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Contraventions to the law

Japan With Kids - Forums: Immigration/visas/re-entry permits/naturalization: Contraventions to the law
By jane yamaguchi on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 3:26 pm:

Hello everyone.
I'm jane from Tokyo and just got married to a Japanese national. Last january 30, I invited my father, aunt and 2 uncles for my marriage and signed as the guarantor for they told me they just wanted to tour japan also, but then lately I heard from my father that my 2 uncles wanted to overstay which is of course against my will. As a guarantor, will I be liable when they overstay even if I don't want them to? If ever I will report them to the immigration in order to free myself from any liabilities, would this be possible? Hope to hear from other's opinion. Thanks!

By Orchids on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 3:57 pm:

I don't know exactly about the case of overstay, but for the time being, it is possible to extend their visa for 3 more months ( if they come with temporary visit visa). Call the immigration office and ask what kind of documents needed for visa extension. In my opinion, it is very risky to let them overstay. Think about health insurance etc. If they get caught, they will not be permitted to go to Japan again for 5 or more years.

By Cornelia on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 6:41 pm:

A couple who met here in Japan, got married and had two children are about to be torn apart by being repatriated by immigration to their respective countries (Burma/Myanmar and Philippines). There is a lot of support trying to sway immigration to find another solution. Yes, they were both illegal aliens.

Please consider signing and mailing the petition via email right now if you are reading this Sunday evening. It is urgent.

Please scroll down to the bottom of this link, copy/paste the petition into an email, fill it out, and send to: pfb[at]

Here is the link for the info on this couple (and the petition) written in Japanese in case you are more comfortable in Japanese than in English:

By the way if you are Burmese living in Japan, this is a very good site for you.

By Pato on Friday, December 3, 2004 - 10:21 am:

Regarding new immigration law that went into effect 2 December 2004:

For visa violators, it pays to come clean
New deportation rules raise penalty for those who don't turn themselves in

Staff writer

In June 2000, Mohammad Mizanur Rahman was deported from Japan for overstaying his visa. Shortly after he was forced back to his native Bangladesh, his Japanese girlfriend joined him and they married.

But their happy life together didn't last long. His wife, Yoshiko, fell ill and returned to Japan, where she was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in April.

Because immigration law prohibits a deportee from returning to Japan for five years, Rahman had to remain in Bangladesh. He repeatedly begged the Japanese government for a visa so he could be with his wife, only to be told to wait four months for a decision.

"I just wanted a visa to see my wife," Rahman told a recent news conference. "Because within five or six months she was going to die."

After months of negotiating, Rahman finally got a 90-day special permit from the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka and arrived in Japan on Sept. 7.

His wife died a week later.

"These things should not happen in the future," Rahman said, calling Japan's immigration rules too rigid.

And the laws are set to get harsher.

The penalties for overstaying will stiffen with the revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law that takes effect Thursday.

The upper limit of fines will go up drastically. For visa violations or illegal entry, the fine can reach 3 million yen, up 10-fold.

Those who encourage employment of people without legitimate residential status can be fined up to 3 million yen. Foreigners who become engaged in activities other than what they are authorized to do under their visas can be fined up to 2 million yen, also up 10-fold.

"I doubt these people will actually be able to pay millions of yen," said lawyer Satoshi Murata, who specializes in labor issues pertaining to foreigners in Japan.

"If they cannot pay, they will be detained and must provide labor" before they are deported, he said. "And to tell you the truth, I don't think (the government) actually expects them to pay, either."

Under the revised law, people who have overstayed their visa will be able to leave Japan voluntarily -- instead of being deported -- under certain conditions, including no past record of deportation. Such people can return to Japan after one year.

On the other hand, people deported for a second time for an immigration violation will be banned from entering the country for 10 years, instead of the current five. The entry ban on first-time deportees, like Rahman, will remain unchanged at five years.

Immigration authorities say the revised law is aimed at encouraging visa violators to turn themselves in.

"But I think that all it does is increase the number of stowaways, and overstayers will just find more ways to remain hidden," Murata warned.

