The Immigration Bureau
-- an overview
The Immigration Bureau is responsible for administration of
immigration control including examination of foreign and Japanese
nationals entering or leaving Japan, control of status of residence of
foreign nationals residing in Japan, and matters concerning
deportation, recognition of refugee status as well as registration of
resident foreign nationals.
In recent years, foreign nationals visiting Japan and Japanese
nationals going abroad are rapidly increasing, due to the progress in
internationalization of the world community. Immigration control
service provided by the Immigration Bureau in this context has added
to a greater importance in its role as a link between people of the
world and Japan.
FORMULATION OF BASIC PLANS FOR IMMIGRATION CONTROL:
With the recent increase in the number of foreign nationals coming to
Japan, their even more diversified activities have come to have a
greater impact on the life and economic situation of the nation. In
the light of such condition of the Japanese society being exposed to
direct influence of the activities of the rising foreign population in
Japan, the Immigration Bureau has undertaken to analyze such new
impacts of the increased foreign nationals particularly upon the
social and economic values now prevailing in Japan, and formulate,
upon the result of the analysis, the basic guiding plans for
immigration control, and thereby contribute to the equitable control
over foreign nationals coming here to stay.
EXAMINATION OF PERSONS ENTERING AND LEAVING JAPAN:
At the time of entry into and departure from Japan, foreign and
Japanese nationals are subject to landing and exit examination by
immigration inspectors at seaports or airports. When a foreign
national enters Japan, the immigration inspector examines the passport
and the visa stamped on it and their validity, and after examination
of whether he or she fall under any one of the items of denial of
landing as provided for by law, proceed to check:
1) whether or not the stated purpose of his or her entry into Japan
falls under any one of the statuses of residence as prescribed by law,
2) in the case of his or her falling under some of the categories of
status of residence, whether or not his or her purpose of entry
satisfies the required standards as provided for in the Ministry of
EXAMINATION CONCERNING STATUS OF RESIDENCE OF FOREIGN
RESIDENTS: Foreign nationals permitted to enter and
reside in Japan are, as a general rule, required to engage in
activities pursuant to the specific status of residence and the
specific period of stay as determined by the Immigration Inspector
upon landing at the port of entry.
When such foreign residents want to change their status of
residence after entry or extend their period of stay or obtain the
permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under
the previously granted status of residence or a re-entry permission,
etc., they are required to submit due applications for such changes to
the Regional Immigration Bureau, etc., nearest to their residence in
Japan. The local Immigration Service Office concerned then, after
examining the application filed by such foreign residents, decides
whether or not to approve them.
The system of status of residence and period of stay regarding
foreign nationals in Japan is designed to secure their rights with
regard to their community life in Japan, and fair and equitable
supervision over such foreign nationals in Japan, and thereby to
contribute to the well being of our nation.
DEPORTATION: Foreign nationals who have
entered or landed in Japan illegally and those illegally overstaying
the authorized period of stay in Japan or those engaging in any
activity other than that permitted under the status of residence
granted at the time of entry, or any foreign nationals who have been
sentenced to a punishment for violation of any laws or regulations of
Japan while staying in Japan, and other nationals found to be
undesirable are all subject to deportation in accordance with the
procedures as provided for by the law.
Who will be deported, and why they are to be deported is determined
by the Immigration Control Act.
The deportation procedure is carefully conducted after taking
foreign nationals' circumstances into consideration, and considering
the facts of the cases through investigations of violation,
inspections and hearings.
Deportations are carried out for foreign nationals whose action
justify deportation. However, this does not mean that all people whose
action justify deportation as determined by the Immigration Control
Act are deported. Foreign nationals discreted permission to stay by
the Minister of Justice in consideration of their past record in Japan
and their family situation, etc.
Foreign nationals issued deportation orders shall be deported
immediately to the country of their origin. When immediate deportation
is not available, they shall be detained at the immigration detention
centers in Omura-city, Nagasaki Prefecture or Ushiku-City, Ibaraki
Prefecture, until deportation is possible.
RECOGNITION OF REFUGEE STATUS: The
Government of Japan acceded to The Convention Relating to The Status
of Refugees in October 1981 and The Protocol Relating to The Status of
Refugees in January 1982. As a result of the accession, various
measures for protection of refugees as provided for in the "Refugee
Treaties" are being accorded to the refugees.
The following is the definition of "Refugee" by these acts. ... the
term of "refugee" shall apply to any person owing to well-founded fear
of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality,
membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is
outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such
fear, us unwilling to return to it ...
Granting of landing permission for temporary refuge, examination of
whether or not a foreign national having applied for refugee status
falls within the definition of a refugee under the Refugee Treaties
and issuance of refugee travel document to those recognized as such
are all handled by the Immigration Service.
REGISTRATION OF FOREIGN RESIDENTS: Under
the system of Alien Registration administered by the Immigration
Service, all foreign residents in Japan are required to appear in
person and register themselves at the municipal office of the city,
ward, town, or village in which they are living within 90 days of
landing, or within 60 days of their birth or renouncement of Japanese
nationality. This system is designed to secure fair and equitable
control over foreign residents in Japan by clarifying matters
pertaining their residence and status.
Foreign nationals staying in Japan for a long term rather than a
short stay as well as sightseeing can receive various social services
(IE: welfare, etc.). In such cases, they must be identify their status
and residence. Alien registration is the official identification which
ensures a comfortable life in Japan.
All registered foreign nationals of 16 years of age or over are
required to carry their registration cards with them at all times.