Hi Blog. As regular readers know, as of October 1, 2007, all employers must report their NJ employees to the MHLW’s unemployment office, Hello Work, or face fines for potentially employing NJ in violation of their visas.
We’ve already uncovered on Debito.org some enforcement difficulties in deciding whether this meant NJ employed “full-time” or “part time” (this, as usual from a GOJ that likes grey areas of enforcement, has been left vague), with one case of somebody being demanded his Gaijin Card for receiving 500 yen compensation! Ludicrous.
Now here’s the next phase. An angry email from a friend of a friend, edited somewhat but with preserved emphases. About a person being hassled by his workplace (Kansai University) regarding issues they clearly know nothing about: over a Re-Entry Permit (being told he’s illegal visawise unless he gets one; wrong) despite being a Permanent Resident. Blogged with permission.
This is why you don’t let people who know nothing of Immigration law make Immigration decisions. Expect more of this sort of thing in future. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
PREAMBLE FROM FORWARDING FRIEND:
I got this mail from a colleague the other day. I am sending it (mostly uncut) to the PALE list to show how schools, which are not immigration officials, can mess up and abuse their power in potentially harmful ways.
Apparently the govt. has asked employers to make sure all of their employees have valid papers to work in Japan. Some colleges, such as Kansai University, has therefore been asking non Japanese teaching personnel to prove their status. Others have ignored this, or gone about it another way. Signed, RR.
PS The letter did no good, and KanDai is still hasseling the instructor in question. His gaijin card, which they initially told him had expired (it did not, it is good until late 2008) stated that he was on a spouse visa, and since he was recently divorced, KanDai’s interpretation was that he was no long legally in the country. The problem is that the cards are good for 10 years, and that the card holder had subsequently moved to permanent resident status, a change that was not reflected in the actual card.
FORWARDED EMAIL FOLLOWS:
Maybe you can clarify this issue for me. Please read the letter below that I sent to Kandai.
While I have not renewed my Reentry Permit yet (which expired in October; from what I understand from many foreign teachers who have Permanent Resident status here, the only problem with having this expire and not renewed is that I cannot get back into Japan–if I leave), I planned to renew it after my classes ended. I have been too busy to go to the Marutamachi office during the semester.
I went to the ward office with a Japanese friend after Kandai told me that I was here illegally. The ward office staff there told me (after seeing my passport and Gaijin Card) that there was no problem with me being here illegally–that I am a PR and therefore legal–and that there is no PR visa that expires.
Kandai still insists that there is a problem. I will go to Marutamachi office later this week–when my friend has time to go. I do not want to go alone, because, if there is a problem, I would be arrested and probably thrown in jail. I want someone to know that I have been arrested, so that they can contact a lawyer or the union.
Enclosed are copies of the relevant stamps in my passport. Please pass them—and this letter—on to the appropriate person.
I am a PERMANENT RESIDENT in Japan. Please be clear on this point. I have talked with NUMEROUS people (ward office staff and foreign permanent residents teachers of long standing here) about the problem that your office has with my “Gaijin Card”–and they all say that your office is reading the card wrong and that your office apparently does not understand the laws and regulations concerning foreign resident status.
On Christmas Day (a religious holiday for me), I went down to my ward office—and they told me that there was NOTHING ILLEGALLY WRONG with my status here and that they see NO PROBLEM.
Now, I must go down to the Immigration Office (and waste one more day of my time to sort this problem out because after the new year began, your office, again, insisted that there was a problem.
I am sure that there is NOTHING ILLEGAL about my documents—the pertinent one has not expired. From what I understand, the PR visa does not even have to be renewed.
Nevertheless, because your office keeps INSISTING THAT I AM HERE ILLEGALLY, I MUST WASTE ANOTHER DAY IN ORDER TO STRAIGHTEN OUT THIS MATTER. I WILL ASK THE IMMIGRATION OFFICE TO CALL YOUR OFFICE—OR TO WRITE YOUR OFFICE A LETTER–TO INFORM YOU AS TO HOW PERMANENT RESIDENCY STATUS HERE WORKS.
Your office has asked to see my card a few times now and you have made numerous copies. You have asked to see my passport, which, legally, there is no reason your office needs to see this.
I HOPE THAT THESE COPIES FINALLY SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
I only say all of this because your office has caused me much stress over this matter (having an expired visa is cause for arrest, imprisonment–and deportation here—quite harsh punishments—and quite racist, as a matter of fact). So, your office has caused me much worry and wasted time on this matter.
It really makes me wonder if I have been singled out for harassment because I am a union member at Kandai. I will forward a copy of this to my union president, just so my union is aware of this issue. (Ueno-sama, I realize that you are only doing what you are told—but the people in the office should make it a point to understand the law.)
Sincerely,< < __._,_.___ ENDS