According to data collected by the Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau, there were 219,418 people in Japan overstaying their visa as of Jan. 1. The number peaked in 1993 with 298,646 and has since been steadily declining.

"True, the number has declined, but not fast enough," said a senior official of the Immigration Bureau. "With the revised law, we are hoping for a further decline in the number."

On its Web site, the Immigration Bureau cites the presence of overstayers and illegal entrants as among reasons for the Japanese people's sense of anxiety over public safety.

The official denied a direct link between crimes by foreigners and overstayers and illegal entrants, but said that a recent ministerial meeting aimed at combating crime took up the topic of "overstayers being the hotbed of foreign crime."

Lawyer Murata, however, said he doubts whether the revised law will resolve the various issues pertaining to foreigners in Japan.

"This law is basically (geared for allowing overstayers to either) return home on their own or being forced to leave, and does not solve the fundamental problem of Japan's nonacceptance of foreign workers," Murata said.

The underlying problem, he said, is Japan's failure to accept foreign workers for manual labor even though certain sectors of the economy, including construction and agriculture, need them.

The Japan Times: Dec. 1, 2004

By Nancy on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 12:32 am:

Regarding the new immigration laws....has anyone heard of an "employer" being fined for employing the services of an illegal housekeeper? I know of a recent situation where the housekeeper was deported as her visa was seems that the "employer" was in a sticky situation. On this board there are many housekeepers posting looking for work. If they do not have a valid visa, is someone who employs them taking a big risk?

By Scott Hancock on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 1:25 am:

How do you measure the risk if you, yourself are an alien earning an income that depends on your own legal status being sound?

By Pinky on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 1:20 am:

Hi everyone,I am very confused and worried for my 2 kids.Due to my husband carelessness 5 years ago regarding my visa,I became an overstayer.I went back to my country with our kids but my eldest wants to live with his dad.It is impossible as his father works 'til late.Is it possible to go back to japan without waiting for the 5 year period?My husband is hopeless with issues not relating to work.I really need help.

By Roxy on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 9:42 am:

It is very simple, as their guarantor you are responsible for them while they are in Japan. If you donft wish them to stay here and be party to something illegal then ask them kindly to leave and if they wish they can come back to Japan some other time, but not as you being the guarantor.



By Scott Hancock on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 10:25 am:

Roxy- I think you are misunderstanding Pinky's situation. She has no visa and therefore cannot be anyone's guarantor. In fact, it seems she was prohibited from getting a visa for 5 years from when she left.

Were you specifically given the 5-year prohibition?

You are saying you would like to try to come again and get a dependent visa under your husband's status, right?

Assuming this is the case, an application has to be initiated in Japan. It may or may not go through with your unfortunate history, but no harm in trying. Sounds like the hard part is having someone in Japan do the paperwork and pushing through of the application.

In any case, I think it would be a bad idea to just arrive at Narita, hoping to be able to stay. Very unlikely, I think.

Is there any department of his company that might help?


By Roxy on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 11:39 am:

Sorry about the mix-up, I mistakenly replied to "jane yamaguchi on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 03:26" posting.

With regard to Pinky, there is not enough data to give a suitable reply. If you are still legally married and your kids were born in Japan, then you should be able to come back in on a Spouses visa. However, you may also run the risk of your husband taking custody of the kids once you enter Japan.

By Scott Hancock on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 4:17 pm:

Oh, that's interesting. Roxy is assuming Pinky's husband is Japanese. I hadn't thought of that. Pinky- is that the case?

I was assuming not Japanese.

I could be wrong, but even if the husband is Japanese, if the spouse hasn't obtained the spouse visa officially, she can't just show up at Narita having not applied for and received it. Especially with the unfortunate 5-year ban from overstaying.

