February 24th marks two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, and on the 8th, a Ukrainian couple who had been living as refugees were granted permission to change their residence status to “Long-Term Resident.”
Since the invasion, the Immigration Services Agency has issued a “Specified Activities (1 year)” program that allows Ukrainians who entered Japan from Ukraine for the purpose of evacuation with a “short-term visitor” residence status to work if they wish to stay in Japan. The agency has been accepting applications for permission to change the status of residence.
After that, among the amendments to the Immigration Control Act in 2023 (please refer to this blog: “Establishment of application procedures for special permission to stay“), a system for certification of “persons subject to complementary protection” was created. was implemented in December of the same year. This article shows that the results of operations based on this system are beginning to appear.
It is extremely difficult to apply for refugee status and be recognized as a refugee under the Refugee Convention, but with Ukraine in mind, if you are determined to be a refugee from a party to the conflict, Even if you do not fall under the category of “refugee” as defined in the Refugee Convention, you will be granted the same status of residence and protection as if you were recognized as a refugee.
“Designated Activities” are activities specifically designated by the Minister of Justice for individual foreign nationals, and “long-term residents” are those who are granted residence by the Minister of Justice by designating a certain period of stay in consideration of special reasons. Within each status of residence, the period of stay granted to each individual is different.
In this case (refugees from Ukraine), the period of stay allowed for “Designated Activities” was one year, but the period of stay as a “long-term resident” is up to five years.
Japan Immgration News