Minister of Justice (Article 49, Immigration Control Act)

After accepting the objection filed, the Minister of Justice will not directly examine the suspect. However, the Minister will make a decision after examining the evidence prepared in the process of immigration control officer's investigation of violations, immigration inspector's examination and special inquiry officer's hearing.

If the Minister of Justice finds no reasonable ground in the objection filed by the suspect, the Minister will notify a supervising immigration inspector of such findings, and then a supervising immigration inspector will issue the deportation order.

On the other hand, if the Minister of Justice notifies a supervising immigration inspector that the suspect does not fall under any reason for deportation and has reasonable ground in the objection filed, the supervising immigration inspector must immediately release the suspect. In addition, if the Minister finds reasonable ground in the objection filed and notifies a supervising immigration inspector that the departure order would be applicable to the suspect, and a supervising immigration inspector gives the departure order, then an immigration inspector shall immediately release the suspect.

6 Special permission to stay (Articles 50 and 61-2-2, Immigration Control Act)

Even if finding no reasonable ground in the objection filed, the Minister of Justice may grant special permission for residence in the following cases. This special decision by the Minister of Justice is called special permission to stay.

  • The suspect has obtained permission for permanent residence (Article 50, Paragraph 1(1), Immigration Control Act);
  • The suspect has had in the past a permanent domicile in Japan as a Japanesenational (Paragraph 1(2));
  • The Minister of Justice finds any other grounds for granting special permission to stay (Paragraph 1(3)); or
  • The suspect is recognized as a refugee (Article .61-2-2, Immigration Control Act)

7 Issuing the deportation order (Article 51, Immigration Control Act, etc.)

If a supervising immigration inspector is notified that the suspect has accepted the immigration inspector 's findings or special inquiry officer's findings, or if the Minister of Justice notifies a supervising immigration inspector that the minister finds no reasonable ground in the objection filed, the supervising immigration inspector will issue the deportation order.

Foreign national who is called "the suspect" in the deportation procedures will turn into "the subject for deportation" when the supervising immigration inspector issues the deportation order. In this case, the foreign national will be surely deported from Japan.