–HELLO BLOG. QUOTING A RECENT EXCHANGE ON THE COMMUNITY REGARDING HOW THINGS ARE TIGHTENING UP FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LENGTHEN THEIR VISAS HERE IN JAPAN:
October 4, 2007
Hello, Does anyone have any more information about this new (I think) development? What do they mean by long-term residents? Anyone who is not a tourist? Does it include permanent residents?
New Long Term Residency Requirements: Japan recently modified its Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. The law now requires that long-term residents provide satisfactory evidence that they do not have a criminal record in their home country when renewing their resident card. To obtain such proof, U.S. citizens with long-term resident status in Japan need to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and provide it with a copy of their fingerprints. To request such service, please follow the guidance listed here. For more details about the Japanese requirements, check with the nearest immigration office in Japan,
U.S. Department of State
Consular Information Sheet: Japan
I am getting really annoyed at being treated like a criminal what with all this fingerprinting. We seemed to be moving nicely away from that trend in recent years with the fingerprints being removed from our Alien Registration Cards. I am feeling distinctly unwelcome in the country I have called home for ten of the past twelve years… Shaney.
I called immigration just now. I talked with a wise lady who has been at Nagoya immigration ever since I applied for my first visa extension over 12 years ago, she advised me when I got my first marriage visa, and my permanent visa. She also advised me when I wanted to sponsor a friend for permanent residence. So far she’s never steered me wrong.
She was completely baffled by me calling and said *I* personally have absolutely nothing to worry about, no one will be asking for my FBI records.
I tried to explain to her, I wasn’t necessarily concerned for myself but wanted to know if anyone else might have to at some point provide such FBI records. She said the only people she was aware of that required records from the FBI were American nikkeijin. She said this was indeed a new law, and that must be what the US state department is talking about. Even here, I think it might have only been third generation Americans that needed FBI records.
I found this requirement on the web, here it is:
Now, I read her in English what was at the State Departments site, and explained it in Japanese as well. She could not make any sense of the idea that I would have to provide FBI documents merely to renew my gaikokujin toroku sho. (Gaijin card). She said that didn’t make any sense to her as it has nothing to do with your visa.
That was that. She could be in error.
I think most big changes in immigration law are generally posted here:
I looked there and could not find anything about needing FBI records. I will have a second look.
If anyone else looks into this, I would be interested in what they find out.
1) “Long term resident (teijusha)” is one of 27 Status of Residence (visa) categories.
The word “long term” is just a translation of “teiju” and has nothing to do with the validity of the Status of Residence nor the number of years you have lived in Japan. It’s just a name of the Status of Residence. So some have three year “long term resident” and others have one year “long term resident” on their passport. You can even obtain “long term residence” on arrival if you have a corresponding Certificate of Eligibility.
“Permanent Resident (eijusha, or eijuken)” is another Status of Residence. It is different from “Long term resident.”
Below is a list of all 27 Status of Residence categories. It has been like this for about 20 years, nothing new.
http://www.cas.go.jp/jp/seisaku/hourei/data/icrra.pdf ( p71 – 76, teijusha at the bottom )
2) However, the requirements for each Status of Residence have changed frequently. Part of it is stricter requirements for “Long term resident” because of, I think, recent crimes by the Japanese descendents (nikkei) with “Long term resident” Status of Residence who came to Japan with false documents or criminal records in home country (police clearance was not required back then.)
Not all “Long term resident” holders are required to submit police clearance, but only Japanese descendents (nikkei) and their spouse.
The new requirements below. (Only in Japanese) The phrase “sokou ga zenryou dearu mono = those whose behavior and conduct are good” was recently added to Item 3, 4, 5, 6 (i.e. requirement categories for Japanse descendents and their spouse), and is the legal basis for requiring police clearance.
3) The new requirements themselves have nothing to do with “gaijin card” or alien registration card.
COMMENT: THEN I WONDER WHY THE US EMBASSY WAS CONTACTING ITS AMERICANS ABOUT THIS IF IT’S BASICALLY ONLY PERTINENT TO NIKKEI TEIJUU? HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH YET ANOTHER BUNCH OF MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT A NEW LAW IN PRACTICE AND ON PAPER? ARUDOU DEBITO IN SAPPORO