Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act

Hello, this is Anna, a former summer intern now working part-time at IMS.

Today, I wanted to talk about the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (in Japanese: 出入国管理及び難民認定法, or Shutsunyukokukanri oyobi nanmin ninteihou), which is what dictates Japan’s details and procedures regarding immigration.

According to Article 1 of the translated version available on the Immigration Bureau website, the purpose of the Act is “to provide for equitable control over the entry into or departure from Japan of all persons and to consolidate the procedures for recognition of refugee status”. For more information as well as the full translated text, please click here.

Oftentimes referred to as simply the “Immigration Control Act”, as the name suggests it serves as the primary law that governs entry and exit into Japan. If you would like to work in Japan, study in Japan, start a business in Japan, or do anything that requires a long-term stay in Japan, you will have to abide by the stipulations provided by this Act. It outlines all the procedures involved with immigration.

The requirements for entering Japan are a valid passport and a valid visa. Japanese visas are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (外務省, or gaimusho). The Immigration Control Act outlines that the Minister of Justice must first issue a certification confirming that a foreigner meets the requirements for immigration before a visa can be issued.

Therefore, if you would like to stay in Japan for the longer than the 90 days allowed by the Temporary Visitor visa, according to Article 7-2 of the Immigration Control Act, it is required that you apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (in Japanese: 在留資格認定証明書, or zairyushikaku nintei shomeisho). This is a process that requires time and assembling many various documents, and can be done by yourself or with the help of an employer or legal assistance. Once the CoE is issued, a visa can then be promptly issued by a nearby consulate or embassy.

More info can be found on the Immigration Bureau Homepage, or you can contact us for any inquiries, consulation and/or assistance.