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Immigration Bureau of Japan

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Q&A

ADOBE READER

Q&A

Q1 : I visit Japan for "sightseeing" purpose. May I work in Japan?

A foreign national visits Japan for sightseeing purpose must acquire the status of residence "Temporary Visitor. "Under this status of residence, foreign nationals may not work in Japan except for a certain activity that would yield " incidental remuneration" as stipulated in Article 19-3 of Immigration Control Act Enforcement Regulations.

Q2 : Where should I apply for changing my status of residence, extending my period of stay or acquiring re-entry permit? Who must file an application form?

Residence-related applications, such as for a change of the status of residence, extension of the period of stay, or a re-entry permit, shall be filed by an applicant him/herself by presenting him/herself at the regional immigration bureau that has the jurisdiction over his/her domicile.

The legal representative of an applicant may file an application in lieu of the applicant, and a staff member of the organization wishing to accept the applicant (needs to obtain an approval of the director of a regional immigration bureau), an attorney or certified administrative procedures specialist (needs to make a notification to the director of a regional immigration bureau), or a relative or person living with the applicant (when the applicant is younger than 16 or when the applicant cannot present him/herself due to a disease or other reason) may such procedures as submitting application documents.

Q3 : What is a difference between multiple and single re-entry permits?

If a foreign national has a multiple re-entry permit, the foreign national may depart from and re-enter Japan any number of times as long as the permit is effective. On the other hand, a single re-entry permit allows the permit holder to depart from and re-enter Japan only once.

Q4 : How long is the re-entry permit effective?

The re-entry permit is effective for 5 years (or 6 years in the case of special permanent resident) at longest since the permit becomes effective. For example, if foreign national's period of stay expires within 5 years after the re-entry permit becomes effective, the foreign national may obtain re-entry permit until his/her period of stay expires.

Q5 : We are foreign national couples. What should I do if we have a baby?

In this case, you need to apply for acquiring status of residence for your baby. Please file the application at the regional immigration bureau that has the jurisdiction over your domicile within 30 days from the date of birth. When you intend to leave Japan within 60 days from the date of birth (excluding the case where you intend to depart from Japan on a re-entry permit (including a Special Re-entry Permit)), you need not file an application for a status of residence for your baby.

Q6 : I am a student with the status of residence of "Student." and want to do a part-time job after school. However, do I need any permit?

A foreign national who is granted a status of residence must receive permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted by the status of residence previously granted if he/she wishes to become engaged in such activities for which he/she receives remuneration as doing part-time job, which are not included in those activities under his/her category of status of residence".

Q7 : I need to submit a certificate of fidelity guarantee. Who should be my "guarantor" in this case? What kind of responsibilities would my guarantor assume?

In the context of Immigration Control Act, the term "guarantor" means the person who promises Minister of Justice to guarantee a foreign national's economic conditions and provide lifestyle guidance including compliance with applicable laws if necessary so that the foreign national would be able to stably and continuously fulfill his/her intended purpose for visiting Japan.

Even if a guarantor gives assurance to Minister of Justice with the certificate of fidelity guarantee, Minister of Justice may not legally bind the guarantor to make good on his guarantee. If a guarantor fails to make good on his guarantee, the immigration control authority only instruct the guarantor to meet his commitments. However, as the authority regards him as not fulfilling his responsibilities in this case, the guarantor will lose his eligibility as a guarantor for entry/residence application process in the future. From these viewpoints, the certificate of fidelity guarantee imposes so-called moral responsibility on the guarantor in this manner.

Q8 : What are the requirements to become a permanent resident?

For applicants who wish to become a permanent resident, Immigration Control Act stipulates the two requirements: "The alien's behavior and conduct must be good"; and "The alien must have sufficient assets or ability to make an independent living." The Act further states "the Minister of Justice may grant permission only when he deems.... that his permanent residence will be in accordance with the interests of Japan."

Let us first explain the aforementioned two requirements. According to Immigration Control Act, these two requirements "do not have to be fulfilled in the case of spouses or children of Japanese nationals, those who have Permanent Residence status or those who are special permanent residents." As these aliens have obviously taken root in Japan, Japanese lawmakers regard it proper to provide these foreign nationals with stable residence on a family basis by easing the requirements on these foreign nationals.

The phrase "The foreign national's behavior and conduct must be good" means that the foreign national has not been punished by imprisonment with or without work or by a fine, or is not under protective measures in accorfance with the Juvenile Act, on the grounds of having violated Japanese laws and regulations, and that the foreign national conducts daily life in a manner that does not elicit social disapproval from the standpoint of antisocial behavior.An applicant foreign national is deemed as having "sufficient assets or ability to make an independent living" if he/she does not pose any burden on the government in his/her daily life and is expected to live a stable future life from the viewpoint of his/her assets or abilities. In this context, even if the applicant does not meet this requirement by himself/herself, the applicant is regarded as satisfying it as long as he/she is expected to continue a stable life on a household basis including his/her spouse.

