Visa and Immigration News

 

 

Asahikawa branch office will be open in Asahikawa city. Residents in the region can apply for Status of Residence applications such as Certificate of Eligibility, Change of Status, Extension of Period or Permanent Residency.

 

Otaru branch office will be downsized. It will not handle Status of Residence applications. Residents in the region should apply at Sapporo immigration office.

 

 

[CHANGES TO IMMIGRATION LAWS]                                         June 2014

 

Bills to change the immigration laws to let foreign nationals with advanced skills to stay in Japan indefinitely after three years of residency on a highly skilled status of residence passed the Diet in June 2014. The details will be decided and announced later. The change will come into force in April 2015.

 

[CHANGES TO IMMIGRATION LAWS]                                         July 2012

 

Resident Card will be issued instead of Alien Registration Card

 

From July 9, 2012, Resident Cards (RC/zairyu-card) are issued instead of the old Alien Registration Cards (ARC/gaikokujin card).  

 

Under the old ARC system you had to register yourself at a local government office (yakuba) within 90 days after you came to Japan, and then your ARC was issued. The new RC is now issued at the airport when you arrive in Japan. Then you have to report your address in Japan to a municipal office within two weeks, not 90 days. If you are processed through a local airport, your card will be sent to you after you register your address at a municipal office. 

 

Your RC will be issued by Immigration (not the local yakuba) every time you extend or change your Status of Residence, so now the validity of your visa (Status of Residency) and your RC will be the same.

 

 

Temporary Leaving Japan without Re-entry Permit

 

As of July 9, 2012, you do not need to acquire a "Re-entry Permit" (sainyuu koku kyoka) beforehand at a local immigration office if you are returning within one year. To be eligible for this, make sure to check "Departure with Special Re-entry Permission." on your Embarkation Card For Reentrant (ED card) at the airport before you leave Japan. By checking the item you will be granted a "deemed/presumed re-entry permit" upon departure.

 

If you are leaving more than a year, you will need to acquire the permit. Apply for a Re-entry Permit at a local immigration office before you leave. Single Re-entry Permit costs \3,000.

 

 

Resident Registration for Foreign Nationals

 

In Japan, a resident management system called the Basic Resident Register (Juumin kihon daichou) is used to provide administrative services such as education, health care and pension.  Under the system, a Resident Registration Certificate (juminhyo) is created for every individual and filed for each household.  Originally the system was for Japanese nationals only, and administrative services were provided for Non-Japanese by using the information of a separate Alien Registration System. 

 

From July 9, 2012, the Alien Registration System was abolished and Non-Japanese are now also integrated within the Basic Resident Register system.  As a Non-Japanese resident you will be able to receive the same administrative services as Japanese nationals.  Also, you do not have to register your Japanese spouse as the Head of Household (setai nushi) in the resident registration if you are actually the head of the household.

 

 

Extension or Change of visa will not be stamped or sealed on your passport

 

Your SOR will be stamped or sealed in your passport the first time you come to Japan. But when you extend or change your (Status of Residence) at Immigration, your new SOR will not be stamped or sealed on your passport.  Instead, you will receive an Resident Card showing your new SOR and its validity.  This means the Resident Card, not the passport, will be the only document you will need to prove that you can legally stay or work in Japan.

 

ID sized photo will be required to extend or change your visa

 

As a new Resident Card will be issued by Immigration every time you apply for an extension or change, you will have to submit an ID sized photo (4cm X 3cm) for the application. As of September 2012, there is no passport photo booth in the building of Sapporo Immigration. Take your photo beforehand or go to near by photo booth. West 11 station (Subway Tozai Line) and Chuo-ku ward office has a passport photo booth. 

 

 

 

 【北海道内の入国管理局の開設と業務内容の変更  2014年10月6日~】

 

旭川市に出張所が開設します。近隣の方はこちらで在留資格の申請(在留資格認定証明書交付申請、在留資格更新・変更、永住許可等)ができます。

旭川出張所:北海道旭川市宮前通4155番31 旭川合同庁舎

 

小樽市の出張所での在留資格の申請ができなくなるため、札幌入国管理局での申請が必要です。

 

 

【入管法改正法案が成立しました】                   2014年6月

 

在留資格「高度専門職」の新設や「技術」「人文知識・国際業務」の一本化を柱とする法律案が2014年6月に成立し、2015年4月に施行されます。詳細は今後決定・公表されますが、「高度専門職1号」で3年以上在留した外国人は在留期間が無期限となる「高度専門職2号」を取得できる見込みです。

 

 

 【改正入管法のが施行されました】                2012年7月

 

