Global pandemic of Covid-19 affect every elements of our daily life. Some countries lockdowned their whole territories. Others also shut their border down so even their citizens can’t go back to their home. Immigration Law practitioners and Immigration Agencies around the world have to deal with people who can’t return to their countries.
Japan also decleared state of emergency in April. The US, Europe and many Asian countries are listed on entry ban list. The nation also surface drastic increasing of foreign citizens who can’t go back to their home but there is no way to keep VISA status under ordinal rules. Now Immigration Service Agency of Japan issue temporary VISA for people who can’t terun to their home.
Seeing such situation, some clients ask me whether there is “good effect” on reviewing of VISA application.Because there is no way to leave Japan, they think Immigration Bureaus perhaps lower standards of reviewing to reduce the number of rejections for VISA application.
In this article, I’ll explain how the global pandemic affect Japan’s Immigration regulations and reviewing of Working VISA (Engineer/Humanities/International Service, Skilled labor and Business Manager) .
1.There is no announce on reviewing of Working VISA application and Covid-19
The Immigration Agency in Tokyo implement some measures to ease crowd inside the Immigration Offices and to issue VISA for people who has no way to go back to their countries. They even introduce the system to help technical workers who lost their job because of Covid-19 to find new job in Japan.
These make us think that the Government of Japan now ease the regulation so maybe we could get VISA easier. For example, if you applied for Engineer VISA from a company which is almost going bankrupt, you would get rejection from the Immigration Bureau. Now now you might think that many businesses suffer financially due to Covid-19, so the Immigration Bureaus are not so strict on financial condition because everyone suffer with it. Some people even think that may be the government issue special Working VISA for people who has no legal status to work in Japan.
But until now the government of Japan has not issue such policy and even the Immigration Bureaus throughout the nation has not mention that they ease the reviewing or consider to do so to reduce the number of “refugees” of Covid-19 inside the nation.
2. Immigration Bureaus issue rejection while we have Global pandemic
Here is my experience through my practice of Immigration Law,. We receive several contacts from people who got rejections in April or May. Some get rejection letters from Shinagawa Immigration Bureau, others get from Kawasaki Immigration Office. I’ve checked the reason of the rejections, then find that Immigration Inspectors implements ordinary reviewing for Working VISA application even though this increase the population who can’t go back to their countries but has no legal status. The Immigration Bureau check the documents as they did before the Covid-19.
the Agency separate Ordinal VISA application and Special VISA of Covid-19. you could easily get temporary VISA if you have no way to go back to their countries. But in case of getting Working VISA, you have to be careful as you always did before the Global Pandemic erase Chinese tourist on the streets of Tokyo.
3. You need to prepare for “Corona shock”
I said the Immigration Bureaus does not ease their reviewing on VISA application. But it doesn’t mean there is no affect how the Inspectors handle your Working VISA applications(COE, Extension and VISA Change) after the next month. To be honest, I have concern that the number of rejection will be jumped from November due to resseation the Virus create through the World.
In Japan, the number of the companies which set the end of their fiscal year on September is 2nd higher. That means that many companies will issue their new financial report after November. That mean that the Immigration Bureau will have concern on financial stability of your employer since most businesses especially restaurants and tourist industries has almost get 0 yen as revenue since the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared state of emergency from April and ask people” stay home”. The financial reports of most businesses will show drastic reduction of profit and revenue which make questions on stability of business.
So if you plan to apply for Certificate of Eligibility or Change of VISA status into Engineer/Humanities/International Service, Skilled labor or Business Manager, You perhaps need to submit additional documents to explain the effect of Covid-19 on financial situation of your employers or even has higher risks for rejection on the applications.
4.If you have Business Manager VISA, be careful on extension
If you are business owners who run business in Japan, you get direct effect on your Application for extension of your Business Manager VISA.When you apply for extension of Business Manager, you also need to submit current financial report of your business. So the Immigration Bureau automatically check on financial condition of your business.
If your business got direct effect of Vocid-19, I recommend you to prepare for next extension after November or submit the application before the new financial report is issued.