Japan Tightens Student Visa Procedures for Foreigners as an Overstaying Precaution

The growing number of foreign nationals who use their student visas beyond their expiration date, to stay or work illegally in Japan have pushed Japan’s Immigration Service Agency to tighten the student visa procedure.

From April the controls will be stricter, requiring student applicants that are not on the whitelist to submit documentation diplomas and account balance certificates, in order to prevent overstayers who use a student visa to extend their stay in Japan, VisaGuide.World reports.

Students from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Mongolia account for the largest share of illegal overstayers, which is now seen as a problem that the government is trying to solve.

The government has decided to tighten the visa application procedure for students, hoping that businesses will hire [foreign students] appropriately, taking advantage of the specified skills program.

“We are going to be stricter on students from countries many of whose nationals have overstayed. Our hope is that businesses will hire [foreign students] appropriately, taking advantage of the specified skills program,” said a government official.

In Japan, by now there are known many cases in which the post-graduate students of local schools continued to stay in Japan even though their visa validity has expired.

According to the statistics, at the beginning of 2019, there were 4,700, foreign citizens who came to study in Japan but overstayed illegally, increasing about 70% of the total number, compared to the number 2,800 of overstayers that were counted in 2015.

Convenience store work is one of the works that foreign students are allowed to do as well as the other unskilled-labor positions, for up to 28 hours per week.

In Japan, 19%, or 318,000, of foreign workers are students, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, as of October 2019. It is estimated that, the major part of the foreign students take one of these unskilled jobs during their educational process.

Below you can find the list of 80 countries that fall under the tougher screening process for foreign students:

Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Cook Islands, Comoro, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, East Timor, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Eritrea, El Salvador, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Federated States of Micronesia, Myanmar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Moldova, Morocco, Mongolia, Nauru, Niue, Nicaragua, Niger, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Togo, Vatican, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

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