Japan’s foreign residents Q&A: Are you are having trouble with your visa or experiencing discrimination

Recent changes affecting visa applications and information on issues such as discrimination, domestic violence and unplanned pregnancy. #PortalJapan see more⬇️⬇️⤵️⤵️

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If you are a foreign resident in  during the coronavirus pandemic, we have some important information for you. You can find out about recent changes affecting visa applications. There is also information on specific issues such as discrimination, domestic violence and pregnancy. Please check out the links to learn about what kind of assistance is available.

If you have visa concerns

Q: What happens if my “temporary visitor” status of residence expires, but I’m unable to return to my country?

A: You will be granted a 90-day extension.
For details, go to:
http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001316293.pdf

Q: If my visa expires between March and July will it automatically be extended for a three-month period?

A: No. But foreign nationals are being given a three-month extension on visa renewal applications, for both change of status of residence and extension of period of stay. The move is to help reduce congestion at immigration counters. Eligible only to those whose visas expire between March and July 2020, it grants an extended application period of three months from the expiration date of the period of stay. In other words, if your visa expires on May 11 you will have until August 11 to apply for your extension.
The Immigration Service Agency informed NHK  on June 2nd that people whose status of residence expires during the three-month extended period would not be considered illegal and would not be subjected to arrest or detention.

For multilingual information, go to:
http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001316300.pdf

Q: Can I continue to work during this three-month extension period even if my visa has expired?

A: Yes. You can continue to work under certain conditions. The Immigration Service Agency, informed NHK  on June 2nd that during this special extension period, you have permission to work under the exact same conditions of your previous status of residence. However, if you need to change any terms (nature of work, employer, etc.), you must first consult with the Immigration Services Agency.

Q: Will I lose my current working or student status of residence (with part-time work permit) if I am unable to work or study?

A: No. Your status will not be cancelled if you have been unable to work or study due to the impact of the coronavirus. But you must be able to prove that you have been affected by one of the following:

1. Your employer, or your own firm, must temporarily suspend business operations.
2. You have retired and are searching for work online, or have a job position lined up but cannot visit the company.
3. If the educational institution you are enrolled in is closed (including the case where the institution you are scheduled to enter is closed).
4. If the institution you were enrolled in closes and cannot fulfill the necessary procedures for your admission to another institution.
5. When hospitalization for illnesses, including COVID-19, is prolonged and you must take a leave of absence.

Please refer to the page below (in Japanese-only) and if in doubt confirm directly with the Immigration Service Agency. http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001319592.pdf

*Information accurate as of June 2nd
*Visa application procedures fluctuate, especially now with the coronavirus situation.
As individual cases vary, please contact the immigration office if you have any questions.

If you experience discrimination due to the coronavirus

Q: I experienced or witnessed discrimination linked to COVID-19. Who should I consult?

A: Please reach out to the multilingual consultation center, Yorisoi Hotline, via its website: https://www.since2011.net/yorisoi/n2/
Its toll free number: 0120-279-338
(0120-279-226 for Iwate, Miyagi,  prefs.)
Or, its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/yorisoi2foreign

You will also find assistance at the following:
Backstories: Multilingual coronavirus hotlines in Japan
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/1019/

If you are facing domestic violence

Q: I am being abused by my spouse/partner. Who can I turn to for support?

A: Victims of domestic violence (DV) have many resources to turn to, including consultation via phone and social media. You can also receive onsite interpreting services and shelter information.

■Social media consultation, available 24 hours, in 11 languages:
https://soudanplus.jp/language.html

■Spousal Violence Consulting and Support Center:
0570-0-55210 (in Japanese-only)
*Connects you to the consultation center closest to you

■Domestic Violence Hotline Plus:
0120-279-889 (in Japanese-only)

If you are nervous about your pregnancy

Q: I am pregnant. Should I be concerned?

A: While evidence suggests pregnant woman are at no greater risk of becoming seriously ill than other healthy adults, coronavirus infection during the third trimester can have the same progression and severity as in non-pregnant women.
The data is showing that you do not need to be overly concerned about COVID-19 during your pregnancy. But you should continue to take preventive measures such as avoiding crowds, washing hands regularly, and taking care of your daily physical and emotional health.

■For more, go to the following multilingual link:
https://share.or.jp/english/news/for_pregnant_womencovid-19_countermeasures.html
(as of May 14, 2020).

Click below for our domestic program Heart Net TV’s version in simple Japaneseやさしいにほんご.
Link: https://www.nhk.or.jp/heart-net/article/339

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