Today, we would like to introduce and explain the kinds of Visas. In order for an alien to stay in Japan., it is necessary for him/her to hold the immigration status. Currently, there are 27 kinds of immigration statuses, and any and all aliens are set to necessarily have either one of them without fail.
Otherwise, such alien having no visa shall be deemed to be an illegal immigrant and shall be subject to punishment and deportation order. It is the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act that sets forth such requirements and regulations. The Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act is abbreviated into and called “Immigration Act”. Today, I would like to introduce and explain the kinds of visas for an alien to stay in Japan.
1. In order for an alien to enter Japan?
If and at any time when any alien enters into Japan, he/she shall be required as a general rule to have the passport of the country of domicile (or native country) as well as the visa issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Japan.
Both the visa and the passport are those which shall be received in the country of domicile of the applicant himself/herself and will evidence the identity of the applicant himself/herself; provided, however, that there are currently 67 countries which do not require the visa to be carried if the period of stay is up to 90 days (there are cases where this maximum period is 15 days).
For example, people from America, Canada, Germany, France, Korea, Australia and etc. may proceed and finish their landing procedure with their respective passport only just for the case of the temporary stay or the short-term stay.
For most cases, the main purpose of the temporary stay and/or the short-term stay usually is sightseeing, but besides such sightseeing purpose, purposes for business discussions and procurement (purchasing) can be covered by and included in such temporary and/or short-term stay. Generally, it tends to be thought that for any stay for any commercial purpose the employment visa will be required, but it is not true. There is no particular problem unless any income or remuneration is paid in the country of Japan.
In order for any alien to stay for any other purposes than those described above and start work in Japan, he/she is required to acquire the “qualification allowing the start of work” out of the immigration statuses classified into 27 kinds .
The “Immigration Status” shall be such qualification as issued by the country of Japan. It shall be applied, on the occasion of making landing, under which the activities of any alien will become free or restricted.
Especially, you should pay your careful attention to the fact that there are cases where severe limitations are put on acquiring a qualification, and to the fact that you will be punished by the Immigration Bureau if you exceeded the pre-determined scope of your activities during your stay and therefore you should be careful so as not to exceed such scope of qualification.
The Immigration Bureau is under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice and in charge of deciding what activities the immigrants from the overseas countries are permitted to do in the territory of Japan, and issuing such alien registration certificate card corresponded with such scope of activities.
It is necessary for any of the aliens to always carry such card with him/her to prove his/her social position as necessary. Above all, since holding this card is an essential condition in case when any alien works to earn money, special attention should be paid to this point.
2. With respect to the immigration status for entering Japan
Now, in here, let’s study and verify the immigration status more in depth.
(1)In case when any work or job is being contemplated to be performed
Basically, in case when the stay is for a certain period, the work qualification is given only for the limited works or jobs. A person himself/herself who is engaged in any government business and his/her family, an interpreter or a lawyer, a medical doctor and a scholar, person being engaged in culture, art, education, mass communication and etc., on all of which the alien can be employed as his/her limited work or job, but if he/she exceeds the predetermined scope, he/she shall be punished.
Above all, out of such limited kinds of occupations, those in respect of which some troubles have been occurring, are the occupations of performances including but not limited to theatrical or musical performance or recital performance and etc. It is necessary for you to be careful not to perform during your stay in Japan any entertainment service that is out of said purposes.
On the other hand, there is such qualification as permits being employed with no limitations. The one commonly seen is the permanent resident qualification, but there are considerably high hurdles for it, including the long term stay requirement. Similarly, the work permit will be made to those aliens as the long term residents who have been staying in Japan for long time. And if and in case when the applicant himself/herself or either one of his/her parents is being married to a Japanese, which is the case where the application is simple, such permit can be obtained smoothly.
(2)In case when no work or job is being contemplated to be performed
If and in case when you have entered Japan in a capacity or under a qualification which does not include the working purpose, as a matter of course, you are not allowed to be and cannot be employed for any non-qualified work.
Part-timers during their Japan visits for sight-seeing and/or study abroad or corporate trainees sent to Japanese enterprises are not allowed to and cannot obtain any remuneration as well.
In addition, what is easily misunderstood is the family of the alien who has been qualified for being employed. There are no problems with respect to such alien qualified for being employed, but none of his/her family cannot and are not permitted to work due to the lack of their qualification.