In the context of the phrase "the Minister of Justice may grant permission only when he deems ...that his permanent residence will be in accordance with the interests of Japan," the applicant must be recognized as beneficial to the Japanese society and economy if the applicant is granted the permanent residence status. In making this judgment, the immigration control authority pays attentions to Japan's capacity to accept foreign nationals(such as Japan's national land conditions, or demographic trends) as well as immigration control-related circumstances at home and abroad, and other factors. Minister of Justice has a wide range of discretion in making judgment on if or not he will grant permanent residence status to foreign nationals. Specifically, the foreign national is found to have resided in Japan as a member of society for a long period of time, to have performed tax obligations and other public obligations, to have observed laws and regulations, and not to be a burden to the public.

Q9 : In which cases will I be revoked my status of residence? Would you tell me some specific cases?

Cases where the Minister of Justice may revoke the status of residence are roughly categorized into the following three:

  1. Where a foreign national has obtained a permit by deceit or other wrongful means Falling under cases where a foreign national has submitted forged or altered documents or materials, entered false statements in a written application, or filed a false application when applying for landing or seeking extension of the period of stay, and thereby obtained a permit
  2. Where a foreign national has failed to continue to engage in the primary activity corresponding to his/her status of residence for a certain period of timeFalling under the following cases (provided, however, that a foreign national who has a justifiable reason for not engaging in the said activity is not subject to the revocation of the status of residence)
    1. The case where a foreign national staying in Japan with the status of residence listed in the Appended Table I of the Immigration Control Act ("Engineer," "Skilled Labor," "Specialist in Humanities/International Services," "Student," and "Dependent," etc.) has failed to continue to engage in the primary activity corresponding to that status for three months or more
    2. The case where a foreign national staying in Japan with the status of residence of "Spouse or Child of Japanese National" (excluding a child of a Japanese national or a child adopted by a Japanese national) or "Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident" (excluding a child born as a child of a permanent resident in Japan) has failed to continue to engage in the activity as a spouse for six months or more
  3. Where a mid- to long term resident has failed to notify his/her domicile or has notified a false domicile Falling under the following cases (provided, however, that a foreign national who has a justifiable reason for not making a notification in relation to I. and II. is not subject to the revocation of the status of residence)
    1. The case where a foreign national who has newly become a mid- to long term resident through obtaining a landing permit or a permit for a change of the status of residence has failed to notify his/her domicile to the Minister of Justice within 90 days
    2. The case where a mid- to long term resident has failed to notify his/her new domicile to the Minister of Justice within 90 days from the day on which he/she moved out of his/her former domicile
    3. The case where a mid- to long term resident has notified a false domicile to the Minister of Justice
Q10: What kind of procedures is taken when my status of residence is to be revoked?

When revoking the status of residence, an immigration inspector shall listen to the opinion of the foreign national whose status of residence is to be revoked. The foreign national may state an opinion, submit evidence, or seek inspection of reference materials upon the hearing. Furthermore, the foreign national may select his/her agent upon the hearing, and may request that such agent would participate in the hearing of opinions in lieu of him/herself.

Q11: If I was notified of visiting a regional immigration bureau, and neither my agent nor I visited the bureau by the prescribed deadline, what will happen to me?

If neither you nor your agent appeared at regional immigration bureau by the specified deadline without justifiable reason , your status of residence might be revoked without holding opportunities to hear your opinions. For this reason, if you have an unavoidable circumstance such as illness and are unable to visit regional immigration bureau by the deadline, please contact the regional immigration bureau in advance.

Q12: Who can participate in the procedures for the hearing of opinions as an agent of a foreign national whose status of residence is to be revoked?

Those who can participate in the procedures for the hearing of opinions as an agent are a legal representative, such as a person who has parental authority or a guardian of a minor, or an attorney entrusted as an agent by a foreign national whose status of residence is to be revoked has delegated.

Q13: How will I be notified if my status of residence is revoked?

The revocation of the status of residence shall be made by the service of a written notice of the revocation of the status of residence. The service of the written notice shall be forwarded to the domicile of the foreign national whose status of residence is to be revoked or shall be directly handed over to the relevant foreign national.

Q14: If the immigration control authority decides to revoke your status of residence, do I have to immediately leave Japan?

After the status of residence has been revoked, either of the following procedures shall be taken.

When the use of wrongful means has been highly vicious (when a foreign national has falsified the fact that he/she falls under any of the grounds for denial of landing, or has falsified the details of the activity that he/she engages in inside Japan), the procedures for deportation shall be taken immediately after the revocation of the status of residence.

On the other hand, when the use of wrongful means has not been so vicious (when an applicant has falsified his/her personal history or when any person other than the applicant has submitted documents, etc. containing statements that are not true), when a foreign national has failed to engage in the primary activity corresponding to his/her status of residence for a certain period of time, when a mid- to long term resident has failed to notify his/her new domicile or has notified a false domicile, the period up to 30 days which is deemed necessary for departing from Japan (grace period for departure) shall be designated at the time of the revocation of the status of residence, and the relevant foreign national is required to depart from Japan voluntarily within the said period..

Q15: If the immigration control authority revokes my status of residence and gives me the grace period for departure, will the authority treat my departure from Japan in a normal way? Or, will the immigration control authority treat me as being deported from Japan?