外国人登録証明書に代わって在留カードが発行されます

 

2012年7月9日より、外国人登録証明書にかわり在留カードが発行されるようになりました。

 

外国人登録制度では来日してから90日以内に市区町村役場で手続きすることで外国人登録証明書が発行されました。新しい在留カードは来日した時点で空港で発行されます。その後、住所を決めてから2週間以内に住所の登録をする必要があります。地方空港経由で来日した場合は、在留カードは空港で発行されずに、市区町村役場で住所を登録した後に、在留カードが郵送されます。

 

 

 

1年以内の出入国には再入国許可が不要になりました

 

2012年7月9日より、1年以内に再入国する場合は事前に入国管理局で再入国許可を取得する必要がなくなりました。このためには、出発する前に空港で出入国記録カード(EDカード)の「みなし再入国許可による出国を希望します。」の欄にチェックを入れて下さい。このチェックをすることで再入国許可が受けたものとみなされます。

 

1年以上出国する場合には、許可が必要です。事前に入国管理局で再入国許可を申請して下さい。1回の再入国許可は3,000円です。

 

 

外国人にも住民票が作成されるようになりました

 

日本では、住民基本台帳という制度により教育、医療、年金等の行政サービスが提供されていました。この制度では住民一人一人について住民票が作成され、世帯ごとにまとめてあります。これまでは日本人のみが対象で、外国人については外国人登録制度の情報を利用して行政サービスが提供されていました。

 

2012年7月9日からは、外国人登録制度が廃止され、外国人も住民基本台帳に統合されました。外国人住民として、日本人と同じ行政サービスを受けることができ、世帯主であれば外国人であっても住民基本台帳上の世帯主になることができます。

 

ビザを変更や更新した場合には、パスポートに証印は押されなくなりました

 

日本に最初に来た時には、パスポートにビザ(在留資格)の証印が押されます。その後、日本国内でビザを更新や変更した場合には、パスポートに新しいビザの証印はもらえません。その代わりに、在留資格や在留期間が記載された在留カードが交付されます。そのため日本で滞在や仕事をできることの証明ができる書類は、パスポートではなく在留カードのみになりました。

 

 ビザの更新・変更を申請には写真の提出が必要になりました

 

ビザ(在留資格)の更新や変更の度に入国管理局から在留カードが発行されるようになったため、在留資格の申請をするときは身分証明書用の写真(4cm*3cm)を提出することが必要です。2012年9月時点で札幌入国管理局のビル内に証明写真機はありませんので、事前に準備するか、近隣施設で写真撮影が必要です。地下鉄西11丁目駅、中央区役所等に証明写真機が設置されています。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[POINTS BASED SYSTEM]               DECEMBER 2012

 

The Ministry of Justice announced that it would introduce a points based system to attract more highly skilled workers. The professions will be classified into three categories: academic, highly specialized knowledge/engineering and investment/management.

 

Under the newly proposed system, points will be awarded to doctoral/masters degrees, work experience or higher income. Those who score 70 points or higher will be eligible for preferential treatments such as shorter residence requirements for permanent residency, and spouses will be allowed to work.

 

The date of the introduction of the system is yet to be announced but the Ministry says it will be some time (and as soon as possible) in FY 2012 which starts in April.

 

 

[CHANGES TO IMMIGRATION LAWS]               JULY 2009

 

Reform bills to change the current immigration laws have passed the Diet in July 2009. 

 

The changes below will take place within three years:

 

 - Residence cards (zairyu-ka-d) with IC chip will be introduced to replace alien registration cards (gaikokujin touroku shoumeisho).

 

 - Maximum period for most visas (status of residence) will be extended to five years from current three.

 

- No reentry permit application will be required to leave Japan for less than 12 months.

 

 

The changes below will take place within one year:

 

 -"College student" and "Pre-college student" visa will be unified to "College student" visa.

 

 - Two month residency visa will be automatically granted for those who made an extension application in time. 

 

More information is available at the immigration's web site:

 

Changes to the Immigration Act

 

 

 

 [CHANGES TO IMMIGRATION LAW]                 April  2006

 

Tighter regulations on Teijusha (long term resident) status. The immigration now requires police clearance for both entry and extension

 

  - Applies to Japanese descent (nikkei-jin) except for Japanese

      war orphans left in China

 

  - Applies to both entry and extension

 

  - Brazil: Police clearance by Police Federal and Policia Civil

    

    Peru: Police clearance by Policia Nacional de Peru, Direccion 

             de Criminalistica, Division de Identificacion Criminalistica, 

             Departamento de Expedicion de Certificados 

             de Antecedentes Policiales

   

    Philippine: PNP DI Clearance by The Philippine National Police

                     and NBI Clearance by National Bureau of 

                     Investigation 

 

 

 [NEWS] Recent Immigration Law Changes ( 2004 - 2005 )

 

1. Cancellation of Visa

 

  [Before]

     You could quit your job (+stay for a while without a job,) and get a job just before the expiration of your visa.

