Commentary on VISA and Status of Residence
– Measures concerning Status of Residence in response to COVIC-19 infection –

Commentary on VISA and Status of Residence – Measures concerning Status of Residence in response to COVIC-19 infection –

 As the COVIC-19 outbreak spread throughout the world, Immigration Services Agency in Japan is taking a series of actions as (remedies) for foreign nationals who live in Japan (“Foreigners”) according to their types of status of residence. Management of a company is required to stay up to date with the latest information and take necessary procedures for handling the status of residence for their foreign employees and their families.
In this article, we summarized general points describing the action that the Immigration Services Agency will take.

 

 

1. How will the Immigration Services Agency take measures for those who are planning to apply for the acquisition of the status of residence or the extension of their present status of residence?

 For those who are planning to apply for the acquisition of the status of residence and the extension of their present status of residence, they are required to go to regional immigration offices nearby. However, the immigration office including the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau is currently crowded with a lot of applicants and applicants are required to endure long waiting times. With the consideration of the effect caused by the COVIC-19 outbreak, the following measures have been taken to reduce crowding at the immigration office and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

a. For Foreigners whose status of residence will expire on March or April 2020, the regional immigration office will accept the application for the extended period of 1 month after the expiration of Foreigner’s permitted period of residence so that they can change their status of residence and/or extend their present status of residence at the regional immigration office.

b. Foreigners are not subjected to (a) above if they have “Short-Term Stay Visas” or “Designated Activities Visa (During the period of pre-departure preparation”).

c. Foreigners are subjected to (a) above if they are born in Japan and need to acquire the status of residence in March or April 2020.

d. Above (a) –(c) measures will be applied from March 2nd, 2020 (Monday)

 

 

2. Foreigners who cannot return to their countries due to COVID-19.

 Foreigners affected by the COVIC-19 outbreak and cannot return to their home countries. In the consideration of the “principle of humanity”, the Immigration Services Agency allows such Foreigners to extend their stay in Japan for a certain period and approve the application of the status of residence as follows.

 

a. Foreigners with “Short-Term Stay” Visas
For those who have “Short-Term Stay Visas”, they can extend their period of stay in Japan upon application. The period will be extended for 30 days.

b. Foreigners with the status of residence of “Skilled Labor” or “Designated Activities (Workers who work in the construction industry or shipbuilding)”
For those who have of “Skilled Labor” and/or “Designated Activities (Workers who work in the construction industry or shipbuilding)”, they can change their status of residence to “Designated Activities” upon application, only if they wish to continue carrying out the same jobs in the same company. The period will be extended for 30 days and they will be allowed to work in Japan. For those who do not wish to continue work in Japan, their status of residence will be processed with the same procedures as in (3) below.

c. Foreigners with status of residence other than those listed in (1) and (2) above.
For Foreigners who have other types of status of residence than those listed in (1) and (2) above, they can make an application to change their status of residence to “Short-Term Stay” visas. The changed status of residence will be valid for 30 days.

d. The extension of the above-mentioned “status of residence”.
For those whose status of residence has been changed in above (1)-(3) and cannot return to their home countries, they are eligible for the extension of their status of residence in accordance with conditions applies.

 

 

3. Change the status of residence to “Technical Intern” or “Specified Skilled Worker (No.1)”

a. In a case where Foreigners cannot change their status of residence to the next level of “Technical Intern” due to the inability to take a Skill Test.
If Foreigners cannot change their status of residence to the next level of “Technical Intern” because they cannot take the Skill test due to COVID-19, they are still eligible to apply for the change. Upon application, they can change their status of residence to “Designated Activities”. The period of the status of residence is 4 months and they will be allowed to work in Japan. This only applies to the case where Foreigners have the intention of working in the same company while they are waiting for the Skill test to be available.

b. In a case where the change of the status of residence to “Specified Skilled Worker (No.1)” is under preparation.
During the preparation period of change of the status of residence to “Specified Skilled Worker (No.1)”, Foreigners are able to change their status of residence to “Designated Activities”. The period of the status of residence after the change is 4 months and they will be allowed to work in Japan. This only applies to a case where Foreigners have the intention of working in the same company while they are waiting for the change is available for their status of residence.
With the consideration of the effect caused by COVIC-19 outbreak, the necessary documents are simplified for application of “Specified Skilled Worker (No.1)”

 

 

 The COVIC-19 outbreak largely affects Immigration Control in many countries including Japan. The authority will keep us updated according to the change in the situation.
We would like to recommend you consult with our experts earlier if you have any questions or concerns about your status of residence.

 

 

Chinese Lawyer(Not admitted in Japan)