By Pinky on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 9:29 pm:

Hi,Scott and Roxy thank you and sorry for not being more specific.Yes I am married to a japanese and we both has no intention for a divorce.Honestly,I'd much rather live in my own country than in japan but my son misses his dad and dad his family.At the time of my deportation,the officer asked him twice if he was willing to let us leave and he said yes coz I was determined to and now my husband is miserable sinced we left.He's been very lonely and working harder to fill it up.I'm afraid 5 years would be too long.He tries to visit us whenever he can but those visits only made him miserable upon returning to an empty house.

By Scott Hancock on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 10:21 pm:

Pinky, your situation sounds very sad. Since your husband sounds motivated, might you have the resources to hire an immigration lawyer to negotiate with Immigration? I wouldn't be surprised if they flexed on the 5-year thing. How long has it been?

Since he doesn't have the time or ability to do on his own, if you can manage getting a professional in, you might succeed. It's well worth a try, it seems.

I hope you can make it.


By Roxy on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 3:38 pm:

Yes, it does sound rather extreme that immigration would extradite a mother with her children (who would be classed as Japanese nationals).

The excesses of the Japanese bureaucratic system are paradoxically also one of its blessings. Where it sticks to the letter of the law and does not appear to adhere to the spirit of the law can be an advantage.

Why? There are from our experience no arbitraries with decisions. The system requires an inordinate amount of paper work, forms, fees and stamps. Providing ones paper trail is in order, then things go ahead. Donft adhere to the grulesh and it all runs off the rails.

I would suggest that you first contact your local Japanese consulate and explain your situation in detail and then ask them what is required for you to rectify things. They should have a way around the 5 year rule, it is just a matter of asking the right question (what forms, paper work etc. are required) for things to go ahead.

As for your husband, if he is genuinely missing his kids then this should be incentive enough to go to immigration and ask the same questions, get the information and in turn make an amends for dropping the ball in the first place. Being Japanese he is well aware of the need for gfollowing the rulesh and what happens if he doesnft.

Of course there are foreign nationals who may have to jump through far more hoops (Chinese, North Korean, Russian, African, Indian, Pakistan, etc.), but the paperwork required and submitted (if all is in order) should win the day.

By minmin on Thursday, July 28, 2005 - 5:05 pm:

I am Minmin from Osaka. I am confused and worried for my boyfriend's visa. He had stayed in Japan as student for 6 years. Due to his carelessness,he was an overstayer for a couple of days and was deported. Is it possible for him to come back to Japan by spouse visa? We plan to marry soon.I hope to hear from other's opinion

By Jack on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 12:12 am:

In applying for PR what are the obligations of the guarantor? Is the guarantor responsible just for plane fare if you are asked to leave and maybe living expenses? Or are they co-responsible for any
debts you have signed for?

By Topaz on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 12:49 am:

Jack - as I understand it, the term "guarantor" is very vague, and the Minstry of Justice has no ability to force the guarantor to do anything.

In my case, I listed my wife as my guarantor on my PR application. Given that she is financially dependent on me, I sure don't think anybody at the MOJ was expecting she would be able to provide any financial help if I got in trouble.

The MOJ web site at discusses guarantors. It's not exactly in the context of PR, but I think it applies to any use of the word "guarantor" on immigration documents. Text follows:

Q7 I need to submit a certificate of fidelity guarantee. Who should be my "guarantor" in this case? What kind of responsibilities would my guarantor assume?

In the context of Immigration Control Act, the term "guarantor" means the person who promises Minister of Justice to guarantee aforeign national's economic conditions and provide lifestyle guidance including compliance with applicable laws as necessary so that the foreign national would be able to stably and continuously fulfill his/her intended purpose for visiting Japan.
Even if a guarantor gives assurance to Minister of Justice with the certificate of fidelity guarantee, Minister of Justice may not legally bind the guarantor to make good on his guarantee. If a guarantor fails to make good on his guarantee, the immigration control authority only instruct the guarantor to meet his commitments. However, as the authority regards him as not fulfilling his responsibilities in this case, the guarantor will lose his eligibility as a guarantor for entry/residence application process in the future. From these viewpoints, the certificate of fidelity guarantee imposes so-called moral responsibility on the guarantor in this manner.

Hope this helps!

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