Application for Foreigners to Stay in Japan for New Coronavirus Infection

6/24/2021 Updated

Due to the spread of the new corona infection, the situation for foreigners residing in Japan continues to be difficult due to such reasons as difficulty in returning to their home country, difficulty in finding a job, and dismissal from the company where they work. Therefore, various special measures are being taken for foreigners with status of residence. The following is a summary of the latest information (announced by the Immigration and Naturalization Service on November 30) that companies hiring foreign nationals should be aware of.

Treatment of foreigners who have difficulty returning to their home country

(1) Those who are staying in Japan for a short period of time

You will be allowed to extend your “Temporary Visitor (90 days)” period of stay. In addition, if it is recognized that it is difficult for the foreigner to make a living in Japan, he or she will be allowed to engage in an activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted (part-time work up to 28 hours per week). In the past, foreigners residing in Japan on a “temporary visitor” status were not allowed to engage in activities that would bring in income or remuneration, so this is a groundbreaking special measure. The requirements for obtaining permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted and the documents required for application are as follows

Requirements;
Difficulty in returning to Japan and difficulty in earning a living until returning to Japan, such as no support expected from relatives in Japan or the organization to which the applicant belongs.

Required Documents;
Application for Permission to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted
Confirmation that there are reasonable grounds for the applicant’s difficulty in returning home
Statement of reasons

(2) Those who are currently residing in Japan as “Technical Intern Training” or “Specially Designated Activities (Foreign Construction Worker (No.32), Foreign Shipbuilding Worker (No.35))

Change of status of residence to “Specially Designated Activities (Permitted to work for 6 arcseconds)” will be permitted. However, the following four points need to be noted.

(1) Applicable to the case where the employee is engaged in the same work as before (*).

If you are unable to find a place to work in the same job as before, you can work in the job related to the same job as before (the job/work in each table of the “List of Jobs and Work for Transition” to which the job/work you were engaged in technical training belongs (excluding “7 Others”)). It is also possible to work in the same job as before.

(2) A change of status of residence is permitted for those who are currently residing in Japan on a “Specially Designated Activities (Internship (No. 9), Foreign Employees in the Manufacturing Industry (No. 42))” visa and wish to work in the same capacity as before.

(3) Those who have been approved for “Temporary Visitor” or “Specially Designated Activities (6 months, not allowed to work)” are also eligible.

If you are currently residing in Japan on “Specially Designated Activities (Summer Job (No. 12)” and wish to work in the same capacity as before, you may change your status of residence to “Specially Designated Activities (3 months, work permitted)”.

(3) For those residing in Japan with “College Student” status who wish to work

Change of status of residence to “Specially Designated Activities (part-time work for 6 months, 28 hours or less per week)” will be permitted.

As of October 19, 2012, it does not matter when or whether you graduated. Former international students residing in Japan with the status of “Temporary Visitor” or “Specially Designated Activities (Difficult to Return Home, Unable to Work, Preparing to Leave Japan)” are also eligible. In the past, international students who were engaged in job hunting activities while enrolled in a university or vocational school were permitted to engage in “designated activities (continuous job hunting activities)” (6 arcsecond period of stay, renewable only once) if they obtained a letter of recommendation from the school, had a guarantee of living expenses while continuing job hunting activities, and sincerely expressed their intention to continue job hunting activities. Under this new exception, the time of graduation will be extended. It is noteworthy that this special exception does not require the time of graduation or the existence of graduation.

(4) Other status of residence

You will be allowed to change your status of residence to “Specially Designated Activities (6 months, not allowed to work)”.

If it is recognized that it is difficult for the applicant to make a living in Japan, the applicant may be permitted to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted (part-time work of up to 28 hours per week is permitted). The requirements and documents required for application are the same as those for those who wish to obtain “permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted”.

If you are unable to return to your home country for reasons (1) through (4) above, you may be able to extend your period of stay.

For those who have been dismissed, suspended, or placed on home leave due to worsening employment conditions caused by the spread of the new coronavirus infection

Among those who have a status of residence to stay for the purpose of employment, the following will be allowed to stay in Japan with their current status of residence.

(1) Those who have received a notice of dismissal or termination of employment from their employer and wish to seek employment.

(2) Those who have been ordered to wait by their employers and wish to return to work

(3) Those who have been ordered by their employers to reduce the number of working days and working hours, and wish to continue working.

(4) Other people equivalent to (1) through (3) above

Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted is also possible. When applying, please submit documentation proving that you are in the relevant situation due to the circumstances of the company you are working for. The period of activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted will be six months from the date of permission or the expiration date of the current period of stay, whichever comes first.

For those who will reach the end of their period of stay in the aforementioned status, a change in status of residence to “Specially Designated Activities” for the purpose of job hunting is permitted.

You will need to submit documentation to prove that you are in this situation due to the circumstances of the company you are working for. Permission for activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted is also possible. For activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted, either six months from the date of permission or the expiration date of the current period of stay, whichever comes first. Renewal of the period of stay (six months) is possible if the impact of the worsening of employment due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection continues. Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted is also possible.

If the remaining waiting period does not exceed one month by the time your period of stay expires, or if your working hours exceed the waiting period, you may renew your period of stay with your current status of residence.
If the period of stay does not exceed one month, or if the number of working hours exceeds the number of waiting hours, it is possible to extend the period of stay while maintaining the current status. In this case, the period of stay will be determined as “one year” in principle.

Finally, a note of caution.

If you are residing in Japan on a “specified activity” basis, please apply for “permission to change status of residence” as soon as possible.

If you are applying for permission to engage in an activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted, you must obtain consent from your host institution to engage in such an activity (you must indicate that you have obtained consent at the time of application).

The above does not apply to technical intern trainees.

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