If you leave Japan during the departure grace period after the immigration control authority revokes your status of residence, you will be treated in the same way as leaving Japan within your period of stay.

Q16: If the immigration control authority revokes my status of residence because of my nonattendance at school, provides me with the departure grace period, and I enter a different educational institution during my departure grace period, then will the immigration control authority grant the status of residence " Student" again?

If your status of residence is revoked, you may not change your status of residence or extend your period of stay. For this reason, you will first have to leave Japan and then go through necessary procedures for entering Japan again (e.g., application for Certificate of Eligibility).

Q17: I heard that even in the case where a foreign national with the status of residence of "Engineer" has resigned from a company and then has failed to continue to engage in the activity corresponding to his/her status of residence for three months or more, if he/she has a justifiable reason, his/her status of residence shall not be revoked. Is that true?

Even in the case where a foreign national staying in Japan with the status of residence listed in the Appended Table I of the Immigration Control Act ("Engineer," "Skilled Labor," and "Student," etc.) has failed to continue to engage in the primary activity corresponding to that status for three months or more, if he/she has a justifiable reason for staying in Japan without engaging in said activity, he/she is not subject to the revocation of the status of residence.

Whether a foreign national has a justifiable reason shall be determined specifically on a case-by-case basis. For example, a foreign national may be deemed to have a justifiable reason in the following cases and he/she may not be subject to the revocation of the status of residence:

  1. The case where a foreign national is deemed to have carried out specific job-hunting endeavors after resigning from a company, such as visiting other companies for looking for a new workplace
  2. The case where a foreign national has been taking procedures necessary for entering another educational institution after the closure of the educational institution he/she had been enrolled in
  3. The case where a foreign national who needs long-term hospitalization for medical treatment and is forced to take a leave of absence from the educational institution, has an intention to resume his studies at the educational institution after leaving the hospital
  4. The case where a foreign student who has graduated from an advanced vocational school has been accepted for enrollment by a Japanese university
Q18: I heard that even in the case where a foreign national got married with a Japanese national and has been staying in Japan with the status of residence of "Spouse or Child of Japanese National," but has failed to continue to engage in the activity as a spouse for six months or more after having got divorced from the Japanese national, if he/she has a justifiable reason, his/her status of residence shall not be revoked. Is that true?

Even in the case where a foreign national staying in Japan with the status of residence of "Spouse or Child of Japanese National" (excluding a child of a Japanese national or a child adopted by a Japanese national) or "Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident" (excluding a child born as a child of a permanent resident in Japan) has failed to continue to engage in the activity as a spouse for six months or more, if he/she has a justifiable reason for staying in Japan without engaging in the said activity, he/she is not subject to the revocation of the status of residence.

Whether a foreign national has a justifiable reason shall be determined specifically on a case-by-case basis. For example, a foreign national may be deemed to have a justifiable reason in the following cases and he/she may not be subject to the revocation of the status of residence:

  1. The case where a foreign national temporarily needs to evacuate or to be protected on the ground of violence from his/her spouse (so-called domestic violence)
  2. The case where a foreign national lives apart from his/her spouse due to an unavoidable reason, such as the need of child rearing, but share the same means of livelihood
  3. The case where a foreign national has been out of Japan over a long period with a re-entry permit (including a Special Re-entry Permit) due to a disease, etc. of his/her relative in his/her home country
  4. The case where a foreign national has been under mediation of a divorce or divorce action
Q19: I heard that even in the case where a mid- to long term resident has failed to notify his/her domicile, if he/she has a justifiable reason, his/her status of residence shall not be revoked. Is that true?

Even in the case where who has newly become a mid- to long term resident through obtaining a landing permit or a permit for a change of the status of residence has failed to notify his/her domicile to the Minister of Justice within 90 days from the day on which he/she obtained the said permit, or where a mid- to long term resident has failed to notify his/her new domicile to the Minister of Justice within 90 days from the day on which he/she moved out of his/her domicile previously notified to the Minister of Justice, if he/she has a justifiable reason for not notifying his/her domicile, he/she is not subject to the revocation of the status of residence.

Whether a foreign national has a justifiable reason shall be determined specifically on a case-by-case basis. For example, a foreign national may be deemed to have a justifiable reason in the following cases and he/she may not be subject to the revocation of the status of residence:

  1. The case where a mid- to long term resident has lost his/her domicile due to the sudden bankruptcy of the company he/she had been employed or due to the termination of the worker dispatch contract, and has not found a new domicile due to financial poverty
  2. The case where a mid- to long term resident temporarily needs to evacuate or to be protected on the ground of violence from his/her spouse (so-called domestic violence)The case where a mid- to long term resident has been hospitalized for medical treatment or other unavoidable medical reason can be found, and there is no other person to make a notification in lieu of the relevant person
  3. The case where a mid- to long term resident has been out of Japan with a re-entry permit (including a Special Re-entry Permit), such as where he/she has departed from Japan with a re-entry permit for a sudden business trip immediately after changing his/her domicile
  4. The case where a mid- to long term resident has not decided his/her domicile due to the nature of his/her activity in Japan, such as the case where he/she frequently repeats business trips and stays in Japan for a short period each time