Previously, residence application procedures such as application for issuance of certificate of eligibility, application for permission to change residence status, application for permission to extend period of stay, etc. had to be made at the counter of the local government office of the Immigration Services Agency (Immigration Bureau). From April 2019, the Immigration Bureau released the online residence application system, making it possible to apply online.

Currently, the applicant (foreign national), the lawyer/administrative scrivener acting as intermediary, and the staff of the affiliated organization can apply online without having to visit the Immigration Bureau counter.

In addition to the biggest advantage of not having to spend time traveling or waiting, it is expected that the efficiency of not only for the users but also for the immigration inspectors will be greatly improved, without checking for “formal flaws” through visual inspection.

Furthermore, from July 2022, the Immigration Bureau has released an online residence application system “API”. API is an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface, and it is a mechanism for communicating data between different computers, such as between terminals such as PCs and smartphones and servers, or between servers. This has made it possible to connect systems developed by private service providers with the online residence application system.

The advantages of the online residence application system API are as follows, but ② is particularly important.

① Easy to improve User Interface

② Capability to improve the level of foreign employee management at organization

Japan’s immigration system is entering a period of change. The relationship between hurdles for foreigners and their institutions has changed from high:low to low:high. Regarding employment-related qualifications, the standards that foreign nationals must meet for the status of residence such as “technical intern training” and “specified skills”, which account for the majority of the number of foreign residents, are getting less strict, but the notification and reporting obligations that must be fulfilled by their affiliated organizations are getting more strict.

Also, as is common to all employment-related residence statuses, if a foreign national is made to work knowing that he or she does not have the appropriate residence status, the criminal penalties are extremely severe for himself/herself, as well as any changes (joining or leaving the company) must be promptly notified to the Immigration Bureau by not only the foreign national but the organization.

From the above, it is extremely important for companies to continue to accurately grasp the residence status of foreign employees, and from this point of view as well, it is meaningful that the company’s business management system and residence online system can be linked via API.

This article is available in Japanese.

Japan Immigration News

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