Fukuoka City has announced that it has granted residence permits to foreign nationals for the first time under its “Engineer Visa” system, in which the city undertakes some of the residence status examinations for foreign IT (information technology) engineers.

The new system, which utilizes the government’s National Strategic Special Zone, is targeted at unlisted IT companies in Fukuoka City, and if the receiving company submits financial statements etc. to the city by email in advance, and if it is determined that there are no problems with the business situation, the city will will issue the certificate. When applying for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to the Immigration Bureau, if you attach this certificate, the examination period that normally takes 1 to 3 months will be shortened to 1 month.

According to the article, the permit was granted within five days. Since an application for a Certificate of Eligibility is not a “permit” application, it is likely that a COE was issued, but this is suprising news for us, the administrative scriveners involved in the application agency.

In the 27 special economic zones nationwide that have been designated as national strategic special zones, various measures are being taken regarding the status of residence, such as relaxing the acceptance criteria for human resources for the purpose of starting a business. This is one of them.

Currently, Fukuoka is the only local government that is using this system, but if a local government in a special zone formulates a plan and the Prime Minister approves it, it will be able to utilize this system (according to the government’s implementation guidelines), so it will possibly be expanded nationwide.

Japan Immigration News

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