As for any “Working Holiday” or any “Internship”, you are permitted to gain the remuneration only for the specific activities; provided, however, that you have to be careful not to make your stay to become ones for the purpose of working such as working which may impede the main purpose.
3. 27 different kinds of immigration statuses as set forth in the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act
As above-mentioned, I have introduced and explained the kinds of visas, from now in here, I am going to introduce and explain the 27 different kinds of immigration statuses as set forth in the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.
Such 27 different kinds of immigration statuses as set forth in the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act can be broadly classified into the three types of immigration statuses, including those whose purpose is for working activity, those whose purpose is for doing the activities other than working, and those immigration statuses based upon the personal status or position.
In the immigration statuses whose purpose is for working, included are purposes for engineering、entertainment business, specialist in humanities and international service, intra-company transferee, technical skill, business management（investment management）, legal/accounting service, medical care, research, education, diplomacy, government business, teaching, art, religion, press service and so forth.
In the immigration statuses whose purpose is for doing the activities other than working, included are purposes for short-term stay and study abroad, school attendance, training, cultural activities, dependent, and specified activity.
And finally, in those immigration statuses based upon the personal status or position, included are “Spouse of a Japanese and etc.”, ” Permanent Resident”, ” Spouse of a Permanent Resident”, and ”Long term Resident”.
4. Regarding the procedure for acquiring the immigration status
So as to acquire any immigration status, it is required to apply for it in accordance with the procedure and the way as prescribed. The way of application therefor is different between each of application for the short term stay and the long term stay. If and in case when any alien living in any of the overseas countries who intends to enter Japan wishes to have a short term stay for the period of 90 days or less or 15 days or less, it is necessary for him/her to apply directly to the overseas Japanese embassy /consulate for his/her visa for the short term stay.
After such visa for the short term stay has been issued, he/she is to visit Japan and to clear all the necessary procedures for entry to Japan. At the time of his/her entering to Japan, he/she receives the immigration examination conducted by the immigration inspector of the competent Immigration Bureau at the entering airport or port in Japan. If and when he/she passed the landing examination, his/her entry to Japan is permitted and then an entry permit seal with date is to be stamped on his/her passport to which the qualification and time period of the residence permitted as the short term stay are to be entered.
And, there are 2 ways for the cases where an alien wishes to legally stay in Japan for a long term of 90 days or more. The first is such a way as the alien himself/herself directly applies for his/her visa at the overseas Japanese embassy /consulate for his/her visa. The second is such a way as somebody who is in Japan has acquired in advance the certificate of eligibility for resident status and sends it to said alien, who then locally applies for his/her visa by using such certificate.
The way where the alien himself/herself directly applies for his/her visa at the overseas Japanese embassy /consulate for his/her visa :
This way where the alien himself/herself directly applies for his/her visa at the overseas Japanese embassy /consulate for his/her visa is not most commonly used . Since all the related documents are examined and sent from the overseas Japanese embassy and etc. to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan, and then from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Justice, and then from the Ministry of Justice to the competent Immigration Bureau while being mutually discussed, it takes a lot of time before the requested visa is finally issued.
The way where somebody who is in Japan acquireｓ in advance the certificate of eligibility for resident status and sends it to said alien, who then locally applies for his/her visa by using such certificate.
This way where somebody who is in Japan acquireｓ in advance the certificate of eligibility for resident status and sends it to said alien, who then locally applies for his/her visa by using such certificate is such way for an alien who has the immigration status of “spouse of a Japanese and etc.” to apply for the issuance of his/her visa through his/her Japanese spouse. In this case, the application for the delivery of the certificate of eligibility for resident status is to be made at and to the Regional Immigration Bureau having the jurisdiction on the domicile of his/her spouse in Japan. And it takes from 1 month up to 3 months as required from the application to the delivery of said certificate.
This certificate, if being held by the alien, will make such procedure, as required for the issuance at the overseas Japanese embassy and etc. of the visa for the long term stay in Japan, go smoothly. And if so, the landing examination in Japan will be quickly completed. If and when he/she passed the landing examination, his/her entry to Japan is permitted and then an entry permit seal with date is to be stamped on his/her passport to which the qualification and time period of the residence permitted as the spouse of a Japanese and etc. are to be entered and by this the immigration clearance gets completed.
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