 

   [Now]

     If you do not work for more than three months on a work visa, your visa may be cancelled before it's expiration

 

 

 

2. "Deportation Order " for overstayers

 

   [Before]

     If you overstayed your visa, you could not come back to Japan for five years.

 

   [Now]

     If you overstay your visa (and have no other violations) and present yourself to immigration before they find you, you can com 

 

    can come back in one year.

 

 

3. Maximum fine for working without a work visa

 

   [Before] 

     Up to 300,000 yen

 

   [Now] 

     Up to 3,000,000 yen

 

 

4. Changes to refusal of re-entry period

 

   [Before]

     5 years for any overstayers

 

   [Now]

     1 year if you leave on a "Deportation Order"

     10 years if you have overstayed repeatedly

     5 years for others

 

 

 

 

[INFORMATION] IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES

 

The followings are some examples of procedures you will need to take at the immigration.    

 

 

 

“Changing your job”

  If your new job is different from your current job, you need to apply for “Change of Status” along with corporate profile.

 

If your job falls in the same category of your current visa, you don’t have to apply for a “Change of Status.”  However, that doesn’t guarantee that you can extend your visa. When the Immigration considers your new company(employer) doesn’t meet the standard for hiring foreigners, they will not give you permission when you apply for the renewal (the criteria is not officially published). To avoid this you can apply for a  “Certificate of Authorized Employment.” This certificate means that the Immigration indirectly admits that you will be able to work at your prospective work place on the visa you currently hold, thus, you can extend your visa as long as other conditions remain the same. 

 

Usually, your prospective company will submit the documents for a “Change of Status” on your behalf.

 

 

 “Starting a business”

      You will need an “Investor/Business Manager” visa. To acquire this visa, you have to submit documents that prove your “business” is well established. At least you need to have an independent office and two full time employees. In addition, there are some other requirements. Usually, Immigration conducts on site inspection without advance notice. So, the documents you submit must be based on facts (and also meets the required standards). If you submit exaggerated or false information to Immigration and it finds it to be untrue after the inspection, you will not obtain the visa. Reapplication will be more difficult as the Immigration will become more skeptical about any application by the applicant. 

 

On the other hand, there are some other visas on which you can start a business such as Spouse visa and Permanent visa. These visas are cost saving for your business as you are not required to have an independent office nor two employees.

 

 

“Marrying with a Japanese National”

   You have to submit a notice of the marriage with the municipal office and apply for a Spouse Visa at Immigration.

 

 1. Submitting the notice

 

You have to know which country’s law is applicable for your marriage. Horei (Act on the Application of Laws) decides the applicable law. Then based on the law which is applicable, you must make sure both of you fulfill the requirements to marry. You will need submit documents which certify that you meet the personal requirements for an effective marriage in your country (Koninyoukengubishoumeisho.)

 

 2. Spouse Visa

 

    Even if you hold a working visa, changing your visa to Spouse Visa is a great advantage, as there will be basically no restriction on your activities. With a working visa, as a Specialist in Humanities/International Services for example, you are not allowed to start a business or get a job which doesn’t fall into “Specialist Humanities/International Services”

 

  Please note that you do not automatically acquire Japanese nationality by getting married to a Japanese national. There is another procedures required at Legal Affairs Bureau (Homukyoku,) not at the Immigration(Nyukokukanrikyoku”)

 

 

“Bringing over your family”

  You will need to apply for the “Dependent” visa on your family’s behalf. If one of your family wishes to get a job as a part time worker in Japan, he or she can get  permission without changing from a “Dependent” visa. To work on a full time basis however, an application for a working visa is necessary.

 

 

“Acquiring a Permanent Visa”

Permanent visa is the most advantageous visa for non Japanese. 

 

Advantages to having this visa or Eijuken are as follows;

 

1. There will be no restrictions on your activities, so you can be involved in any types of work or even start your own business without having a separate office and two employees.

 

2. You do not have to go through periodical visa renewal at Immigration.

 

3. You can divorce without losing your visa. 

 

4. You can get a credit card or take out a housing loan.

 

5. You do not have to lose your nationality (see “Naturalization.”)

 

To acquire the visa,  you need to stay at least ten straight years. However, the required period will be shortened to three years if you have been married to a Japanese national. There are some other circumstances under which you may be eligible to acquire a permanent visa if you have not lived in Japan for ten years. In any case, your visa must be of a longest validity (i.e. three years for a working visa or Spouse visa) at the time of application. 

 

 

“Naturalization”

Procedures for Naturalization are within the jurisdiction of The Legal Affairs Bureau(Homukyoku,) and have no relevance to a Permanent visa which is issued by the  Immigration (Nyukokukanrikyoku.)  This means, unlike some countries where the applicant is required to be a permanent visa holder, you are eligible for the application of Naturalization even you are staying in Japan on a working visa.

 

 The disadvantage of Naturalization is that you will be asked to lose your original nationality, as Japanese government has a no dual nationality policy.

 

 

The permission on which you are allowed to stay in Japan is called “Status of Residence” or “Zairyushikaku.” However, the term “visa” is used in the text as it is more easily understood.

 

 

 

 

[INFORMATION] INCORPORATION

 

There are several types of corporations and organizations under Japanese laws. 

 

 

     ・Kabushiki-gaisha (Public Company or Corporation) 

 

     ・Yugengaisha (Private Limited Company)

 

     ・Goshi Gaishya (Limited Partnership)

 

     ・Goumei Gaisya (Unlimited Partnership)

 

     ・NPO Hojin (Nonprofit Organization)

 

 

 

Kabushikigaisha is the most well founded organization and you will be trusted by your clients. The minimum initial capital required is ten million yen. For Yugengaisha you need three million yen. However, a new law has been introduced, and now you can now set up these companies without the minimum three or ten million yen. To take the advantage of this new law, you have to submit the document which proves that “you have not running a business at present.” Also, no minimum initial capital is required for NPO.

 

While there are a variety of differences among these companies, you are required to set up a Yugen Gaisha or Kabushiki Gaisha to acquire an Investor/Business Manager visa.

 

With some of the businesses, you will also need authorization by the government (e.g. restaurant, antique shop, travel agency, temporal employment agency)

 

 

 

[NEWS] CHANGES TO COMMERCIAL LAW

 

AS OF MAY 1 2006 COMMERCIAL LAW WILL BE CHANGED

 

 

 - YUGENGAISHA WILL BE ABOLISHED (EXISTING ONES CONTINUE TO EXIST AS KABUSHIKIGAISHA)

 

 - NEW CORPORATION CATEGORY “GODO GAISHA (LLP)” IS INTRODUCED

 

 - MINIMUM CAPITAL REQUIREMENT IS ABOLISHED

 

 - KABUSHIKIGAISHA CAN BE SET UP WITH ONE DIRECTOR

 

 

 

[INFORMATION] OTHER INCORPORATION / BUSINESS PROCEDURES

 

   ・Altering business incorporation status.

 

   ・Increasing or decreasing capital of corporation

 

   ・Amending the articles of corporation

 

   ・Opening a foreign branch office in Japan

 

 

 

[IMMIGRATION OFFICE IN HOKKAIDO]

 

Sapporo Immigration Bureau

Sapporo Government Building No.3, Odori, Nishi 12-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-0042

Tel: 011-261-7502 

 

Otaru Port Branch Office 

Otaru Port Government Building, Minato-machi 5-3,Otaru 047-0007

Tel: 0134-33-9238

 

Hakodate Port Branch Office 

Hakodate Port Government Building, Kaigan-cho 24-4,Hakodate 040-0061

Tel: 0138-41-6922

 

Kushiro Port Branch Office 

Kushiro Port Government Building, Minamihama-cho 5-9,Kushiro 085-0022

Tel:0154-22-2430

 

Chitose Tomakomai Branch Office   

Sapporo Regional Immigration Bureau Terminal for International flights C/O 

Shin Chitose Air Terminal Building Bibi, Chitose 066-0012  

Tel:0123-24-6439

 

Chitose Tomakomai Branch Office 

Tomakomai Port Government Building, Minato-machi 1-6-15,Tomakomai 053-0004

Tel:0144-32-9012

 

Wakkanai Port Branch Office 

Wakkanai Port Government Building, Kaiun-cho, Wakkanai 097-0023

Tel:0162-23-3269 

 

[DISCLAIMER]

 

Disclaimer: This site offers legal information, not legal advice. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options. However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. We assume no responsibility for any consequence relating directly or indirectly to any action or inaction that you take based on the information in this Website. 

 

 

 

HIGUCHI IMMIGRATION SERVICES / 行政書士樋口彰事務所

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